Saturday, March 9, 2013

Byron Bay was a Bust

This weather forecast might give you an idea of our time in Byron Bay. Now this is in Celsius, so it actually was pretty warm, but it rained. A lot. And the wind blew. Hard. We were getting the remnants of a cyclone occurring in Northern Queensland.
We still managed to get out and walk around the city (mostly because there was nothing else to do), but we wore our raincoats all day long and waded through puddles everywhere we went.

Australia Day, a day meant for BBQs and playing cricket games on the beach, was basically rained out. The beach was closed, parades and events were cancelled, and everyone huddled in restaurants and shops looking depressed.

The streets and yards of Byron Bay were a mess. These were just a few of the branches on the ground in the backyard of our rental house.
We watched a lot of the Australian Open to pass the time, played some cards, and ate at various restaurants around town. There wasn't much else we could do. Our kayaking with the dolphins was cancelled. Our snorkeling trip to Julian Rocks was cancelled. Even our flight out of Byron Bay was cancelled, and we had to stay an extra night (the last thing on earth we wanted to do!). And then the power went out! So we ate and played some cards by candlelight for a few hours before it went back on. My poor parents and aunt and uncle had to miss the first day of their New Zealand trip.

My family finally did get out of Byron Bay the next day, but they had to take a shuttle bus to the Gold Coast airport and catch a connecting flight before they could go to New Zealand. On the way, they took a few pictures of the streets that were flooded. Meanwhile, Zack and I went to the beach one last time before heading back to Melbourne (of course it started raining while we were there), and we got a few pictures of some of the damage done to the big trees in the area.

So Byron Bay was definitely not the place for the glorious beach vacation I had envisioned for Australia Day weekend. We managed to make the best of it, eat some good food, and have some laughs, but overall, I'd say Byron Bay was a bust!

P.S. We did watch the movie The Impossible while we were there. It's about the tsunami that happened in Thailand a few years ago. That kind of put things in perspective!

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