12th December 2016 – Mac Temp: 26°C
Today we travelled 400 miles north to Byron Bay via Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. Stopping to see the famous ‘Big Banana’ at Coffs Harbour!
This week is all about relaxing and coming back down to earth. Byrons way of life is 💚Cheer Up. Slow Down. Chill Out. 💚Byron is a beachside town known for its surfing, whale watching and scuba diving sites. It has a humid subtropical climate and winters are never cold!
13th December 2016 – Max Temp: 27°C
Today we wanted to explore Byron Bay town which we found was a bit dissapointing to what we’ve previously heard about it at home. It wasn’t as quaint or quirky as we had imagined. I think the most quirky thing about it was the environment centre!
This evening we went next door to the Treehouse for dinner, which had a laid back vibe and is well known for its stone baked pizzas!
14th December 2016 – Max Temp: 28°C
Today we spent the day on Byrons Main Beach. I finally got time to start my book while Pete enjoyed chilling in the sea.
The only thing that scared me about swimming in the bay is that this is one of the only places that does not have nets to protect swimmers from sharks. Byroners want it to be as natural as possible. Pete didn’t seem to mind and enjoyed the big waves! 🌊 🌊
I finally got the courage to go in the sea and when we got out we found lots of jellyfish washed up over the shore as the tide had gone out! Quite scary!
15th December 2016 – Max Temp: 28°C
Pete has been looking forward to this day for a while. He was to finally do his skydive! We drove out to the skydive centre and had to wait around for a while until it was his turn. I’ll let Pete talk about his experience…
After waiting for around two hours, I finally got geared up and saftey briefed. I didn’t realise before hand that we were landing on the beach! I liked the idea of this until the instructor gave us all life jackets in case we landed in the sea!
The scariest part if this whole experience was not the jump, it was the plane take off. 14 of us, plus the pilot all squashed into this small plane. There was no proper runway, just a grassy field. All this resulted in a very shaky take off. Once we were in the air the views of Byron Bay and the Gold Coast were amazing. I was so lucky that it was such a beautiful day!
Out of the 7 jumpers, I was the last to go. It was quite scary seeing them one by one shoot out of the plane. Though when I got closer to the door, I wasn’t too scared, just raring to go! One of my favourite photos taken by the handicam camera is one the below, taken just when I leave the plane. I think the expression on my face says it all!
The free-fall was simply amazing, there is no other feeling like it. It kind of felt like time stood still. I can see why some people do this a lot, the adrenaline rush is awesome.
The parachute ride down was very nice, it gave me time to take in the views of the coast. I was allowed to take control of the parachute which was pretty cool! My instructor trusted that I wouldn’t accidentally take us out to sea! He took over nearer to the ground. On the beach there was a big target that had been drawn into the sand. I think all the instructors were having a little competition to see who could land closests to the bullseye. We landed really close, my instructor said that this meant he wouldn’t have to buy the round of drinks later!
16th December 2016 – Max Temp: 29°C
Today we visited the spiritual Crystal Place and Shambala garden. The Garden is full of beautiful crystals, spiritual monuments, sub-tropical plant life and aims to provide it visitors with a spiritually enriching experience.
First off we took part in the experience of the Labyrinth. There is only one way in to the centre and only one way out, no tricks or dead ends. The believed outcome of completing the Labyrinth is to unravel our current viewpoint on reality.
We stopped for lunch at the gardens ‘Lotus Cafe’ which proactively encourages vegetarian and vegan cushine. Whenever they can they use the vegetables and produce from the Shamabala Garden. We both enjoyed a delicious mushroom and leek risotto.
The Buddha walk takes you on a trail through the Bamboo forest and past large statues of spiritual god and goddesses. First we past Ganesh, Lord of success and destroyer of evil. Then Lakshmi, Goddess of fortune and prosperity, wisdom and fertility, genouristy and courage. Next Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of compassion. Lastly arriving at our personal favourite, the historical Buddha, who represents peace and freedom from suffering. We learned the basic principals of Buddhism: Nothing is seen as fixed or permanent, Actions have consequences and Change is possible.
The impressive monument of Buddha was both of our favourites in the whole of the Shambala garden.
The world peace stupa here is a sacred monument that represents universal divinity. It includes prayer wheels full of prayers and it is believed that if they are spun then the prayers are released and are likely to come true. There are only seven of these in the world and this one is unique to the Southern Hemisphere.
On our final stop of the garden we took part in the Reflexology Walk. Reflexology is an ancient healing art which is based on the principle that there are specific reflex area on the hands and feet that are linked to the internal organs and other parts of the body. It was recently found that walking bear foot on cobblestone surfaces significantly reduces blood pressure and improves balance and overall physical performance. Although, I do think I preferred the Reflexology walk in the Mornington Peninsula.
This evening we made out way up to Cape Byron, the most eastern point in the whole of Australia.