We reached Byron Bay at 9pm. The streets were busy and I crossed several people that were going out on the 2min walk to the Nomads hostel. Everybody from my surf camp went to the Arts Factory but I couldn’t switch the pre-booked hostel. Which meant, meeting new people again. Luckily, everybody was very friendly and in a good mood.
The next day, I managed to go to Woolworths, when it started pouring and I (and many other people) had to wait a while until we could run to different places again. Great, that really helped my cold. On such a rainy day, there wasn’t much to do but sit in cafés. I did try the hot tub from the hostel, where I met some nice Australian girls with whom I then spent the evening. At 10pm we went out with a whole bunch from our hostel because we would get free entry to a club and a free drink. Byron Bay really above all is a party place.
The next day, it was sunny but cold (17 degrees). Perfect conditions to walk to the lighthouse. I met up with the British girl from my hostel in Coffs Harbour and the two of us and another girl from Canada tried to find the right path. Byron Bay’s beach is quite pretty and there even were some people in the water but I found it way too cold. At the end of the beach, we found signs that we were on the right track to the lighthouse. With my cold, the stairs seemed quite exhausting but we just took it slow and enjoyed the view from the cliffs. It really is a beautiful walk! We then reached the most Eastern point of Australia. I almost could touch Peru ;-). From there, it was just a short walk to the lighthouse and we even spotted dolphins on the way!!! The water was so clear that other people saw turtles too. At the lighthouse, there also is a small café with good things. There, we met a nice Australian who then offered us a ride back down but we thought we would walk. The first 50m were really nice but then it was just on the side of the road where all the cars passed by. Another car stopped and asked whether we wanted a lift and since it wasn’t scenically special, we thankfully accepted. Now I can cross hitchhiking off my list too 🙂 And we didn’t even have to hold our thumb out.
In the evening, we went to Woody’s Surf Shack, which I personally found much cooler than Cocomungas. And then we had a quick look at Cheecky Monkeys, because everybody was talking about it. That place had a great atmosphere and cheap Happy Hour deals too.
My last day in Byron Bay I spent lying around at the beach and in the comfy chairs in the hostel lounge. I would have stayed at the beach longer because there was a swimming competition (poor people who had to go in the water with these temperatures) going on and there were food and coffee booths but due to the wind, just being outside without really moving was too cold. The season is changing to winter after all.
However, the evening ended really well because I went to the Railway Bar with a German girl from the surf camp. There was a live band and just a great atmosphere!
Then, after another nearly sleepless night in a dorm with much too loud people I was glad that I could move on to Surfers Paradise. For the first time, the Greyhound bus was packed. I was surprised that we all fit in it but we did and three hours later most of us got off at the Gold Coast. It was sunny and warm and the girl in the coach lobby informed me that a bus from my hostel would be here to pick me up in 5min. So, another 10min later I had a bed in a new room. Two of the girls I had already met in Byron Bay. A third girl was either going out or asleep and then there was a really nice German girl. We had our first walk along the esplanade and a look at the town. It’s very touristy but I liked it 🙂 A lot of places to eat and have coffees 🙂 People say, this is the Miami of Australia. Yes, it is similar but I’d say the beach is a lot nicer. And there is a pretty board walk stretching for at least 10km along the beach.
That evening, the sky turned pink and purple for a beautiful, kitsch sunset.
We then profited of Monday evening and went to have 2$ steak at Waxy’s Irish pub. Every dish you added to the plate cost 2$. It was a good steak too. We were joined by a guy from Vienna. Switzerland, Germany and Austria speaking English in an Irish pub in Australia 🙂
The next days looked pretty much the same. I got up in the morning, walked along the beach in the morning sun to find wifi at McDonalds 🙂 and then I took a bus to one of the amusement parks. I had this 3 day park Pass for Movieworld, Wet n’ Wild and Sea World. I love rollercoasters and so Movieworld was my first goal. Unfortunately, you can’t compare it at all to the Universal Studios parks. None of the shows interested me and the rides were rather for kids. Because the Superman coaster was closed for maintenance, there were only three roller coasters left. They were fun and I never had to wait more than 15min but I was definitely more thrilled on other rides in other parks. Probably it really is better for kids and I should have gone to Dreamworld instead. I guess I should have asked Peterpan more thoroughly what my fun park pass was about.
Back at the hostel, the German girl had left. Instead three noisy British guys were there. I really need a break from hostels after this. Luckily the British couple who was already in the same room with me at the surf camp was here too. It’s funny how I keep running into the same people.
The next day, I went to Wet n’ Wild (obviously a water park). Biggest of Australia and everybody had been raving about it. Only, half of the park was closed FOR MAINTAINANCE. I felt like I was in the wrong film. I really came in the wrong season. Like this, it was less exciting than the Säntispark (a swimming pool) in Switzerland. I felt a bit betrayed and went to complain at the entrance and then they offered me that I could go back to Movieworld, which was right next to it. And that I did and spent another two hours riding rollercoaster after rollercoaster. They are fun after all. Just not such a big choice in variation.
On my third day, I walked into the other direction along the beach, which would eventually bring me to Sea World. There, I was very positively surprised. They have beautiful and big lagoons for their dolphins and the show was impressive and informative. The sea lion show was very funny too and the jet ski stunt show amazing! Plus, they have quite cool rollercoasters there too but of course the one with the loops was closed. But the Jet Ski one was very cool!
I don’t know how the other aquariums in Australia are but the shark bay with the underwater view was amazing!! I’ve never seen such a big shark from so close before and the other fish and corals were so colorful! That part already makes a trip to Sea World worth it. Plus, the very playful polar bear youngster was very cute too:) It must have been excited about his birthday, which was a day later on 9. May 🙂
I walked back into town to have an amazing hot chocolate at the Beach Café. They use melted Belgian chocolate and it was as good as the ones at home 🙂 And the view over the wavy ocean wasn’t bad either 🙂
I really liked the ocean front of Surfers Paradise but I am looking forward to see Brisbane too.