Before even leaving to Oz, I knew I wanted to set my base in either Melbourne or Byron Bay, the Canggu of Australia where high vibes and high fives are aplenty, organic food abundant and surfers and hippies happy together. I made my way to Byron from Brissie (Brisbane), and am now experiencing the similar unbearable lightness of being that I experienced in Bali a bit over half year ago.
Byron Bay is located north from Sydney, 2 hours south from Brisbane and an hour away from Gold Coast, making it the perfect stop for backpackers traveling the east coast. Since the 1980’s the number of visitors has roamed year after year, and I have to admit that I consider myself lucky visiting during the quietest time of year; there’s still plenty of people around.
I have not surfed (yet), and to be honest it is a good question to think what the heck have I been doing with my time. I don’t have a good book to read, I have not got my tan on, and the only touristic thing I’ve done was kayaking with dolphins.
Kayaking in the sea was great itself, but seeing heaps of dolphins playing around made the experience even better. I learned a bit of the history of this region and some mythology of dolphins, and it was good to know we were not disturbing the animals in their home.
Besides dolphins, I’ve enjoyed the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in a good while. I also saw a pretty damn good sunrise from the easternmost point of Australia.
Besides great scenery and good food (in theory, I mostly make cheap meals at the hostel), Byron has somewhat of a nightlife scene going on. Still need to explore that beyond bonfires at the beach tho.
I lived merrily in melbourne for good 3 months before I got the small itch in the back of my head, telling me to go see what else is there – if only just to realize that I was perfectly well off and happy the way I was living (despite the creeping cold that penetrated to the bones). Well, I’ve been on the road for a week now, first of which was pretty much constant rain in Sydney. Cozy and homey: I spent the week in Bondi beach, crashing on my cousin’s couch. It was weird to be amongst 4 Finns, in a house filled with Finnish crisp bread, candy, even coffee. I didn’t know there is Finnish ‘Temptation Island’, and I kinda wish I still didn’t know about that. Besides the rain, Sydney was nice. I liked the architecture and nature, but wasn’t such a big fan of the dozens and dozens of buses required to move around. I did find a place I wish melbourne had: About Life organic marketplace. That food, nommmmm!
On Tuesday morning-ish we left on the road, towards Port macquairie. After 4 hours in the car we decided to keep on driving to Coffs Harbour to stay overnight. Travel tip: In Australia most roadside eateries are either mcdonalds or Subway, possibly Red Rooster (chicken things), and gas stations selling chips and frozen coca cola. I had my health expo goodie bag to keep me satisfied, thank god. Unfortunately we didn’t really see much of Coffs Harbour besides the shopping center where we had breakfast and bought drinks for the road the next day. In the arvo aka afternoon we stopped in the happy hempy hippie town of Nimbin, which I found a tad creepy. In Australia even regular hemp is not allowed to be digested (they think it’s cannabis!), and the legalization or decriminalization of weed is especially a big thing in Nimbin.
We were around for just a few hours, plenty of time for me to get anxious of all the glassy eyes and smoking paraphernalia and other stuffs. Hippieoverload, I must admit.
After Nimbin we headed to the outskirts of Brisbane, to a place my cousin and her friend had previously stayed. Nice and peaceful, warm and sunny. On the way to Ormiston we randomly met some friends who had left the day after us, in the parking lot of a random mcdonalds. Weird things happen.
Tomorrow morning I am off to Brisbane city, where I am not going to see Alt-J because I didn’t manage to get a ticket (Not bitter). On Saturday I’ll be flying solo again and Greyhound my way to Byron Bay, which has been my destination all along. No return ticket yet, nothing certain about anything. This qypsy life can be a bit rough every now and again, but it’s easier to endure in the sunshine.