After a weekend of recovering from partying luckily i woke up on Monday back to normal, which was a relief since we had a massive day of touristing planned. Karen, Caitlin, Clint, Mark and i drove down the coast to Currumbin Animal Sanctuary to feed koalas, hold echidnas and watch crocs get fed amongst other things. The place was quiet until busloads of japanese tourists arrived, it was quite off putting. Fortunately we had seen enough and headed to Currumbin Surf Club for lunch. This was a restaurant perched on a big rock literally on the beach, with panoramic views of the sea. I had calamari for lunch, it was incredible eating fresh seafood looking out over to surfers paradise. Very memorable and delicious lunch!
We bid goodbye to Mark and headed to Byron Bay, which was an hours drive south. It was like going into another world. There were VW campervans and backpackers everywhere. Ive never seen a town that seemed to purely consist of young, chilled out hippies. There was even a guy sitting on his verandah smoking a bong waving at passers by. Clint had booked us into a shit hot holiday house for the night. This place was an incredible three bedroom house with a front porch, back patio, large lounge and kitchen and a big communal pool and BBQ area. Caitlin, Karen and I had a glorious early evening swim to cool down before cracking open the caronas and making a local pesto and chicken pasta for dinner. We spent the night playing frustration which is my new favourite card game, and drinking amarula. Everyone was so worn out by the sea air and days activity at the wildlife sanctuary that we were all in bed by 21:30.
The following day was just as hot and sunny and we made eggs benedict for breakfast and headed for the beach. Caitlin and i were reminiscing that when we were growing up we would take family holidays down the south coast of South Africa and stay in holiday cottages by the sea and have lots of family time, and here we were doing exactly the same thing on our own steam. The weather at the beach was sunny with dark clouds looming, and sadly because it rained overnight the sea was grey but it was still incredible to see all the drifters and vagrants on the beach. The beach sand in this country is so smooth and fine, i cant get over it. The current in the sea was mad strong, and as tempting as it was to get rescued by the hottie lifeguards i didnt stay in the sea for long. The girls spent a good few hours on the beach while Clint body surfed beyond the waves. At lunch time we took a stroll through the town and had a $12 cider and got fish tacos for lunch.
10 minutes north of Byron Bay sits Tyagarah nature reserve which is home to some natural tea tree lakes. In the car park there was a sign stating that sexual harassment will not be tolerated and what the number for the police hotline was. I thought this was weird but the reason became clear as soon as we stumbled upon the lake – it was nudist friendly! Bar the random naked old men this lake reminded me of the one described in The Life of Pi, a tangle of mangrove roots that opened out onto dark, deep water that had been warmed to bath water temperature by the sun. After overcoming my fear of snakes or creepy crawlies hiding in the depths i gingerly slipped into the water. These lakes are special because the water is infused by the fallen tea tree leaves so it is known to have medicinal properties – apparently aboriginal women would come down to the lakes to give birth. Creepy men lying on deckchairs touching themselves aside, it was a wonderful afternoon of lazing in the water and soaking in the tea tree goodness, I even got to read a few pages of my book! After a sleepy drive back to Brisbane we went to Leigh and Richie’s house for dinner. Leigh made delicious risotto and I brought along an amarula tiramasu for dessert.
Next post will be about my trip to the city centre, until then au revoir x