Longboard surfers arrived in the 1960s and used natural breaks at The Pass, Watego’s, and Cosy Corner. This was the beginning of Byron Bay as a travellers’ destination, and by 1973, when the Aquarius Festival was held in nearby Nimbin, its reputation as a hippy, happy, alternative town was established, although tourism facilities remained minimal. From the 1980s, tourism began to develop in earnest, with the cash-poor surfers and hippies supplemented, and to a degree supplanted, by cashed-up conspicuous consumers who in turn stimulated the development of retail precincts and accommodation more tuned to their needs. Today, Byron Bay is one of the most up-market residential areas on the Australian east coast with the growth in multi-million dollar mansions now pushing the median value of house sales up beyond AU$1. 5 million in 2017, over a 100% increase since 2013, based on 2018 data from realestate. com. au. At the same time, the town has not lost its attraction to a diverse range of visitors including surfers, backpackers and general tourists interested in the natural attractions of the area, and also supports a healthy cross section of creative persons including artists, craftspersons and musicians, while its more recent hippy/new age past is reflected to a degree in a prevalence of alternative “new-age” shops, “spiritual” services such as meditation and yoga classes, and holistic healing/”wellness” retreats. As at 2018, the town is cited as having around 5,000 permanent residents, while being visited by over 1. 5 million tourists each year.