It was only a matter of time.
We knew Byron Bay had reached its peak, but there was still the question of which city we’d all move onto and ruin next.
The possibilities were honestly overwhelming. So many iconic Australian towns to destroy!
We couldn’t wait to whirl into quaint bays and shires up and down the east coast – marvelling at their beauty and assessing all the ways we could completely change them.
There’s always something so exciting about the prospect of skyrocketing an entire region’s property market. By the end of last year, we’d kicked up Byron prices 40 per cent. Wherever we moved onto next, the challenge was on to beat that PB. Let’s try get it to 50 per cent! Take that, housing affordability! Give us ya shacks, locals!
Anyway, the new Byron has been decided. Well, it was kinda picked for us – by those Hemsworths, of course. Classic Hemsworth move. They’re our most famous gentrifiers. In decades to come, Chris will probably be awarded an OAM for services to gentrification and biceps.
Their new target? Lord Howe Island.
The famous family – including movie star brother Liam and that older, less-successful Hemsworth brother – first popped up over there in October with a made-for-Instagram holiday the action star undertook in his role as a Tourism Australia ambassador.
The getaway made headlines around the world. Maybe that’s what caused a spike in tourism on the island. In January, Blue Lagoon Lodge manager Des Thompson told the ABC they were fully booked until September.
RELATED: Inside Hemsworth’s holiday to Lord Howe Island
Chris and Elsa jetted back to the remote island in January, before the Thor star flew to Sydney and got to work filming the latest instalment of the Marvel franchise.
Fans went nuts over the Instagram snaps and headlines buzzed around the internet about both Mr and Mrs Hemsworth’s insanely ripped rigs.
“I think you can see Chris’ abs from space!” gasped one fan in the comments of one photo that was ‘liked’ almost five million times. Only a Hemsworth can upstage the beauty of a pristinely preserved paradise.
Smart move, Tourism Australia. Sure, the view’s nice in the pics. But nothin’ sells a holiday destination like Hemsworth abs. You’ve learned a lot since the Bingle days.
And once the Hemsworths shipped off back to the mainland, the Foster-Blakes ferried on in.
Radio star Hamish Blake and beauty entrepreneur Zoe Foster – whose estimated net worth of $36 million recently landed her on The Australian Financial Review’s Young Rich List – took to Instagram this week to document their stay on the island.
They shacked up at the newly-built Island House – the same luxury lodging that hosted the Hemsworths. The joint reportedly goes for about $6,600 a night but it’s totally worth it because it comes with a copper bath tub.
With all this publicity and celebrification, locals better be prepared for an influx of us randoms. The island has long battled a rat infestation, but there’s no way they can prepare themselves for the influencer infestation that’s about to plague their paradise.
Locals probably think they’ve got things under control by enforcing a cap of 400 tourists at a time. This only encourages us. Getting on The Top 400 list – as it will become known – is a challenge. The Top 400 list will be a true marker of success, influence and status.
It’s a terrific idea – true exclusivity. Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen. Byron should’ve thought of making a Top 400 list. Well, it doesn’t matter now. That place is done and we’ve moved on.
Lord Howe is now officially on its way to becoming the new Byron. First it’s the celebrities, then the rich people. The influencers scuttle in pretty quickly after that and then the rest of us bogans roll into town and complain about the offensive lack of a Mad Mex and a 7-11.
But that’ll get fixed in due time when outsiders start outnumbering the 380 locals who live there permanently. Just like that, things will tilt in our favour. Soon, there’ll be mainstream takeout joints with frozen daiquiri machines as far as the eye can see.
Twitter, Facebook: @hellojamesweir