After spending five blissful days tucked away by the seaside, I’ve been overcome with the strange, unfamiliar feeling upon returning to Brisbane again. It’s almost as if a great era in vacationing ended, leaving nothing but a husk of memories floating in my psyche somewhere.
The northern region of New South Wales is absolutely fabulous this time of year. We turned up at Mantra on Salt Beach on a Wednesday night. The resort itself is a joint property with Peppers, but with the estimated time of arrivals of weekend escapees pinned for Friday, we had the place all to ourselves. The beach, albeit a little cold, was as beautiful as the photo. I left the tanning oil at home and just basked in the warmth of the sunlight which resulted in a much loved light bronzing (which of course washed away in the copious amounts of baths I took over the week).
We visited Bangalow, a small town just half an hour away. We traversed through the center, which consisted of one 80m street, and ate our fill of a hearty breakfast of green eggs and crunchy beets to distract us from any murderous fears. The food, or what little we had of it, was to die for. Albeit macadamia nuts, locally grown coffee and pork sausages were rumored to be a Bangalow specialties, we failed to test any. We did however, tuck into a luxurious slice of goat’s cheese and herb tart which melted in your mouth and crumbled in just the right ways. While the shops were a little too decadent for our liking, ($850 cashmere throw, anyone?) we still enjoyed our mini adventure through the town, basking in its minimalist simplicity and fair dinkum Aussie typicality. A short veer to the right of the shops and we found ourselves pushing through thick forest vines to reveal a picturesque little creek in the clearing; definitely a treasure worth discovering.
With tummies full of deliciously cheap fare, the explorers then moved onto the popular backpacker’s hub of Byron Bay. As mentioned in my previous post, I am no stranger to beaches. Having visited Byron Lighthouse before, I knew what to expect. But that’s the thing about relying on our memories, they’re unreliable at times. I had seemingly forgotten about the gorgeous beaches that stretched endlessly along the most Easterly point of Australia. The golden sand sparkled in the sun as a pack of whales swam idly by to the elation of onlookers. The entire day so far had been glorious until an inevitable pack of ominous rain clouds threatened the serene atmosphere. Hastily, we made our way back to the car just as the first raindrops fell. As the weather fluctuated between rain and sunshine, the rest of the afternoon, we thought, should be better spent strolling around Byron Bay center. Hot chocolates, some locally made, extremely tasty Sardinian sausage and a slice of apple pie later, the day drew to a close. It wasn’t a bad start to an impromptu getaway, no siree.
My next post will be dedicated to the discovery of Gold Coast’s hidden gems and my climb up Mt Warning. Pictures to come. It’s great to have my SLR back!