Byron Bay

A trip to Oz wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Byron Bay. We left Brisbane and took a bus down the coast, when we arrived it was clear that this was a pretty laid back town. Everyone was really chilled out, there were buskers all around, people selling handmade jewellery and hippie-types putting the world to rights on the grass by the sea.

The next day, I had decided to get up and watch the sunrise and do the famous Lighthouse walk with a lovely girl called Michaela who we’d made friends with in the dorm. My God, 4.30am came around really quickly! The walk was pretty tough but the warm air made the eucalyptus trees smell lovely! I looked out for koalas but, the sun wasn’t up yet so I doubted our sleepy friends would be… It was a hard walk, I felt so unfit! But it was worth it.

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We watched the sunrise from the most Easterly point of Australia before continuing the walk up to the lighthouse and back down to Byron.

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It was just before 7am when we got back to the hostel and went back to sleep for a few hours. I decided to head out for a wander during the day, unfortunately, Kim had been struck down with an illness which she had caught from an ex-roommate when we were in Airlie Beach so she stayed in bed all day with a fever and huge tonsils. I spent the afternoon reading by the pool at the hostel.

The next day, we had booked to go sea kayaking as you were almost guaranteed to see dolphins. We were up early again, my body was pretty sore from the previous days’ hike but we slathered ourselves in sun cream, got kitted out in our gear and then prepared ourselves! The actual getting the kayak into the sea was hilarious! Kim was at the front so she got in while we were in the shallows and I had to throw myself in after the man had pushed the boat out a bit further. Then all we had to do was paddle really hard, facing directly into the waves until we were past the breaking point. Within 15 seconds, we were both soaked and had inadvertently swallowed loads of water because we were laughing so much. The group gathered a little way of from the shore and then began making our way around the bay in search of a pod of dolphins. The sea was really quite rough and it was hard to see anything but huge waves… One of the guides announced (when far away from the group…) That he’d seen a pod go past… We weren’t convinced or impressed. We kayaked for about three hours without seeing anything! We were shattered, our arms were killing us and the sun was bearing down on us. We started heading back to shore, this was the interesting part… You have aim your kayak directly to shore and surf it in. Unfortunately for us, a fat teenage boy decided to get straight in our path and flat out refused to move, we were gaining speed and he still wasn’t moving – I should add that we weren’t the first kayak of the group doing this in the area, why the hell was he standing there?! So we were nearing a collision when a wave caught us and flipped the kayak over. We were tipped out and the kayak whacked us both in the head. We stumbled to our feet, glad for the helmets – me especially because the wind took Kim’s paddle and knocked me round the back of the head with it as we were making our way out of the water. We were filled with anger towards this kid but mainly pleased to be back on dry land. The guides produced Tim Tams and hot flasks of tea and coffee and we soon calmed down.

The final day we headed to Woolworths (not like the old UK shops unfortunately but a good supermarket!) to pick up supplies for our 12 hour bus journey to Sydney the following day, and just wandered round the town and had some lunch by the sea, before heading back to cool off in the pool for a few hours before packing up.

The next day we spent entirely on a packed, non-air conditioned bus to Sydney… this was our longest bus journey of the trip! But, at the end of it, we were in Sydney!

L

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