In honour of the tenth anniversary of the year I spent traveling around Australia and New Zealand, I am re-publishing articles that I wrote about my experiences whilst traveling. I’m not sharing absolutely everything I did, said, or thought, just the stuff that it’s appropriate to write home about.
Byron Bay was the first town I visited in New South Wales. I have to say that I love Byron Bay. It is a small commercialized hippie town full of hippies, surfers, and tourists. If you want the full-on hippie experience, Nimbin is the place to go. I didn’t make it to Nimbin because, well, I had other things to do. I walked around the town and checked out the beach. The beach is really nice, as is the town. I also went mountain biking in the rainforest (guided). There were some punishing uphill climbs that I thought I wouldn’t make it to the top of but I did. There were also some very technical portions where skill was required to successfully navigate my way around trees and tree roots, bushes, through huge puddles and thick mud. The downhill parts were great: speeding down a muddy hill with mud and water flying in my face was a lot of fun. It was totally worth the money and I’d do it again without question. I don’t have any pictures because I left my camera at the hostel to avoid its accidental destruction.
I also went surfing in Byron Bay. This was my second surfing lesson, and so far the best. Have a look at my pictures to admire my skills. The instructor was a middle-aged surfer dude who said “We love getting into the water with you guys and teaching you how to surf…if it weren’t for you guys, I’d have to cut my hair and get a real job”. We were coached on surf technique, safety practices and reading waves. I loved it. This day was exhausting but great because it was action packed. In the morning, I did the hour-long walk up to the light house and the eastern-most point of Australia. The walk along the coast is breathtaking, as is the view from the lighthouse. My photos of course can’t do it proper justice, but I’m sure you will get the idea. So, I did the coastal walk up to the lighthouse, and once there, the surf instructor called and asked if I would be ready to go surfing soon because we had to go before the waves went yucky. This is how it works in the surfing world. You can’t schedule the good waves, so flexibility is a must. So I double-timed it back to town and went surfing. If you go to Byron Bay, make sure you try the jam-filled organic donuts. They are extra delicious after exercise. I would also recommend trying the pubs where the locals hang out, as well as the backpacker bars because you never know who you will meet, or how much fun you can have.