The Null Device
I spent the past two nights in Byron Bay. My impressions of the place:
- Most of the population appears to be tourists; mainly young people (permanently or temporarily) associated with the Skeg subculture. Maybe this is just a summer thing.
- Furthermore, most of the people employed here (at least in tourist-related industries) appear to be either British or Canadian.
- The notorious yuppification: there don't seem to be too many signs of it; a few luxury cars here and there, and the prices in the local real-estate shop windows (you won't have much change left over from a million if you buy a place here). Alas, there are no 802.11 access points anywhere in town; mind you, WiFi in Australia appears to be mostly a Sydney thing.
- Were I a wealthy man, I'm not sure that my first choice of locations for a summer residence would be a town swarming with hordes of young tourists.
- Having said that, things cost about twice as much as they do in Melbourne; you can spend almost $10 on a croissant and a pot of chai, or $25 on a curry dinner (albeit a mango curry you're unlikely to get back home).
- Virtually all the cafÃ©s serve chai, as well as something called LSD (the last two letters standing for Soy and Dandelion).
As far as local establishments go that I've been to, I rather liked the Twisted Sista CafÃ©; on the opposite side of the road, the Cardamom Pod is also good, as a cheapish curry place. (That's not the mango curry place; that's Oh! Delhi.)
All in all, I liked Byron Bay, though I can't help get the feeling that the town was a lot more charming before it became so popular. I suspect that over the next few decades it may turn into another Gold Coast.