We woke up on the 7th and leisurely made our way to breakky (breakfast) into the little area of the Sunshine Coast we had stayed in, Maroochydore (just an hour and a half north of Brisbane). After a busy two days of driving and day tour, we were ready to slow down a bit, settle in for a couple of days somewhere, and just take our time doing…whatever.
While we had to do a few “technical” things while driving through Brisbane, like return the rental, coordinate getting our car back from some friends’ parents who let us leave it at their house for safe keeping, we did do a few touristy things.
The friend’s sister (of the parents whom we left our car with) has a bar in Brisbane down an alley. It’s not that weird here, I promise.
We also took them by the colorful Brisbane sign, near the ferris wheel, and on the quick ferry up the river.
We ended that day another hour and a half south, in Ocean Shores, near the Gold Coast and just about 20 minutes north of Byron Bay. Remember how once upon a time I said that Byron Bay was super busy and like the Vail of surf towns? And remember how I said that “we” didn’t want to overplan anything, but just see where we ended up each day or two? Yeah, that’s why we stayed 20 minutes away. And it actually wasn’t that bad!
When we had checked into our budget hotel, I did some scouring of surf lessons in Byron Bay, for Tia and Jason, the next day, and booked them in for a half day lesson. Nick and I have already surfed, so while we would have loved to have another go, we didn’t feel the strongest need take part. We had some brekky and decided to follow them and just take photos.
We think they had a lot of fun and are hoping it was one of their favorite days!
That afternoon we spent the day wandering around Byron Bay. Although it’s extremely touristy, there is a lot to see and do there, with plenty of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. We even met up with some friends we know from Canberra who happened to be driving a very similar route to us. They had started a few days prior, in December, and we always seemed to be a few days behind them.
On the 9th, we drove nearly 5 hours to Cresent Head for lunch and relaxing on the beach.
Another hour south, and we were back in Port Macquarie for a quick dinner and sleep.
It was here that we had to make a decision about where to do next. We could either head down to Canberra (7 hours), spend a day or two, and show Tia and Jason where we live, then head up to Sydney a day before their departure so they could take in that city; OR we could stop in Sydney and remain there until the departure flight on the 13th. Nick and I didn’t mind one way or the other, but they wanted to see where we lived, so we spent all of the 10th in the car driving to Canberra. We made it home in time to stop by the markets for some dinner ingredients.
7 January to 10 January
This Stretch- ~1516km/942m-I am including all of the back and forth between Ocean Shores, Byron Bay, and Lennox Head, as it is significant enough.