Byron Bay, the beach-side town but also the largest town of Byron Shire, located in the far northeastern corner of the state of New South Wales, Australia, is the most expensive and popular now with the A-list celebrities flocking in. Even before the celebrities dubbed it a ‘Hollywood 2.0’ thanks to the number of Tinseltown stars who have in recent years who had either joined vacations in the area or settled there down permanently, this area was popular hippy hangout places and known for many other attractions.
What’s so special about Byron Bay?
Byron Bay was always popular for Timber and there were gold mining from the black sands of the beaches set up in the late 1700s. Dairy farms are famous here. The place improved in the dairy industry when it started exporting butter to the world in the 1800s. The Cape Byron Lighthouse was built in 1901 which is a sight at the place. With the world wars I and II the popular industries began declining one by one. From the 1980s, the tourism began to develop in earnest, cash-poor surfers and hippies supplemented which was developed when the consumers tuned in to their needs.
Speaking of which today the Byron Bay os one of the most up-market residential areas on the Australian east coast with the growth in multi million-dollar mansions now pushing the median value of house sales high up beyond $1.5 million AU in 2017, which was over a 100% increase ever since 2013 according to the official sources. The town, however, has not lost its attractions which has a diverse range of visitors including surfers. Backpackers and general tourists interested exclusively in the natural attractions in the area. It also supports a vast number of creative persons including artists, musicians, crafts-persons and such. As of 2018, the town was having around 5,000 permanent residents, while it had around 2 million tourists each year.
What makes Byron Bay so expensive?
As we are aware that the huge mansion of the famous Australian actor Chris Hemsworth – THOR is completed in Byron Bay, so are the likes of Zac Effron, Natalie Portman and Mark Wahlberg. Now this area has caused house prices and holiday rentals to soar as per the reports. According to the ‘Domain’, the median house price in Byron Bay is now over $1.44 million which is 22.8 per cent over the last year.
The real estate websites there claim that the nearby towns like Suffolk Park, Brunswick Heads, Pottsville and Lennox Head have found an increase in tourism as Byron Bay is becoming increasingly expensive now. These humble towns are seeing the prices getting increased and Lennox, in particular, is going up 44.7 per cent. Pottsville has reported a median house price of $780,000. It was $500,000 five years ago.
Peter Browning of LJ Hooker in Brunswick Heads told, ”In the last three months, it’s gone off its head. It’s now easier to rent in the area.” he said for a property listed on a Friday night last week had received more than 400 inquiries by Monday with one applicant even ready to pay $200 more than the asking price for renting just to secure the home in his clutches. Those who hope for a holiday in Byron Bay now need to book months ahead even amidst the pandemic.
Celebrities and Byron Bay – The Connection
Isabel Lucas the famous Australian actress first purchased a home in Byron Bay in 2016 and has lived on and off in the region for a better part of a decade. Hollywood actress Natalie Portman was spotted here on several occasions holidaying ahead of filming Thor: Love and Thunder. Earlier this month, Mark Wahlberg arrived in Australia to film an ad campaign for ‘Ladbrokes’. Mark who is a Hollywood A-Lister had spent 14 days of quarantine at a luxury $2500 per night retreat outside of Byron Bay.
Most famously, Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky arguably started the ‘Hollywood 2.0’ craze. They now reside in a $20 million mega-mansion in the area which is situated on 4.2 hectares. The home boasts six bedrooms, a game room, gym, steam room, media room and a 50-metre rooftop infinity pool. In the past months, many celebrities have spent time in Byron Bay. Chris’ younger brother Liam is also residing there.
Famous American actor, Zac Effron has reportedly spent almost a year in the region and has now purchased $2 million worth of land in Tweed Valley in New South Wales. Rumors are spreading that Zac is planning to permanently relocate to Australia after falling for Byron Bay waitress Vanessa Valladares. Meanwhile, American actor Matt Damon is also thought to own a holiday home in Byron Bay.
Nicole Kidman already has been living in Byron Bay on and off with her husband Keith Urban and their two daughters ever since filming for her new show Nine Perfect Strangers which had begun earlier this year. Her co-star Melissa McCarthy has also been staying in the area with her family while filming Nine Perfect Strangers Down Under.
Aussie star Elyse Knowles has bought a $2.3 million beach house in Byron Bay in early 2020 with her boyfriend, Josh Barker. She was here for more than a year of renting in the coastal town.