Howdy dedicated readers, we’ve been upto all sorts since leaving Sydney… let us bring you up to speed…
Pioneering Spirit: Ivan’s 3-Day Tour: Sydney to Byron Bay
Once John (The Bullet) finally got to the tour bus, and we gave him some abuse, we got on the road to Byron Bay. Our first stop was at Dr. Jurds for some Jungle Juice – a concoction of dregs and leftovers all mixed in a huge vat overnight… it was quite an interesting drink. After that we visited a couple of wineries, one had a breatherliser test so we had some fun checking who had drank the most already. (We got the feeling that this was going to be the new meaning of a booze cruise – Lucy)
The first day of the tour we covered the majority of the distance to Byron Bay. In the evening we stayed in a real Aussie homestead in Cowarra. It was a BBQ for dinner, so John and I became the master-chefs and cooked up some great burgers! ( I know its hard to believe but its true they did a great job – Lucy)
The morning of the second day we drove across to Port Macquarie, we checked out the great costal views from the lighthouse. Afterwards we visited a Koala Hospital, where they treat koalas that have been badly injuried in bush-fires.
For lunch we went to Hat Head National Park, we saw some kangaroos but they ran away when we got too close! We went for a walk along the sand dunes, it was crazy, you couldn’t see anything but sand (all the way into the distance). We then went for a two-hour hike around the park. The views from the hill-tops are superb, lots of sun and beach made us smile!
That night we were staying in a hotel above a pub, so this made us all happy… especially after all that walking! For dinner Ivan took us to Dorrigo World Heritage Rainforest for a BBQ – it wasn’t in the rainforest though, but in a public eating area!
The next morning we went for a two-hour walk around the rainforest. Again it was very scenic and beautiful. In the afternoon we headed across to Coffs Harbour to do some Surf Rafting and Sea Kayaking, it was great fun! Well everyone found it really funny when John and I were ‘trying’ to balance ourselves on the kayak!
We arrived in Byron Bay later that evening, we were all very tired, but we’d had alot of fun and it was worth it!
We spent the next couple of days at Byron Bay, relaxing by the beach, doing ‘body-boarding’ and sorting out our Oz itinerary for the next couple of weeks, (aka spending lots of money! – Lucy). On our last morning we walked up to Cape Byron the most easternly point of main-land Australia. Whilst up there we watched a large pod of dolphins surfing the waves.
After Byron Bay until Today…
We just managed to get back and catch the bus to Surfer’s Paradise. When we arrived, the weather let us down… it was very grey and overcast! Not the impression of Surfer’s Paradise you’d want to remember! We booked into a hostel in Southport (we were missing Liverpool – Lucy), the owner was overly-friendly, he sat us down, made us a cup of tea, then offered us his double-bed (friendly or creepy? – Lucy). We declined and went for the dorm beds.
Next day the weather was still dull & miserable, so we didn’t manage to get on the beach… instead we visited Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum! Around mid-afternoon we caught the bus to Brisbane.
Initially we planned to stay in Brisbane for only one night, but it turned out we stayed for three! The main highlight of the weekend was Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo! Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to meet him… he mus have been off and about filming his TV show! But we did see all the great crocodiles, kangaroos and koalas. As well as some huge deadly snakes!
After the zoo, we met up with Emma (who we met on the Ayer’s Rock trip last month), originally we thought we’d be going out for drinks, but Emma had a surprise in store for us… We were invited around to Emma’s parents for a roast dinner!!! Emma knew what it was like for us backpackers, missing home-comforts! A very BIG THANKS to Emma and her parents!
After dinner Emma ‘forced’ us to watch The Castle – a real Aussie film! It was actually really funny! On the way back to the hostel, Emma took us to an ice-cream parlour at the top of a hill, (can’t remember the name, answers on a postcard at the usual address – Lee), the view of Brisbane City was incredible! We never realised how big Brisbane actually was!
Sunday we ventured around South Bank, looking in the markets and lazing by the beach… How many of you can claim to have been to a beach in the middle of a inland city? (again answers on a postcard… – Lee) (Stop it Lee! – Lucy)
Today we caught (yet another) a bus to Rainbow Beach… Tomorrow we’re heading off to Fraser Island for a 3-day 4×4 self-drive tour, we’ll tell you all about it when we get back!