Travel

How Byron Bay became the celebrity capital of Australia

It's not only the Hemsworths hiding out there.
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Sydney may be the biggest city and Melbourne may be the cultural capital of Australia, but as for the number one celebrity hot spot there can only be one destination Down Under.

WATCH BELOW: Elyse Knowles and Josh Barker talk moving to Byron Bay

Nestled on the northern NSW coast, the small town of Byron Bay is the perfect destination for those who want to lie on the beach, enjoy an aesthetically-pleasing brunch and chill out.

But it’s not just surfers and Instagram influencers who can’t get enough of Byron – in fact some of the world’s most famous faces have flocked to the beach town in recent months.

“It’s a culmination of the natural beauty of the property, it’s our climate, and also its the culture of the area as well – it’s a good bunch of people that live here,” long-time resident and Ray White agent Michael Gudgeon told The New Daily.

“To a certain degree, people haven’t been too fussed about where you come from. A lot of locals don’t fawn over the famous people who live here. They just let them be themselves and get on with their lives.”

Byron’s most famous residents are arguably Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky who famously left Hollywood to pursue a more chilled-out life Down Under. And it’s safe to say the couple, who share their three kids India Rose, Sasha and Tristan, love their life there.

“The people are really nice and really good with us,” Elsa said of the locals. “In Byron Bay we feel like normal local people and that’s really nice for us.”

More recently, the couple have nearly finished construction on their mega-mansion in Broken Head, 12km away from the town centre.

Chris’ younger brother Liam has also joined the family in Byron and has been spotted with girlfriend Gabriella Brooks. 

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Chris and Elsa love to feel like “normal people” in Byron Bay. (Credit: Instagram)

Zac Efron is also one of the hot celebrity names buzzing around Byron after the American actor was snapped at a cafe in Lennox Head.

To make matters even more juicy, he’s currently dating an Aussie 25-year-old by the name of Vanessa Valladares – a former waitress at the Byron Bay General Store & Cafe, whom he reportedly met in July.

Nicole Kidman is the latest big name to set up camp in the coastal town and is currently there with husband Keith Urban to film the upcoming Stan miniseries, Nine Perfect Strangers – the book of which was also written by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty.

“#ByronBay is the real deal! No green screen needed #OfficeViews,” the Academy Award winner posted on Instagram in August.

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Nicole Kidman shared the stunning Byron Bay views on her Instagram account in August. (Credit: Instagram)
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Are those the green pastures of Byron we spy? (Credit: Instagram)

Local Aussie celebs have also chosen Byron Bay as their home including model Gemma Ward, musician Angus Stone, controversial chef Pete Evans, The Block‘s Shelley Craft and most recently Natalie Bassingthwaite – the latter of whom moved with her family to the beachfront town from Melbourne just before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“We sold our house, we did everything in the right order without realising what was going to unfold,” the singer and actor told The Daily Telegraph.

“We are feeling very grateful and very blessed. It has been such a roller-coaster for so many people so we are feeling very lucky.”

Speaking of the change of pace and lifestyle, Nat said: “It’s been really lovely – the community here has been so supportive and very welcoming. It’s a beautiful place to be, especially in these times right now.”

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Nat and her family at iconic Byron Bay location, The Farm. (Credit: Instagram)

Even if they’re not moving there, plenty of NSW based celebrities have escaped to Byron Bay for a holiday. After all, it’s the closest Sydneysiders can get to Queensland with current travel restrictions in place.

The Bachelor‘s Matty J and Laura Byrne along with their daughter Marlie-Mae soaked up the sun there in September and it was also the location where they announced their second baby news to the world.

And there’s something about Byron that Bachelor alumni must love – Tim Robards and Anna Heinrich also stayed there for their recent babymoon.

Better pack those bags and book a trip pronto!

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Matty and Laura announced their baby news with a photo snapped in Byron. (Credit: Instagram)

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