FUN TIMES: Schoolies Phoebe Lewis and Luke Brewer, both 18, of Newcastle, at Main Beach, Byron Bay.
FUN TIMES: Schoolies Phoebe Lewis and Luke Brewer, both 18, of Newcastle, at Main Beach, Byron Bay. Patrick Gorbunovs

Police, Schoolies Hub praise Byron schoolies for conduct

THE behaviour of schoolies during their first week of celebrations at Byron Bay has been praised by police and the Schoolies Hub as thousands of teenage revellers descend on the town.

While many school leavers are depicted in the media drunken and disorderly, Newcastle's Phoebe Lewis and 25 friends said they chose to come to Byron to relax and enjoy finishing their studies.

"We chose Byron because we thought it would be a lot quieter than the Gold Coast," she said.

"We had heard good things about Byron in previous years from friends so we decided to come in the first week when it was quieter."

Of a day, the 18-year-old aspiring medical student said she and friends had been relaxing and enjoying the beach, and at night things came alive.

"We have been to the beach party every night which has been great.

"There have been a lot of police around and I haven't seen any incidents involving schoolies."

Schoolies hub co-ordinator Nicqui Yazdi said while the first week of the traditional celebrations had been quiet, she was expecting a very busy second week.

She said a team of Red Frog volunteers, mainly from Victoria, was arriving over the weekend to help out.

"There have been no major incidents and the schoolies have all been well behaved so far," she said.

"So far I am definitely seeing that the numbers of people drinking are down compared to previous years.

"The police are doing a great job and it has been a fantastic all-in community effort to make Byron safe for the schoolies."

Byron Shire Council predicts about 10,000 school leavers will visit during Schoolies.

Tweed Byron Inspector Gary Cowan praised the behaviour of schoolies over the past week, saying there had been no major issues involving thousands of school leavers in the town.

He said police were expecting thousands more schoolies to flood into Byron Bay this week as activity "ramps up."