Landing at Arts Factory


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Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Byron Bay
February 21st 2010
Published: February 28th 2010
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Our coached dropped us off at Byron Bay bus stop at 8am. We rang Arts Factory, a hostel we’d heard loads about, and they said they have availability despite the internet saying they were booked up. Sebastian (aka Seabass), a worker at Arts, picked us up in the hostels minibus and gave us a tour round Byron Bay, pointing out the bars, clubs, beach etc on the way back to Arts. It’s the biggest hostel in Australia, and was built in the 70s over 5 acres of land. It’s maintained the hippy atmosphere and is still decorated in graffiti and bright paint. It has a cinema, spa, brewery and recording studio onsite, as well as a pool and hot tub, and there is a variety of accommodation available including dorms, teepee’s, bungalows and a campsite.
After dropping our bags off at “The Nunnery”, the only all-girls dorm with a kitchen and aircon, we caught the regular Arts minibus (runs every 30mins) back in to the centre (which is only a 10 minute walk, but Steph’s broken baby toe is still giving her grief). We stopped for Muesli for breakfast in Balcony Bar, and then headed to the beach. The sand is really bright, and like a fine powder that squeaks when you walk on it. We overcame our fear of “Box jellyfish” the deadly jellyfish here and went in the sea for the first time in Oz. Lots of people were swimming and surfing and we couldn’t see any of the warning signs so decided we must be safe.
At midday we had a wander round the shops of Byron Bay to get out of the sun and cool down. It’s like a toy town, with well kept streets, and cute shop fronts, mainly selling surfer clothes and hippy jewelry. Spotted more of those Bats (“Flying Foxes”) that we’d seen in Sydney and Ellie questioned if we’d actually arrived in Transylvania.
For dinner we opted for the $6 special that Arts Factory sells in the café each night. There’s a different dish every day of the week and they’re really popular. Tonight was Butter Chicken Curry and it was great. We’d done so much drinking in Sydney, we decided to have a night off tonight so we all wrote a list of errands and internet jobs we needed to do while we were sober, and had a busy night completing them all.

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