Sydney – Newrybar – Byron Bay: Weekend Coffee Share.

If we were having coffee today, I’d be talking so fast, filling your head with so many stories, photos and flashing such an array of treasures at you, that nothing would be making any sense at all.

It would all just be merging into a chaotic, kaleidoscopic blur.

The Kaleidoscope.

Mesmerized by such a kaleidoscope of images. Photographed this at Zakay Glass Creations Gallery, Bangalow.

I can hear you now: “Slow down!Take a deep breath! Calm Down! I can’t understand a word you’re saying…especially with that unintelligible, Australian accent.”

So, bursting with impatience by now, you could well be hitting me over the head with what we Australians call a “lump of 4 x 2” (pronounced fourbetwo”) We’re basically talking about the Australia version of hitting someone over the head with a baseball bat. A fence paling would do the job. Figuratively-speaking, this is how Australians knock sense into a blabbering mess like me.

Anyway, just to put you in the picture, we’ve been on holidays at Newrybar.

“Newrybar? Where the heck is Newrybar?” You ask.

“What do you mean you haven’t heard of Newrybar?? Where have you been hiding????”

Okay. Get your passport. Take the first available flight to Sydney, Australia. You could just catch a connecting flight to nearby Ballina Airport but why miss out on all the fun of a 10-13 hour 800 KM drive? After all, taking the Pacific Highway up the coast is such an Australian experience?!!

Just a friendly reminder to you peoples in the Northern hemisphere that heading North in Australia means it is getting warmer…we fly North for the Winter and definitely try not to fly South!

So, I naturally recommend hiring a car from the airport and driving. By the way, make sure you drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, instead of taking the tunnel under the harbour. You definitely do not want to miss The Bridge and the stunning harbour views, which also take in the Sydney Opera House when you crane your neck. Yet, somehow, you’ll need to keep your eyes on the road while taking in these views and if you’re not used to driving on the left hand side of the road, that will even complicate matters further and you could well be having a nasty accident.

There are further sights along the way. You can take the Sommersby exit near Gosford and visit the Australian Reptile Park and don’t miss out on the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour, which is roughly halfway to Newrybar and when you see the Macadamia Castle you are almost at Newrybar.

I don't think this quite puts Newrybar on the map.

I don’t think this quite puts Newrybar on the map.

Located half an hour’s drive in Byron Bay’s lush green Hinterland, Newrybar’s main claim to fame at this time of year, is the snakes. It’s currently mating season and the grass is full of amorous Romeos and Juliets, just waiting to strike at any unsuspecting feet. After spotting a deadly black snake slithering through the grass while eating my Weetbix the other day, you can take it from me that you need to look where you’re going.

However, in addition to the snakes there’s the Harvest Cafe, which is well-regarded, an antique shop and a few B & Bs…and a petrol station and small grocery store. Definitely, no major anythings, which is such a part of it’s natural, unspoiled charm.

This week has simply been too much for me to compress into anything coherent.

I have been feasting with my eyes. Pigging out. Gorging myself. Eating, Eating,Eating. Stuffing myself eyeful, after eyeful after eyeful. Surprising even myself how much I could somehow stuff I could keep stuffing in without somehow triggering the regurgitation switch. Through some absolute incomprehensible miracle, my eyeballs just kept expanding and expanding like an exceptionally generous, elastic waistband and I’m completely mystified about why they haven’t exploded…just like Mr Creosote’s unforgettable effort in Monty Python’s: The Meaning of Life:

My eyes are even fuller than my over-packed, set-to-explode suitcase.

That says it all!!

With eyes the size of thunder thighs, I’m now needing some kind of specially –designed, see-through “eye bra” . Or, perhaps it’s already too late for that. An eye mask ensuring complete darkness, could well be required by now.

The kids near Byron Bay Lighthouse.

The kids near Byron Bay Lighthouse.

Yet, this incredible, sensual smorgasbord hasn’t simply been visual.

Nature’s music is just as breathtakingly awesome. The sun has set and right now, I’m soaking in the chorus of croaking frogs outside. Yet, that’s not all. There’s the budgie’s chitter-chatter and the flutter of their feathered wings. My in-laws also have Guinea fowl, the strangest sounding birds you’ll ever come across. All week, we’re been debating how to best describe their call. Suggestions have ranged from “constipated duck”, “donkey” and a “squeaky gate”. Finally the penny dropped and Geoff and both agreed they sound like a “duck impersonating a donkey”. That’s a very weird noise!

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.

Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.

However, while we’ve been awestruck by stunning beaches, lush green pastures, birds and butterflies fluttering through the leaves and such incredible artistic inspiration; these “roses” haven’t been without their “thorns”.

