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Elle Halliwell, The Daily Telegraph, reports
They’re the sleepy towns that don't often hit the headlines - and that's why they're becoming the target of celebrities looking for a hideaway.
NSW's Robertson, Berrara, Nana Glen, Milton, Sutton Forest and Bowral are just some of the towns that play host to stars who have properties there.
Naturally, they're attracted by the anonymity of the surrounds and ability to walk around in boardies and thongs - unshaven and unnoticed.
"In Bryon Bay it's not uncommon to be at a cafe and find yourself sitting beside someone with $10 to his name and another worth $10 million," says Ray White Byron Bay principal David Gordon, who regularly deals with celebrity house hunters.
"I've surfed at Wategos (beach) with Elle Macpherson and been at a coffee shop with Pete Murray."
The NSW north coast town has arguably the densest population of celebrities in NSW outside Sydney, with international and local identities - many of them in the music industry - setting up base in nearby suburbs such as Bangalow.
Simon Baker, Jack Johnson, Olivia Newton-John and Andrew Stockdale all own property in and around Byron Bay, while Angus Stone, Australian Idol contestant Matt Corby, The Living End's Scott Owen and Ash Grunwald are also regularly spotted in town.
Further south in Port Macquarie, Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson has set up home, while residents of Newcastle and the Central Coast include Kasey Chambers and Silverchair's Daniel Johns. "It's all about privacy," says The Property Expert's Robert Klaric.
He says homes with long driveways, good security, and high hedges and fences are sought after.
"Most international celebrities will look for bigger properties which are difficult to be photographed."
Gordon says in the past stars preferred to buy in the Byron Bay hinterland, but now they're more inclined to buy closer to town.
"Years ago celebrities used to come here and buy a long way out of town at places such as Possum Creek, but now they're buying just a few minutes' drive away," he says. "They want privacy but are a lot happier buying within a closer radius of the beach as the travel can get tiring."
He says while many are usually happy to stop for a photo, the locals don't treat them any differently - which is exactly how they like it.
"We don't run up and ask them for autographs, they're treated as part of the landscape and that's why Byron Bay is so popular with celebrities," Gordon says.