First off I hope you all had a great Christmas! (or whatever you celebrate) and Happy New Year!! 2019 is fully here and ready to go. This year I really want to get into my blogging a lot more and really focus on the content I'm going to be creating, so I hope you stick around to see my future posts!
Let's get into it! Byron Bay is a well-known beach town surrounded by hipster, surfer guys with a relaxed, laid back atmosphere. It was the perfect place to spend the holidays. BUT that's not where our adventure begins, we had to make a few pit stops along the way as we were travelling from Sydney, which means ROADTRIP BLOG POST!!!
24th December, 2018
We begin our adventure by picking up our vehicle of chose being a 4X4 Mitsubishi which was going to get us through this road trip. 2 of my friends were the main drivers, making my job official aux cable master and occasional napper :). Now we had location's we had to meet for hotels/motels but we decided if we saw something cool we would pull over and check it out. I'll also be listing the places we visited so you can check them out if you ever visit the area. It was an amazing road trip with so many fun activities along the way.
First stop was a beautiful beach called 'caves beach' which surprisingly had a lot of caves, who knew! It was also fun getting to explore the rock pools, which I feel is a very English thing to get excited about rock pools as our beaches aren't the best. As we explored the beach the sun started to set, creating a canvas over the sea of yellow's, orange and a hint of pink. The perfect end to day one! Until we last minute decided to attend a karaoke nightclub 10 minutes before it hit midnight and was officially Christmas, not going to lie I don't remember much of that evening, but I think there was a lot of singing old school Avril and numberous amounts of baileys were consumed, but when on Christmas Day!
25th December, 2018
Now we had quite a slow start on Christmas Day (as you can imagine) but when we finally woke up we had a very BIG breakfast, then went on to our next activity! So as we had no snow we decided to switch it out for sand, and that is how we ended up sand boarding (yes its a real thing!) such a fun experience and sand is 100% softer to fall on than snow.
After boarding we noticed a beach on the other side of the dune's, were we relaxed and washed off all the sand that had managed to get EVERYWHERE on our bodies. Again replacing snow with sand we decided to build a 'sandman' Elsa style! Christmas Day was a lazy one, and it was crazy to be sunbathing in the middle of December but also such a refreshing change for us all, breaking traditions and making so many new memories, I feel like everyone should experience a hot Christmas at least once. When we finished topping up our tan's we drove back to our hotel for an early night and were thrilled to notice the hotel had Netflix, so our early night turned into staying up to watch Ellen's stand up show, which was hilarious, defiantly worth investing your attention too.
26th December, 2018
For Boxing Day we headed to Port Macquarie home of more beautiful beaches and beautiful food! We had booked a table at 'The Stunned Mullet' a magnificent restaurant serving local seafood and very eye pleasing dessert's. Just across the road from the restaurant was a coastal walk surrounded by hand painted rocks and an all rounded skate park. As we took on the 2 hour coastal walk, trying to burn off all the delicious food we had just consumed, the view's of the walk continued to amaze us, the further and higher we walked the more perfect the town was looking, strolling back to the car we were yet again treated to another beach sunset. Port Macquarie is a very cute little town which we had a lot of fun exploring, all the little independent stores and food markets (MORE FOOD). Most of the beaches in Australia have these metal built in BBQ's set up around the beaches, so of course we had too take advantage of all the seafood on sale at the food markets, and in true Aussie spirit, we threw some 'Shrimps on the barbie' which we also learnt having a BBQ on Boxing Day is a bit of a tradition in Australia.
27th December, 2018
The day had finally arrived! Since being in Australia none of us had tried surfing, until this day. We set off to the gorgeous Coffs Harbour in the early hours, but again being the back seat passenger meant I was able to squeeze in a pre 'surf nap'. When my friends finally got me to wake up we were surrounded by your stereotypical super dudes/dudettes, everyone had sun kissed blonde wavy hair, travel tattoo's and had the bodies of greek god's, so we fit right in! (not). But everyone was very welcoming and super chilled. Before jumping in the water we had a quick talk about the rules of the waves, turns out the waves in Australia take NO PRISONERS and can be pretty savage, which one of my friend's learnt the hard way, lol, soz mate. Surfing was so much fun! And takes a lot of technique and skill to master, I was able to stand up but only for a couple of seconds before face palming the water. I have made it a challenge for me to be able to surf before I head back home to the UK. I'll keep you guys updated!
