Byron Bay’s beautiful and peaceful Three Sisters’ walk.

Looking down at the incoming surf from the Three Sisters’ track, at Broken Head, Byron Bay

Most visitors to Byron Bay love the walk that takes them up to the Bay’s iconic lighthouse and down to the Australia’s most easterly point. It offers those who are willing to tackle the steps to the top, lovely beach and coastal rainforest vistas. And leaning on the fence at the point, you can gaze out over a seemingly limitless Pacific ocean or peruse the bottom of the cliff where turtles and dolphins like to hang out. And because it is so lovely, there are always lots of people to share the moment with you.

But if you hanker for a little bit of shady solitude or want to imagine yourself castaway on your own private, pristine little cove then meandering along the Three Sisters’ walk at Broken Head just to the south of the centre of Byron Bay might be for you. It certainly suited our daughter Lyndsay who together with baby Ilyssia was visiting us from Darwin.

Ilyssia loves hiking with her mum.  Perfect for a cat nap

Jingi Walla” you are welcomed to the track, which begins to the right of the Broken Head carpark, by the traditional owners and joint custodians of the Broken Head Nature Reserve, the Bundjalung people of Byron Bay. The track is only 1.6 kms return and follows the clifftop to a lookout over Kings Beach.

Initially, you enter a shady tunnel of greenery where
the lighthouse can be glimpsed through the trees, standing firm at the northern end of Tallows Beach
Even though it has been very dry, the Cottonwood canapy provides welcome shade as you wind around the headland and …
across little wooden bridges.

And then the rainforest comes to an end and you find yourself high on a grassy headland overlooking the Three Sisters which give their name to the track.
A sad but cautionary tale.
These little coves are easily accessible at low tide but the currents can be quite dangerous. It is a paddle and picnic spot for me.
There is always a lovely breeze here as well as stunning views.

From the lookout you can see Kings Beach in the background.
At low tide you can access the beach from the lookout otherwise access is via a steep rainforest track found along the Broken Head Nature Reserve dirt road. Although this is a clothing optional beach, it is a lovely excursion for cooler days.
And then its back to where we began.

As well as the Three Sisters Walk, Broken Head has a beautiful beach which is patrolled in school holidays. Across the dunes from the beach is a large grassy play area complete with undercover picnic tables and barbecues. There is also an amenities block and basic supplies such as an essential ice cream or two, can be obtained from the kiosk in the adjoining Holiday Park.

Maybe I’ll see you on the headland sometime soon.

Advertisements

The Coastal Recreational Path: a walk to remember.

20171022_155504_001
Sharpe’s Beach at Lennox Head – Our starting point .

Feel like a gentle stroll or bike ride along a path offering lovely vistas of a particularly beautiful stretch of coastline? Then the Coastal Recreational Path might be just the thing for you. The path, which is being constructed by Ballina Shire Council, aims to connect the coastal village of Lennox Head from the Pat Morton Lookout to Angels Beach in Ballina. The southern section from Sharpe’s Beach to Angel’s Beach has been finished and as Kenn and I discovered, is well worth exploring.

20171022_144832
This section of the path is quite short, only about 5 kms return.

We accessed the path from the Sharpe’s Beach car park as this was the closest access point to Byron Bay.  The first section of the path to Flat Rock winds through picturesque heath land

20171022_150502
We’ve had a bit of rain lately and everything is so, so green!

20171022_145534
The actual coast road is behind those pine trees in the distance.

while offering lovely views of the ocean.

20171022_145031
We noticed lots of little paths winding down to the beach, perfect for those seeking refuge from the crowds

When we reached Flat Rock, we found a viewing platform and of course access to a fantastic beach. For those who enjoy camping, there is also a tent park here.

20171022_150337
Even the signposts are visually stunning.

20171022_150356
If you look closely, you can see the flat rock in the water which gives it name to this headland.

Then the path meanders through coastal wetlands and  instead of smooth bitumen we found ourselves on a slightly elevated metal walkway,

20171022_150838
this section was quite shady, a good thing in the heat of the afternoon

wandering past gnarly coastal banksias.

