Byron Bay and Lismore as a Gay Destination
Once a hippy enclave, Byron's Bay laissez-faire attitude continues to permeate this iconic northern New South Wales coastal town. Byron is the most easterly point of Australia and features an iconic lighthouse and great night life. After exploring the main beach, travellers may appreciate the clothing optional beach just outside town - it's called Kings Beach. There are also terrific hiking opportunities on Mount Warning and the Border Ranges National Park for avid bush walkers.
Around 50 kilometres inland from Byron Bay lies the usually sleepy town of Lismore. However, thanks to Tropical Fruits, a community organisation established in 1988, the town features an active gay and lesbian social group. As such like-minded enthusiasts converge on Lismore at certain key dates in the calendar to enjoy the hospitality of the locals. The biggest Tropical Fruit event is held over new year.
When enjoying Tropical Fruits over New Year's Eve, many revellers choose to camp on site. However, for travellers who enjoy a roof over their head, accommodation within Lismore itself can be limited. The surrounding area including Ballina, Byron Bay, Lennox Head and at a stretch Tweed Heads offers a multitude of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. However being New Year's Eve, it's best to have your Flight Centre consultant organise your hotel in advance.
Tropical Fruits for NYE
The main event organised by Tropical Fruits - also incidentally called Tropical Fruits - is a four-day queer celebration held at the Lismore Showgrounds over New Year. The centrepiece of the event is the party on New Year's Eve, where local and international DJs have the crowd bopping until the midnight gong and then well into the morning. This is a chance to unwind from the pressures of day to day reality and see in the new year surrounded by friends - old and new.
Following the big night, also on the agenda is a recovery pool party on New Year's Day. This is a chance to catch up with new acquaintances and enjoy those rejuvenating rays that Australia is famous for. Chill out by the pool, go for a dip and generally relax.
The organising committee of Tropical Fruits also arrange other events throughout the year, namely over Easter, the Queen's Birthday and the NSW Labour Day public holiday.