While working through our tour of Australia we decided to find some coastal time along the Eastern shores. A little bit of research showed us that we could reach the most southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef within three days of driving from Sydney. (did we mention that this country is HUGE?) So off we went, in our borrowed ute- which we really do love!
The first stop was for snorkeling in Byron Bay. We hooked up a room for the night and found ourselves underwhelmed. The worst night of sleep thus far, as we slept on creaky bunks in a concrete garage with no ac. The fan might have been sufficient, but since there were no windows it was simply moving hot, stale air! A sleepless night did not prepare us for what we found the next morning.
Cancelled? Yes, due to the weather effects of cyclone Wilson in Fiji there will be no snorkeling or diving in this area during our window of opportunity to be here. This was particularly disappointing to Geneva, as Byron had been a destination for Geneva for many years. She had visited here about 20 years ago and felt drawn to the town. It meant a lot to her to be here again, but without the option of getting in the water; we chose to go further North.
The next location that promised appealing underwater fun had a funny name. The Town of 1770 and Agnes Water offered a special experience on a lagoon/island at the southern tip of the reef. We made reservations at a lovely looking home (priced higher than our typical budget) and anticipated a day on the ocean.
Our housing choice was fantastic, but the snorkeling/diving was not to be. The storm swells had reached this far north and all boats were staying in harbor. We simply were not going diving and could not drive any further north. So we would stay in Agnes Water and see what we could find to do.
First we went geocaching in Town of 1770 and saw the point it was named for (where Captain Cook landed in 1770). Then we hunted for a cache along Spring Beach near Agnes Water (named for the waters where ship called Agnes sunk). The cache was gone but the beach was beautiful.
Then we went to Main Beach in Agnes Water and found two events going on. There was a longboard surfing competition at one end of the beach and a surf life saving competition (lifegaurds) at the other end. We watched these events for a while. But the UV index was high and the sun was hot, so we headed to our rental for a swim.
(Have we mentioned that the BEST rentals are available through AirBandB? We have not paid more than $100 per night for luxury, and typically around $35 per night for functional)
One of the best activities we have engaged in thus far was the wallaby watching from the back deck of the AirBandB home we had rented. The wallabies were less then 50 feet away and engaging in typical wallaby-behavior. We captured photos that show the dark-faced joey hanging out of the pouch and grazing while the mother grazes. We shot video of various pairs boxing with their front feet. We spent hours watching the adorable little lawn mowers interact, move about and graze across the grass until sunset. It was priceless.
And now for some wallaby movies before sunset. (technical difficulties- check back soon)