No star treatment for Hemsworth in Byron
With Byron Bay awash with NSW and Queensland holiday-makers, it's humbling to watch local Chris Hemsworth resist using his star power to jump the breakfast queue despite the persistent nagging of his hungry twins.
Bowling barefoot into the popular Top Shop cafe, six year olds boys Sasha and Tristan in tow, the sun-kissed Hollywood star gamely takes his place in the tortuous queue that snakes around the eaterie.
Noticeable only by his imposing 6ft 2ins stature and gravelly voice, Thor, 36, blends in at his favourite cafe and receives an occasional acknowledging nod from staff.
Hemsworth doesn't ask for favours.
His boys tug persistently at his t-shirt in the queue whining "daddy I'm hungry," but he twiddles with their hair and whispers "we're almost there buddy."
And when it's time to pay for the egg and bacon bagels he lifts one of the boys over the counter to hand over his bank card.
No one gawps at or asks the man who helps keep Australia on the map with his impossible good looks and litany of Hollywood movies for a selfie or autograph.
"It's Chris man, he's always in here, we let him do his thing when he comes and leave him alone," says one regular at The Top Shop.
Byron, with its lush rainforests and surfing beaches, has become overrun with holiday-makers since travel within the state opened up after a two month coronavirus shutdown on trade.
Hotels, eateries and bars have reported up to an 80 per cent surge in business on this time last year.
Recently back from a family trip to the off-grid destination of Lord Howe Island, Hemsworth, the global Ambassador for Tourism Australia, has long espoused a passion for his homeland and called for Australians to support the local tourism industry, recently saying "2020 has been incredibly hard for communities who depend on tourism … Obviously not everyone is able to travel at the moment but once it's safe to do so let's support our fellow Aussies by taking a holiday at home."
The father-of-three, and his actress wife Elsa Pataky, post frequent updates from their Australian travels.
His stay coincides with the launch of Tourism Australia's new $7 million 'Holiday at Home' campaign, which hopes to claw back at the billions lost in tourism because of COVID-19.
As official tourism ambassador for the nation and one of Australia's most recognisable faces, the 37-year-old was paid an eye watering $1.25million in 2016 and has generated an Estimated Advertising Value (EAV) of $170.97million so far.
Tabled papers show Hemsworth's reported value figure is 'based on 5,000 media articles with a readership of 16 billion worldwide'.
Originally published as No star treatment for Hemsworth in Byron