Tag Archives: Byron Bay

Newcastle, Byron Bay and Nimbin

It’s better now but while I was making my way north through New South Wales the weather has been pretty bad.

From Sydney I went north to Newcastle. I got there early to take advantage of the free hostel BBQ and the weather wasn’t too pretty good for the evening…

That was a good night – I met Bryan who was on the Bridge Climb in Sydney in my hostel and we ended up playing pool with a bamboo stick and diving into the sea at midnight with a girl from Germany. Good times… not to last though.

Friday rained. A lot. I had soup on me so cooked that for lunch (not without one of the flies in the hostel kitchen jumping into the saucepan though) and made it out to the southern breakwater via Fort Stanley and the lighthouse. The fort in particular had something about it but simply wasn’t that enjoyable in the rain. Walking on the breakwater was the same – though some of the waves were worth seeing.

Saturday was better – no rain. But no sun either. I crossed the river to have a look at the beach and the other breakwater (massive difference between the 2) and found the ocean museum. But the Skytower was closed so the views weren’t brilliant (though I managed to get up there Thursday night).

Basically, Newcastle isn’t a bad place but for me it’s somewhere that’s easy to skip through (and definitely not an essential stopping point).

It worked out reasonably well though – I booked the overnight bus for the extra day in Newcastle and got to Byron Bay at 7am – the right decision in hindsight. Since the hostel bed wasn’t available until 11am I went to the beach with 2 German girls I met on the bus the night before – the timing in particular worked out, as it started raining as we went for breakfast…

It didn’t last long though and the monthly market was on too, so I went there for an hour – nothing particularly good to buy (not that I could have carried it anyway) but I did have sugar cane juice – probably not something I’ll have again…

From there I got a lift to the airport to skydive – something I hadn’t planned on doing in Australia but since mentioned to me in Alice it’s something I half planned on doing if the opportunity was right. Jumping on Sunday was the right decision – good weather and it allowed me to go to Nimbin on Monday…

The skydive itself was brilliant – unlike anything I’ve tried before or since and it will definitely be one of the highlights of my time in Australia. I paid extra for the video – I’ll post it online when I can, probably when I get back home though…

I had enough time to borrow a bike and go up to the lighthouse – it marks Australia’s most Easterly point. Some pretty good views, though again the weather was obviously going to get worse…

We still had enough time to have a game of poker in the hostel. Naturally I didn’t win – having started with 4,500 chips, I had 7,000+ at one point but lost a 2 pair I made on the flop to a flush made on the river and lost over 5,000 chips. I couldn’t recover from that.

I went to Nimbin on Monday – hippie central where the locals are very happy to offer drugs on the street. It’s in a bit of a timewarp – the whole place has a very 1960’s feel. Definitely somewhere to see once…

It still rained a lot whilst we were there but it wasn’t too bad – it’s obvious though that northern NSW gets far more rain that most of Australia…

From there I got the bus to Brisbane, where I am now. I’m heading off to the Gold Coast today until Tuesday before coming back to get the flight to Melbourne on Wednesday morning. More soon….