Day 64


Byron Bay



What We Did:

Byron Bay has been jammed all weekend, and the kids wanna riot. This morning we drove through the town (well, crawled in festival traffic is more accurate) and headed to see our friends at Discovery Parks. Raquel has been asking to drive a trike since we visited Discovery in the Barossa, and who are we to deny her? Steering while Dad pedalled, we explored the busy park, checking out the deluxe safari tents, caravans, dodging kids on bikes and braking hard at the jumping pillow of course. The swimming pool was a perfect temperature but it took some convincing to get Raquel into the waterpark. Of course once she tried the big slide she had to do it again and again. Poor Gali, Dad took him into the waterpark with some resistance. He just started smiling when the Byron Barrel, a huge barrel of water unleashed its load right above them and soaked them.  Gali didn’t see the humour of the situation. The kids could have stayed all day, especially with all the other kids about, but there’s much to do in Byron Bay. We headed into town for lunch, and Raquel was very proud to drag Dad into the Collins bookstore to see if they had Dad’s Global Bucket List book, which they did! Then Dad and Raquel bumped into Michael Franti, in town for the Blues Fest, and he complimented Raquel on her curls. Dad was too starstruck to get a photo. Both kids needed some quiet time back home – we listened to Michael Franti  in the car – and Dad needed to jump on a sea kayak. A heavy tropical storm gave the palm trees and beaches a soaking but quickly passed. Late afternoon we headed to Cape Byron State Conservation Area. We planned to walk the 3.7km Cape Byron track and then realized it’s a very steep hill. So we drove to the lighthouse but parking is very limited and being Easter Monday there were a lot of cars. Dad dropped everyone off and did a few circuits up and down the hill and was just about to give up when a rockstar parking opened up. This allowed us to watch a sensational sunset and explore some of the pathways around the famous 19th century lighthouse, which has the brightest light of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Raquel walked to the very eastern point of Australia, and I told her that when we were in Shark Bay, she was at the most westerly point too. Looking over Byron Bay, the tropical forest and surfers bobbing off Tallow Beach, it’s easy to see why so many people we’ve met think Byron Bay is the best spot in the country. We drove home under a big yellow moon for a late dinner.

What We Ate:

Lunch: Sushi rolls, miso soup, edamame and chicken karage

Dinner: Carne asada with roast potatoes, balsamic eggplant, sweet beets and quinoa.

Where We Ate:

Lunch: Izumi Japanese Takeaway

Dinner:  At home

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

Unlike other Air Bnb’s we’ve stayed in, which definitely felt like rental-income properties, we’re staying in a family’s home who happen to be away for the long weekend. They’ve collected lots of toys and books for their two young kids, and our two kids are certainly appreciating it. It’s going to be hard for Gali to leave behind  all these toy animals, and for Raquel the Australian classic kids books which she reads for hours.

We Learned:

There’s a few too many unnerving crosses on the side of the road from Lennox Head to Byron Bay. It’s not the best time to visit Byron Bay over Easter long weekend, and if you chose to camp at Bluesfest, that rain must have sucked. We learned that Gali says “cock” when he sees a truck, and “akul” for stars. We learned that clothing stores in Byron Bay are expensive. That Go Pro don’t make little clip parts anymore to replace broken little clip parts, and disposable technology is gross. That it’s a tough job being the parking attendant at Cape Byron Lighthouse when 100 cars are trying to park in 10 spots. We learned that if you’re getting seasick on a kayak, dip your hat or head in the water. We learned the Tao of Dougie: Look after Nature and it will Look after You. We learned to check how full the water barrel is before you stand beneath it. We learned that next time you bump into Michael Franti, ask him if you can get a photo. We learned that Byron Bay was originally used in the 19th century as a major centre for the slaughter of whales, pigs and cows. These days, with tourism the number one driver of income, it makes a killing on backpackers, yoga, organic hippies, surfers and celebrities.

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Going down the big slide at the Discovery waterpark, and  scoring a rock star parking, getting ice cream and watching the sunset at Cape Byron Lighthouse.

The Worst Part:

Gali cut his thumb and was freaked out about putting on a band-aid.

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: Troy
  • Favourite Place: The Northern Territory
  • I Love Travel Because: of the different people, foods and landscape , and because it helps me appreciate home more
  • My Advice for Kids: Slow life down and appreciate it, and enjoy school
  • Name: Jodie
  • Favourite Place: Palm Beach in New South Wales
  • I Love Travel Because: I like to lose track of the time, and you have time to stop and look at the sky
  • My Advice for Kids: Always be kind, you never know what people are going through
  • Name: Luke
  • Favourite Place: Wollongong, NSW
  • I Love Travel Because: it brings me happiness
  • My Advice for Kids: Stay smiling and keep travelling

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

Dad saw a book once that illustrated the various ways a baby co-sleeps with their parents. Bear in mind, we do not want to co-sleep. Hell, we would gladly drop off Raquel in another town at night if it would mean a good night’s sleep. Yet, like Lassie, she will find always her way home and into our bed before midnight. Then she will proceed to position her body in such a way that a: both Mom and Dad get kicked at least once in the face b: both Mom and Dad get kicked at least once in the genitals c: both Mom and Dad get ninja kicked in the back, simultaneously. Raquel sleeps like an angel through it all. Dad’s strategy of barricading himself with pillows is a good effort, but, like a Mexican drug lord, Raquel digs a tunnel under the mattress and somehow emerges on the other side, ready to kick Dad over to the last inch of mattress. Mom’s strategy of having Raquel nap during the day to avoid meltdowns lasted as long as it took Raquel to scream “NO!” at the top of her lungs. So much for that. Gali slept through the night because we took Raquel out of his room. One day, I swear, she will understand what she’s doing to us at night. Much like we now understand what we did to our parents.

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