January Travels *North NSW + QLD*

Mid-January, Sydney was going through a cold and rainy spell, as you all may know. One dreary Monday morning was all it took for me decide a road trip was in order. I packed bags for Si and I, he ran around in the morning finishing off a few bits and I made sure that Dani & Russ could look after the cat for the week and then off we headed, with the airbed, tents, camera gear and a couple of bags!

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We made it to Corinidi Beach, north of Coffs, by the time we had extricated ourselves from Sydney traffic & were thoroughly exhausted. Setting up camp for the night in the car was the only option, so we inflated the air bed in the back of the Santa Fe, kicked open the boot and had an amazing snooze, waking at sunrise. The sunrise was pretty average and obscured by thick clouds, so we headed straight up to Byron, to spend the day biking around town, seeing the most easterly point of Australia mainland up near the lighthouse and of course, finding a campsite that wasn’t completely full! Naturally we went shooting at sunset, found tacos for dinner & I managed to get Si white girl wasted.

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Waking early for sunrise is pretty much a camping ritual.. we had been sleeping on an air bed in the back of the Santa Fe with the boot open, looking at the stars, which was amazing… however the cold night air always makes me a bit sick in the morning, so powered through the sniffles to make another beach day of Byron. We had a stroll around, a power brekkie at Bayleaf (it was OUTSTANDING, highly recommend) headed down to the Pass for a surf and a sunbake and that was our day! Went to the Balcony for dinner and I would have to say the price was way steeper than the value - our meals were literally doused in so much butter we couldn’t finish.

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The next morning we woke up and drove up to a little cafe near Tweed and then to Dreamtime beach. The beach was empty except for 4 others - two teenage girls and a couple, who we found out later was on a first date. The conditions were treacherous - I’m a good swimmer and I wouldn’t have waded into that water for anything. We watched the couple wade into the water for a swim and quickly get separated; before we knew what was happening, the boy was swept up a wave and sucked around the headland. Si ran up to try and keep eyes on him, called triple 000 and we all kind of waited around tensely until the paramedics and police arrived. They actually ended up rescuing a lone swimmer who was sucked out to sea by coincidence of this boy being sucked out at the same time - luckily after a torturous 45 minutes, the medics received word that both boys had been rescued, were breathing, and being taken to the hospital. We were all literally so shaken up, said goodbyes and immediately left, headed to Burleigh Heads, wanting to get as far away from that beach as possible. I had never seen anything so up close and personal - it was SO intense and SO upsetting. We were so scared that this guy was not going to make it and the poor girl was in hysterics. We kept up with the news to check on his condition.

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We spent the next few days up on the Gold Coast, bouncing between Burleigh, Currumbin and Tweed, soaking up some rays, lounging around, exploring and relaxing. It was so beautiful and sunsets were always amazing, the vibe was incredible and we didn’t want to leave. After a few days we decided to make our way home via Yamba for dinner, and camped at Nambucca Heads as a halfway point, waking early to get to Seal Rocks to spend a few hours checking it out. What a spot! You wouldn’t even think this place was a couple hours from Sydney - the water colours reminded me of Nusa Cenigan’s Blue Lagoon. Kids were backflipping off the rocks into the aqua waters, there were small waves, and no current (perfect swimming conditions considering the situation we had just been exposed to!). We spent a few hours there, and headed back home mid afternoon.

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This trip was the epitome of “just do it” and we are lucky that we had the means to go camping and drive to do it cheaply and see so many gorgeous new spots. So January 2018, we have ticked off 6 new spots that we properly spent time in - 12+ spots in 12 months going well so far!

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-Seal Rocks

-Byron Bay

-Burleigh Heads

-Currumbin

-Nambucca Heads

-Fingal Bay