We spent a week in Byron Bay which is a short drive south of Gold Coast.

Emma’s Email

We are home now.  Had a great time in Byron Bay.  Not as hippie as I expected.  It was more HIPSTER, which is a different, and lots and lots of boutique shops.  Just about every other guy had a beard.  A starter home was 650k!  We had showers every day, particularly in the morning but the days got warmer as the week progressed and on the day we left, it was 22C.  We were booked for whale watching on Monday but it got canceled due to conditions so we shifted it to the next day, it was also canceled.  We finally went on Wednesday and it was great.  We saw quite a few whales and I’ve put some pics up on FB.  I was quite good at spotting the whales and the best whale of the day was one that I sighted as we were heading back in.

One afternoon, we did a loop drive down to Ballina and Lismore and the back way back to Byron Bay.  It was very hilly and treed which surprised me, I was expecting it to be like Drumheller.  Another day we went up to Minyon Falls, which was a scarey drive and then we headed out to the South Beaches.  We took back roads all the way and at one point the GPS was really confused and at a Y intersection, no matter which leg we took, it said to turn back.  A bit concerning but luckily we had also bought a map and I was able to sort out roughly what to do.  I still don’t think we actually took the right route was but it worked out in the end.  After that, we drove up to Gold Coast and hit a couple of bike shops and a mall.  Basically all the same shops as here.  We then took the motorway back to BB, which was about 75k of twin lane divided highway at 110k/hr.  Long time since we have driven that fast.

Another day we hiked up to the lighthouse which is on the Eastern most point of AU.  We saw dolphins in one of the bays swimming around some kayakers.  There were many, many stairs to the lighthouse as you went up one hill and then down the other side into a bay and then up the big hill to the lighthouse.  After that, we took a back trail along Tallow Ridge and saw a launch pad that hang gliders use.  It was 280 feet down the sea and John walked out onto the platform for a look.  I didn’t walk out quite as far as him.  There were some guys there doing work on the platform so had a bit of a chat with them.  They said from that point, you could glide for up to 5 hours depending on the thermals.  This trail was a lot less used than the one up to the lighthouse so it was very quiet but again lots of stairs.  Our legs were very sore the next day!  We ended up on a beach, which we walked along to end up at the car, having done a big loop.  We then had lunch at the cafe in the bush by the parking lot.

Had delays on both flights out of and into New Plymouth.  Heading out was because a lady passed out and fell down the stairs exiting the plane on an earlier flight so they had to find replacement crew for our flight.  Coming home, there was really bad fog in Auckland.  They kept changing our departure time, first 30min late, then 1 hour, then 1:30 etc.  So we had a slow breakfast and some shopping (the IceBreaker store is a lot bigger and better now).  Then I got a text saying now only 30 min late!  Panic and rush to the airport and then delayed 2.5 hours, then 30 min etc etc.  Finally we ended up boarding only an hour late  but one passenger didn’t show up so after they started the engines, they shut them off and said they had to unload a bag.  Praying the fog didn’t come back!  Got home ok and then collected the girls.

Pictures We Took

A tree dressed up with some colour

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These bush Turkeys were everywhere.

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The trail around the Palm Valley loop and visit the Light House

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approaching the Light House

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Thought it odd finding a hang glider on the trail.

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Launch ramp for hang gliders 280 feet above the beach. Would be a hard hike up the hill with your glider.

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Can see the walk way above the beach where we ran up the hill the day before.

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On a good day you would see the Light House from Broken Head.

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Heading out in the van to the boat for whale watching.

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All aboard.

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We had to go out to sea through the surfers

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The Light House seen from sea.

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Humpback Whales

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Big splash after breaching

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Another leaping whale

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Driving inland from Byron Bay

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Visiting Minyon Falls

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Strange Road Sign

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Pictures by our guide

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