07 Sep All the Way to the Eastern Tip
After “chickening out” on the trip to the northern “tip” (Australia’s Cape York Peninsula), nothing was going to stop us reaching the eastern extremity (Cape Byron). Except, maybe, a wrong turn…..?
We arrived in Byron Bay on “Beachside Market Day”. The town was busy and traffic was sloooow. We didn’t know exactly how to get to our destination at Clarkes Beach caravan park and our “Sat Nav” couldn’t pinpoint the exact location.
Then a “Clarkes Beach” sign appeared and we assumed an immediate left turn was needed. Whoops, we were stuck, with towbar scrapping on a wide concrete path to nowhere, and half the caravan still out on the road blocking one lane.
Maggie jumped out and began directing traffic so I could reverse out, to the tune of metal still scrapping on concrete. And with a large number of impatient eyes burning contempt deep into my already damaged psyche, I slumped into an embarrassed heap.
Minutes later, we did find the caravan park, but sour memory of “That Incident” remained with us both …….. for at least an hour.
Byron Bay is known as a surfing mecca. Most days the beach is full of surfing contenders, bunched together where ever the waves shape up best.
Tourism is focussed on beach culture, hospitality and promoting that somewhat famous “Byron Bay Vibe”.
And while it’s a small town, it certainly knows how to charge top city prices.
At the Beach Hotel, I expressed surprise given the cost of two draught beers and a packet of chips. The bartender responded with a knowing smile, “Welcome to Byron Bay mate”. I instantly knew he was right; just enjoy what Byron Bay has to offer (but not too much of it or you’ll “go broke”).
Cape Byron is the undisputed, most easterly point of the Australian mainland. But I had to know. How much further east is it than the second most easterly point, which I suspect is Broken Head NSW (20k drive south)? With help from Wikipedia I calculated it to be approximately 16 kilometers further east. Now I can relax.
But I do wonder, how much further east it is than say……. Sydney?
On the afternoon of our last day in “Byron” we drove up to the lighthouse. Why did we leave it so late?
The small car park near the lighthouse was full, with many visitors ahead of us still hoping to find a spot. Designated parking cost $8, while illegal parking was a great deal more. With a ranger in site, we decided to move on. Next time, we will …….???
There are a small number of houses this close to the beach. I suspect the council wouldn’t approve further development here, though.
The small heritage town of Banglow is around 20 kilometers south-west of Byron Bay.
I love the colour and simple design of these Bangalow buildings.
Lunch with drinks at the Bangalow Pub was enjoyable and good value.
Our “caravan park” neighbour entered this amazing vehicle in the annual Brunswick Heads car show (15 minutes north of Byron) and won an award. His car is by no means an original. It consists of a Willys front section (sedan from late 1930s) and an old Jeep wagon rear (not certain of vintage); runs a Chevy 350 V8 motor (original was supplied with a tiny 4 cylinder); modern wheels, tyres and brakes, leather seats etc.. It is a beautiful creation.
US car manufacturer, Willys, not only made SEDAN cars in the early 20th Century, it was also the originator of the WWII military Jeep.
Meanwhile, something happened down on the beach.
Regardless, it was a perfect time for a beach walk
Well, only one more destination to complete our inaugural Winter Odyssey. I can hear the sighs of disappointment from here.
So, hope you “tune in” for …
A BIGGER than the second BEN-HUR production
from Port Macquarie NSW
Nah, it won’t be anything like that, really!