An aerial view of Wategoes beach in Byron Bay, Australia’s new celebrity hot spot.
An aerial view of Wategoes beach in Byron Bay, Australia’s new celebrity hot spot.

Hemsworths turn Byron Bay into Hollywood hot spot

Call it the Hemsworth ­effect.

Once the carefree summer playground for stars like Elle Macpherson, Nicole Kidman and Mick Jagger, Palm Beach is losing its Hollywood glow as Byron Bay - formerly a hippy hangout 780km away on the far NSW north coast - takes over as the new Australian celebrity hot spot.

Hollywood hunk Chris Hemsworth and his glamorous wife Elsa Pataky have been joined by A-list pals such as Matt Damon and Miley Cyrus, wife of Hemsworth's equally-famous brother, Liam, as regular visitors to Byron.

Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky take some time out at the beach.
Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky take some time out at the beach.

Chris and Elsa have had local tongues wagging for months over plans for their $9 million compound in the Byron hinterland.

Thanks to the Hemsworth effect, Byron Bay has become the place to go for pap photographers and others into celebrity watching.

 

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are frequently seen at Byron Bay Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are frequently seen at Byron Bay Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

And some celebs in Byron are actually from Palmy.

Musician Angus Stone, of the acclaimed duo Angus and Julia Stone, grew up in the suburb next to Palm Beach but now lives on an estate near Byron.

Australian singer songwriter Angus Stone in his cabana on his property in the hinterland of Byron Bay, NSW.
Australian singer songwriter Angus Stone in his cabana on his property in the hinterland of Byron Bay, NSW.

Top netballer Liz Ellis also lived on the northern beaches, but has bought just outside Byron Bay.

Other big names that now call Byron home - or at least a permanent holiday spot for some of the year - are Carrie Bickmore, model Gemma Ward, tennis star Pat Rafter and footballer Tim Cahill.

Actors Naomi Watts and Margot Robbie are both regular visitors, often seen frolicking on Byron Beach.

Agent Liam Annesley, of LJ Hooker Byron Bay, said the laid-back festival town was loved by Paul Hogan and the Packer family in the 1980s and then it fell into relative obscurity until Chris and Liam Hemsworth bought into the area.

"Now Chris Hemsworth has brought in his friends and Miley Cyrus has brought in her friends and the Ballina airport is only 20 minutes away," he said.

The house in Palm Beach which Nicole Kidman has rented for approx. $35000.00 per week. Picture: John Fotiadis
The house in Palm Beach which Nicole Kidman has rented for approx. $35000.00 per week. Picture: John Fotiadis

Plus the celebs have their own helicopters and can fly in an out of their large rural properties, something that is not so easy in Palm Beach.

Mr Anneseley is selling the $14 million home of Peter Mattick, the co-founder of Salmat. He is getting interest from young expats for the beachside property.

Wategos Beach is an iconic spot to kick back and relax, with views of Byron Bay lighthouse.
Wategos Beach is an iconic spot to kick back and relax, with views of Byron Bay lighthouse.

Meanwhile, back in Palm Beach the last young celebrity to buy into the suburb was probably Lleyton Hewitt, who sold up in 2014 for $4.63 million. Model Megan Gale got out in 2016, selling for $3 million, and actor Rachel Griffiths moved out in 2015, having sold for more than $2.2 million.



Phantom bookings, misdirected critics plague Imbil shop

premium_icon Phantom bookings, misdirected critics plague Imbil shop

Rattler's return causes cafe confusion.

Gympie region sculptor creates lifelike Anzac soldier

premium_icon Gympie region sculptor creates lifelike Anzac soldier

The steel soldier will join its brother at the Edmonton Cenotaph.

How One Mile will be the new home of Gympie cricket

premium_icon How One Mile will be the new home of Gympie cricket

'People will be able to watch the local cricket as well as the Gold'