20171022_151749
Native lilies will grow in the most unusual places.

One of the things I loved about the path were the information boards providing interesting information about how the aboriginal people had interacted with the land as well as some of their dreaming stories.

20171022_151915
I love how the boards blend in with the environment.

20171022_150736
The sculptures enhance your walking experience

20171022_153526
My photo doesn’t do this justice. This board utilises archival photographs from the 1920s to represent how aboriginal people might have interacted with the wetlands.

All too soon, we found ourselves at Angel’s Beach.

20171022_151843
I really don’t think you could get lost on this path!

 

20171022_151909
Just another perfect beach. We didn’t think of it on the day, but we could have walked back to Sharpe’s Beach along the beach instead of retracing our steps.  Love dabbling my feet in the sea. Next time?

It was also lovely to see lots of little ones on the path, cruising along in their strollers or peddling their tricycles with Mum and Dad ambling along behind.  The path is very flat, perfect for beginners as well as the more advanced to ride along. We even spotted a toy poodle standing up in a bike basket, paws on the handlebars having the best time.

All too soon we were back in Lennox heading home. Next time we plan to bring our bikes and a picnic. Maybe we’ll see you there!

 

 

 

‘Glamping’ in Evans Head

I am a relative  newcomer to ‘Glamping’.  Until recently, my camping  experiences involved a tent, an airbed that hopefully would stay inflated and a sleeping bag.  There were  minimal extras: a little two burner stove, a gas lantern and  a camping table. A lot of baked beans and tinned spaghetti was consumed. I have no champagne memories! But on a recent camping trip to Evans Head, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of camping realities, the world of ‘glamping’

Evans Head is only about 45 mins away from Byron Bay. The group we joined for a long weekend were seasoned glampers. We had waterfront sites at the Silver Sands Caravan Park and soon, remarkable hand crafted camper trailers were being unloaded, tents and tarps erected and kayaks and professional looking fishing gear stowed away.

campground by the river
Waterfront sites on the river at Evans

There was so much to explore and experience. First of all, we had to explore the track along the river, to the breakwater and the beach and test out the surf. The water was clear and very warm for this time of year.

passing the river beach
passing the river beach

surfing beach
surfing beach

Soon, it was time for Happy Hour and a gourmet  barbecue as we watched the tide run out on the river and the pelicans playing. Next morning, I was up early enough to catch the sunrise.  I didn’t have to forego my beauty sleep as daylight saving hadn’t  ended and the sun was kindly rising at 7 am.   The sun peeked through the clouds and then burst over the ocean in amazing colours!

Sunrise over the breakwater
Sunrise over the breakwater

beach sunrise
beach sunrise

Walking back to camp, I noticed that the riverside cafe was open. No need to forego creature comforts while glamping. I thought,  as I appreciatively sipped a large takeaway cappuccino.

Later that day we tested out the 4WD on the sand. You can drive north along the beach for quite a few kms and you don’t need a permit to do so. It’s just you, the sea, the sand and the seagulls and pelicans. Oh and the occasional horse and rider.

Testing out the Prado
Testing out the Prado

We also explored the beautiful Chinaman’s Beach  which is a little to the south of our campsite on the other side of the river. The beach is  perfectly unspoiled and is fringed with amazing aubergine coloured rocks, tangerine, brown and cream striped cliffs and amazing rock pools. I love climbing over and through rock pools. It’s like there a new world just waiting to be discovered by you.  What a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours!

Chinaman's Beach
Chinaman’s Beach

Back at camp, the troops had been busy. A visit to the fishing co-op and Tiger Prawns were on the menu. My baked bean days were over!.

And so the weekend continued. The Kayakers ventured upstream, circumnavigated a small island and let the current bring them back to camp. The fishermen had some success in the surf gutters. Blessed with perfect sunny weather and balmy nights, we swam, ate, walked, ate, fished, ate and drank a …a little. What’s a bottle or two of Pinot Grigio between friends? And I took  the time to catch up on some reading and day dream about the next glamping adventure.