Published: May 13th 2007May 13th 2007
Debbie at Cape Byron
At least we got a good view after cycling all the way up the hill.
We're now in Byron Bay our last stop in New South Wales. For our last week we've had three stops: Newcastle, Port MacQuarie and Byron Bay.
Newcastle is actually quite a big city but having come from Sydney it seemed quiet which was quite a nice change. Our first day we didn't do too much. All the staff and there freidns were pretty friendly so we spent quite a bit of time talking to them and we asked them what the best thing to do was given we only had two more days. They recommended Hunter Valley which is another wine region. We thought it seemed like a while since our last one in Adelaide so we booked it for the following day.
The wine tasting (started at 10:30 having set off around 9) was the usual affair making our way through whites, rose, reds and fisnishing on port. The group was really small as there were only 4 of us so it made it easier to get to know each other and meant we weren't rushed in each of the wineries. We were travelling with Sarah, the only backpacker we've met so far actually
Nice for a shot, a full bottle would probably not be a good idea though.
from Australia (Canberra) and Marla from Germany. Anyway in terms ofthe wines we really liked the chilled red in the first place so we bought a bottle. We also got to try chilli schnapps which is a lot easier to drink than chilli vodka. We also finally got to taste some white port having only tasty tawny port. It's nice served with freshly squeezed limes. The places we visited (so we don't forget) were:
- Golden Grape Estate
- McWilliams Mount Pleasant
We got back to the hostel around 5 feeling a little bit merry and had our bottle of wine with our tea that night. The next day we spent lazing on the beach before I again dragged Debbie to the cinema this time to see Spiderman 3. It was ok, about as good as the others.
We set off for Port MacQuarie the next day which was about 4 hours on the coach. We had a walk around the place, down to the breakwater (where lots of the rocks are painted in a kind of legal graffiti by various people) before borrowing 2 body boards to have a quick go in the sea. I
Debbie, Sarah and Marla
Three merry ladies all now best of friends.
was pretty apprehensive about it at first, not too sure why but once I started I didn't want to stop. I've not tried surfing yet but body boarding seems to be similar rush without the hard work of balancing. Eventually we did get out of the sea as it was getting dark and went back to the hostel. The hostel we stayed at (a YHA) is really quite a nice homely place. The following day it was raining so we went to the local library to use the internet and I managed to buy the Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler for about 40 pence. It cleared up a little bit later so we went to the Koala hospital, the only one in the world! You don't really get too close to them as they are sick and are being nursed back to health. The guide was really informative though. There are some quite sad stories of koalas getting hit by cars, attacked by dogs and drowning in pools. Suprisingly they are not helped by the government so they rely on donations and sponsorships.
Our next and final stop (for this blog) was Byron Bay. We arrived quite late as
Breakwater at Newcastle
Legal graffiti at the beach
it was a 7 hour coach ride (with breaks) from Port MacQuarie. This meant we only had one full day so we didn't want to spend lots of time walking everywhere. Fortunately our hostel had free mountain bikes so we geared up and made our way to Cape Byron. It's here where they have a lighthouse, you can see dolphins from land and it's the most Eastern point of the Australia mainland. We locked up our bikes to go for a bit of a walk (it's the only way to get to the most Eastern point as there are a LOT of stairs). After getting a bit lost around the very expensive looking suburbs we amde our way back to the bikes and then went all the way out to another part of the beach called Sunshine bay. After this we were pretty tired so made our way back to the hostel. It's harder cycling here than in Holland where it's nice and flat. The following day before we got back on the greyhound we went through a few of the travel agencies to sort out our trips to Fraser Island (4WD) and the Whitsundays (sailing). These are now all
Mike at Newcastle
Why aye man. Hang on, wrong country, wrong continent and wrong hemisphere.
booked so next stop is Surfers Paradise in Queensland.
There are more photos below