Day One 151 to 154 – (1st – 4th Feb) Sydney to Brisbane

3 03 2011

Jennie looking a little too 'at home' on a camp site!

A long weekend was never going to be enough time for Sydney, but unfortunately we had to leave. Jen, Zeid and I were taking the coastal road north to Brissy. We headed north out of town and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For most of the afternoon it was dull dual carriageway until we made our turnoff for Seal Rocks at Bulahdelah. It was in this very quiet small town we decided to fill up with fuel and food. It was here I confirmed my doubts about Australia.

On a completely empty road in a dead town with little or nothing going for it I decided to park. As per usual I reversed into the unmarked spaces outside the minimart, reversing in makes for a speedy exit. Once parked, I then noticed the sign that informs motorist they should park nose to the curb… I re-park. I then read to the bottom of the sign, which goes on to inform the motorist they should also park their car 60 degrees to kerb!

Because of the endless parking and re-parking we arrived at our camp site at Seal rocks in the dark and in our haste chose a rubbish site for our tents. Firstly, the ground was harder than concrete, you needed a diamond headed drill to make a hole in the ground. Unfortunately all we had was a saucepan. This resulted in us ruining a perfectly good saucepan, bending tent pegs and waking up half the camp site. The second reason this was a rubbish spot was due it being fully exposed to the strong winds blowing in from the sea and shaking the tent all night.

In the morning we explored the beaches and lighthouse around seal rock, stumbling upon a stunning almost completely private beach. Here we body boarded, flew the kite and threw the aerobee. What more could you ask for..? From here we drove through Myall Lakes National Park, stopping for lunch at an unbelievably beautiful lake. Fine, white sands and warm still clear shallow water that went out for over a hundred metres – a great and opportunistic lunch stop.

That night we stayed in this hippy commune come surf school place, where instead of sleeping in a room you got an oven – it was about a million degrees in there. We couldn’t open the door for mosquitos and the fan was as effective as cocktail umbrella in a cyclone. I had to resort to the old wet towel trick.

While being fairly touristy, Byron Bay was a big hit with all three of us. The great seaside camp site we were spending two nights in went a long way to making us feel this way. Here we had breakfast and evening BBQ’s overlooking the picture postcard beach. During the day we messed about on the beach, sunbathed and got beat up by the monster waves that were pounding the beach, due to tropical cyclone Yasi that passed 1000km north.

We were sad to leave Byron Bay (with cuts and grazes), but had a great drive north along the coast through Tweed Heads, Surfer’s Paradise and several other coastal towns.

Indigenous Australians – I was shocked to learn how low the Indigenous population was in Australia and how uncelebrated this side of the countries history appears. Where New Zealand embraces its Maori ancestry, with the Haka in rugby or famous Maoris selling you stuff on telly, Australia in contrast, seems to sweep its Indigenous population under the carpet. But, to be fair less than 3% of Australia’s population is described as ‘Indigenous’, compared with New Zealand’s healthier 15% Maori population. Furthermore, a lot of those 3% live in higher concentrations in the hotter north and dryer inland. We have only seen three Indigenous Australians so far and one of those was busking on the street. Similarly to Americans, Australians often like to tell you their Anglo ancestry; great grandfather was Irish and all that; however across the Tasman Kiwis are claming to have some Maori blood in them.





2 responses

16 03 2011

for the love of God, which part of please don’t post any of my pics did you not understand 🙂

Hope you’re doing well – remember to contact me if you have any questions about SE Asia – it can come in handy!

22 03 2011

Oh, we have more pictures.. 😉

Will be in touch about SE Asia

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