After 6 very pleasant and relaxing days in the luxury flat in Noosa, we carried on our journey south, with a mandatory stop at Byron Bay, in the far north east of New South Wales.
The weather wasn’t so kind to us here and it started feeling more like autumn, even if it still was the Australian winter, with storms brewing over our heads and, needing our water-proof jackets for the first time in this holiday, but still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts.
The most memorable event of our stay here has to be Planet Mars shining very bright and red in the night sky, making it very hard to take your eyes off it, as we’d never seen a planet so close to Earth and so clear to see to the naked eye, almost like an illusion.
Another happy memory of Byron Bay was the surfing competition taking place during our stay, which made us even more determined to learn this energetic and graceful sport. It was just wonderful to see people of all ages taking part in the rain, not put off at all by the inclemencies of the weather. That’s certainly the spirit!
We only stopped at Byron Bay for a couple of days on a campsite on the cliff top with amazing views of the Bay itself before we continued further south, stopping next at Nambucca Heads, a coastal holiday and retirement centre, very peaceful and quiet this time of year. As we were just making quick stopovers heading back to Sydney to return our hired motorhome, we only spent a day here, enjoying the walk on the pier – with its painted rocks at its head with lots of messages written on them from people all over the world – and the tranquil lake by the campsite, with pelicans swimming in it.
Our next stop would be Hillsborough National Park, on the Whitsunday Coast, before having to part with what had been our home for 4 weeks. Once again, we enjoyed lovely peaceful walks in the wilderness and the sun came back to greet us on our final couples of days before returning to Sydney. We remember meeting a British ex-pat walking her parakeet on the otherwise deserted beach – only in Australia – and how she complained she was feeling cold, even though it was 25 ºC. She had obviously acclimatized to this sub-tropical weather and what to us was a warm summer’s day, to her it felt cold. Strange things you remember nearly 9 years later.
We still had 5 days left to visit friends in Canberra, but returning the RV felt very much like the end of the most wonderful holidays we ever had and our hearts felt heavy and loath to leave such a marvellous land.