Byron Bay is located on the far north coast of New South Wales (NSW), approximately 790 km north of Sydney and 202 km south of Brisbane. The shire covers an area of some 550 square kilometres. Cape Byron is the most easterly point on mainland Australia and attracts large numbers of tourists all year round.
Byron shire has a sub-tropical climate, normal temperatures range between 19 and 27 degrees Celsius. Maximum summer temperatures seldom rise above 32 degrees and in winter seldom fall below 10 degrees.
Major towns and villages include Byron Bay, Mullumbimby, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores. There are a number of small villages or hamlets such as Billinudgel, Main Arm, Federal and Rosebank.
One of the major growth industries in the Byron Shire is the Creative Industries sector, including writers, designers, artists, film makers, and IT/Communication.
Agriculture is also an important industry for the Shire. Local farms grow crops including coffee, avocados, macadamias, blueberries, bananas and sugar cane. The fishing and dairy industries are also important. Wonderful fresh produce is on show regularly at local farmers and community markets.
Major industry sectors include: – Tourism, Creative Industries encompassing artists, writers and filmmakers, and agriculture, including coffee, avocados, sugar cane, seafood/fishing, dairying, macadamias, stone fruit, blueberries and bananas. Retail and home based businesses are large employers in the Shire.
The Australian Business Register (ABR) estimates 5,216 businesses registered for GST and actively trading in Byron Shire (May 2010). Interestingly, the number of ABNs active not-registered for GST is approximately 16,300 which reflects the high number of sole-traders and home-based businesses.
Population: Byron had a resident population base of 28,766 people at the 2006 census. The estimated resident population as at 30 June 2008 is 31,503 and growing at approximately 1.5% per annum.
Property Commercial property and housing information are available from local real estate agents. Industrial lands information is available from this website and greater detail is available from the Byron Shire Council website at byron.nsw.gov.au/economy/profile.
Telecommunications: The major centres in Byron Shire have access to telecommunications and broadband technology (predominantly ADSL and wireless) as offered in other regional centres.
Road: The Pacific Highway passes through the Shire and is dual carriageway from Ewingsdale to the Queensland border. Planning approval has been granted for the upgrade of the Ewingsdale to Tintenbar (near Ballina) section of the highway.
Airports: Gold Coast Airport (Coolangatta) is located 60km north of Byron Bay. It is serviced by selected International carriers and domestic low-cost carriers Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Qantas. Ballina domestic airport is located 35 km to the south and is serviced by Regional Express, Virgin Blue and Jetstar.
Educational services: Schools located within the Byron Shire area:
- Secondary Schools: 2 public , 2 private.
- Primary Schools: 10 public, 6 private
- Pre-schools: 10
The Adult and Community Education (ACE) College offers a wide range of courses. The University of the 3rd Age (U3A) also has active groups in the Shire
Other educational facilities include:
- Southern Cross University Room in the Byron Bay Community and Cultural Centre
- SAE College of sound engineering
- Two English Language Schools in Byron Bay
- A range of private schools offering a variety of courses in areas including health and wellbeing, alternative therapies, martial arts, surfing, scuba diving, music and creative arts
Hospitals: Two hospitals are located in the shire, Byron District and Mullumbimby and District War Memorial Hospital.
Retirement and Aged Care and Facilities: The Byron Shire has a range of retirement and aged care facilities to offer its residents. Options cater for low to high care needs.
Lifestyle: Byron shire is known for its beautiful natural environment, relaxed lifestyle and creative atmosphere. Each town and village within the shire has a unique presence.
- Byron Bay is situated around Cape Byron (Australia’s most easterly point on the mainland) with its iconic light house, and hosts over a million tourists each year. The town offers pristine white sandy beaches, an array of restaurants and coffee shops and a bohemian ‘vibe’. The Arts & Industrial Estate is home to a multitude of inspiring creative endeavours.
- Brunswick Heads offers the opportunity to enjoy the ‘simple pleasures’ of life in a small friendly town located on a peaceful river. It hosts the annual Kites and Bikes festival.
- Bangalow is a beautifully scenic town featuring a wonderful mix o retail experiences. Bangalow is also famous for the annual Billy Cart Derby.
- Mullumbimby has an eclectic charm and features wonderful cafes and a variety of retails outlets offering vintage wares.
- The hinterland of the Shire offers scenic country drives to villages and hamlets where art galleries and other curio stalls can be discovered. Arguably one of the most scenic views on the north coast of NSW is offered at St Helena lookout above Byron Bay, with 180 degree views.
- The sub-tropical climate supports outdoor activities including kayaking, surfing, walking, cycling, ballooning, hang gliding, skydiving, fishing and scuba diving.
- Byron’s plentiful local produce features in many award-winning restaurants in the area.
Markets: Byron Shire is home to a number of community and farmer’s markets. Community markets are held at Bangalow, Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby and each offers a unique experience and atmosphere. Farmers markets are held weekly at Bangalow, Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and New Brighton. Full market details can be seen at byron.nsw.gov.au/market-day.
Byron is home to some of the regions best known beaches including The Pass, The Wreck and Wategos, Little Wategos, Main, Clarkes, and Belongil Beaches. Belongil Creek, Wilson’s Creek and the Brunswick River meander through the shire. There are a plethora of activities and beautiful natural environments to explore. Both sides of Cape Byron offer excellent surfing and access to World Heritage listed rainforest is just a short drive away.
The Northern Rivers region is home to many well-known artists and a large creative industries community. The Byron Shire offers over 50 events throughout the year and plays host to the East Coast Blues & Roots Festival (BluesFest) and the Byron Bay Writers Festival each year.
Distances between major towns and cities.
- Byron Bay to Sydney 770km.
- Byron Bay to Brisbane 165km.
- Byron Bay to Ballina 38km
- Byron Bay to Murwillumbah 50km
- Byron Bay to Mullumbimby 20km
- Byron Bay to Lismore 45km
- Byron Bay to Kyogle 88km
- Byron Bay to Grafton 166km
- Byron Bay to Casino 76km