Week 5 Campervan – Part 1 – Nimbin, Byron Bay and Yamba

Nimbin

First impressions of Nimbin were pretty much as expected – lots of tie dye everywhere, everyone walking around bare footed and multi coloured shop fronts.

We found a campsite, which had an enormous free public pool next to it so we were chuffed with that. We got set up and then decided to head to the main high street, which pretty much is Nimbin…it’s tiny. The odd thing about Nimbin is that despite the ever present weed culture (which can be smelt as you walk up and down the high street) there is a Police Station about 100 metres up the road which Shell and I thought was a bit bizarre.

I treated myself to fish and chips and was a served by a man who looked like he was enjoying baking in more ways than one. The chips were average but the squid was good. Shell opted for a bacon and egg muffin in the cafe next to us and we wandered to the infamous Rainbow Cafe for a tea.

The one and only main road in Nimbin

After a while of soaking in the sun we headed back to the camp site via a bakery where we bought a sausage roll and a slice poison berry cheese for our desert that night which was absolutely to die for. It quite obvious that in a place such as Nimbim bakeries can make a bomb due to the hoards of hazy eyed visitors on the lookout for munchies.

That evening we headed back to our van and watched lord of the rings to reminisce about our times in NZ and to see if we could recognise any of the stunning vistas present throughout the film. We couldn’t but we enjoyed the film all the same.

Byron Bay

The next day we drove to Byron Bay in search of something to do. Shell had heard from quite a few people that the lighthouse walk was interesting so we decided to give that a go. We parked up (paying for parking for the first time in a while which didn’t seem right!) and made our way around the 3km track. It was a really nice day with wispy clouds contrasting with the other proportions of bright blue skies so we took a lot of snaps of beaches and the most easterly point of Australia before we reached the lighthouse. The lighthouse was….well it was a lighthouse but it had brilliant views and it was plain to see why there were people choosing to get married there. Afterwards we went on a mission to find a free camping spot for the evening and ended up at Yelgum Rest Area which was about 25 mins away from Byron. It was mostly a car park with a kids playground next to it, and there were quite a few campers and trucks there by the time we went to bed.

The next morning after quite a good sleep we headed in to Byron and ended up at the Byron Bay caravan park which was only a short walk in to town. Our fridge had been giving us some hassle as it didn’t stay refrigerated for more than 6 hours so I dropped Shell off at the campsite and was sent on a mission to get a new battery by our campervan rental company. I returned some 2 hours later with a new second battery and our spare tyre on as the worker at the garage advised that the tyre on was probably not all that legal!?

Later that day Shell and I headed in to the centre of Byron and had a beer at a pub on the beach front (Beach hotel) which was nice. After a beer we then headed in to town and was tempted in to the Balcony bar by a sign promoting happy hour drinks and food. We got a prime seat over looking the high street and ordered salt and pepper squid and a couple of glasses of wine (all for a very reasonable 17 dollars). We chatted away and watched the world go by including a man behind us who had a very big beard but was clearly off his rocker a bit as he began clapping and making animal noises whilst sat with a female friend and/or partner.

As we left it started absolutely hammering it down which Shell wasn’t all that chuffed about. I took some pics of her with her sarong over her head as she looked a bit like a jedi and we made our way back to the camp site. The heavy downpour continued throughout the evening so we continued with our Lord of the Rings marathon with a glass or two of goon accompanied with a BBQ beef combo pack from Coles (Sausages, steak and burger) which was pretty decent.

Yamba

The next day we headed towards Yamba (following advice from none other than the denture adventurer (pls refer to Rockhampton blog entry!). We got there and headed for a park with a BBQ area and used the windy conditions to our advantage to dry out our sheets which had somehow gotten soaked the day before during the Battery gate saga.

We cooked up a couple of sausages from the evening before, some baked beans and bought some chips from a chippy called ‘jaws and chips’ which were pretty damn tasty and perfect for the grey and windy conditions. Soon after dinner was over the heavens decided it might be a good idea to open once again! So we got on the road and managed to take our only picture of Yamba. We were both sure that on a nice day it’s a lovely place unfortunately we did not get to see the best of Yamba.

We headed towards a rest area called McPhillips creek which was a standard park by the road type of affair. We met a man called Tom who had been cycling around Australia for 9 months. It was interesting to hear his story of how he started in Melbourne where he lived and his journey across the country and up the west coast before returning to Melbourne. It made us think of how our journey was coming to an end but we didn’t dwell too much as we knew that we still had so much to do and see. It started raining again so we headed back in to our van to make a pasta tuna dish which was really good before retiring for the night.

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