Travels and Tours Australia – Day 15: Byron Bay New South Wales

Travels and Tours Australia - Day 15: Byron Bay New South Wales

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I make the most of having a 10 am check-out time and have my first real lie-in of the trip. It feels good to have a day without any hurry, with only Byron Bay to tick off the list, I indulge in a hearty breakfast and pack up the campervan, say my goodbyes and hit the road. Byron Bay is only a short drive from Southport and it is just before lunchtime when I hit the very busy tourist point. However, I decided to keep my visit brief.

Though I had allocated a day in Byron, I am underwhelmed by the beach and the setting. Perhaps as a result of being spoilt by the beautiful beaches of Queensland, Byron Bay is seemingly insignificant. Overcrowded in comparison to Surfer’s Paradise, I give it only a little time and hit the road. In retrospect, my judgment was made too quickly and upon speaking to others, it was clearly worth exploration, but I overlooked the opportunity and before I knew it I was pulled up just south, somewhere between Byron and Ballina picnicking. Having taken time to picnic at leisure, I continue at an equally slow pace to Ballina, which once again I choose to bypass.

Perhaps the time on the road is taking its toll and my attention span is low. I have already noticed signs for Sydney and I am excited to hit the city. However, I decided that I will stop as and where I see fit, but otherwise just spend the day making good ground. Along the way, I pass several beaches and small dwellings, but the first that really makes an impression if the Big Banana at Coff’s Harbour. Easily one of Australia’s most famous big fruits, I tick it off my list, take a picture and continue along the way.

With the time flying by regardless of my insistence to sit behind the wheel and spend a day without distraction, I find that I have to call it quits just past Port Macquarie. I check the guide for a rest stop and spot one at Taree, I nearly miss my turning but pull over in time and land in a small, sweet town and find it difficult to spot a rest stop. In the end, I opt for what looks like a picnic site. I decided that given the late hour and my unusual stopping point that I will simply sleep and go first thing. I make a pot noodle for ease, eat up and sleep.

It has been an uneventful day, but in lots of ways, after the thrills of the Gold Coast, it is just what I craved. I realise upon finally stopping, that I had missed being behind the wheel and was longing for the NT, my reluctance to enjoy the day’s stopping points had been bred purely out of a wanting to be behind the wheel.

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