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Pristine beaches, lush countryside and a thriving arts community… Byron Bay is the perfect destination for the ultimate southern film festival.

Byron Bay Film Fest 

Elvis, Thor, Fool’s Gold, The Phantom, Aquaman – the Northern Rivers is the cultural hotspot for the entertainment industry.

With the very best of the hinterland and coastal lifestyles, combined with a thriving arts community, it’s no surprise that there’s a growing tribe of creative folk opting for a country or sea change. And with career opportunities close by and more people working from home, the possibilities of living in the area are becoming a reality for more people.

The entertainment industry has embraced this innovative space. Village Roadshow Studios and other mid-scale and indie productions have set up base in the Gold Coast, and the region is being recognised as an international top film destination. There’s a sizable production workforce, second to Sydney, allowing crew, producers and actors to live in Northern NSW and easily travel to the studios.

“When you look at the real estate prices of properties in the major cities, then compare it with what you can buy in this region, you realise you are not just purchasing a house, you are investing in a lifestyle,” says Julie-Ann Manahan, founder of MANA real estate.

Latest to join the growing trend of buying in the region, are the six members of the band Ocean Alley, who recently bought a house from Julie-Ann. The 8ha haven in Middle Pocket has three main buildings, including seven bedrooms and five bathrooms. There is also a potential music studio onsite. It’s the ideal escape for the band members, set in serene tropical gardens with a crystal-clear creek and waterhole.

“The pandemic has changed people’s ideals of where they want to live,” says Julie-Ann. “They don’t need to be in the city to work anymore, they can work from home and immerse themselves in the local community. So why wouldn’t you live in a piece of paradise that you can enjoy every day?”

The team at MANA are extremely passionate about the region, with a strong focus on giving back to the community. “We know how special it is to live in this beautiful part of the world,“ says Julie-Ann. “The Northern Rivers has always had a flourishing arts community and we are proud to be sponsors of the Byron Bay Film Festival. It’s a spectacular event that showcases both local and international talent.”

MANA – We cultivate relationships that last a lifetime. We launch lifestyles that thrive.