REVELRY RECALL: Byron Bay locals Angie Burgler, Amanda Michell and Steph Sallis spent New Year’s Day refuelling on food and drink and rehashing the previous night’s celebrations.
REVELRY RECALL: Byron Bay locals Angie Burgler, Amanda Michell and Steph Sallis spent New Year’s Day refuelling on food and drink and rehashing the previous night’s celebrations. Sue Gardiner

NY Eve revellers seek recovery in the movie theatre darkness

MOVIE theatres did a brisk trade yesterday as revellers sought a dark, quiet location to nurse sore heads and recover from the excesses of New Year's Eve.

The opening of the acclaimed movie Life of Pi and the continued popularity of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables made it an even more appealing way to spend the public holiday.

Other people were back for the hair of a dog with hotels doing a steady trade.

Cafes and eateries were busy with customers refuelling, swapp

ing hangover cures and rehashing the previous night.

They included Byron Bay locals Angie Burgler, Amanda Michell and Steph Sallis who were debating whether they would ever celebrate in their home town again because of the "scary and dangerous vibe" they said prevailed throughout the evening.

The view was echoed by many locals who say that after the 9pm fireworks when most families left the area the mood turned menacing on the streets.

Ms Sallis, 23, who was punched in the face by a pregnant woman and had a friend who was a victim of a suspected drink-spiking, said there were too many people with too little to do except drink to excess.

"There were these big packs of guys from Queensland wandering the streets who had been drinking too much. It wasn't safe," she said.

On New Year's morning in Byron, with the smell of stale alcohol thick in the air and hungover revellers just beginning to emerge from their lairs, the sound of a Buddhist monk chanting that echoed up the main street was an incongruous experience.

Four Buddhist monks visiting Australia from India have set up base at the Byron Bay Community Centre where they are offering chants at 9.30am and 3.30pm daily until Friday. The public has been invited to participate in the chanting.

Yesterday morning it attracted a handful of people keen to mark the first day of the year in a more conscious way.

A brisk swim in the ocean was another popular choice with big crowds hitting beaches across the Northern Rivers once the early rain had cleared.



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