Byron Bay, Surfer's Paradise and Brisbane
23.07.2009 - 29.07.2009 21 °C
Our second overnight Greyhound bus took us to sunny Byron Bay. Byron Bay is usually a chilled out, seaside surfing town, but the weekend that we had chosen to visit coincided with a huge music festival. The festival bought with it thousands of Aussies and tourists, so the town was transformed into a hub of excitement. Unfortunately it also meant that finding accommodation was slightly tricky, so we ended up splashing out on a lovely beachside hotel.
We had such a lovely, relaxing time here, and the weather was just about warm enough for lying in the sun, and some tentative paddling in the sea. Our highlight was taking a coastal walk up to the most easterly point of Australia, where there was a quaint little lighthouse. From here were magnificent views and even some dolphins to spot in the water below.
We then spent two lazy days further up the coast in the aptly named Surfer's Paradise. This surf-obsessed party town was great fun and really lively at night. We spent both days chilling on the beach amd watching the surfers strut their funky stuff on the waves.
Next stop was Brisbane, which although was not quite as impressive a city as Melbourne or Sydney, had it's own unique character. Brissy is set ona river, with a lively cultural centre on it's southbank, where we spent three days exploring the galleries, museums and cinemas.
Along with this standard injection of culture, we visited the city's beautiful Botanic Gardens and the Farmer's Market where we took full advantagge of the free tasters of olives, pâtés, cheese and chocolates. However the highlight of our stay in brisbane was actually escaping the city for the day. We took the bus to the nearby Mt. Coot-tha National Park where we spent the day doing long walks through the bush. We ended up at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens where we wandered through rainforest, fern forest and Japanese Zen Gardens.