Byron Bay is a ‘new’ town in the scheme of things, not far from Ballina, but most of all is a tourist party town. The traveller will quickly note the average age is much lower than other Northern Rivers towns. The visitor will take this into account when visiting. Be prepared for noisy pubs, restaurants and people and the smell of incense from the hippy community.

The history of Europeans in Byron Bay began in 1770, when Captain James Cook found a safe anchorage and named Cape Byron after John Byron, who had circumnavigated the world and who was later the grandfather of English poet Lord Byron. In the 1880s, when Europeans settled more permanently, streets were named for other English writers and philosophers.

 The first industry in Byron was cedar-getting, the "Red Centre" from the Australian red cedar, Toona Australi. The timber industry is the origin of the word "shoot" in many local names – Possum Shoot, Coopers Shoot and Skinners Shoot – where the timber-cutters would "shoot" the logs down the hills to be dragged to waiting ships

Byron Bay has a history of primary industrial production (dairy factory, abattoirs, whaling until 1963, fishing) and was a significant, but hazardous, sea port.

The lighthouse was built in 1901 at the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. In 1930, the first meatworks opened.

The longboarders arrived in the 1960s. This was the beginning of Byron Bay as a tourist destination, and by 1973, when the Aquarius Festival was held in Nimbin, its reputation as a hippy, happy, alternative town was established.

The congregational churches are all modern. There is an old Anglican that has survived.

The Byron Bay War Memorial is at the sports field gates.

There is no museum in Byron Bay.

The only ‘old’ building to survive is the Commercial Hotel. The Railway being just a tavern.

When visiting Ballina the traveler must take the time to spend a day at Byron Bay. The place is a bit of an eye opener.

Heritage diary


Fireplace Dump Station
General Store Bottled Gas
Internet Caravan
Camping   4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
Laundry Toilets
Campervans Accommodation
Meals Airport
Pets Allowed Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
Roadside Rest Area Electricity
Scenic Swimming
Tap water   Thermal Area
Stream Water   Walking tracks
Rotary Club Lions Club
Gymnasium   Gardens
  Winery Whitewater Rafting
Surfing   Skydiving
  Skiing   Scenic Flights
Postal Service Police
  Movie Location Mountain Biking
Kayaking Jet Boating
Information Hospital
  Hang Gliding Golf Course