Rach and Vik arrived in Byron Bay after an overnight bus journey from Sydney on Monday morning. The journey was probably one of the worst they've done so far, seeming to drag for far longer than the 12 hours that they were actually on the bus. Their first day in Byron was therefore not very exciting as they caught up on some sleep, had a wander around the town (which consists of one street) and then watched some tv at the hostel. They stayed at Cape Byron lodge which was about a 15minute walk from the main street but the hostel has a free shuttle bus into town which proved useful.
Tuesday was their first full day in Byron and they decided they would spend it on the famous Byron surf beach. Up early and on the beach by 10:30am the day was seemingly going well and to plan until 90 minutes later when it started to rain! It wasn't just a small shower either but a full downpour! They then headed for some lunch to allow the rain time to pass. After lunch they had planned to walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, a few kilometres up the hill from the beach and Australias most easterly point. However, distracted by the sun shining again they decided to lie on the beach instead. Again, they were only there for a short time before it started to rain! Disheartened by the weather they headed back to the hostel.
For dinner, they headed to Cheeky Monkeys, one of Byrons only nightclubs, that has $5 meal deals on tuesdays. The portions were massive, the food was good and there was entertainment and competitions throughout. They ended up back at Cheeky's later in the evening but in general weren't impressed with the club as it was a bit small with no proper dance floor. It was Coyote evening and most people were dancing on the metal tables, bet the guys in the club enjoyed the evening more than they did!
On wednesday it was raining again so the trip to the lighthouse was put off once more. In the evening they headed to the other nightclub, Coco's, enticed by the free entry and drink offer but again were dissappointed with their nightout. The nightlife in Byron just wasn't really very good.
Thursday the girls got up early (9am - early considering they'd been out the night before) as they had booked to go Sea Kayacking with Dolphins. Unfortunately due to the bad weather conditions it was cancelled so they headed to Nimbin instead, a small town just over an hour away from Byron. The town is renowed for its carefree attitude towards marajuna and cookies and its said locally that the police are only there to wear the uniform. To get there they took a tour with 'The Happy Coach' company who drove them there (stopping briefly at Minyon falls) and back for $25. The owner of the company, Fred, was a crazy carefree guy who was very entertaining talking and telling jokes before leaving the coach and letting Annie lead the tour. The drive to Nimbin takes you through a rainforest on the edge of a volcanic crater, through windy roads full of little pot holes! Minyon falls were great to see but with only 15mins there you could only see the waterfall from the top as there was no time to walk the 8km round trip to see them from the bottom looking up.
Nimbin itself was definately something worth experiencing. The town was like something from the 60's with a distinct hippy feel to it. Brightly coloured shop signs advertising the quirky merchandise available for sale instore. Though the Mardi Gras is coming up in a few weeks and they had been warned of a possible increased police presence and also told not to believe the rumours that the police don't care about the drug taking the town is known for, they didnt see any police and were offered both marajuna and cookies on several occasions while walking down the street. The tour gave two hours at nimbin and that was more than enough time to see all there was to see there.
Due to leave for Brisbane on friday morning at 10:30am, they booked onto a tour to watch the sunrise over the lighthouse and the possibility of seeing dolphins and other wild sea life. The tour left at 5:20am from the hostel. Thankfully, it was not raining and not too cold and they spent 45 minutes at the lighthouse watching the sunrise! It was stunning. Unfortunately they didn't see any dolphins or other wildlife though.
By 10:30am when waiting for their bus the rain had started again and again it was an absolute downpour. They were glad to be leaving for Brisbane as there is nothing to do in Byron when it rains as it is very much a beachy surfers town. Vik was especially excited to be heading to Brisbane as it meant she was about to meet up with Claire, her friend she met in the 6th form who headed back home to Oz 3.5 years ago!