Australia, The Adventure Begins, Brisbane to Byron Bay

After an uneventful flight we landed in Brisbane, passport control was slow as always. Next up, bio checks, we fully expected them to be even more rigorous than New Zealand. Luckily for us they let us straight through, they believed us when we explained that we’d scrubbed everything properly. To be honest we would quite happily have let them check our kit as it was spotless !!
Having then found a shuttle to take us and our kit to Naomi’s friends apartment in the New Farm area we settled back and enjoyed the ride. It didn’t take to long to get there and when we did it was fantastic to see how close we were to the city.
Tamara let us in, showed us the sleeping arrangements, the shower and the washing machine, all very important.
Tamara’s apartment, that she shares with her boyfriend Kevin is a one bed affair and it was bloody good of them to make room for us, especially for three nights !
The apartment block faces the Brisbane River and the “free” ferry leaves from right outside at Sydney Street. It’s a fantastic service and one we used on both days we were in Brisbane. We spent our days in the city doing the usual sightseeing, our highlights were the Clock Tower and the Queen Street area, the South Bank, where we rode the Wheel and visited the Gallery of Modern Art and of course the river itself with all the skyscrapers, bridges and boats.
So a few photos to wet your appetite….

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As I said, just a few photos 😉
In the evenings we wined and dined with Tamara and Kevin, splitting the bill when they’d let us ! There hospitality was fantastic and even ran to Kevin taking time of work to ride out of Brisbane with us. Without him it would have taken much longer and I doubt we would have found all the fantastic bike paths. Our thanks to them both for making the start of our Australian adventure such a good one !!
Kevin rode with us for a good couple of hours and left us to head back when we stopped at a bicycle shop to look for a new stand for Kylie ( my bike ).
A few photos from the start of the days ride….

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After Kevin left us we continued south, heading towards the Gold Coast. We passed through Surfers Paradise and after a long day and 105km we finally ended up in Burleigh Heads at 7.00pm. Perhaps we could have made it earlier if we hadn’t stopped so often for photos or perhaps it was the beer stop that really slowed us down. We just couldn’t resist having a cold beer at Surfers Paradise, great view and cold beer…made for each other !!
The camp was busy and our tent pitch small and badly lit, nothing we like better than putting up tents in the dark. Fortunately the showers were hot and free. As we’d had a long day we were unprepared to cook as we still hadn’t stopped for groceries. Good job we’d stopped for lunch on the way because the Mexican meal we went out for wasn’t good or particularly large ! Still we were tired so after a short spell on the internet we turned out the lights and fell asleep.
The rest of the days photos….

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Thanks again to Kevin for being tour guide, you made it a joy to ride 😉
After the meal last night we’d popped into a local garage and purchased a jar of coffee and two porridge pots, that was breakfast at the start of day two. We had about 80km to ride down to Byron Bay. The road was nothing special, pretty much the equivalent of a dual carriage way. Not much to look at and not much shoulder meant it was a fairly uninspiring morning. After about 20km we stopped at yet another bike shop, yep you guessed it my new stand broke…..aaarrrgghh !!! I hate it when money is wasted but I still need a stand so let’s hope this one lasts a bit longer.
The guy in the bike shop (Chris) and Naomi got talking and he recommended a much nicer route. From Tugun we would now head inland to the Currumbin Valley, turn left and follow it until we then turned left up the Tomewin Mountain Road, some of it at 15% ! From there we cycled into Murwillumbah, where we had a very good chicken Kiev for lunch. After that it was a very tough afternoon, we still had 65km left and the Tweed Valley Way was all hills, some of them pretty long and steep, again some 15% inclines ! The Tweed Valley road finally gives way to a much flatter Brunswick Valley Road and for the last 24km we got a bit of a shove on. We made it to camp at 5.30pm, 95km and about 1000m of climbing no wonder we were tired.
So a big thank to Chris Moore at Storm Cycles in Tugun for the directions and advice, and just incase he reads this, no we didn’t walk any of the hills and we only stopped for lunch and photos !!
Hopefully a day of in Byron Bay should help us recover and as normal on a rest day we have a cabin. There a bit more expensive than our Kiwi cabins but that’s all there was, not even a tent pitch if we’d wanted one !!
The lady in reception was lovely, she took pity on us and very kindly let us have a toaster, kettle and some tea and coffee, normally they’d charge for this. We dumped our kit in our cabin and went straight to the Beach Hotel, fantastic views across the beach and as it was happy hour the beer was actually a reasonable price !
We managed to do a little shopping on our way back to camp and later had a takeaway and a bottle of beer from the bottle shop….we know how to live 😉
More photos, I like this bit !!….

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It never gets any easier choosing which photos to use but I love looking back through them all !!
Our day off saw us first sorting out a trip to Uluru and a Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk, then a trip up to the lighthouse before a light lunch, more shopping and an hour or so on the beach. Back to camp for a little R & R before making it to the beach in time for a fabulous sunset, you know, I think I’m beginning to like Australia !!
Thought I’d let the photos tell this story….

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It’s only been a few days and already we’re loving it !!
I’ll leave this one here but keep reading, there’ll be plenty more blogs with lots more photos yet !!
Take care
JC

About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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