Monday, February 4, 2008

Byron Bay, Surfers anti-Paradise, Brisbane

Auckland was very very quiet. It's a city of 1.5 million people but they must be all tee-totallers. We were there on the Monday of the bank holiday weekend and there wasn't a sinner. A table quiz in one of the Irish pubs was as lively as it got. Also had a pint in a pub called father teds here. Great name but the craic was lacking. The following morning we headed for Auckland Skytower. Was very good. Glad I was on the inside of the glass though as there were lads doing vertical drops onto this circle painted in red and white stripes. I'll add the photo when I get a chance.

We flew to the gold coast that afternoon to begin the East Coast adventure. We passed Coolangatta en route on the bus where the world surfing champion, Mick Fanning is from. We finally reached our destination Byron Bay that night. Byron is a good spot but the nightlife outside the hostel was quiet enough. The surf here is the best that I've experienced. The speed of it is amazing. You really fly. Alot of what we did was beach and surfing. Sure how bad. We also did a tour that brought us to Nimbin. This is a drug haven which was interesting to see but I wouldn't like to spend more than an afternoon here. The tour was more interesting for the bus tour and the history lesson of the area we got. The locals here stand up for the community against these multinationals that would make this little town into another surfers paradise which is just skyscrapers all over the place. Subway backhandedly got into the town by going in under another name as they knew there would be protests if they went in under their real name.

We spent 3 nights here before we headed for Surfers. Surfers Paradise is the opposite of what a surfer would call paradise. It's highrise everywhere and the nightlife is very like what the resorts are like in Ayia Napa or how I imagine Ibiza would be like. There's a heap of Irish pubs here but they're not much craic. The first night the nightclubs looked fairly dead.

We headed to the Wet N Wild water park the following day which was brilliant craic. We spent the whole day there even missing the last direct bus back to surfers. The Tornado ride was the best here which has a really steep drop into a funnel shaped tube. Have a look here for more details:
Wet N Wild

That night we headed on a pub crawl of 4 of the nightclubs. Was alright craic with people from 8 of the hostels in Surfers there. It was only $30 and you got a free drink in each of the nightclubs.

With a brutal hangover we headed up the q1 for a view of Surfers to get the mandatory shot of the skyscrapers with the sea in the background. If they're looking for a solution to the water problems in Australia I'd be open to bulldozing this place and putting in a resorvoir here.

We headed onto Brisbane in the afternoon. Nothing really planned here. Just lazing around the city. We met Aisling O Mahony last night for a couple of drinks in her local the Paddo.

We'll head for Australia Zoo tomorrow en route to Noosa. This is the zoo that Steve Irwin became famous from. After that we'll head for Hervey Bay - Frasier Island - Aerlie Beach -Whitsundays - Townsville- Magnetic Island - Tully - Mission Beach - Cairns - Cape Tribulation.

Slan for now.

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