Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia

imageAfter hang gliding, Sara and I stayed at a rest stop about 20km north of Byron Bay. Why backtrack? Sara learned there is a farmers market in neighboring New Brighton every Tuesday. The Yelgun Rest Area was the busiest we’ve seen! I attribute it to the fact that camping is highly restricted in Byron Bay so everybody leaves town each night. In the morning, we left the crowd in search of the farmers market. Luck was on our side and a few minutes later we were strolling the tents. It was a wonderful little market where we found some local bread, cheese and hummus (it’s too bad we were already stocked on veggies). After I finally pulled Sara from the market’s grasp, we saw a post office in the general store and were able to mail a box of goodies home. Hopefully this box will arrive unopened. Our last shipment home (from New Zealand) arrived opened with several items missing and broken!

Even after the productive morning, we were able to start our long drive south reasonably early. Our destination was the Blue Mountains right outside of Sydney. Sara had been there many years ago and wanted to show me Continue reading

Hang Gliding over Byron Bay, Australia

imageSince leaving Sydney a month ago, we had planned to stop in Byron Bay to go hang gliding. Flying is something both Sara and I love and it seems so cool to be able to glide in the open without an engine. We did look into going in New Zealand but it was twice as expensive so decided to wait. Our friends in Sydney said Byron Bay had hang gliding for a reasonable price so we saved a few days to ensure a visit to the area.

We’ve been doing great finding free camping and it’s been almost two weeks since we have paid for a campsite. But there is no free camping in Byron Bay so we decided that it would be worthwhile to splurge for a Continue reading

Snorkeling in Moreton Bay, Australia

imageIn a free guidebook, we saw a picture of shipwrecks jutting out of crystal clear water in Moreton Bay. I visioned us kayaking around the wrecks and jumping in to snorkel the artificial reefs. We drove from the Sunshine Coast to the top of Moreton Bay in the town of Redcliff. We stopped at an information site to book kayaks for the following day. But it was not meant to be. We learned we couldn’t kayak to the wrecks because they were off Moreton Island over 20 kilometers away. The only way to get to the Island was via a ferry from Brisbane. After a frustrating couple hours tying to find a good way to explore the wrecks, we finally came up with a plan – we would buy a day pass to a resort in the island which included the ferry transfer and then the just walk to the wrecks.

image.jpgWe camped in Redcliff that night at one of the few areas where they tolerate free camping. We were close to Brisbane and it was difficult to find any other options. We ended up staying in the parking lot of a park on Moreton Bay. It’s a pretty spot and we enjoyed the views while eating dinner. Seems that local teens also like that spot because we heard partiers coming and going all night. After a restless night Continue reading

Hiking the Sunshine Coast, Australia

image.jpgWhile driving south from the Fraser Coast, I saw a tall peak a few kilometers from the highway. Whenever I see a mountain, my first thought is that I want to climb to the top. I asked Sara to look at her offline map app (Ulmon) to see if there appeared to be a hiking trail but she didn’t see anything. As we got closer, I spotted an exit from the highway and pulled off in hopes of finding a trail up the steep slopes. After bit of driving on small windy roads, we found a trailhead sign that seem to lead in the right direction. There were several signs warning about the steep trail ahead – we must be in the right place. We packed up a small bag and started up the trail.

image.jpgThe hike was pretty quick and all the steep sections had chains to help with the ascent. When we made it to the summit 45 minutes later, we were blown away by the views. It felt good to stretch our legs and get some exercise while enjoying the great scenery. Apparently, we were not the only ones with that idea. Continue reading