Australia: Byron Bay and Brisbane

From Sydney I took the night bus up to Byron Bay which is a smallish town just south of Brisbane that attracts lots of backpackers because of the easy-going beach lifestyle.  As with all the beaches I had come across in Oz, the sand was white; the water was clear, warm and surfable; and there were public BBQs and fresh-water showers everywhere!

On my first day I went on a “walking tour” of Cape Byron (basically a walk with a guy from the hostel to answer any questions) which took us to the most easterly point of Australia.  The views of the bays on either side were awesome and we also took in the wildlife on offer.  This included several pods of dolphins surfing in the waves, several types of lizards, bush turkeys and a rare sighting of the second most venomous land snake, the Brown Snake (couldn’t they have come up with a better name for such a bad-ass snake?).  The serpent killer slithered right across the path not a couple of metres infront of me and I even got a couple of fairly close snaps (before reading about the above accolade in relation to it’s on-board poison).

Byron Bay from the Cape Byron:

This lighthouse is home to the brightest light in the southern hemisphere:

And it is located at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. Proof:

Cape Byron:

I was sat on the paragliding launch ramp with a view over Arakwal Bay on the other side of Cape Byron:

Brown Snake:

As it was valentines day the hostel put on a love songs karaoke.  To get into the spirit I sang the succint “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”  by Elvis and then sidled off to bed for a fairly early night…alone 😥

The next day I decided to get some serious surfing done so after a lazy morning, hired a board and hit the waves until my thighs, knees and nipples were severely chaffed (“Why didn’t you wear a rash vest?” I hear you cry, “I did, but I surfed so hard and long that it chaffed through it!” is my response).  The result was that I was confidently standing on most waves I attempted but the jazzy turning stuff would have to wait for another day.

The following morning I was up fairly early again as I wanted to get a bit more surfing in before leaving Byron Bay in the afternoon, but the aforementioned chaffage (maybe a mild word; flesh wounds perhaps more accurate) in addition to the salt water was a massive hindranace and I only managed an hour or so before being forced to retire early.

On the road again I caught the bus to my final Ozzie stop: Brisbane. Back in London I’d heard the Ozzie’s refer to this place as Bris-Vegas and although I’ve not been to Vegas and I was only in Brisbane 3 days the similarities didn’t seem to start anywhere.

Now the next part is not going to concrete the above statement at all, in fact it goes a part way to rubbishing it, but during my three days in Brizzy I only left the hostel once to go to the supermarket.  The reasons for this are a few: to start positive the hostel had a cool roof-top pool, free wifi (a rarity in Oz), a cinema and awesome views of the city; but also the guests were either long-term people with jobs or people in transit there for one night which meant finding day-time companions was tricky; and finally (and I maybe doing the city a disfavour) but there didn’t seem to be anything I desperately wanted to see.

So I caught up on blog-writing; booked some flights around Asia (inc. Japan :D); cooled off in the pool; produced some delicious gourmet avocado and bacon burgers; talked to people on their way out the door; and caught a few films.  It was a very enjoyable few days.

Brizzy skyline:

Rooftop pool overlooking Brizzy:

Novelty window in the pool for gawking at swimmers:

On the last day I chomped down the last of my food supplies: beans, ham, cheese, egg and bread.  I’d come accustomed to this staple diet during my time in Oz and NZ, and I realised that it would be the last time I would be having such drab food for a good while as I was starting the final chapter of my adventure: South-East Asia!


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. mum
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 23:31:52

    Dom, Oz sounds great, makes me want to go there, a bit jealous, nice to see ED……hope SE Asia is treating you well.

    Love Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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