Officially three weeks into my Australia adventure! We have tickets for an on-and-off bus travelling from Sydney to Cairns. We decided to stay in Surfer’s Paradise for an extra week so I have some time to update (and do laundry thankfully!)
Our last days around Sydney were spent in the Blue Mountains. We hiked the famous three sisters and Katoomba cascades. The scenery was incredible! Plus walking is free and everything was a lot cheaper out of the city so it is a great weekend trip for anyone hanging out around Sydney.
A week from Friday we took off to travel up the east coast in search of sunshine and beaches, and we definitely were not disappointed!
Our first stop was a couple hours inland from the coast. We stayed in a very hilly area far from any kind of city. It was nice to be out in the country but the country comes with critters 😭 We stayed in a home converted to a hostel, and while playing darts a furry huntsman spider the size of my hand crawled out from behind the dart board. Disgusting! Not poisonous but apparently their self defence is to jump on you if you get too close so believe me, I kept my distance.
View from the Twistops Backpackers Hostel. Worth the spider scare. We spent our day here tubing down a crystal clear river. I was paranoid about snakes but apparently I was not supposed to worry if I saw any pythons sunbathing on shore. I would have done a lot more than just worrying if I saw one. But it was great fun, no snake sightings, though of course I fell out and was helplessly flung around at every rapid while Brennan smoothly stayed on his tube the entire time.
Our second night was in Arrawarra at Spot X Surf Camp. We only had one night, so no surfing, but we enjoyed the beach and spent the night hanging out around a campfire. We stayed in teepees that night, but they had real beds and electricity so it was the kind of camping I can handle💁🏽
This was just on the other side of the teepees. It would have been awesome to fall asleep to the sound of the ocean but a music festival was on with the stage literally on the other side of that bus so the evening sounds were not exactly soothing.
While Brennan and I were on this beach swimming, we noticed a massive whale fin that seemed to be rotating. Brennan joked that it looked like a whale on a rotisserie..turns out four great white sharks were attacking a humpback whale so he wasn’t wrong. It is unusual for sharks to go for whales but apparently there is a much higher number of sharks coming in the coast this year. Pretty crazy to have been in the water watching that, knowing sharks were so close.
The next night we really did camp, kayaking for an hour down the Corindi river to our campsite.
A brown snake slithered past us as we walked from the river to the campsite. It was only a baby but they are very venomous. It was far enough away that I didn’t panic but it was a good reminder that they are around out there. We stayed in swags, which are individual tents on the ground with mesh over your face for watching the stars. Incredible!
Our next stop was Byron Bay! This was somewhere on my Australia bucket list as it is super famous for surfing and whale watching. It is the most eastern point of Australia so migrating sea life passes close to shore. The bay is full of dolphins and whales. We went sea kayaking and had a small pod of dolphins surrounding us, including a mother and a calf. It was so peaceful to be out on the ocean and I was in awe of the wildlife. This was definitely an experience I will remember forever.
Byron is a total hippie town. I loved all of the amazing healthy food options, but it was so pricey. Definitely somewhere I would go back to, for the amazing beach, great hikes, and perfect downtown with cute shops and restaurants. Here is me downtown Byron enjoying a $13.00 smoothie. Still have not adjusted to these prices😣
Gold Coast/Surfers Paradise
After two days in Byron we continued an hour north to Gold Coast. We are staying in Surfers Paradise and it is a dream come true to be here. The entire city is right along the beach, which is 15km of white sand. We started with a surfing lesson- finally! We have been surrounded by surf culture for weeks and despite the whole shark thing we were both really excited to get in the water.
Brennan trying to steal my wave (or vice versa).
I love the feeling of surfing even on these baby waves. But don’t let these pictures deceive you- I absolutely ate it and got pummelled by a lot of big waves before I actually stood up😂
Skyline of Surfer’s Paradise from Coolangatta.
Some great ocean views near Surfers. Saw another humpback whale breaching here. It is such an incredible sight.
We have spent the last couple days hanging out around Surfer’s downtown and on the beach. It is a huge race weekend here, and Brennan was drooling over the sounds of the cars. We went to check out tickets, not wanting to pay more than 50$ to get in, and the tickets were 100$ each. But as we were debating, a man came up and handed us a ticket for free as he had to leave and didn’t want it wasted, so we got to check out the race after all 👍🏽
The face of a happy man 😂 Like a kid at a candy shop.
So we have two days left here, and are expecting gorgeous weather so I am sure we will spend most of them by the beach! We got to attend another Hillsong in this city and felt so welcome. We were given a free CD as we had come all the way from Canada, and got to have some really interesting conversations with a few kind couples after the service. You always learn a lot talking to the locals!
This Wednesday we leave Surfers for two days in Brisbane, and then we continue on to Fraser Island and then Noosa. It is so exciting to check all of these items off of a bucket list I made in April sitting in my kitchen in Renfrew!
On to the next adventure.