Byron Bay; are you kidding me!

Alexander Hold Byron Bay Surfer

Australia keeps surprising me! It is currently winter, 25 degree Celsius, and sunny every day long. This weekend I were heading three hours down the coast, to the popular spot for adventure seeking youngsters from all over the world looking for a great beach, beautiful nature and a good night life. The spot is Byron Bay and I went with the USC International Students Association, better known as ISA, an voluntary student association initiated by the USC international for offering great experiences for international students of USC.

Usually I do research before I head to a new place, however Byron Bay was a very impulsive move and I had absolutely no idea of what to expect. However I was happily surprised. After a great social night with a great group of international students it had become morning and time for a sunny day at Byron Bay. The day started with a magnificent breakfast at a wonderful sidewalk restaurant, where eggs, bacon and pancakes were served with style and refinement. Fresh juice and cappuccino were served with grace. It was an absolutely extraordinary experience, which probably were very much caused by the combination of a great company, good location, and good food.

Byron Bay Beach
Byron Bay Beach

After enjoying the exclusive breakfast, three guys and I went to explore the area of Byron Bay. First destination was the beach, where families and youngsters were enjoying the sun and the sound of breaking waves hitting the shore. Because of it being winter, the activity level on the beach and the number of people sunbathing was probably less than during peak season. However people were still surfing and we had a great walk on the beach, where we saw dolphins joining the surfers on the waves.

Australia is a great place for wildlife, and especially if you come from a European Country such as Denmark, where the wildlife is limited to deer’s, rabbits, and different birds, you tend to be surprised when something big makes noises in the bushes. I was truly surprised when an approximately 1.2 meter long Sand Goanna crossed the walking path, with its long slim body and its long tongue tasting the environment.

Alexander Hold Byron Bay Goanna
Sand Goanna

Byron Bay was also offering other great wildlife experiences and I got the chance to spot a wale surfacing with its great blow of air and water. The whale was on a distance and sadly my photo equipment didn’t have the necessary distance to capture the whale up close. However the journey continued from here and all the way up to the highest point where a stunning white lighthouse were signalling important information to the ships at sea.

Alexander Hold Byron Bay View
Byron Bay View

I only spend one day and one night in Byron Bay, but that was all it took for me to love this stunning  location on earth. One thing is for sure, as soon as I have the opportunity to head back, I am going.

If you are passing by Byron Bay on your way up or down the Gold Coast, you must not miss the opportunity to experience this absolutely magnificent location. Byron Bay offers everything you want, whether it is shopping, adventure or pure relaxation.

So Byron Bay; Are you kidding me. This place rocks…

Fraser Island or Paradise on Earth

Someone might call it paradise on earth; others call it the world largest sand island. The name is Fraser Island and I had the unique opportunity to experience it up on first hand.

Fraser Island is the world largest sand island and it spans 120 km from the furthest point to the other. There is nothing else but sand, which makes up for what cannot really be called solid ground, but makes ground for a marvellous rainforest with a tropical wildlife.

Life presents itself with a lot of opportunities and when I was presented with the opportunity to join a trip to Fraser Island I took it. I went with a group of 16 people and a tour guide that was showing us around the island.

The trip started an early Saturday morning and we headed up the sunshine coast for two hours until we reached the ferry that would take us to the uninhabited island. As we reached shore it was clear that this island was without infrastructure and a long bumpy ride took us all the way to Eurong, where we would have our lunch as well as we would camp here later the same day.

Fraser Island Eli Creek
Fraser Island Eli Creek

A magnificent first day

Our first day started for real after lunch where we headed to see the rainforest. We went for a hike for about an hour into the rainforest and as it being my first rainforest experience, it was a stunning moment in my life. However the most refreshing experience was still to come.

The greatest experience of the first day was the magnificent experience of fresh natural water, clear and ready to drink. However we were not going to drink the water, but to swim it. We were at Lake Birrabeen, which is a freshwater lake located in the middle of Fraser Island. Fraser Island hosts several freshwater lakes where the vegetation of the rainforest creates the waterproof shield that prevent the water to directly penetrate the beautiful white sand beaches covering the shores of the lake.

Second day started early

Fraser Island sunrise
Fraser Island sunrise

After a great first day and a good night sleep in Eurong, I woke up 05:30 in the morning to go see the sunrise at the incredible large beach covering the entire coast of Fraser Island. I got some nice shots that can be seen in the bottom of this page. After breakfast we were heading approximately 80 km up the beach to discover Indian Head, which is the only piece of originated rock on the entire island. Indian Head is best described by imagining being a part of one of these pirate movies where they discover an uninhabited island. From the top of Indian head was what I must describe as the world’s greatest view. Beautiful beaches as long as the eye can see and a tropical rainforest waiting in the inland with untouched white sand desserts appearing in-between the rainforest.

After Indian Head we headed back south the beach to stop at what is known as Eli Creek, the largest creek on the island. Here we stayed for lunch and for a walk in the clear freshwater streaming from the island into the ocean. What have made me call Fraser Island paradise on earth might have to do with the beauty of Eli Creek. Never in my life have I seen so clear natural water stream along trees and plants through a rainforest and directly into the oceans killing waves.

Surprise, Surprise!

Fraser Island Eli Creek
Fraser Island Eli Creek

I rarely experience to be surprised, but I must say that I had a pleasant surprise at Fraser Island. After lunch at Eli Creek we headed further south the beach to reach the path for Lake Wabby. We were asked to bring our swimsuits and towels and then we as a group of 16 were send into to rainforest. After have been walking for 45 min in the heat we reach this beautiful sand desert, with the view of the ocean in the horizon. However there is no water to be seen and as smart university students we realize that we have been fooled. Australians has a tendency of naming things and places after what they are or what they look like. As the dessert could look like a great empty lake, we were very sure we had been fooled. However that was not the surprise. As our tour guide reached us we were told to go just a bit further and as we crossed the dessert we found this hidden oasis of water with the stunning rainforest protecting its back.

As the oasis and Lake Wabby was the last stop before the trip home, no one really felt like leaving this paradise on earth. However we had to, and four hours later we are all were dropped off where it all started a day earlier. On our way home we were lucky to see both a Dingo and Dolphins jumping out the water.

The key to success

So what made this trip to Fraser Island a success? Well the surrounding and the beauty of such an untouched paradise on earth certainly helped. However I believe the core aspect comes down to the people that participated. The people made the trip and coincidently we 16 youngsters managed to hit it off and have a great time in each other’s presents.

See pictures from Fraser Island

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