One of the reasons I was so keen on moving to Brisbane was due to the city’s proximity to many incredible locations and sights in south east Queensland. I looked forward to frequent trips out of the city to the coast – to see beautiful beaches, islands and towns to the north and south, all within an easy 4 hour bus ride. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, I haven’t made it to too many new places recently. And with just 5 weeks till I leave Australia (noooooooooo!) my opportunities to see these places are fast diminishing!
Anyway, last week, after Jake had finished his exams and we had both finished our mad weekends of work, the two of us caught a Greyhound bus down to Byron Bay, just across the state border in New South Wales. Byron is a notoriously laidback town situated at the eastern most part of the country. It’s a haven for backpackers, surfers and young people alike, with a huge beach, a myriad budget hostels and lodges, and plenty of nightlife. To me, the people you find there were the absolute Australian stereotype – good looking and blonde, with surf boards and dreadlocks, living in campervans, smoking weed and drinking beer. It’s super relaxed, super beautiful, and pretty much a backpacker nirvana.
Jake and I opted not to stay in one of the noisy backpacker hostels, but a B&B named Burns at Byron, a 5 minute walk from town. It was comparitively way nicer and quieter, as well as more private and only cost an extra $20 a night. Jake was completely pooped from his non stop two weeks of exams and work, so it was great to have such a beautiful and quiet space to relax in.
Byron Bay isn’t a huge place and doesn’t have too much to do in the way of landmarks and sightseeing. It’s allure lies in its wonderful beach and bars, however every person I know who’s been there recommended walking up to the lighthouse. Cape Byron lighthouse illuminates the coast at its most easterly point and due to its high position, affords incredible views up and down the coast. Setting off relatively early to avoid the worst of the day’s heat, we followed the walk from town up to the lighthouse and back. It wasn’t too strenuous a walk, however the very intense sun had us sweating buckets. It’s possible to climb to the top of the lighthouse for an even better view, and also to check out the small museum there (which we did for about 2 minutes because it was pretty boring).
Upon returning to town we had lunch and then sought out the shade for a while, before relaxing on the beach. However before long we noticed we’d managed to get a little sunburnt so we retreated to a bar for another beer. You can never have too many.
Besides from admiring the views of the beach and coast, the other main thing we did in town was eat. There were numerous awesome restaurants, cafes and bars to sample, and we had a nice time sampling a wide range of places. One night we ate at a sushi train, while the next we had Italian. We tried many flavours of gelato and also enjoyed an amazing piece of Banoffee pie from Twisted Sista cafe. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of it!
The rest of the time we just chilled in the B&B, watching movies on TV and eating breakfast on the veranda. It was wonderful to get out of the bustle of Brisbane for a couple of days, and for Jake to properly unwind after finishing his exams. Hopefully we get another opportunity to leave Brisbane before we fly to New Zealand in January!