About Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers
Blessed with astounding abundance the Northern Rivers region of NSW runs from Tweed Heads in the North to Grafton in the South. With an idyllic climate and 300 kilometres of stunning coastline. You can visit world heritage national parks, spectacular rolling hills, meandering rivers and shimmering lakes the Northern Rivers Region offers an eclectic mix of activities and attractions for even the most world weary traveler.
Throughout the region natural wonders abound with isolated beaches, rugged headlands, breathtaking mountain ranges and flourishing wildlife to tempt the eco tourist, while the shimmering lakes, vast rivers and secluded coves create an aquatic playground for fishers and water babies of all ages.
The Northern Rivers is dotted with dozens of delightful towns including coastal paradises and classic country towns, beautiful villages and rural hamlets each with its own distinct atmosphere. Sample the delights of the festivals, markets and fairs along with the fantastic produce the region is known for.
With an incredible amount of activities and attractions you can return to the Northern Rivers again and again making the most of the land, sea and air:
Byron Bay History
Byron Bay’s original inhabitants are the Arakwal people, who are part of the Bundjalung group. The Arakwal called this meeting place ‘Cavvanbah’, which was the name of the settlement until 1894 when it became Byron Bay.
Captain Cook originally named Cape Byron after Admiral Byron, not after his nephew the poet Lord Byron. However, the poetic idea took hold and many of Byron’s streets are named after famous poets.
For all its sophistication now, Byron Bay was a working class port town for much of its life. A dairy cooperative formed in 1895, supplemented by a piggery. Between 1913 and 1920 Byron’s meatworks operated near the sea shore at Belongil. From the 1930s a sand mining company extracted minerals from the beaches and from the 1950s Byron Bay Whaling Co. started capturing and killing whales until it closed in 1962.
Byron’s own shift to a holiday destination started when it was discovered by surfers in the 1960s and then by settlers coming from the cities – especially the wave of new age settlers that came to the north coast region for the 1973 Aquarius Festival. Since then it has been found by new generations of Australians and is has earned its place in international backpacking destinations.
Over the past 30 years Byron has become a place of holidays, pleasure, healing, nature and alternative lifestyles. It’s now home to many seachangers - people from Sydney, Melbourne and other cities who telecommute, start new businesses or take an active retirement.
The traditional owners – the Bundjalung people of Byron Bay – now take an active role in the management of Arakwal National Park and other areas of Crown land returned to them under an Indigenous Land Use Agreement covering 245 hectares of Crown land in and around Byron Bay.
Things to do in Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers
|Walk amongst the rainforest giants||Surf schools and safaris|
|Astrology and Healing||Kayak with dolphins|
|Arts and Crafts
||Diving the marine reserves|
|Byron Bay Restaurants
||Paragliding and sky diving|
||Hot air ballooning|
Immerse yourself in the local culture and history spanning more than 40,000 years from the dreamtime to the first woodcutters, farmers, surfers, hippies, new agers and sea changers. Local culture is reflected in the myriad galleries, venues, antique shops, cafes and restaurants filled with arts, crafts curios and culinary delights. When you need a break from all these activities invigorate the mind, body and soul in the many renowned retreats, spas and wellness centre or shop at one of the local markets.
The Northern Rivers has something for everyone. Click to watch our video