My drive continued up the New South Wales coast to my next destination: Byron Bay. Interestingly the most easterly point on the Australian mainland and arguably one of the most picturesque seaside towns in all of Australia!
This is the town where the ‘nouveau riche’ from Sydney come to escape as well as a good dose of retirees, although for the latter it’s getting more difficult as the cost of housing has skyrocketed. In most cases beyond the average person’s ability to buy a home in the town or close surrounding area.
The challenge is that the weather is literally the most perfect, as it’s not too far up the coast from Port Macquarie. I think I could handle 25C all year round with the vast majority of days bathed in sunshine. 🙂
I decided to stay at the Byron at Byron Resort & Spa (a Crystalbrook Collection) situated in the middle of a rainforest and tastefully wedged between the beach and the road leading into Byron Bay.
Where do I start? So many great things about this resort… Well, I took an 8:00 am yoga class each day, then after a light breakfast walked through the rainforest to the beach.
Byron Bay is about a 45 minute walk along a wide golden sand beach, and the perfect way to enjoy your day with the sound of the ocean surf rolling in.
Taking my time as I watched the surfers jockey for position on the next roller to shore, and enjoyed the fragrant sea air… Blissful really!
Interestingly, Byron although iconic was chock full of backpackers from all over the world. I could well have been the oldest person in town that day. Lol!!!
This was something that I just wasn’t expecting, although being a backpacker in my early years I can relate – go to where the beauty is and check it out.
Not sure what it is about Lighthouses, but on this trip to Australia I couldn’t seem to get enough of them. 🙂
Byron Bay has a beauty up on top of the cliffs at the easternmost point on mainland Australia and is going strong.
Sometimes I can be a bit of a hermit when I travel, and so one of the nights I dinner at the resort. Afterwards, it was relaxing to take a bath and enjoy the sounds of the rainforest at night. Sweet!
I used Byron as a home base and did a couple of day trips up and down the coast. The first was up to Coolangatta which is not too far from Surfers Paradise on what is known as Australia’s Goldcoast.
This part of Australia reminds me of Miami, Florida in that the beachfront is lined with large hotel and apartment complex’s overlooking the pristine beach. That being said, the surf is way better in Australia than Florida!
The great thing about swimming in the Pacific at Coolangatta is that the beach is north facing so good for kids to swim without the worry of a rip or undertow.
As I wandered the shops facing the front beach I passed the Coolangatta Hotel and noticed the lineup of bands for the coming few weeks. It truly was a blast from the past in terms of bands from my youth (Black Sorrows, Gang Gajang)…yep, they’re still playing to enthusiastic audiences.
Australia is also the only place in the world where they play 80’s, 90’s and 00’s music on the radio pretty much exclusively, so I wasn’t totally surprised to see the old bands still touring the popular pub circuit.
Nothing like a little nostalgia to make you feel right at home, almost as though you never left.
As you can imagine the weather was incredible, even when I ventured further north along the coast there were no bad days, just pure heaven.
My last two weeks in Australia when traveling by myself were incredibly relaxing.
Taking my time and exploring what ever took my fancy along including long beach walks, rainforest immersion at sunrise and sunset to hear the birdlife, and that’s not to mention daily ocean swims, yoga and massages whenever I could fit one in.
Yes, this was a break for the ages!
Not so surprisingly my month in Australia flew by, and before I knew it I was in Brisbane for my last two days.
Even though I’ve visited Brisbane many times I’m always a little surprised at how quiet it is. The third largest Australian capital with a population of just over two million people, it is highly ranked in terms of the World’s Most Liveable cities index and is big tourist mecca.
Not a bad way to end my trip if you ask me. 🙂
Until next week