Points of Interest Category: Town Centre & Info
Longitude: 153.612269 Latitude: -28.644149
Metres above Sea Level: 7.7 m
Area: 18.6 km² Perimeter: 32.6 km
View Byron Bay’s Statistics & Demographics
Cape Byron, named by Captain James Cook in honour of Captain John Byron in 1770, is the most easterly point of the entire Australian mainland:
“Tuesday, 15th [May 1770]. Fresh Gales at South-West, West-South-West, and South-South-West. In the P.M. had some heavy Squalls, attended with rain and hail, which obliged us to close reef our Topsails. Between 2 and 4 we had some small rocky Islands* [* The Solitary Islands.] between us and the land; the Southermost lies in the Latitude of 30 degrees 10 minutes, the Northermost in 29 degrees 58 minutes, and about 2 Leagues or more from the land; we sounded, and had 33 fathoms about 12 Miles without this last island. At 8 we brought too until 10, at which time we made sail under our Topsails. Having the Advantage of the Moon we steer’d along shore North and North by East, keeping at the distance of about 3 Leagues from the land having from 30 to 25 fathoms. As soon as it was daylight we made all the sail we could, having the Advantage of a fresh Gale and fair weather.* [* During the night the entrance of the Clarence River, now the outlet for the produce of a large and rich agricultural district, was passed, and in the morning that of the Richmond River, which serves a similar purpose.] At 9, being about a League from the Land, we saw upon it people and Smoke in Several places. At noon we were by observation in the Latitude of 28 degrees 39 minutes South, and Longitude 206 degrees 27 minutes West; Course and distance saild since Yesterday at Noon North 6 degrees 45 minutes East, 104 Miles. A Tolerable high point of land bore North-West by West, distant 3 Miles; this point I named Cape Byron* [* Captain John Byron was one of Cook’s predecessors in exploration in the Pacific, having sailed round the World in H.M.S. Dolphin, in company with the Tamar, in 1764 to 1766.] [Latitude 28 degrees 37 minutes 30 seconds South, Longitude 206 degrees 30 minutes West]. It may be known by a remarkable sharp peaked Mountain lying in land North-West by West from it. From this point the land Trends North 13 degrees West. Inland it is pretty high and hilly, but near the Shore it is low; to the Southward of the Point the land is low, and Tolerable level.
– Source: Captain Cook’s Journal – During His First Voyage Round the World – Made in H.M. Bark “ENDEAVOUR”
1768-71 – A Literal Transcription of the Original MSS – with Notes & Introduction Edited by Captain W.J.L. Wharton, R.N., F.R.S. – c 1893
Nestled in the cove adjacent to Cape Byron is the township of Byron Bay. Originally named ‘Cavvanbah’ by the Aborigines, it retained this name until 1894 – when it became Byron Bay . . .
Today, Byron Bay is a prominent and popular holiday destination. Its stunning beaches, with a backdrop of rolling hills and green pasture lands; topped with the many, and varied, quaint villages scattered throughout the hinterland – Byron Bay has gained predominance as a ‘must see’ destination. The town itself bestows visitors with an enormous array of eateries, accommodation, specialty shopping, markets, natural therapies – and all with a welcoming smile !!!
The mix of the relaxed attitude of the alternative way of life enjoyed by many residents, mixed with the sophistication of the wealthier who have indulged in the seachange, the liveliness and curiosity of the holiday makers and back packers from all over the world – presents a town hustling and bustling with an air naturalism and an obvious defiance of ‘the norm’ – it is a far cry from the tiny place the surfers of the 1960’s discovered, and descended upon . . .
Byron Bay’s history is not as romantic as the vision it now bestows . . .
It was the magnificent Australian Red Cedar that first enticed settlers to the area – as early as the 1840’s.
Some of the early cedar cutters became the first permanent settlers in the Byron region. Legislation passed in 1861 enabled the selection of blocks of Crown Land at a rate of £1 per acre. With this, the first European land owners (known as ‘selectors’) began settling in the area.
The discovery of Gold within the beach sands saw many hopefuls arrive in the 1870’s.
