On our last day in Brisbane, we went to get our “spaceship”, which was a van we rented from a company called Spaceships Rentals. We went by bus there, which was a bit exhausting with all our luggage, but an Uber would have been much more expensive. The van wasn’t the least luxurious one, but it was still only a van, not a real bus with toilets or anything. It was basically a big, long car with a 140 x 200 cm matress in the back and a fridge in the trunk (under the matress). We saved a lot of money, renting this van and not renting a car AND paying for hotels. We never stayed on free campsites, because we wanted to have the amenities of a paid one: toilets, shower, laundry rooms and it would, to be honest, be less scary for me. We were altogether quite happy with our spaceship, except that it gets tiresome sleeping in a van after some time and you long for a real bed!
My boyfriend drove all the twelve days that we had the van, even though we paid for me being an extra driver. I did drive about 200m at another campsite, just to try it, but driving on the left – and to us, wrong – side of the road was a bit too much for me, not being a regular driver at home anyway.
Our first camp site was in Byron Bay, in Suffolk park. It was called Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and right next to the beach (as the name suggests), but a bit outside the centre of Byron Bay. The camp site was very nice, we cooked almost everyday in the little hut with the kitchen and ate and read books in the heated area in front of the hut. It was quite cold at night in September!
In the supermarket we noticed that the prices were higher than in Brisbane and Sydney, but since we didn’t bring any food from Brisbane, we had to buy it all in Byron Bay.
I really can’t remember the first night sleeping in the van. I always found it quite cozy, getting ready to sleep and then read our books in the van, even though there really wasn’t much space and parts of my body (for example my neck) got stiff after some time. I read “A lifetime of impossible days” by Australian author Tabitha Bird and I quite enjoyed it. Now I also know what a Queenslander is! If you don’t: It’s a kind of house with a special type of porch in front, often seen in Queensland. We also saw houses like that on the side of the road, for sale, many of them. You can obviously buy them, take them and then bring them to your piece of land. That’s quite strange to us, because in Austria, all of our house are built on the land directly by laying brick!
On our first official in Byron Bay we went to have coffee at Suffolk Bakery – Number 1 coffee shop in Suffolk Park according to Tripadvisor (and “more than just a bakery” according to their website)! And, I have to say, it’s very nice there and a super popular place! In the supermarket next door we were lucky to get a huge water container, made for camping. After that we starting buying cheaper water at Aldi and filling it into the container from this supermarket, because it was great to use with its spigot (a word I definitely didn’t know before writing this post!).
After having coffee (I didn’t like the Macadamia milk in mine, but the next time I chose Coconut milk and it was perfect) and buying a KeepCup with the company’s logo (I always wanted one and you got a free refill), we drove to the centre of Byron Bay, parked somewhere where it was free and walked from Clarke’s Beach via The Pass and Wategos Beach to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which is probably what Byron Bay is famous for, next to hippies, surfing and maybe now Chris Hemsworth.
Where is the lighthouse?
I really can’t remember what’s up with boyfriend’s hat here!
I think with taking breaks for photos and sitting and enjoying the views it took us about 2 hours. Couldn’t get enough of these views!
You also walk past the most easterly point of the Australian mainland, marked by a sign.
On our way down we went through the woods basically, right next to Lighthouse Rd and I remember being very scared of snakes, but we couldn’t see any. We exited close to our parking spot.
After that day we found out that a young Belgian backpacker had gone missing in the area, just months before. His name is Théo Hayez and there is a podcast about this very sad story called The Lighthouse. I truly hope that he will be found, can’t imagine how it must be for his family and friends.
This photo I actually took on another day in Byron Bay and it sort of looks like it’s been taken from the same spot as the very first one above from our walk, the houses are the same and everything, but on the first one you can’t see the lighthouse. It’s probably not mysterious at all, just being covered by the trees, but it got me wondering for a second!
Hope you enjoyed my post about Byron Bay!