From Byron to Coffs Harbour

Sad to leave Byron Bay but excited to be heading off on new adventures leading up to meeting Lucy in Sydney on Saturday morning.  We packed up the apartment and were on the way just after 10.  The weather was hot and sunny – about 29C already – although there were some clouds around.

We drove up to the lighthouse on Cape Byron as we had seen it from the sea, and just the top of it from our apartment, but we wanted to see it close up. Cape Byron is the most easterly point of Australia, and the lighthouse is the most powerful lighthouse in Australia.  The walk up to the lighthouse from the beach is one of the iconic Byron Bay things to do, but we just didn’t have time.  And actually, seeing what a long steep walk  it was, just as well!!!!  We drove up and just took some photos as the car was loaded with all our worldly goods so we didn’t really feel we could leave it.

Anyway, a stunning sight with the beaches stretching away in both directions.

We decided to take an inland route to Coffs Harbour, our stop for the night, rather than just go down the Pacific Coast Highway.  So glad we did.  We drove through forests and along ridges for the whole route, about 3 hours.  Through some lovely old fashioned Australian small towns.  Still clearly recognisable in their settler form, from the 1850s, 60s.  Its easy to forget how very young this country is in terms of European settlement, less than 200 years in many places.  You still see the main street of town with the shops set into wooden buildings with deep balconies above, and the name of the place on a big sign over.  Reminds us of towns in the west of the US in some respects.  Just lovely.  And so many beautiful horse ranches set back and up a rise from the road.  Great forests of eucalyptus and pine.

We had a picnic lunch along the way and then we stopped for coffee in Nana Glen.  Had a lovely chat with the woman who owned the place.  Then on to our Airbnb in Coffs Harbour.  Oh, we stopped at Dan Murphy’s and bought a few bottles of wine along the way.

Our Airbnb is just delightful. website We have a self contained apartment in a lovely old house, maybe 150 years old.   I’ve been dying to stay in one of these heritage properties. The lady that owns it, has traveled a great deal and she has furnished it very eclectically with lovely textiles and lamps.  There is a large private balcony/terrace filled with her plants and furnishings for us to chill on and relax.  It’s very well equipped and lots of food and drink for us to help ourselves to. Had a great chat with Lorraine, the owner, and then her daughter, also a travel bug, called in and we met her.  Lorraine’s house is even more full of wonders than our apartment.  Very much my cup of tea.

We have a long drive tomorrow so we decided to cook in and use the bbq on the terrace.  We bought 2 porterhouse steaks and we have sweetcorn and peas and a lovely bottle of Penfolds Cab Sauv – a favourite of mine.   Lorraine brought us some lovely homemade hummus and tabboulah salad which also went down a treat.

Just after we arrived it started to absolutely pelt down in a total monsoon.  It felt like we were in a raj era bungalow in India.