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With Australians renowned for their wanderlust spirit, it seems COVID-19 isn’t going to stand in the way. Holidaymakers are moving about the country to explore what the motherland has to offer. With overseas travel bans and state border restriction uncertainty, tourists are looking to explore within their own states and territories. Here in NSW, Sydneysiders are seemingly making their way north to soak up the sunshine and warm weather, with Byron Bay becoming an increasingly popular destination.
This isn’t to say Byron Bay wasn’t already the cool kid coastal town before – long gone are the days of the sleepy seaside settlement. Pinned on the world map as a must-see Australian destination, it’s attracted not only local and interstate, but international tourists for the past decade. And with the inbound of travellers, the capital’s hospitality industry followed suit. A couple of our Sydney hospitality favourites sought a sea change back in 2014, with Fink joining forces with one of Byron’s few beachfront restaurants, Beach, Sydney Collective taking over the Lawson Street corner landmark, Balcony and Three Blue Ducks living out their farm to table ethos on the Ewingsdale property, The Farm.
And so, with another surge in demand in 2021 comes the need for supply. With the influx of local tourists, we’re excited to see that the hospitality scene in Byron Bay is set to heat up with Sydney bigwigs setting up shop. Most recently, Justin Hemmes of Merivale has joined the selection of Sydney restaurateurs. Investing in the northern NSW hotspot, Hemmes has snapped up a site on the main drag. Johnston Street will soon be home to its first super pub. The Merivale move-in closely follows Fraser Short of Sydney Collective and Stu Laundy of Laundy Hotels’ purchase of the Lennox Hotel earlier this year. Sydney Collective and Laundy Hotels also partnered to secure The Farm late last year.
With a bevy of restaurateurs making their way north, the already buzzing Byron Bay holiday scene is about to get a whole lot buzzier. And, we’re excited to see what’s in store!