After waving goodbye to Johnny and Kelsey we hit the road and made our way down south. We made a bit of a stop off at the famous city of Surfers Paradise. This place is known to be the Vegas of Australia due to the high density of nightclubs and casinos. It’s crazy seeing all the high rise buildings lining the beach; they seem to pop up out of nowhere. We weren’t that interested in spending a night here so we got back into the van and continued the road.
Soon it was starting to get dark so we stopped off at the town of Coulangarta to watch the sunset over the sea – it was pretty cool to see the looming towers of Surfers Paradise in the distance.
We ended up on a a bit of a wild goose chase trying to find a holiday park for the night but, on the recommendation of the lady in the petrol station, made our way down to the Kingscliff North holiday park.
Once all ‘checked in’ we parked up for our first proper night in the camper van! We cracked open the beers, made dinner and played a few games of yaniv before calling it a night!
We woke up relatively early having survived our first sleep in the van – it was definitely more comfortable than we expected!
We packed up everything and hit the road again heading to Kingscliff beach for a quick breakfast and coffee stop. The sun was out and the temperature already pretty warm which was lovely! We drove further up the cliffs and stopped off at Cabarita hill which gave us beautiful views across the coastline and down to the beach we had just been sitting on.
Our final destination for the day was the famous beach town of Byron bay. The drive down was only a couple of hours so we were there before we knew it! We stopped off for a much needed coffee break at a cool little place called Folk.
We decided the best thing to do first in the town was to head up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse for views across the coastline. After a quick lunch in the camper we climbed up towards the lighthouse. We were so lucky as not only were the views brilliant but we also managed to spot two humpback whales swim right past which was pretty amazing.
Miles got so excited about the whales that he dropped his sunglasses down the cliff which meant a quick trip across to the warden’s cabin to ask for some sort of instrument to retrieve them. In the end Miles gave up with the claw and just jumped over the fence to grab them. Lucky it wasn’t windy…!
Having spent some time at the lighthouse we made out way back down to ground level and decided to make the most of the last couple of hours sun down on the main beach. We opened the beers, and played some cards – Miles even went for a bit of a swim. It was lovely!
After watching the sunset we headed back in the van and checked into the First Sun Holiday park right in the centre of town. We made a quick dinner (vegetable fajitas with halloumi) before having a couple of drinks and heading out for the evening.
We had a little wander around the town trying to find somewhere with a bit of life to it. Bearing in mind it was a Friday night we couldn’t believe that the bars were so empty – where was everyone?! We heard some music in the distance which soon led us to the Rails bar. It was crazy – there were people everywhere – it was as if the whole town had flocked to this one bar. It was soon obvious why, a great Californian band called Allensworth were playing and were completely amazing! Everyone was going crazy for them! We stayed at the bar right up until the end before crawling back to the camper and falling straight to sleep. Byron definitely lived up to its reputation as a fun place to be!
The next morning I was woken up to eggs, toast and mushrooms in bed. We decided to have a proper wander through the town and stopped off first at a cool little coffee shop called Leaf and Grain before hitting the pavements.
The only way I can describe Byron Bay is a cool laid back surfer town full of backpackers and hippies. The hippies really all own the town and all the shops are locally owned and definitely an eclectic mix – you could spend days wandering through them and soaking up the chilled out atmosphere.