Our region

Location

Byron Shire is located on the far north coast of NSW, we share our boundaries with the Tweed, Lismore and Ballina Local Government Areas. Brisbane is approximately 200km north and Sydney approximately 800 kms to the south.  Our shire is 556 square km in size and our region is famed for its rural beauty and beaches.

Climate

During the year the local mean temperature is 23.7 celsius,  and mean minimum temperature is 16.1 celsius. 

We enjoy a high rainfall between January and May each year, with March being the month of highest rainfall. This provides an excellent farming climate and the green scenic landscape which many visitors enjoy.

Visit the Bureau of Meteorology website  to get more climate details.

Population

  • The population of Byron Shire at the date of the 2016 census was 31,556 (compared to 29,208 in 2011 and 28,767 in 2006).
  • The median age was 44 (compared to 42 in 2011 and 41 in 2006).
  • In 2016, 1.8% of the Shire's population identified as of Indigenous origin (compared to 1.77% in 2011 and 1.55% in 2006).

 

View Byron Shire Community Profile

 

Social Characteristics

Our community is a diverse and colourful mix of people and our towns and rural villages have their own distinctive look and feel. Our region has a mix of cultural values, embracing both traditional and alternative lifestyles and philosophies.

Aboriginal Heritage

Byron Shire Council recognises the Bundjalung of Byron Bay - Arakwal People as the traditional custodians of the land in Byron Shire, and form part of the wider Aboriginal nation known as the Bundjalung. The Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) people retain a strong connection in the maintenance, protection and management of Aboriginal cultural values in the Shire. The Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) lived in this area for thousands of years before the arrival of non-Aboriginal people.

Since 2001 the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) people have entered into three Indigenous Land Use Agreements with the New South Wales Government recognising their Native Title rights as Traditional Owners to lands and waters in and around Byron Bay.

In 1998 the Arakwal people signed an agreement with Byron Shire Council. This was the first agreement in NSW between native title claimants and local government and established Council's support and cooperation with the Arakwal. Recently, a statement of commitment was signed between Council and the Bundjalung of Byron Bay (Arakwal) and notes that Council advocates the cultural and economic development of the Byron Bay Aboriginal – Arakwal People, the preservation and expression of their cultural identity, and the importance of Council and the Arakwal people partnering together to ensure an ecologically sustainable Byron Shire community.

Today, Byron Shire is also home to many indigenous people from a variety of communities from around the country.

Find out more about our indigenous communities.

Industry and Economy

We are a well known tourist destination, attracting over 1 million visitors annually. The main source of revenue for the Shire is tourism, approximately $380 million in 2011. Tourism has a significant impact on a range of industries in the Shire, such as retailing, health facilities and spas, accommodation, restaurants and cafes, transportation and construction. Agriculture and related value-added and creative industries are also important areas of activity in the region.