The Pacific Highway

Finally back on dry land and ready to continue our journey south down the East Coast. Never ones to shy away from a double back, we then drove two hours north of Brisbane back up to Noosa to legendary Uncle Pete’s place to pack up Bluey before heading south…destination Newcastle.

We braved the crowds at Tea Tree Bay in Noosa National Park one last time. While the surrounds are beautiful, trying to get a park is enough to get any hippy’s knickers in a twist. One last stroll down Hastings St and a burger at Betty’s Burgers and we were ready to hit the road bound for the Gold Coast…and all the gold bikini’s Chocco could dream of.

We were on track to be there at 3pm (shock horror) when of course we spent the best part of two hours in the Cooroy Op Shops FOR NO REASON nb* we did come away with some sweet deals! Once we finally got going, Chocco’s 100th pair of sunnies flew off his face out the window. Choong keeps driving, Chocco wants to do a 20-minute detour to turn around and go back for SUNNIES THAT FELL OFF ON THE HIGHWAY. Choong rolls eyes and makes the detour, remember the spear story from WA? It doesn’t end the same…we didn’t find them *eyes still rolling.

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Therefore in true Choong and Chocco style we rolled in just before sunset (some things never change) hit the sack, ready to tackle the infamous Snapper Rocks for surf in the morning. What a treat it was, small waves for Choong, nice locals and small crowds, we had the best surf in a long time!

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the coast through Burleigh Head and Mermaid Beach, unfortunately for Chocco even our drive through Surfers Paradise presented no meter maids just a myriad of schoolies.

That night we hit up Kirra Surf hosting Gary Elkerson for a surf travel talk…I was more interested in the free goodie bag for the first 100 people. Nothing like free stuff to entice a Wog and an Asian so we were first in the door, in fact we were so early we were having free beers with the staff before the event. The phrase all or nothing comes to mind when it dawned on us, we were now too early for a goodie bag…we were “staff”. Crisis averted when Chocco swiftly swiped two bags as the doors opened, oh and the talk was okay too.

Last day on the Gold Coast before heading further south, what was initially a mere stop along the way turned out to be one of the highlights of this leg. We rented some long boards for the morning, checked out Currumbin Rock Pools and said see ya later to the Goldie with beers overlooking Snapper Rocks at the Rainbow Bay Surf Club.

True to character we left Gold Coast way later than planned and crossed the QLD/NSW border at 8pm headed for Byron Bay. We spent the night in Ocean Shores and met Chocco’s boss The Chief (former rugby player turned surfer) for a 6am surf at Broken Head just out of Byron Bay. As if 6am wasn’t enough of an insult, I then spent the morning trying to 1. Get out the back of the monstrous surf 2. Wait for a small wave 3. Get the hell in. If the aim of surfing was to spend as much time possible off your board…I nailed it. Chocco and I spent the rest of the day surfing at Watego’s beach and wandering through Byron.

Time to revisit Broken Head, aptly named for how it BREAKS MY HEAD…and heart! This time I checked out the whitewash instead, it was hard-core, you had to be there.

We then made our way up to Eureka to visit The Chief’s beautiful mum June in the Byron Hinterland. The drive up is so picturesque and properties full of Macadamia trees, fruit and veg are definitely worth a visit. Its hard not to stop at every roadside stall for fresh produce.

Byron is known not only for its amazingly well dressed hippy’s but its location at the most Eastern point of Australia and a third tick on Australian extremities for Choong and Chocco. It was a hard 5 minute walk from the car park to the sign…rough terrain of 20 stairs, a slight incline for 100m and dodging of many Asian tourists and their selfie sticks, was only bearable thanks to the beautiful coastline views and lighthouse along the way. We celebrated with a night out at the Byron Bay Golf Club grooving to Lisa Hunt…this woman is amazing!

A final stab at Broken Head the next morning was enough to crush my dreams of being the next Steph Gilmore but certainly rid me of any fear of being dumped.

While it was one of the hardest places to leave, we had to start making our way down to Sydney for Chocco to fly again and me to start work in Newcastle. So we took off for one last swim at Watego’s Beach before hitting the road destined for Emerald Beach, our midway stop.

We were up early to pop into Hat Head National Park for a swim and brekkie before making the mad mission down to Sydney.

Waking up the next morning and having coffee down by the harbour bridge was an absolute surreal moment, it made us realised how far we’d really come in our journey around Australia so far.

 

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