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If you’ve ever come across the name Byron Bay, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this small, laid-back surfer’s town is within driving distance of Hollywood. 

After all, actor and Aussie native Chris Hemsworth, his wife, actor and model Elsa Pataky, and their three children—arguably the town’s most famous family—set up shop in Australia’s Byron Bay in 2014, eventually moving into a purpose-built A$30 million 4.2 hectare estate boasting six bedrooms, a media room, gym, spa, games area and vast outdoor living and play spaces. Mr. Hemsworth’s brother and fellow actor Liam lives around the corner, and this humble, beach-filled hippy town has, at various points in time, been home to Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Zac Efron and Natalie Portman.

Hollywood glitterati aside, Byron Bay and neighboring Bangalow are also filled with hordes of Australian influencers, local actors, developers and executives who, attracted to its white beaches and lush subtropical landscape, have contributed to Byron’s growth as one of Australia’s most desirable property markets.

In March last year, Byron was crowned by Knight Frank as the top residential hot spot for the world’s ultra wealthy, with the property group forecasting Byron Bay’s luxury-home prices would surge by 30% to 35% over the next five years in its 2022 Wealth Report

“The sweeping views through the vast hinterland to the iconic lighthouse and up to Brunswick Heads are second to none,” said Knight Frank’s associate director for residential project sales James Elliott. “Some of these finest views are observed from homes on the tightly held Marine Parade on Wategos Beach, and inland, along Coolamon Scenic Drive.”

It’s not uncommon for affluent residents to trade up or own multiple properties in the area. In November, Emma and Tom Lane, of the Oroton fashion empire family, put their hinterland retreat The Range on market, with buyers reportedly offering A$40 million (US$28.1 million). 

That was the couple’s second Byron home. They previously owned the luxury accommodation estate Amileka, which the lanes purchased in 2011 for A$4 million; it sold again (via a different owner) last year to power couple Mikaela Lancaster, Spotify’s Australia head, and her husband Mark Britt, founder of video-streaming platform iflix, for A$9.5 million. 

Wategos beach, dubbed by real estate agents “the multimillion-dollar sector,” is another favorite, with houses there selling for as much as A$18 million or more. Wategos House, a six-bedroom beachfront sitting on 1,500 square meters diagonally opposite the popular restaurant Raes on Wategos, went for a record A$18.85 million in 2019. 

If you prefer privacy and want to settle in Byron for the long term, Mr. Elliott suggested the Coorabell region, which offers panoramic views of Byron Bay hinterland and ranges, vast meadows and the Pacific Ocean.