Byron bursts at the seams

LESS CROWDED: It wasn’t just shopping and drinking either, there was a need to soak up some sun and the salt air on Main Beach, Byron Bay.
LESS CROWDED: It wasn’t just shopping and drinking either, there was a need to soak up some sun and the salt air on Main Beach, Byron Bay.

BYRON BAY is so jammed full of tourists in town to mark the New Year that the town's biggest supermarket has had to order in extra stock to feed the hungry hordes.

The streets are chockers with young people.

One alcohol outlet reported that they were checking more IDs than they did during Schoolies.

There are queues at automatic teller machines and a wait to get a table in some eateries during peak times.

By mid afternoon, Woolworths supermarket has been virtually picked clean of many basic items with staff admitting they are having trouble keeping up.

"This is the busiest Christmas and New Year that we have seen in recent years, with demand for essentials like bread, eggs, water and fresh meat at record levels," a Woolies spokeswoman said.

Another business reporting excellent trade was butcher Trevor Mead who enjoyed his busiest Christmas Eve since opening in Jonson St in 1982.

Mr Mead said it had been "standing room only" throughout the entire festive period.

While many locals get tetchy at this time of year, Mr Mead takes a more philosophical view despite admitting the tourists "could be a little bit tidier".

"It's just a fact of life in a tourist town. Anybody who whinges about it needs to move somewhere else," he said.

Acting Inspector Jason Dowds from Byron Bay police said they had been kept busy over the festive period responding to noise complaints, offensive conduct "by large groups of intoxicated people" and fighting.

"It's been busy over the last week, however, I don't think it's out of the ordinary from previous years," Insp Dowds said.

An extra 80 police were rostered on at Byron Bay and six at Brunswick Heads for last night's New Year's Eve celebrations.

Topics:  byron bay new year's day

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