We arrived in Byron just before sunset so scouted out our room (top beds as always) and made dinner in the overly hot shared kitchen. Our roommates were a Japanese girl and an Eastern European guy who we didn’t meet until he rocked in at 4am and woke us up – we weren’t to know that this would be a regular occurrence at this stage.
The next morning, we were up bright and early to meet up with the rest of the surf school for breakfast and a 10am surf lesson. It was so weird putting on a wet suit as I had assumed that the sea would be warm enough to stick to a bikini – turns out not every sea is warmer than in England. The wetsuit I was given also had a massive hole in the butt area which meant I was the “butt” of Jack’s jokes for the entire lesson and kept him laughing when he couldn’t stand up on the board. Our surf lesson was taking by an ex Canadian surf team member (through Byron Bay Surf School) who ran through the safety and techy bits. I managed to catch a few waves and stand up for a few milliseconds before falling – which I was impressed with. Surfing is definitely a lot harder than it looks. After a shower to remove the sand, we chilled in the hostel. We ended up chatting with a guy from London who lived in Bermondsey. Obviously it turned out we worked in the same office – small world.
We then ventured out with the surf school for dinner. This ended up being in a restaurant/ bar called Cheeky Monkeys (or “dive” as I like to call it). The food was ok but we didn’t mind as it was free with part of our lesson. We were knackered after spending the morning in the sea so headed home straight after dinner for a reasonably early night – we also wanted to get out of there before the paint party started. My outfit definitely wasn’t made for paint.
Over the next couple of days, we spent time on the beach which was directly in front of our hostel, both in the day time and after sunset with a couple of beers. We had a couple of hours of cloudy weather and a massive thunderstorm but nothing that stopped us from living the beach bum lifestyle.
On the third day, we got up early to “run” to the lighthouse. After realising how steep the road up was and that even at 8am it’s bloody hot, this ending up being more of a hike. Although we both moaned the majority of the way – as per – the view from the lighthouse and most easterly point of Australia was definitely worth it!
After hearing loads about the traditional Byron drum circle, we headed to main beach to try and catch a glimpse. We arrived before sunset and assumed that this would already be underway, so we waited and waited and nearly gave up hope before the first drummer arrived as the sun was setting. One by one the drummers turned up and started playing. It was amazing to see them all come together without it sounding like noise whilst the sun set. People stared to dance and everyone enjoyed themselves. Definitely a must do when in Byron (takes place in the car park by main beach- you can’t miss it!) After a few drinks, we headed home happy that we made some amazing memories.
There are loads of bars and restaurants in Byron but we made the most of our cooking skills and ate in for the majority of meals to save money – especially after spending $50 on a very average breakfast! Beers are also so much cheaper from “bottle shops”. We did however find a really cute Mexican restaurant called Miss Margaritas in the centre of town which even managed to persuade Jack to order something other than fajitas.
After four nights of interrupted sleep (mainly due to our mate (Eastern European guy) bringing various girls back to his bed), hard mattresses and crappy showers, we were excited to get to our next stop (and private room) in Surfers Paradise.
We thought the coach to Surfers Paradise (on the Gold Coast) was going to be 2 hours, but ended up being 3 due to the time difference. You thought flying through a time zone was weird, try driving through one. We still arrived mid afternoon and went to check out the area. After a quick trip advisor search, we found Brooklyn Depot which was known for its burgers. Being a burger lover, we headed there and stuffed our faces with burgers, loaded chips and milkshakes – was yum!
We headed to the beach the day after to catch some rays. The morning was perfect conditions, albeit a bit windy, but then the sun went in so we ate our packed lunch and went to play crazy golf. We had Greek food for dinner and ice cream for dessert – perfect combo.
On our final day, we had time to kill as our bus wasn’t until 5pm, so we did some shopping and wandered about. We had planned to go up to the observation deck but decided that $50 really wasn’t worth it and it wasn’t going to compare to the Burj in Dubai, so we opted for a game of bowling. I was so off my game so Jack won both, but we both had fun!
Our stay in surfers paradise was short but sweet, however if the weather isn’t amazing, you end up spending a lot of $$. We also missed Ant and Dec by a couple of days as this is where the celebrities stay, but I saw a couple of helicopters so was happy to pretend that was all part of I’m a celeb. Off to Brisbane next for some city scenery .
Thanks for staying with me. Love as always xxx
P.s. current thoughts of Aus:
– not being able to buy alcohol in supermarkets is just plain weird
– the tap water tastes like chlorine but you get used to it. Jack has taken to drinking chocolate milk instead (he is addicted)
– nothing is close by, even when you are in a town – be prepared to walk A LOT
– hostels and dorm rooms are fine, but nothing beats splashing out on a private room
– everyone is broke and working to pay for their dorm bed, so good luck if you want to find a travelling companion
– everything is super expensive (especially when you have no income)
– Byron is my current fave town