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Byron Bay Travel Blog

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Fully loaded, a proper vacation

Got. To. Get. Out. Because I knew I needed to leave Stanthorpe and it's apples or suffer the serious consequences, I began to plan my escape. Luckily, I was not alone. Roland wanted to leave and get a job at the coast and Bo, an Ozzie from Brisbane, was toying around with the similar plans. After a hundred changes our masterplan was to team up and drive to Brisbane to apple-detox for two days, then head south to Byron Bay.

Girraween National Park
Bo and Ro would stay there to find a job and I would travel down to Syddy to catch my flight to New Zealand. As Bo had both the wheels and places to stay in Brisbane we were all set. Perfect! Before heading off though, we had one thing left on the 'to do' list: Girraween Ntl. Park.

Aboriginal for place of flowers, this national park is a half hour drive south of Stanthorpe on the NSW/Queensland border. We decided to climb the pyramid, one of the highest tops in the park. Stocking up on some snacks, water and Heinekens, we set out for the hike with the four of us; Bo, Ro, me, and Inge, another Dutchie. The hike was an easy one, until we came at the pyramid. Ouch. A pure granite slope, sometimes almost to steep to walk. Once we made it to the top we sat their panting, trying to catch our breath for several minutes. It was completely worth it though.

Girraween National Park
Magnificent views, cool guys, what's more to wish for? Heinekens, right answer. Ten points for paying attention. The plan was to have a beer as a reward for making it to the top, but we decided to wait and drink them together with Inge, who didn't join us all the way up. So instead we risked our lives by climbing huge rocks to make cool photographs. Always fun.

The way down goes quicker than the way up, so true. When it started raining halfway down the track we found shelter in a cave and ate our lunch. Sharing lunch and beers with new friends in a cave in Australia, having fun and getting to know each other better: does life get any better than that? This is what travelling is all about. This is life. And I am living it, baby.

The day after our Girraween hike we packed our bags, loaded up the car, handed in our keys in and took off.

The pyramid from below
Oh, the sweet taste of freedom! Inge joined us in the car as she got fired for taking a day off work ("You want the day off? Then fine!"). A fully loaded car, iPod on the speakers; it felt like a proper holiday. Via Warwick and Ipswich we made our way to Brisbane. Bo was looking for a high-end laptop capable of landing a MarsRover, launch long range missiles and play the newest games (all at the same time), so we visited every hardware store en route, fully abusing the free internet and $4000 massage chairs on display. With my apple dollars burning in my pocket, I was interested in buying a laptop as well, then decided against it because I didn't want to worry about a $1000 machine on my back in the jungle of Laos or on the waves of the Andaman Sea. The next day we chilled Brisbane, playing table tennis, beaching at South Bank and visiting the Sexpo.
Top of the world
Yep, boys will be boys.

Friday afternoon we made our way down to Byron Bay. We arrived around eight in the evening, and there wasn't a single budget bed available. The best deal we could get was $150 in a roadside motel for the three of us, excluding breakfast. After asking for accomodation all over town, we decided to sleep a night in the car. We spent the friday night in the only right way: by partying hardcore. This friday was especially sweet, as there is no such thing as a friday night in Stanthorpe. Cheeky Monkeys was as good as it gets in Byron Bay and Ro and me stayed to the bitter end. After the compulsary middle-of-the-night snacks we found Bo in the car, fast asleep. At four in the morning, sleeping in the car wasn't as attracting as it had been at the beginning of the night. We tried to find a couch or TV room inside Aquarius, the hostel were we parked our car at.

After half a beer, Bo claimed he once picked an apple this big!
No luck there, so I took Roland to Main Beach Backpackers, the hostel where I stayed at my first time in Byron Bay. We jumped the fence and checked the three massive dorm rooms for empty beds, then ended up on the couches in the TV room. The night was short, but one of the best so far. From dancing on the tables in Cheekys to jumping two meter high fences in the pouring rain to get to an uncomfortable couch: we had an absolute blast!

The craziness continued in the morning by finding a woozy Bo at the car: complete with a parking ticket and all. The offence: we parked the car front to curb, and that is verboten in Byron Bay. Obviously, I mean, it creates a highly dangerous situation. $80 dollars, still less than we would have paid for any hostel. We split the fine, paid for a bed in Aquarius and hit the beach. That night we partied again, but never got close to the heights of friday night.

Cheeky's
I took it easy, leaving around 1:30 to squeeze in some sleep before catching the bus and train to Sydney.

And now I'm here in the train, gradually making my way towards Sydney. The sun is setting over that beautiful, crazy, enormous, weird, friendly, funny, sweet and amazing country they call Australia. The landscape is zooming past me as I try to sort out my feelings and thoughts. I met so many people, made so many new friends and had to say many well meant goodbyes in the past four months. I've experienced ups and downs, sadness, happiness, friendship, loneliness, disapointment, love, anger, excitement, amazement, everything. Did I feel like giving up and going home? Never. Did I, at times, feel like giving everything I had to be with my friends and family? Yes.

Our five star accomodation for the night
I feel sad about leaving, especially because the last couple of days were a total blast. I don't wanna leave Australia, but at the same time I'm looking forward to New Zealand. Who would have thought that four months would pass so quickly?

Whichever way, I'll have say goodbye to Australia for now. I'm flying to Christchurch, New Zealand early in the morning, and will spent my last night in Australia in a five star airport seat. Can't be bothered with a hostel. To conclude this blogentry: Australia, goodnight and goodbye!

Ape says:
Good on you, move on to New Zealand ;) Thanks for all the smiles and comments dude!
Posted on: Apr 27, 2008
JeAr says:
i've finished Australia yay! grat conclusion to ur 4-month (mis)adventure :-)))
Posted on: Apr 25, 2008
Sunflower300 says:
Ooooh, well miss you Nick. Come back soon.
You will love New Zealand. I'll be looking forward to your blogs from the land of the long white cloud.
See ya later mate!
Posted on: Mar 07, 2008
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Fully loaded, a proper vacation
Fully loaded, a proper vacation
Girraween National Park
Girraween National Park
Girraween National Park
Girraween National Park
The pyramid from below
The pyramid from below
Top of the world
Top of the world
After half a beer, Bo claimed he o…
After half a beer, Bo claimed he …
Cheekys
Cheeky's
Our five star accomodation for the…
Our five star accomodation for th…
Spending the night in Main Beach P…
Spending the night in Main Beach …
Family Roo in Girraween
Family Roo in Girraween
Dont slip!
Don't slip!
King of the hill
King of the hill
Risking a five meter fall, but we …
Risking a five meter fall, but we…
Inge decided to stay down
Inge decided to stay down
Roland on the middle of the granit…
Roland on the middle of the grani…
Rear to Kerb.. 135 angle? Whatever…
Rear to Kerb.. 135 angle? Whateve…
Cheeky Monkeys
Cheeky Monkeys
Byron Bay
photo by: SFGiantsGirlie