Week 4 in Australia has come around quickly! The first half would be spent on the Gold Coast before crossing the border from Queensland back to New South Wales. The start and end points being a good 585 km apart!
Our first stop was in Noosa. The highest point up the East coast of Australia that I will be visiting while my dad is here. We arrived in torrential rain, ‘Sunshine Coast’ at it’s finest.
Luckily we woke up to the sun shining, so quickly set off to explore.
In a nutshell Noosa is basically an upmarket, popular family resort but with a massive surfing culture. The main draw is the National Park which has a gorgeous walk with the coast line on one side of the path and the bush on the other. The views are just perfect the whole way along. Before setting off we had breakfast on the beach and then got our walking flip flops on.
The coastal walk was full of little visual delights such as these…
We were constantly being passed by surfers trotting up and down the paths to get to different beaches. I honestly don’t understand how they toddle around with no shoes on. It blows my mind and hurts my feet just thinking about that barefoot life. Plus, why is no-one worried about verrucas?!
Anyway, Noosa is gorgeous and there are millions of food places to keep everyone happy, boutique shops for having a nosey in and then obviously the beach! With boats, paddle boards, surf lessons, little kids doing life saving club even if you don’t want to get involved you can happily watch from the side.
Next stop … Gold Coast
Our next stop off was Coolangatta on the Gold Coast. We planned to stay in Surfers Paradise but my friend who lives on that patch of the East Coast recommended we went a little further south. Wanting to see Surfers Paradise we stopped for lunch and it was a pretty strange vibe. Really, really tall tower blocks everywhere which I just didn’t expect near the beach.
When we arrived in Coolangatta we could actually see the patch of tower blocks that make up Surfers Paradise in the distance across the bay, I was glad we had stayed elsewhere.
The added bonus of staying in Coolangatta is without realising it we had booked a hotel 5 minutes from where the WSL Quicksilver Pro was being held! Lucky for my dad, as he got dragged there at 8:30am to watch what was going on. I was very excited and feeling very lucky, I managed to watch another pro surf competition when I was in Bali years ago and didn’t think I’d get the chance again.
I’m a total surfing fan girl, so while I am shit myself, I love to watch others surfing, especially the best in the world!
Next Gold Coast stop was a quick lunch with my friend Candi. She’s another Brit trying to be an Aussie and has been here for a couple of years now. It was so nice to see her but way too brief. I already have another trip to the Gold Coast up my sleeve to see her for longer.
I Found Heaven!
We drove from the Gold Coast and the next stop was the all mighty Byron Beach! Now, if I was shocked at the barefoot living in Noosa, Byron really took it up a notch.
It was everything I dreamt of when thinking of my imaginary life in Australia! I have never seen so many surfers in one place, the sun was shining, the beach was long and so clean! I honestly loved every second. Except the morning after dad and I drank 3 bottles of wine and my hangover almost killed me. Those seconds, I could do without.
I am going to do a more detailed post on Byron very soon, but mark my words … I’LL BE BACK!
Finally, back to Nambucca
Nambucca Heads is a small town, not on the tourist map. But for us, it’s a no brainer of a stop because it is home to my uncle and Juliet. Who very kindly put a roof over our heads and played tour guide. We stopped in the local Wooly’s on the way to stock up on passionfruit to feed my addiction to find they were sold out. I was in a right grump. Only to find out that Juliet, my knight with a shining fruit bowl, had actually gone there earlier and nabbed the last bag for me! YAAAAAS! Grump over it was time to walk the dog on the beach.
Not a bad Friday night!
Nambucca Heads is close (in Australian terms) to Coffs Harbour, which is a tourist spot on the East Coast road trip route so we took a day trip there on Saturday.
Lots of walking, lunching, and bird spotting. Not a joke, we went to ‘Mutton Bird Island’ which is by the actual harbour of Coffs Harbour and it’s all about the birds over there! I also discovered my new favourite artist, Jeffrey Baker. His work is so beachy, bright and colourful. I.AM.OBSESSED!
Sunday was boiling us all alive so we headed to the hills to find shade. Dorringo National park was calling our names. An epic view over the towns and right out to the coast, a walk through the rainforest and a brush with death when coming across my first Australian snake. Luckily, it was the size of a worm, plain black which apparently isn’t deadly, and it ignored us and slithered past. But it could have been a very different story! The afternoon was spent waterfall chasing at Dangar Falls. All in all, a pretty bloody good weekend!
If you didn’t already know, I have been doing something new and writing weekly diary updates for my time in Australia. This is number 4, but you can find my first 3 weeks of adventures below:
Heading from Nambucca to Brisbane to get 6 Renshaw’s together at once!
Witnessing the mind blowing magic of Uluru during week 2
And what seems like to long ago now, arriving in Perth back in Febuary!