At 10pm on Sunday evening I embarked on my first overnight Greyhound coach experience. Ugh. The seats were leather so my bum was constantly slipping off the seat, plus my internal moral battle with animal cruelty was having it out for a good…few minutes. The journey took 7 hours and I managed to sleep a little but it was fitful and uncomfortable the entire way. We arrived in Coffs Harbour at 5.30am and we were thankfully greeted by a shuttle bus to take us to our Hostel.
Coffs Harbour is beautiful; granted I only saw a small peep, but that was all I needed to discover to know what a little gem this hidden town is. You know those pictures you see on the internet where the beaches are deserted, the skies are brilliant blue and the sea looks perfect and you always assume Photoshop has had a hand in that beauty, well those beaches actually do exist and one is in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. I think the reason it’s so deserted is because, while it’s quite a large beach, you can only swim in a tiny section. We lay on the beach for a few hours and I found it difficult to settle. Home sickness had hit again and I kind of came to the conclusion that there’s little point in experiencing beautiful places if you can’t share that experience with someone or the people you love. I wish i’d travelled with a friend from home.
Tuesday brought a new town and we settle in Byron Bay until Saturday. A beautiful coastal town with plenty of quirky shops, little cafe’s and a beach to rival all the beauties i’ve seen so far. Still battling homesickness, I unwittingly climbed a mountain to reach the most easterly point of Australia. The views were breathtaking and if you look out to see long enough you are certain to spot Dolphins, Sharks and other majestic sea creatures great and small. I even saw a mountain wallaby bouncing along the rocks.
As part of my Oz Experience package I was booked in for a surfing lesson through my hostel, it’s so much harder than it looks. At absolutely no point in the 4 or 5 hours of knocking around in the sea was I able to stand up on that board. I had enough of a job holding on to it every time a wave hit. It was fun though and I might have another lesson as some point along the coast if it’s possible.
Byron Bay doesn’t have a lot to offer in terms of things to do, unlike Sydney. Some people I met at the hostel rented a car for the day so I joined them on a trip to Nimbin, a tiny town with a huge personality and then we went in search of a waterfall called Whian Whian. We ventured round windy roads and deep into a forest where I had no phone signal but we eventually found a beautiful little sanctuary of flowing water. Bloody cold though.
I’ll miss Byron Bay, I wish I could have stayed here on a proper holiday budget so that I could have eaten at the little restaurants every evening and bought aaalll the things in the shops. There’s no doubt about it, Australia is expensive to stay in, I haven’t gone a day without spending money, i’m struggling to keep my costs down and with 5 more weeks to go to get to Cairns i’m going to need to chill out at some point. Maybe after Brisbane….
Next stop; Surfer’s Paradise and then Brisbane.