As the region grew, the town became a commercial centre. Byron Bay’s first substantial timber jetty was constructed in 1888 by the Public Works Department. The Jetty opened Byron Bay to the services of the North Coast Steam Navigation Co. Byron Bay quickly became a busy shipping centre, transporting timber and agricultural products, though the treacherous sea port claimed many a ship – which became stranded or sunk . . .
1888 also saw the post office established.
The railway was connected in 1894:
– Lismore to Mullumbimby on the 15th May 1894
– Mullumbimby to Murwillumbah (including Condong Sugar Mill) on the 24th December 1894
By 1894, Byron Bay was seen to be the main port for the Lismore to Murwillumbah railway line, servicing both goods and passengers.
When the original wharf c 1888 was replaced in 1928, an extension of some 1.6 km was required to connect the Jetty with the Byron Bay Goods Yard. It was serviced by a branch line operated by the North Coast Steam Navigation Company where a petrol mechanical locomotive was used to shunt the line.
With the problem of transportation now solved, the local dairy industry was able to take full advantage of the world markets. A co-operative, ‘Norco’, was formed in 1895, to ensure the quality of the milk products, to provide cold storage and to manage the dairy industry. Its success saw it expand to Lismore and Murwillumbah by 1909.
Construction of the lighthouse began in 1899. It was completed in late 1901 with a banquet and ceremony arranged to celebrate the opening. Special trains carried visitors from Lismore and Murwillumbah for the opening.
The ‘Byron Bay Co·operative Canning and Freezing Company Ltd.’ opened in 1913, but was very short-lived . . .
As the co-operative continued to grow, Byron Bay exported its products to the world, expanding their operations to processing meats.
Between 1913 and 1920 Byron’s meatworks operated near the sea shore at Belongil.
From the 1930’s a sand mining company extracted minerals from the ancient, mineral rich sands found in the Byron area. Zircon is one of the two core product streams from ‘mineral sands’, the other being titanium minerals such as Rutile (the most common natural form of Titanium Dioxide) from the beach sands . . .
In 1945 the Byron Bay Fishermans Co-operative was formed.
From the 1954 to 1962 the ‘Byron Bay Whaling Co.’ captured and slaughtered migrating Humpback Whales. The quota for the station was 150 killings per year, however, by 1962, the lack of whales and the heavy overseas competition forced its closure.
1963 saw ‘Norco’ move its head office to Lismore which lead to the closure of the Byron Bay factory soon after.
The loss of the Byron Bay jetty saw the fishing fleet move to Brunswick Heads . . .
Thankfully, the Long Boarders of the 1960’s transformed this seaside town from a central hub of primary industry to the now ever popular tourist destination it has become.
Discover Byron Bay via POI Australia’s Interactive Map, or, acquaint yourself with Byron Bay’s
POI Australia has been designed to network Australia by encouraging and harnessing local knowledge wherever possible.
Our aim is to –
– encourage locals to support LOCAL community groups and events; and to use LOCAL products and services
– encourage visitors, tourists and investors to the many amazing regions of Australia that are so often overlooked.
During our visit, we have endeavoured to capture the essence of Byron Bay and collectively, with our research, have summarised the Points Of Interest (POI) that we have found.
We know that there are many more POI and stories to tell. We enthusiastically invite and encourage contributions to POI Australia – no matter how large or small. To submit information regarding your town and region, please contact us. The information will be reviewed, edited (to suit the segment), approved and added to POI Australia. Remember: “a picture says a thousand words” – so the more photos – the better. To maintain relevancy of the information on the website, we are always grateful to receive updates at any time.
We encourage community organisations, sporting clubs, events, non-for-profit organisations to list with us, as all these services are totally free of charge – apply for your 100% Discount Coupon here.
In order to maintain the free community services, POI Australia provides an opportunity for businesses to support their town and region by advertising for a nominal annual fee. The business listings are designed to be very quick and easy to complete, providing links to existing websites, Facebook, etc., so that time-poor business owners can quickly add and maintain their listings. We hope that the low charges will encourage business to “spread the word”.
The more we network, the more successful we will be in promoting Australia’s locations, stories, histories, businesses, people, sustainability and the environment.
Working together, we can protect our Country, our Environment and our Communities . . .
No Records Found
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Google Map Not Loaded
Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.