A much beter bet than Byron.

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Sep 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
The Brunswick Hotel

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We had headed to Byron Bay to do some diving on a tip off from an Aussie called Liam we had met in Fiji. We hadn't quite known what to expect of the town. I think you could quite safely describe it as a party town for the young and half naked. All the hostels and motels were considerably more expensive than we could afford. The dive shop we had signed up to mentioned it might be worth heading a further 20km up the coast to Brunswick Heads.

What a great tip! This was one of our favourite stops. We stayed at the Brunswick Hotel which was more of a traditional pub and restaurant with a few rooms upstairs (massive beer garden too). The building must have been old by Oz standards but was excellently maintained.

It was a nice relaxed village and only a short walk and you were at the beach, though much to Em's disappointment the waves were to big for her to play in. It was obviously a popular spot with the surfers though and it was nice to sit and chill out watching them for a bit.

That evening I had a quintessential Aussie experience when I met Muffy the giant huntsman spider in the gents. I have never seen anything quite like this in the wild, he must have been around 18 cm and very hairy (I have now read they can grow to around 26 cm). Emma wanted to terrify herself by coming for a look at it which resulted in a sleepless night for silly Em. Managed to get a couple of good snaps of Muffy though.

The next day we headed back down the coast to Byron Bay to swim with the fishes. It was just a small boat that took us out to a site called Julian Rocks, 2.5 km off the coast. Due to the size of the boat it was the first time I'd had to roll backwards off the side which was fun. Emma was not happy with me for diving without her. An ear problem that had developed diving in Fiji had meant she was forced to stay on the surface. Still she managed to see all of the marine life snorkelling which was pretty spectacular and included leopard sharks, eagle rays and turtles to mention a few. At one point a loggerhead turtle swam right across the front of me, less than a meter away and just as though I wasn't there. 

On the news that night it looked fairly certain that a cyclone was going to come a shore somewhere between us and our end destination of Cairns 2000km to the north. In the next 48 hours no less. We decided to set off the next morning for a long drive rather than risk not getting the hire car back in time. The roads we were going to be on have a habit of getting washed out for days when cyclones hit.

I was loving the drama.
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