View of Coffs Harbour's harbour... :)
We spent some more time in Coffs Harbour, since there were a couple of things we wanted to see. The first one was the (in)famous Big Banana, which basically is exactly what the name suggests… J After that we took a detour to ‘Holland Down Under’, which off course can’t be missed by two Dutch guys… ;-)
It was even more corny than we thought. Miniature models of some famous Dutch landmarks, lots and lots of windmills and a miniature train that started running a small loop between the models once you crossed a white painted line on the path.
Combine that with a pair of huge clogs at the entrance, a restaurant dubbed ‘Big Oma’s’ and a souvenir shop selling mini windmills, clogs and drop, and you have a nightmare… The must fun we had there was when we discovered a lizard snoozing on the rail track just as the train was approaching. It got away just before it was to be hit by the little train… After that we ran away from ‘Holland Down Under’ and never looked back, lol…
The entrance to Holland Down Under
On our way to Ballina (our next sleeping place) we saw a sign supposedly directing us to an aboriginal cultural centre, but either it doesn’t exist anymore, or the signs are some sort of joke. We drove around for several kilometres of dirt roads looking for the centre, before we decided to give up (mostly because the holes on the road were getting wider and deeper with every passing metre…)
We slept in Ballina, which wasn’t very interesting in our opinion.
We saw a huge shrimp (no joke) and immediately made a beeline to the highway. Our next destination was Surfers Paradise, and it could get tricky there according to the manager of the Ballina Motor Inn. It was the weekend of the Indy Car, so Surfers was completely packed with race enthusiasts.
For Dutch guys this is an absolute nightmare when being on the other side of the world!
Before arriving in Surfers we went to Byron Bay however, to see the famous lighthouse and the easternmost part of the Australian continent. The lighthouse was absolutely gorgeous, and so were the views from there toward the Pacific (the crossing over and travelling through of which was our goal and was getting closer every day). We even saw some humpback whales off the coast, on their way to migrate to friendlier environments… J
After that we reached the Gold Coast, where traffic was getting insane (even though there was worse ahead of us later, but obviously we didn’t know that at the time). We lunched in the twin towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta, before crossing the border between New South Wales and Queensland in our efforts to reach Surfers Paradise.