Byron Bay is one of my favourite places to visit in Australia, or
indeed anywhere in the world, so I can think of few places better to
see in the new year. Byron Bay has had something of an issue with
new year's eve celebrations getting out of hand in years gone by, so
I should point out that this isn't the party central you might
expect – if it's wild night life your looking for then you'll be
better served heading p to the Gold Coast and the beaches and bars
around Surfers Paradise.
For a laid back new year's party though, with some of the friendliest locals you'll ever encounter, head to Byron. There won't be fireworks or beach parties, but the local bars and restaurants put on enough special events to keep you entertained, while the local scenery and long white sand beaches are the perfect settings to wind down and recharge your batteries for the year ahead.
Despite the lack of fireworks there is still plenty going on in
Byron Bay on new year's eve – top events to look out for include:
- Soul Street New Year's Eve Party – an alcohol free, family friendly party on Jonson Street from 4-10pm featuring market stalls, live entertainers and plenty of kids activities
- First Sun New Year's Day at the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse – starting at 5.30am to greet the first sunrise of the new year with music, meditation and free yoga.
- Falls Music & Arts Festival at the North Byron Parklands – the popular music festival returns again this year, running from 31 December – 2 January. Performers this year include Run the Jewels, Fleet Foxes and Liam Gallagher. Tickets are available here.
There will also be new year celebrations at the many bars in town, popular joints to head for include The Railway Hotel, The Balcony Bar, The Byron Bay Brewery, The Northern and Cheeky Monkey's.
There is also the fantastic sounding Tropical Fruits Neon Garden NYE Festival at the Showgrounds in nearby Lismore, running from 29 December to 2 January and offering a host of activities including a parade, pool party and loads of live music.
Places to watch live online: There is a pretty good webcam on the beach, but it's more use for watching the surf than any new year parties really:
There is plenty of accommodation to choose from on Byron Bay, with a definite focus on budget places with backpacker spots and caravan parks among the popular choices. I can personally recommend the Glen Villa Resort, conveniently located just off Jonson Street with very reasonably priced and decent quality cabins available.
To check availability and make reservations here, and all the top hotels in the area, you can make online bookings here.