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Published: April 21st 2016
Three and a half weeks on the east coast of Oz: fun, exciting and at times pretty weird.
After spending a couple of days in Brisbane, visiting museums, markets and a city beach, i decided to hitchhike to Byron Bay. Three rides later, from a cardealer, a truckie and a zucchini farmer, i got to my destination: the Arts Factory Lodge. This is one of the best hostels I've ever stayed at! Besides the usual dormrooms, they also offered accommodation in big tents arranged around a lake and in big teepee's with nice wooden bunkbeds. There was a big balcony around the kitchen and an area near the lake with picnic tables and hammocks. Here, people would jam, play music, dance and drink almost every night. 😊 I met some really cool people here, one of which was Michael, who would turn out to be my travel buddy for most of my time on the east coast.
Near Byron Bay there is a mountain called Mount Warning. This is the most eastern mountain in the country, so if you climb it before sunrise, you can be the first to see the sun in all of Australia! Doesn't that sound like a nice adventure? Well an adventure it was. We got to the carpark at 8pm, ate the food we'd packed and took a nap in the car. We were planning on starting our hike around 2:30, but two hours before that these two Brazilian guys showed up. So we figured it would be nice to go with them, so we'd have two torches. The hike was quite nice and after forty minutes we already reached the half way point. But from then on the hike got harder, and the last 400 meters weren't even a hike anymore but a proper climb with a chain running across some really steep rocks. More than two hours after we left the carpark we were thrilled to get to the viewing platform at the top. This initial happiness soon wore off as we realized the sun wouldn't come up for another three hours... It was cold, foggy and there was a light drizzle, so those were obviously the best three hours of my life. NOT. Two and a half hours later other people started showing up, who had obviously planned their trip a lot better than us. Luckily the sunrise was actually really beautiful and momentarily cleared the fog. So we had a really nice view of the valley. But the fog soon returned, so it was time to make our way back down. After that we found a national park, where we set up the tent to take a little nap. Then we drove to the most hippy village in Oz: Nimbin. It's a cute little town with lots of hippy shops, an art gallery and a hemp embassy. We got offered weet about five times and even got an offer for mushrooms :p There was a nice campsite just off the main street, where we set up the tent, had a shower and made dinner. After dinner we walked back into town and found these two guys jamming in their garage, which they referred to as 'the shack'. By then we were pretty tired, so we went to bed nice and early. It had been an extremely eventful 24hours after all.
Luckily the rest of our trip wasn't nearly as exhausting. Every day we'd wake up, have brekky and look at the map to decide where we wanted to go that day. If we'd see a sign for a cool lookout or hike along the way, we'd go check it out. And if we felt like going to the beach, we'd turn into the first road that said beach access. That's basically how we spend three weeks driving up and down the east coast 😊
We've visited some pretty small towns like Gympie, Beerwah and Kilkivan. We also visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which was definitely one of the highlights of my trip so far. As you can imagine there were loads of koalas, which i think are hilarious animals. They're so slow and all they do is eat and sleep, ofter in the funniest positions. Besides the koalas there were loads of other aussie animals, like dingos, wombats, platypus, emus, snakes and kangaroos. We could even pet and feed the kangaroos and we touched a snake.
I've also seen some pretty crazy animals in the wild, like a spider that was bigger than my hand and a little tree snake. There are also loads of strange birds here, most of which make a LOT of noise.
Along the way we'd occasionally strike up a conversation with other campers and travellers, which is how we met some pretty interesting people.
At the campsite in Nimbin we met a guy that was some kind of guru. He strongly believed that a good diet and environment can make you a better person. We talked to him for quite a while and he ended up giving us two coconuts, half a papaya and half a custard apple. He told us that coconuts is the most nutritious food on the planet, but because governments don'tmake enough money off of them "they don't want you to know the powerof the coconut" Very interesting man.
In Surfers Paradise we met an aboriginal who told us about how he met his girlfriend. "I saw her on the beach, i walked up to her and i said: "You're my future wife." And she responded with: "Yes i am." " What a lovely story. They'd been together for five days, good for him.
That was it for my east coast adventure. I'm now in Tasmania for a week, then I'll have some more time in Melbourne. After that it is already time to go home! Two more weeks, and then that's it!
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