Australia (Part 4) – Gold Coast & Byron Bay
We then decided to go all the way straight to the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast is located a bit less than 100km south of Brisbane, long of approximately 50km, it’s on the border of Queensland and New South Wales.
Known mainly for its beaches and good waves (every year the Gold Coast hosts one leg of the ASP World Tour of surfing), it’s a very touristic region.
Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast’s most popular destination with its high-rise buildings in front of the beach in a small Miami kind-of-way.
We spent our evening there, walked a bit through the waterfront night market and in the busy streets of the city, enjoyed the best pizza in the world in front of the sea, but the difference between what we had just experienced that same morning on the beach of Cape Hillsborough was too big and that « big city life » aspect wasn’t really what we were looking for so we took the road again to Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is located 200km south of Brisbane.
‘Cape Byron’, its famous lighthouse is the most easterly point of Australia.
To witness the sunrise from there is a must do. It offers a spectacular panoramic view of the ocean as far as one can see.
The atmosphere was so relaxed with its hip vibes and laid back surfer culture. It’s really nice to wander around all those nice little boutiques and beautiful cafes.
We loved this city immediately and decided to stay there a few days.
While we were there, we decided to try a surf class and the experience was unbelievable !
It’s in Lennox Head, small town south of Byron that the instructor took us for the class. According to him, it was « The Best Conditions EVER ! »
Indeed, we had the most extraordinary experience: we surfed with wild dolphins! We were sharing the same waves, while we were trying to manage our board, they were jumping and fooling around next to us.
To sum up: We LOVED it, the surf procures a lot of great sensations but is also very hard. After our 4 hours lesson, we were exhausted.
Because we were there for a few days, we also took the time to visit Byron Bay’s surroundings.
It’s on our way to Nimbin, that we made a stop in the Nightcap National Park to see the Mynion Falls.
After a 1h30 walk in which we met two snakes on our way (one deadly, the other not), we finally arrived at the base of that impressive 100 meter tall fall.
Despite our fear for the snakes, we enjoyed the bushwalk. We came back sweating but happy.
That small hippie village is famous for its cannabis counterculture, weird boutiques and its colorful facades with psychedelic paintings.
Officially, marijuana is illegal in Nimbin as well as in the rest of Australia. However, cannabis is openly bought, sold and consumed there.
Unfortunately, since the 2014 fire that destroyed its museum, the attractiveness of the city is limited to its facades, boutiques and a few cafes. The city being very small, the tour is quicky done. The experience was fun though.
After 3 days in Byron Bay, we headed back north to Brisbane.
On the road, we decided to make a stop in the small coastal city of Kingscliff for a couple of hours.
The air was pure, peaceful and it’s with pelicans that we went for a last swim.
Our last stop before Brisbane was in Coolangatta, the southernmost suburb of the Gold Coast and of Queensland.
The city is quite and has a lovely esplanade which made it more and more popular over the years.
We were lucky enough to witness a beautiful sunset view over Surfers Paradise.
We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our magical roadtrip!