We made our way north along the Pacific Highway as the kids killed each other in the back of the motor home. We would sacrifice the beauty of a coastal drive for the shorter route between destinations to preserve our sanity. This sort of made sense as we had a lot of ground to cover if we were to see any of Australia in the short time we were going to be here. We stayed over in a town called Yamba, which I can tell you very little about as we headed off first thing the next morning to reach Byron Bay.
Byron Bay is such a cool place. We both immediately thought that this is the sort of town of all the places we had been to so far in Australia we could live in. There is a great music scene some good bars, lots and lots of restaurants and the most fantastic beaches with great waves that attract surfers from all over the world. It is also home to some seriously hippy types and a goodly collection of crusties, known as ‘ferals’ over here. The town is teeming with places to get alternative treatments, Lisa loved that.
We rolled up to a holiday campsite just out of town at Clark’s beach. It was beautifully situated in a lovely grove of trees, unfortunately they only had a site for one night but that was ok, we took a bay and drove in. Our next door neighbors were Martina and Trent from Melbourne. They had two sons, Troy seven and Taj three, we were sorted. Axel and Troy immediately hit it off. The other pair skirted round each other, did a little squaring up, Elka cried a little and then they got on with the business of following each other around, engaging each other and ignoring each other all at the same time. Sadly we had to leave the next morning and go to the other holiday park which was right in the middle of the town, but not before we had arranged to meet again at least for the sake of the kids.
It took us five minutes to drive back into town and into our new campsite.
Axel was sad which is usual for a little boy who has just had to say goodbye to a new friend. Lisa asked him did he want to go say hello to a couple of boys we had seen coming into the site. No way, he didn’t want to make new friends so soon after saying goodbye to Troy. I asked him did he want to go and see the really cool army tent near where we were parked, he shrugged his shoulders but came along anyway. I walked straight down to where they two boys we had seen earlier were and walked past their tent. I said hello to one of the boys and asked him his name, he was about Axels age, he said Xander. Axel this is Xander, Xander this is Axel. I got talking to the boys mum, her name was Gerri Gordan and they were from Newcastle down the coast. Xander was seven, born just a few days after Axel and the other son was called Oscar. Their dad was Tim. We hit it off with all of them and would spend a lot of time over the next few days with them.
The two boys had a lot in common and Axels friend of the previous day was, as is the way with kids, quickly forgotten in the excitement of finding a new best friend.
We were only going to stay in Byron for two day’s but like the Gordon’s we couldn’t leave, it’s that sort of place, arrive for a weekend and stay the rest of your life. Tim said they had originally booked to stay for 5 nights and they were still there two weeks later, we on the other hand stayed for 3 nights extra.
Tim and his boys were surf mad, he had competed for years all over the place and his boys had picked it up off him. The whole family skate boarded, the family that skates together stays together. He had the coolest camping set up, big freezer (-12 degrees) full of cold ones, oven, bicycles, big tent on trailer, you name it he was camp organized to the ninth degree.
The boys were wondering ‘how come Axel doesn’t surf or skate”, Tim explained to them about the weather conditions where we came from, they looked aghast, I understand why. Well Axel has started surfing and came home with a sore ankle from his first skateboarding experience so things are looking up on that front. I was filled with confidence with Tim’s stories of the sharks and the nasty jellyfish that populate the waters around the coast here, I think he enjoyed that. He did give me some good advice about when not to go surfing, basically when the sun is not up its feeding time. Advice he regularly ignored, crazy guy that he is.
We had a couple of surf lessons in Byron with a surf dude called Gary, ‘ When you rule the waves you ride the wave’s’. Gary has been in Byron for a good while and like a lot of older surfers has set up a school. Along with his partner V he invited us to his home where we were treated to some good old fashioned surfing hospitality, we flew home to the motor home that night, thanks Gary.
Style Surfing Byron Bay Surf School
Land Line - 0061266855634
Mobile – 0061416162969
Approx $60.00AUD for a 3 hour lesson