Our last full day here, so we got up early (yes again), and drove the two hours to Byron Bay in NSW, silly me forgot about the 1 hour time difference (QLD Does not have daylight savings) and essentially we lost an hour and arrived at the Lighthouse at Cape Byron much later than I had hoped for. The whole area was crazy, no parking – ANYWHERE! We drove to this area as we had never been and wanted to know what all the hype was about, honestly, it was just another beachy tourist area, just way too many people! So hubby drove me to the top of the Lighthouse and then cruised up and down until he picked me up, I offered to do the same for him, but he was over all the traffic and the people and just wanted to leave.
We gave up on getting breakfast (nowhere to park!) and headed further down the coast, we stopped at Killen Falls and Water catchment, only 200m to the water catchment viewing area and it was also about 200-300m to the viewing platform on top of the falls. It is a local swimming hole and a great waterfall, which you can walk and swim right up to and under and even behind. Extremely difficult to get down to the waterhole, I didn’t but Hubby did.
We then drove out towards Lismore and Murwillumbah and visited Nightcap National Park and Minyon Falls. We were greeted in the car park by a giant water monitor lizard which Moth spent a few minutes stalking to get the perfect shot. We then walked the 200m to the viewing platform on top of the 100m waterfall, which was running quite full, after all the rain they had received of late.
We walked some of the 4.5km track to the base of the falls, but gave up and turned back (I am not capable of a 9km round trip). Saw many wonderful small pools and lovely river views, as well as native bushland and lizards. We then drove to the picnic area with more distant views of the waterfall.
We then drove to Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens, mostly it is an overpriced hippie haven, but pleasant gardens with giant crystals and the peace garden, Kora (the spinning prayer wheels) and the prayer flag display were wonderful, something I had always thought would be nice to visit Nepal or similar one day, but alas may never get to.
You can take a class, do yoga, meditate etc. We just wandered around. We then drove the three hours back home to my daughter’s house and ordered pizza, we were exhausted. We watched TV and enjoyed the comfy hominess on our last night with the kids.
Of course the next morning we were up early to pack, say our last goodbyes (yes I was a blubbering mess) and drive back to the airport, return the rental car catch our flight, which was delayed an hour to arrive home in Melbourne to 45C plus temperatures. Our animals were very happy to see us as was my other daughter. Then the usual unpack, wash clothes, get ready to go back to work 😦
So that was our week exploring Brisbane, will be up there again soon, perhaps a bit later in the year, and hopefully when it is cooler! It’s funny most people say “What do you expect, it’s Queensland in Summer” but it was hotter than average temperatures and even the locals were complaining about the humidity our first few days!