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Byron Bay or ...

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Jul 22nd, 2014, 04:31 PM
  #1
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Byron Bay or ...

Mid-November, after working in Sydney--but before working in Brisbane -- I’ll have four days off. A friend from Australia highly recommended we spend them in Byron Bay, but I’m wondering if that’s the best choice for us. We spend a lot of time in Hawaii, so swimming and beaches are not a big draw.

Are there beautiful places with easy/moderate hikes near Byron Bay? Or is it basically just a pretty beach town? Will there be stingers there in November? We prefer nature and wildlife to cities. At the end of the trip we'll spend ten days in Tasmania.

We've spent a lot of time in Sydney on previous trips, and have been to the Blue Mountains, Pt. Douglas, Melbourne (and the Grampians & GOR). Last year, when we had more time off before Brisbane, we based in Boyland at Clandulla Cottages--a marvelous farmstay within driving distance of Springbrook Mountain, Tambourine Mountain, and Canungra. Then we went to Noosa and made several stops along the Sunshine Coast. We really enjoyed that—but are looking to see someplace new.

We'll be flying from Sydney to Brisbane -- but we could fly elsewhere, instead -- or drive somewhere within a couple of hours of either of these cities.

Any thoughts? Thanks!!!
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Jul 22nd, 2014, 07:04 PM
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Have you thought of Lord Howe Island? It's a place I looked at a couple of years ago when going to Sydney but decided to leave it for another trip.

http://www.lordhoweisland-australia.com/

http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/lord-howe-island

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Jul 22nd, 2014, 07:27 PM
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Hi Songdoc

We don't have stingers as far south as Byron Bay. We have worse, though - Schoolies' Week/s!

This year the feral high school graduates will descend on Byron Bay & the Gold Coast from 22nd November.

Hopefully, your "mid November" will see you gone by then. If not, I'd say go elsewhere.

Assuming the best, Byron Bay & surrounds are lovely and there are lots of interesting little hinterland towns & villages (Bangalow & Newrybar, Bellingen, Mullimbimby to think about a few.)

Harvest Cafe at Newrybar is a favourite of mine. harvestcafe.com.au
There are also a couple of interesting 2nd hand stores. "Dead people's Junk" sign outside the one opposite Harvest always makes me laugh.

Byron Bay It's a bit hippy, a bit "trendy" and in the middle, really a great area. For something a little more laid back just a few kms away, you might look at Lennox Head.

You may be interested in going to a local Agricultural Show - Bangalow is on the 14th. Mullumbimby Music Festival on 20th -23rd & their Show is 8th & 9th, but that's probably too early for you.

There's a Marine Park & lots of beautiful spots to walk, picnic or just relax.

You might see some whales heading south with their calves.

www.visitnsw.com/Byron-Bay

So ... Before I ramble anymore - when will you be free to ramble?
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Jul 22nd, 2014, 08:43 PM
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Agree with Bokhara (there's a pattern forming here) the region has much to offer, although avoid schoolies at all costs. You will need a car to get around, but the driving is easy, and not long distances.
Walking trails around the light house are scenic, and you may spot whales or dolphins.

Close by is Brunswick Heads with a charming old hotel serving great food, and a fishing co-op where you can buy fresh or cooked seafood.

You could easily spend 4 days in the area, just not during schoolies.
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Jul 22nd, 2014, 08:47 PM
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Lord Howe Island looks gorgeous -- and it had better be because the airfare is more than $1100 per person! That's not going to happen! But thanks for the suggestion.

Bokhara2: feral schoolies??? Oh, my. That's right up there with saltwater crocs!!! Seems we'd miss them -- as well as all the events you mentioned. Our dates will be November 17 - 20.

Byron Bay might be just fine. Will also look into Lennox Head.

Thanks so much!!!
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Jul 22nd, 2014, 09:12 PM
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Good grief man, salties are sweet,
& charming, embodiments of decorum, compared with a herd of Schoolies.

You'll enjoy the Far North Coast. Book early though. I'd fly into the Gold Coast, rent a car from Economy Rental Cars. www.economyrentalcars.com.au

It's only about 45 mins drive to Byron Bay and you will get much better fares to the GC than to Ballina ( the closest airport to Byron Bay)

You might have a super deal with one of the big 3 car firms, but if not, I can thoroughly recommend Economy.

Been using them for years, they're an Australian family owned & operated company & they quite simply do a great job cheerfully & professionally at very reasonable rates & a very low CDW excess.
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Jul 23rd, 2014, 02:59 PM
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It seems there are no non-stop flights from either the Gold Coast (OOL) or Ballina (BNK). With the layover in Sydney I think it would be faster to drive from Byron Bay to Brisbane, and return the car there--unless ... it costs a fortune to return the car in Brisbane.

I'll be checking ...
Again, thanks so much!!!
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Jul 23rd, 2014, 03:24 PM
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In that case, I'd see what one of the major car companies will do for a 4 day rental. Economy only operates from their GC base. There won't be a drop off few for picking up in OOL & dropping off at BNE - I've done it many times.

It's an easy 2 hour drive from Byron Bay ( provided you're not doing it in morning peak hour, or roadworks, which can add an hour from the GC).

This link to the International airport may be useful to locate the drop off spots.
http://www.bne.com.au/parking-transport/car-rentals
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Jul 24th, 2014, 06:24 AM
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Again, thanks so much!!! The car rental prices aren't too bad--around $200--and that will save the costs of flying back to Brisbane.
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Jul 24th, 2014, 03:11 PM
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Hi Songdoc how long will you be in Brisbane for ? Maybe we could organise a GTG? Not sure hiw many folk are about in this neck of the woods but you never know until you ask!

Agree about Bangalow - love that place, area!
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Jul 24th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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My pleasure, Songdoc.

You can't fly Ballina or GC direct to Brisbane. I think there's a shuttle but it's a nice drive and no double handling of bags etc.

BTW. The Qld Gallery of Modern Art is very well worth a visit if you have some spare time in BNE.
Nice outdoor cafe & a good restaurant upstairs ( although I haven't been there for 6 months & that can change )
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Jul 24th, 2014, 07:07 PM
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Because we spent time in Brisbane last year, we're only coming in to work this time -- so probably won't get to the museum -- or be able to do a GTG--but I wish I could!

We'll either drive in from Byron Bay Thursday evening, or Friday morning--depending on what time I start work on Friday. I'll be teaching very long hours Fri., Sat. & Sun. (Nov. 21, 22, 23) at JMC Academy. Will fly to Tasmania Monday morning.

Again, thanks so much for the great suggestions!
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Jul 26th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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Been to Byron Bay many times over the years and although it's now been "discovered", it's still a beautiful place and a great base for exploring northern New South Wales. The walk from lighthouse along the cliffs is a classic, with sweeping views up and down the coast as well as inland. In the distance you'll easily spot the very distinctive cone of Mt Warning, 35-40 km away. This is a great (albeit quite popular) hike, winding up the mountain via switchbacks through tall rainforest. The last 100 m or so is quite steep and rocky, but chains are in place to make the climb easier and safer. Fantastic views in all directions. There are other national parks that lie just inland, for example: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/na....aspx?id=N0050

Yes, Byron has always (in my memory anyway) been a bit "hippy" - Volkswagen busses painted with peace signs, that kind of thing. And if that's not enough, take a drive out to Nimbin in the hinterland - a village basically taken over by hippy types. Kinda interesting.
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Jul 26th, 2014, 03:32 PM
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Thanks so much. This is sounding like fun. I was a hippie once upon a time ...
I'll see how my old knees are doing before I consider that hike!
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