Byron Bay Part II

We are back for part II of our Byron Bay tip (part I here). Before we left for Byron Bay a few people had told us that we absolutely must watch the sunrise from Cape Byron. Not only was Cape Byron the most Eastern point in mainland Australia but it was also the first place to watch the sunrise each day (makes sense eh?).

So we decided to get up at the insane hour of 4:45 for a 45 minute walk out to the Cape making it just in time for a 5:58 am sunrise. Although there were a few clouds on the horizon blocking the sun, it was still a great sunrise.

How Ryan spent most of the sunrise.

The most eastern point is at the top of the hill behind us.

Once the sun had fully risen above the horizon our tummies were growling for some breakfast and we made the 45 minute walk back into town stopping for a few photos along the way.

After breakfast and a nap we visited Byron’s weekly market.

As expected in a hippie town there were plenty of beautiful fruits and veggies for sale.

After some coffee we then headed out to the beaches on the eastern side of the town. The wind had died down from the day before and we enjoyed a few hours on the beach.

You can see the lighthouse peaking out from the top of Cape Byron in the picture below.

Once again our tummies started grumbling (seeing trend?) and we packed up from the beach and the strong sun to a shaded picnic table to enjoy our lunch beachside.

yummmmmm

We caught a bus later in the afternoon back to Brisbane. Our time in Byron Bay was short but sweet and we can’t wait to return with guests from out of town (hint hint!).

Byron Bay Part I

This week we decided to take a quick trip down to explore the coastal town of Byron Bay which is about two hours south of Brisbane by car. Byron Bay has mostly been known as a quiet beach town with a strong surf culture due to the great surf breaks at the town’s beaches. Along with the surf culture there is also a bit of a hippie, alternative vibe found within the 5,00 residents of this beach side community.  More recently it has become a haven for the thousands of backpackers traveling up the eastern coast of Australia. Byron Bay is also home to the most easterly point on mainland Australia.

We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning to catch a ride with our friend Raj who happened to be driving down to Sydney. Thanks for the lift Raj.

Since we had started our day so early we were down in Byron just as we were all beginning to get hungry. We found a delicious breakfast spot just a block off of the beach.

We then headed to Cape Byron to see the lighthouse as well as the most easterly point. The day was clear and sunny which made for stunning scenery.

The lighthouse was built in 1901 and is still in operation.

Cliffs down from the most easterly point.  It is crazy to think where the next piece of land is on that horizon!

Another point, not the most eastern one though!

The view from the drive back to town.

After the lighthouse, Raj dropped us off and we checked into our hostel. We then explored the town of Byron Bay peaking into shops and wandering around eventually ending up for some nibbles at a restaurant and then to the beaches.

We found a bench right on the beach and settled in to watch the surfers catch some pretty massive waves, do some good people watching all while listening to the beats of a drum circle. It was quintessential Byron.

Even though the sun doesn’t set on the water, it was still a spectacular sunset.

We enjoyed each moment as the sun dropped lower behind the trees.

We then headed off to bed as we were getting up reallly early the next morning. Part II to follow!

Celebrations and another few weekends

We have been enjoying spring in Brisbane. The trees have been blooming, the days a smidge longer and warmer!

My birthday was on the 10th and to celebrate we went for a day trip the Burleigh Heads about an hour south of Brisbane.

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It was an unbelievably perfect day with highs near 80 and a cool breeze coming off the ocean.

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Also in celebration of my birthday Ryan organized a round of barefoot lawn bowls with family and friends. Lawn bowls is similar to bacci except the balls are not weighted equally and it is played on a very well maintained grass square (think putting greenish). We played at the Merthyr Bowls Club which has an excellent riverside location. We weren’t experts but it was a great time and we cannot wait to bring all of our visiting family and friends back!

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We also ventured to our local farmers market at the Brisbane Powerhouse which is just down the road from our place. The markers are very popular due to their fresh produce, delicious treats, flower bouquets and anything else you can ever want.

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Handsome market shopper.

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Successful market purchases!

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Needless to say we will be back to the Saturday markets!

Saturday

We are enjoying a beautiful Saturday. This morning we went to the West End Markets to pick up some fruits and veggies. We also met up with Allie, Paddy (Pia’s cousin) & a few others for a Saturday morning yarn.

This afternoon our friend Thomas came over to visit us in New Farm. He suggested we throw a frisbee in New Farm Park, glorious idea.

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October is also the time of year that the Jacaranda trees are in full bloom and are absolutely stunning in their vibrant purple color.

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Hope your Saturday is as beautiful as ours. We are having a relaxing night making Pizza on our BBQ tonight!

P&R

Breaking it in.

Hello again and major apologies for the absence. We have been quite busy around these parts.

Firstly we have moved into our new place and are LOVING it!

Here are a few photos of our new casa:

The front of our building, we are on the ground floor in the back right unit.

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Our backyard, we are working on an herb garden (Ryan’s request) and some more chairs.

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And our street looking down to the Brisbane River and our CityCat stop. Hopefully we will be using the CityCat to get to work!

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Other than settling into our new place we have been exploring the city via all forms of transport including on the river.

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We also saw great fireworks at the Riverfire Festival from our friend’s balcony. They were probably one of the best we had ever seen!

And the most exciting news of all….Pia beat Ryan in bowling. The Southern Hemisphere has really helped Pia’s game! The proof is in the final score.

P&R

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We have been spending the rest of our days meeting and catching up with friends, job hunting (send good thoughts!), and enjoying life in Australia!

Home Sweet Almost Home

We found a place of our own and we are signing a lease on Friday morning! It is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom (aka come visit us!!!) flat complete with some fabulous outdoor space (read Australian living room).We are moving into a neighborhood called New Farm. It is an inner city suburb complete with a some beautiful parks.

Pictures to follow as soon as we get our grubby little mitts on the keys. But for now here are some shots from the internet of our new ‘hood.

The famous New Farm Park.

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An excellent live arts venue, the Powerhouse.


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And some awesome bowls clubs that we hope to join soon.

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We are looking forward to our new place but must first find some household items like a bed oh and some utensils…….

From Pizza to Prawns

After saying our final good-byes we began our journey to Brisbane on our inaugural voyage aboard China Eastern. We were greeted with great hospitality and enjoyed an interesting yet pretty yummy in-flight meal complete with tapioca pudding for dessert!

Our first flight was 15 hours to Shanghai. After a quick layover we were on an 11 hour flight to Sydney. After such a long journey we were happily greeted by the Sydney Harbor.

And then after a quick layover it was onto Brisbane.

And to bed, a 30 hour flight and jetlag always gets ya!

We have lots more exciting news that I need to catch up on here, we will be back asap!

Also Happy Birthday Allie, so great to be able to spend the day with you.

Ahoy

Tomorrow morning bright and early we are pushing off for a week of sailing with Nan and Tyler. We are starting our trip from Sarasota Yacht Club and traveling south as far as our time allows.

We flew from Philadelphia this morning and were greeted with typical August in Florida weather of scattered thunderstorms.

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 We stopped by the boat to catch up with Chris or as we affectionately (and secretly) call him “Papou”.

The team (minus Pia) ready for action.

We filled our bellies full of sushi from Pacific Rim and tcby; now on to the high seas of Western Florida. Let’s Go!