The Byron Writers Festival 2017
Looking for something to do the weekend of August 4-6? The Byron Writers Festival is Australia’s largest and leading regional writers’ festival, held in August every year at its iconic beachside location at Elements Resort. Renowned for its sense of community and thought-provoking programming, the festival explores the importance of literature and debate in shaping our lives.
This year, yet another riveting line-up of writers and thinkers will converge on beautiful Byron Bay to inspire and entertain all those interested in art of writing and anyone who just loves to read a good book. The Byron Writers Festival is the central hub to the Northern Rivers’ active, vibrant literary culture. The purpose of this annual event is to create and delivers programs that involve and enrich professional, amateur and aspiring writers (and readers) of all ages.
The promotion of literature (particularly Australian), enhancing the skills of writers, and fostering a culture of reading and writing among all age groups in the Northern Rivers and beyond forms the foundation of this very special festival. This year, the festival will see more than 130 writers join panels on 120-plus sessions over the 3-day event, welcoming artists, environmentalists, philosophers, journalists and musicians as well as our more traditional storytellers.
‘The 21st Byron Writers Festival program aims to soar high across many different dominions. We seek to inspire, engage and cultivate accessible conversations between our writer guests and avid audiences,’ says Festival Director, Edwina Johnson. ‘We are especially proud of this year’s Program – for its cultural diversity, scope and probing amalgamation of important topics and different writing genres.’
Acclaimed Australian novelists include Kate Grenville, Ashley Hay, Anita Heiss, Hannah Kent, A.S. Patric, Nicolas Rothwell, Kim Scott and Byron Bay based Rob Drewe who will launch his new novel Whipbird at the Festival. They join a best-selling line-up of Australian crime writers, including David Free, Mirandi Riwoe (M.J. Tjia), Michael Robotham and Jock Serong.
ABIA Award winner and rock icon Jimmy Barnes will discuss his bestselling, critically acclaimed memoir, Working Class Boy. Legendary singer and songwriter Tex Perkins will reveal his newly released autobiography. The two will come together for a special ABC Radio National session with presenter Sarah Kanowski. Sarah Blasko will feature in a one-on-one conversation with The Saturday Paper’s Erik Jensen as well as a Music Makers session with musician and novelist Holly Throsby.
This year’s festival reveals an exciting and compelling program across six stages and will be complemented by diverse writers’ workshops, satellite events and literary dinners throughout Byron Bay and the wider Northern Rivers region. For more information and tickets go to www.byronwritersfestival.com or call (02) 6685 5115
“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” – William Faulkner –
From headlands and beaches to cruise boats and kayaks, the Byron Bay region is wonderful for watching whales on their annual migration along the spectacular NSW coast. Enjoy watching these magnificent creatures at Australia’s most easterly point between May and November, when whales migrate in their thousands.
The Byron Bay region, offers excellent opportunities to spot whales frolicking around Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Lennox Head and Ballina. Land-based vantage points include. In Ballina, head for Lighthouse Hill and the viewing platforms at Angels Beach, Flat Rock and Skennars Head. Rocky Point and the Pat Morton Lookout in Lennox Head are popular too.
For the chance to get even closer to the whales, Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay and Cape Byron Kayaks offer kayaking tours to observe these majestic mammals up close and Sundive Byron Bay offer the opportunity to view whales while snorkelling at Julian Rocks.
A whale-watching cruise with Blue Bay Whale Watching, Byron Bay Eco Charter or Whale Watching Byron Bay is another exciting way to experience these amazing animals up close, with some of the cruise boats having hydrophones that enable you to listen to the whales singing.
To see where the whales are right now check out the Wild About Whales app. Enjoy!
Belongil Beach & The Wreck
When you think about what to do on a sunny day in Byron Bay, it doesn’t get much better than lazing on one of the many stunning beaches that grace these shores. Surrounded by natural beauty, you’ll find it easy to unwind and relax on soft sand, enjoy invigorating swims in crystal-clear water and glorious sunrises and sunsets over the deep blue ocean.
Whether it’s swimming, surfing, kayaking fishing, or just rolling out your towel and relaxing on the soft sand Byron Bay’s gorgeous beaches have something that will suit everyone.
Belongil is great place to walk anytime of the day, but if you’re looking for something to do in the early morning this beach is pure magic! Wake before sunrise, grab a coffee and take in the views that stretch north towards Brunswick Heads where you can witness Mount Warning in all it’s glory in the distance.
In the evening, head down to the main beach car park at sunset to enjoy the famous drumming circle that happens Friday to Sunday. Dance with diverse characters, musicians and vagabond travellers as they celebrate the end of another beautiful day in Byron Bay.
A short walk from the Main Beach and centre of town The Wreck named after the remains of the Wollongbar ship lodged just 30m offshore. The ship lost its tie to the old Byron Bay Pier during a cyclone in 1922 and sank. It now provides great snorkelling options and surf in the right conditions. Dogs are allowed here, providing the opportunity to socialise with other dog lovers or just enjoy a swim or surf when the swell is up.