How Byron Bay was a slaughterhouse until 1983 before the celebrities moved in

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Incredible photos show the big difference between Byron Bay now and almost four decades ago, when it was still a working-class area.

Until 1983, on the far north coast of NSW, the town had a slaughterhouse next to the main beach, where the smell of carcasses was unpleasant to potential tourists.

The ABC has aired historic footage from the old nationwide TV show where meat workers finish shifts shortly before the employer closed its doors for good.

Just two decades before that, in the early 1960s, Byron Bay was a whaling station where offal was pumped into the ocean next to the slaughterhouse, attracting hordes of sharks.

Now only the wealthy can afford to live there with typical house prices up 31 percent in the last year as locals oppose Netflix’s plans for a reality show on Instagram influencers.

After Elders IXL closed the meat factory 38 years ago, the land at Belongil Beach was divided up and transformed into luxury homes on the water.

Delvene Delaney, the co-host of Sale of the Century, and her comedian husband John Cornell, of the Paul Hogan Show, bought some of this land and built a beachfront home.

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Incredible photos show the big difference between Byron Bay now and almost four decades ago, when it was still a working-class area.  Until 1983, the town on the far north coast of NSW had a slaughterhouse next to the main beach, where the smell of carcasses was unpleasant to potential tourists

Incredible photos show the big difference between Byron Bay now and almost four decades ago, when it was still a working-class area. Until 1983, the town on the far north coast of NSW had a slaughterhouse next to the main beach, where the smell of carcasses was unpleasant to potential tourists

They started the influx of celebrities to the lighthouse town, by gentrifying the former whaling station and sand mine into a hub, ironically, for vegans and eco-conscious hippies.

Actors Chris Hemsworth and Russell Crowe and cricketer Adam Gilchrist own multi-million dollar waterfront homes, while Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron lived there during the Covid pandemic.

With Australians banned from traveling abroad, the already overcrowded city is now even more popular with visitors and new sea wipers from Sydney and Melbourne who can work from home.

Max Pendergast, a 78-year-old lifelong resident, missed the old days when the slaughterhouse discouraged tourists from visiting.

Actors Chris Hemsworth (pictured with wife Elsa Pataky) and Russell Crowe and cricketer Adam Gilchrist own multi-million dollar waterfront homes while Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron lived there during the Covid pandemic

Actors Chris Hemsworth (pictured with wife Elsa Pataky) and Russell Crowe and cricketer Adam Gilchrist own multi-million dollar waterfront homes while Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron lived there during the Covid pandemic

Now only the wealthy can afford to live there with typical house prices up 31 percent in the last year as locals oppose Netflix's plans for a reality show on Instagram influencers

Now only the wealthy can afford to live there with typical house prices up 31 percent in the last year as locals oppose Netflix’s plans for a reality show on Instagram influencers

“It was a funny town because it had a slaughterhouse, then a whaling station and then sand mining and Norco’s big dairy here and people didn’t want to come here because it stank,” he told the ABC’s 7.30. program.

‘It smelled like the whales, it smelled like the cold cuts.

“To be honest, I wish it still were.”

Byron Bay is now also a very expensive place to live.

Homes near the city now hit a median price of $ 1.87 million with prices up 36 percent in 2020, REA Group data of real estate.

Delvene Delaney, the co-host of Sale of the Century, and her comedian husband John Cornell, of the Paul Hogan Show, bought some of this land and built a beachfront home

Delvene Delaney, the co-host of Sale of the Century, and her comedian husband John Cornell, of the Paul Hogan Show, bought some of this land and built a beachfront home

Nearby towns, including Bangalow and Mullumbimby in the hinterland, are also beloved with prices centered on the wider Byron Shire Council rising 31.2 percent in the past year to $ 1.25 million in March 2021, data shows of the domain group.

Nearby towns, including Bangalow and Mullumbimby in the hinterland, are also beloved with prices centered on the wider Byron Shire Council rising 31.2 percent in the past year to $ 1.25 million in March 2021, data shows of the domain group.

Mayor Simon Richardson is leading the campaign against the streaming service, using his town as the backdrop for a potential hit show

Mayor Simon Richardson is leading the campaign against the streaming service, using his town as the backdrop for a potential hit show

Nearby towns, including Bangalow and Mullumbimby in the hinterland, are also beloved with prices centered on the wider Byron Shire Council rising 31.2 percent in the past year to $ 1.25 million in March 2021, data shows of the domain group.

In just five years, house prices in Byron Bay have risen 76.1 percent – double the rate of real estate growth in Sydney’s most upscale coastal suburbs.

In comparison, median home prices in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have risen 14.9 percent in the past year to $ 3.6 million, or 40 percent since 2016.

On Sydney’s northern beaches, it rose 25.7 percent to $ 2.4 million since the start of the pandemic.

Recent figures from Domain revealed that rent in Byron Bay is up 26.4 percent in the past year, with a median now of $ 885 per week.

Locals, already annoyed by the high cost of housing, are now protesting Netflix’s plan to film a reality TV show, Byron Baes, about Instagram influencers who have flocked to the area.

Mayor Simon Richardson is leading the campaign against the streaming service, using his town as the backdrop for a potential hit show.

“Content delivery is very unknown and it has all the features and the potential to be pretty boring and empty,” he told ABC.

“We don’t appreciate these kinds of things that come our way.”

Locals, already annoyed by the high cost of housing, are now protesting Netflix's plan to film a reality TV show, Byron Baes, about Instagram influencers who have flocked to the area

Locals, already annoyed by the high cost of housing, are now protesting Netflix’s plan to film a reality TV show, Byron Baes, about Instagram influencers who have flocked to the area

Recent figures from Domain revealed rent in Byron Bay is up 26.4 percent in the past year, with the median now at $ 885 per week

Recent figures from Domain revealed rent in Byron Bay is up 26.4 percent in the past year, with the median now at $ 885 per week

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