And finally, we were starting to get into the tropics.We set up our home for the next few days at a little campsite just outside of the town of Byron Bay, excited to have access to showers and a kitchen.
Upon exploring the site we found some of our fellow visitors to be a bit shy.
The weather was a bit questionable, cool and threatening rain. Not my preferred swimming weather, but great for wandering the town and beach.
Byron Bay is everything you could want in a surf town. It is probably for the best that we didn’t stay more than a few days, or that the weather and a brutal head cold didn’t let me experience it to the fullest.
Otherwise I expect I would still be there, working at a little cafe and trying to be the ultimate beach bum.
We reluctantly left Byron as the weather was starting to turn around, to our dismay. Next up was a night spent in Brisbane, in a real bed, and another new state!
After spending two days enviously watching surfers do their thing, we had to try it for ourselves. A pit stop at Surfer’s Paradise was necessary.
The water was a bit intense for first-time lessons, all of the classes for younger children had been cancelled for the day for safety. At least the water wasn’t flat.
I spent a lot of time doing this:
Eventually I did get up, a few times. I can see why people devote their life to this sport, the feeling is pretty magical. This will not be my last surfing adventure.
Just a few hours in the water left us exhausted and hungrier than I have ever felt, and so wandering the strip had to wait until we found food.
Feeling better after the best sleep we’d had so far, it was another big day of driving ahead. With a stop at Australia Zoo of course. I had been watching Zoo Diaries since I was a kid, there was no way we were passing this place by.
We had missed Terri’s show by about an hour, unfortunately. But there was still plenty to look at. I do love a good zoo.
There were American Alligators, which I absolutely did not think got that big.
And momma koalas.
And their baby bears too.
An odd couple.
The paths were scattered with these fat little guys.
The cranes were quite shy.
And the world’s biggest house cat out for his daily constitutional. This guy was doing what he want, where he wanted. Including flopping down in the middle of a busy path and staring us down.
This little guy was not shy at all. It went absolutely nuts, calling at us for a solid three minutes. I thought we broke it. And then the other kookaburras in the enclosure and even the wild ones within earshot joined in for a while as well. Kookaburra chaos.
Lastly, I was surprised to see a Komodo Dragon just hanging out, looking like a dinosaur.
I was even more surprised that something so willing to eat people was only being stopped by a sheet of glass.
The rest of the day was a big long drive north tho Hervery Bay. There was a big ol’ sand island with our name on it.