As we were talking to the local's at the surf school they were telling us about the 'Smokey Lighthouse', so we set off to find this lighthouse, and the views where amazing. We headed up the whiniest road IN THE WORLD!! It defiantly took us more time than we thought but it was all worth it, being able to look out the window and see miles upon miles of greenery with a blue fog floating around, then we'd take a turn and see the beach matched with pure white sand. As we reached the top to the lighthouse the sun was just setting and with the contrast of the innocent white lighthouse against the delicate pink's that filled the sky, it was something no camera would ever do justice (but hopefully I did a semi good job of capturing it).
28th December, 2018
We made it to Byron Bay! All of us fell in love with Byron Bay the minute we dropped our bags off at the Airbnb, the people, the town and the beach! Luckily the weather was perfect toughout our stay making everything look even more perfect with blue skies and the slight breeze. Since we were staying in Byron Bay for a couple of day's we decided to spend the first day just exploring the town, snooping the beautiful jewellery stores and of course eating our way around. Then in the afternoon we took an atheltic turn and tried kayaking. In the Byron Bay you can come across wild sea turtles and dolphins, which we were very lucky to see when we weren't sunbathing on the kayak's.
Then we ventured out to see what the nightlife was all about, and ended up dancing to a lot of early 00's music in flip-flops and beach wear. Once again I don't remember too much about that night, that's how you know it was a good one!
29th December, 2018
Time for the weed capital of Australia! Also known as Nimbin. We travelled just under an hour out of Byron Bay to the middle of no where, and ended up in the most authentic hippie towns in Oz. Welcomed by vegan food stools, handmade artwork, a huge rainbow house and an elder lady offering us questionable cookies! None of us wanted to leave Nimbin, I strongly recommend visiting, it was so different to any other town in Australia and filled with truly lovely people. As soon as we got back it was straight to the beach for us! And we all got a bit too competitive in game of volleyball which my team did win, just thought I'd mention it.
30th December, 2018
Another amazing morning in Byron Bay, the sun was out and 2018 was getting closer and closer to ending, we decided to visit 'Crystal Castle' which is a spiritual retreat based way up in the tree's. We learnt about Buddhism and were able to participate in our first medicating session, which I may or may not have fallen asleep in. I have never visited a retreat like this but it was so much fun learning about Crystals and all the different meanings, seeing the history behind Buddhism was a really refreshing was to get ready for the new year, forgiving the past and taking a moment to be grateful for all the good things in our lives.
Surprise surprise we ended up at the beach again! And hired some surfboards to work on our 'skills', since I'm now reinventing myself as a surfer girl (takes one lesson now thinks she's the next Stephanie Gilmore). Then we realised it was getting later and later until it hit 10pm and we hadn't eaten dinner, so BBQ it was! We must have been feeling pretty adventurous as we bought Kangaroo steaks, which none of us had ever tired let alone attempt to cook, it tasted 'interesting' to say the least. The food was followed by a chilled night in of more drinking and competitive card games, which I wasn't too successful in, I guess I had to let them win something, lol.
31st December, 2018
HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE!!!
The last day of 2018 and probably the laziest day of 2018, we woke up in the afternoon and just chilled out the entire time at the beach (saving our energy for the evening). Doing some gentle rock pooling and swimming out to say hi to the dolphins again. Most of the daytime was spent waiting for the party to get started!
The clubbing strip of Byron Bay was completely closed off and we had a massive street party with live music, drink stands and everyone was dressed straight from the beach! The people of Byron Bay are the most fun, free spirited, care free, relaxed people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, my friends and I had never felt more at home whilst being so far away from home.
After the countdown we started 2019 strong! And hit up every club on the strip, we also decided to find out which bar did the best cocktails, turn's out 'The Sticky Wicket' was the winner! It was an amazing night all round, but a bittersweet moment knowing that it was our last night to listening to these street artists, eating locally sourced seafood and watching the sunsets on the beautiful beach.
1st January, 2019
We drove back to Sydney and cried the whole way back :( The end.
Have an amazing 2019 guy's! I hope it bring's you happiness, health success and all the other good things. I'm super excited for this new chapter in my life (sorry for how cheesy that sounds) But very true! Be sure to follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/IzzyDriscoll and over on Instagram were I post all my travel photo's: https://www.instagram.com/moretoexplore.co/ Let me know what you thought of this post by commenting below! And remember to never stop exploring, especially going into the New Year!!