After living in the alternative, eco-friendly beach town of Byron Bay for just over 6 months, Kiara Godfrey (29) says she’s starting to understand the subtle undertow of anti-tourist sentiment across the district.

“They just don’t get it,” she says.

“Byron Bay isn’t just a holiday. It’s a lifestyle, a state of mind,”

Kiara is one of the many expatriated city youths that make up 60% percent of the Byron Bay population – and like most, she hasn’t relocated there for work.

Kiara believes the faux-hippy lifestyle of tourists has created a damaging sense of entitlement in the community.

She says it upsets her as a resident who know feels comfortable enough to call Byron home, after speaking to an Aboriginal man at the pub on Sunday.

While still looking for a job, Kiara is currently relying on help from her parents to set herself up. In the meanwhile she is renting a ‘understated little beach shack’ on the main street and spends her afternoons playing bongo drums on the front stoop.

“It’s such a unique culture here” she says.

“It’s such a shame that all these tourists come here with their coffee and surfboards,”

” It’s so pretentious that they think they can pull in from Brisbane and Sydney and just pretend to be like us,”

“They are so transient. They don’t get the real Byron, like I do.”


  1. I agree with Kiara. I first went to Byron and hinterland in the 70’s long before it was a tourist trap and the new “hippies” were truly living off the grid in eco friendly communes. Later,for 15 years, I was there almost monthly visiting my “second” mum and dad and would not have gone near the place otherwise for the reasons Kiara points out. Tourists play the ” I’m in Byron, I’m a hippie so I’ll get pissed and stoned, not shower or give a shit about anyone else” game. So fake! A more accurate self description would be something like ” look at me…I’m a dickhead “

  2. You might want to run a spell/grammar check before you post an article.
    *a resident who know
    *a ‘understated little beach shack’

  3. If tourists arent breaking any laws and are legally in australia they should be welcome anywhere and this hippy idiot whos only moved there metaphorically 5 minutes ago should practise some of that famous left wing tolerance they always sook about and be more accomodating to the tourists pumping money into their hemp filled job optional mooching economy.

  4. I love this! city girl wanting to be alternative and can only do it if rich mummy and daddy pay pay the rent on a shack that is so perfectly unkept and postmoderen that it makes me sick……this ‘resident’ is a tourist, one that has hijacked everything that was good about byron 20 years ago and is a living breathing stereotype although she wont ever admit it haha she’s too alternative and original…….hedonistic free lifestyle that is byron….sorry was…..byron has changed and now feeds the masses which this girl is…..just another wannabe living a lifestyle she can’t support… a place that was once famous for a lifestyle that no longer exists…….try and actually be unique and locate another cool spot rather then living a stereotype….

  5. oh haha this is all a piss take…you got me! thought it was too ridiculous to be legit…. love ya work…you made me get my troll on!

  6. “After six months”…..yeah, because you are totally a local after 6 months of still living off mummy and daddy’s money.
    I think she is the one who “doesn’t get it”

  7. Kiara…..hmmmm…me thinks you need to grow up dear! So, being there six months, talking in the pub to a member of the local mob, having dreadlocks and playing your bongo drums gives you the right to criticise those of us who live an hour away and come in and keep the place afloat? ??? Grow the fuck up you imbecile!!

  8. After 6 months you are refering to yourself with the term us. You will have your own little Byron experience then head off to India or Asia and do that scene then back to the city to resume your life. People have been doing what you assume is a new thing for decades get over yourself have some fun and move on. About the drumming on your front steps, stop immediately people live here and don’t want didg playing drum whacking blow ins assuming town is for you alone to pollute whether by disposable coffee cups or discordant noise.

  9. Sharing is caring. Try to think deeper into peoples demeanor and background and appreciate that the universe has connected you with such a diverse range of people while you can still seek out those who share your ‘permanent lifestyle’ (not sure how to word what you feel) and view things in a similar way.

    Don’t say, “No, this is mine. You can’t have a part of it.”

    Say, “If you’re interested, you’re welcome to see how people with a ‘permanent lifestyle’ in Byron Bay live and get an authentic experience of this place!”

    If you’re trying to be a leader and cause change, don’t put others down. Instead, lead and guide them up. That’s what a leaders job really is.

  10. Hint: ‘Kiara’s’ piece is a clever little hoax, a take the mickey out of anyone with attitude etc etc. There is no such thing as an ‘understated little beach shack’ on the main street of Byron. Hasn’t been for decades. And even if there was would her mummy and daddy be forking out the $700+ per week rent on such real estate.

  11. Byron was cool in the 70’s, by the 80’s they were chucking people like me out, which they did. Retirement and a new coastal lifstyle now beckons me. not in Byron , never in Byron again.

  12. Hahaha, If she hasn’t been able to find a job for SIX MONTHS then I think that she has no right to talk. She is deffinatly contributing less to the Australian society than other backpackers. I know the Byron bay athmosphere is very chilled out and laid back, but if the point was not to work then there would be nothing.

    Furthermore, If I had run out of money during my backpacking, I wouldn’t have asked my parents for money and would have gone home because its my responsibility to get a job, and even IF I would have asked my parents for some money I wouldn’t have done so for SIX MONTHS.

    Lastly, I don’t believe she has spend those six months actively working her balls off trying to dind a job.

    I do not understand how someone this messed up has the balls to be so judgemental

  13. Thanks, Clancy, Kiara is 100% right, it’s not the Lefties who are ruining the Country for the rest of us but the bloody tourists who come over here and ruin everything with their Tax exempt money Morrison should tax every tourist 50% and increase the Dole and Pension so we can afford more than one spliff a week.

  14. Living here for 6 months, oh please .. looking for a job, playing bongos on a ‘stoop’ .. and a ‘beach shack’ in the main street (I don’ think so).
    Equally pretentious as the people she’s talking about .. but we can forgive her because she’s young and at least not a bogan.
    Perhaps try being responsible for your own life, support yourself and involve yourself in the community .. perhaps volunteer at Liberation Larder, homeless showers etc .. that’s another very real side of Byron now that the rents, restaurants, food and clothes are totally exorbitant.
    After about 30 years living here, sometimes I think it’s ruined (parts are) and most days I think we are blessed to live in such a spectacularly beautiful little bubble in the universe!

  15. We lived in Newrybar 9 km out of Byron in the late 70’s early 80’s and it was a sleepy surfing town before the bongo bogan new age space cadets started turning up and stuffing the place up. At one stage a glass blowing Yank wanted to put a population ceiling on Bryron Bay to protect it from undesirable elements coming in but I don’t remember who asked him to come there? This woman wasn’t born when we were surfing the Bay, worked at the Walkers Meatworks as we had to feed our families and we drove into the Bay every day and everyone got on just fine despite our differences that made the place unique, not some nebulous “space cadet feel” in the place. Pack your bags love and go play your bongos somewhere in Africa where they belong! Everyone else’s welcome in Byron as it’s always been the case.

  16. OMG… a local blow in supported by mum and dad…. contributing bogo playing and tourist knocking…bet she works for Greenpeace, hence the lack of money, superior attitude and deluded sense of entitlement….. I wish people like this would just move on….. we’ve got too many of these clueless pseudo hippies “vogueing” round town …..

  17. Anyone who thinks this article is genuine is truly stupid. Look how quickly you jumped all over this imaginary person and condemned her. Morons. However, I am equally as stupid for wasting my time and berating you for your stupidity.


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