Wednesday, 23 May 2012

East Coast Roadtrip...

Departing in the evening, we zoomed through the dusk of Sydney city life and headed upwards and out along the coast. We where travelling with Ayse and Dan, a lovely couple from Southampton who have been living and working in Australia for sometime. We met them originally on a boat trip in Halong Bay, in Vietnam a couple months back. They had just finished at their jobs in Sydney and where about to take a huge roadtrip for the next couple months, travelling up the Coast and up and around over to Perth. We opted to share the first week of their journey heading upto Brisbane.

The first evening, we camped in a great campsite, that was tucked away by a huge lake and lots of people around. We didn't realise until we had departed that it was one of the busiest holidays in Australia...Easter! That evening, we managed to throw up our tents and sat watching the stars enjoying a bottle of wine or two! The plan was to journey ourselves up along the coast, stopping off where anybody wanted to and take in the beautiful sights along the coast. We camped out in the open National Parks, so much wildlife and openness. The National Parks are brilliant with lush greens and idyllic lakes cusping the coast. We hopped off in small towns and enjoyed lots of amazing beaches, surfs and meeting local people. Some of the food we ate was super tasty, fresh seafoods and local brewed beers! In the National Parks, you have to pay for entry and per person but it was super expensive, so we would always arrive late and make an early dart...terrible I know, but it was saving us over $100! On a backpacker budget, I have grown to live more on the edge, not something I am proud of but living the nomad life gives you more of a backbone. That's one thing about myself I noticed has changed, I am so much less tearful (used to be a big crier baby!) and more decisive in choosing things on the spot nowadays.

As we graced along the Coast, we had lots of fun days and evenings chilling and cooking with Ayse and Dan, they where soon to be going off on a holiday for two weeks in Fiji. So, they where having a holiday within a holiday! As we hit Byron Bay, there was a chilled bonhemian atmosphere swooshing around the place. The laidback life is dominant here, as I strolled down a street I heard a small child say "Mum, why does everybody here walk around in barefeet and all ride skateboards?" This for me, sums up the vibe of Byron Bay, its uber cool! We camped the evening just out of town, chilling in the rainy evening and downing a whole box of goon. Now, you may be thinking, what is this goon? This is known to every traveller of Australia, it is a huge box of cheap wine, otherwise referred to as 'Goon'. Every backpacker will drink it and its also useful as me and John found, once the bag inside the box is empty it becomes a blow-up pillow...brilliant!

After heading further up the Coast, we reached Surfer's Paradise, this was most definitely a tourist resort. It almost reminded me of Benidorm! Lots of high rise apartment blocks and bars and clubs surrounding the whole place. The weather was growing worse the further North we travelled, when we arrived here it was rainy and super windy. We treated ourselves by checking into a hostel, enjoying a lovely hot shower...the joys of travel! Then we headed out into the town with Ayse and Dan, enjoying a night  ofdancing, drinking and listening to some great music. The next day was our final day together, heading up into Brisbane. I was eager to explore this city to see what life was like in Queensland and also to plan our next journey on this East Coast adventure. So after saying our farewells to our friends, we checked into a chilled out hostel in the West End, very Soho vibe! Then reflected on our adventure up along the East Coast, some spectacular beaches and scenery, one that is rural yet still has presence to engage with locals. Now for a lovely few days of chilling exploring Brisbane then the decision of whether or not to head North....why not?

Enjoying a morning stroll along the beach

Lunch time on our roadtrip

My turn to drive the 4 X 4...crossing a river on a boat

Ayse and Dan enjoying the views

Stopping off for a surf and swim along the coast

Enjoying my morning cereal enjoying the landscape

Waking up to these wonderful views

Reflecting on the rocks...enjoying the East Coast of Australia

Joking around on the beach in the morning sunshine
Feeling the wind at Byron Bay

The beautiful landscapes along the coast

Enjoying some time looking out to the sea

My last views along the coast before heading upto Brisbane