The morning after our arrival, I was half-asleep and hadn’t quite adjusted to my new surrounds, when I spotted a deadly, venomous Black Snake, slithering over the grass and over the wire fence into the cow paddock next door.

For some strange reason, even though the kids were outside picking mulberries, for some strange reason, I didn’t raise the alarm. That said, they were out of sight and further afield.

However, as soon as Geoff saw the snake, he was out of there, letting them know. Not that the kids were scared of the snake at all but for some strange reason, they immediately decided that they’d “picked enough mulberries”!

Updating our annual family photo at the Byron Bay Lighthouse.

Updating our annual family photo at the Byron Bay Lighthouse.

Getting back to the beauty of Byron Bay, what you might not appreciate is a local phenomenon known as “Byron Time”. This has nothing at all to do with traditional time zones or being on “Holiday Time”. Indeed, when it comes to Byron Time you could say the region has fallen off the grid and gone AWOL. You just throw your watch out the window of your Kombi when you drive into town and succumb to the more intuitive forces at work around here… or, more likely, not at work at all. The other night, when the fish & chips shop was closed, we were told that “it only opens when he feels like it”. Although you might wonder how you can operate a business like that, he’s been in business for years. That said, his fish and chips are incredibly good but it’s not the first time we’ve missed out!

Loved this quote spotted at Poet Bookshop in nearby Bangalow.

Loved this quote spotted at Poet Bookshop in nearby Bangalow.

However, perhaps the greatest tragedy of Byron Time isn’t missing out on fish & chips. It’s having to go home and Byron Time stops just as tragically as that broken antique fob watch, filed at the back of Grandpa’s drawer.

Tragically, we’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning to drive home.

Speaking of clocks, time and tomorrow, at midnight tonight NSW switches to daylight savings time and we gain and hour, lose an hour or just get thoroughly mixed up. Either way, the start of daylight savings means: “It’s Summer”.

Bring it on!

The kids eating the mulberries they'd picked on the farm, while I spotted a snake.

The kids eating the mulberries they’d picked on the farm, while I spotted the snake.

Just before I head off to reload the coffee cup, just a last word of travel advice.

Don’t forget to pack your SLR camera charger. I’d charged my camera up before we left like a very well-prepared Scout but managed to leave it behind. After visiting multiple camera shops in two different cities, we couldn’t find a suitable replacement. That forced me to use my phone. There I was a serious amateur photographer, looking like Maxwell Smart using his shoe phone. Oh! The humiliation of it all! However, worse was yet to come. I put the phone in my pocket to go to the toilet and the next thing I knew, it had done a kamikaze dive straight to the very bottom. Following immediate CPR, it spent the next two days in a “rice spa” to dry out while I fretted about whether all those precious photos had been lost, not to mention my contacts. Fortunately, it recovered but meanwhile I was using the kids’ i pads. While, I’ll begrudgingly admit the photos weren’t that bad, I won’t be hanging up my SLR any time soon.

Meanwhile, the kettle calls. Dinner is boiling over and it’s time to go!

By the way, the Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part Time Monster.  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linky“.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before!

I also came across this great post by Corina at Wasted Days & Wasted Nights where she talks about the Love Rocks she makes and gives to people grieving or going through a hard time.

Hope you’ve had a great week!

xx Rowena

31 thoughts on “Sydney – Newrybar – Byron Bay: Weekend Coffee Share.

  1. merrildsmith

    This was such a fun post, Rowena! I enjoyed reading about your holiday. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. In a few weeks, we’ll be going back to standard time. It’s been rainy, windy, and cold here!

  2. trentpmcd

    Sounds great! I’m sure that as I drove the wrong way across the bridge, craning my neck to catch the sites and being vertigo because of the heights, I’d tragically fall into the harbor, but still, I’d give it a go 😉 It’s funny, sometimes I purposefully give up my camera for a day and the world is even more what you call “Byron Time” when I’m not watching it through the lens of my camera. Glad you had a great time! I hope the shock of getting back to “normal” isn’t too severe!

  3. Daisy Smiley Face

    Sounds like an amazing time! I’ll enjoy watching your summer as we’re headed into fall and winter. I love both, but vacations and summer can be fun, too. Our summer wasn’t so much — to humid for too long this year, and fall has been severely delayed. Hoping the leaves change color soon — makes for great photos! 🙂

    Oh, and snakes. *shudder*

  4. Beaton

    Where is Newrybar and how do you even pronounce that hahaha
    (google helped though)

    I love the quote “….not all who wander are lost ” am a fan of middle earth and Tolkien

  5. Diana

    haha…Here in the Southern U.S., the expression is “hit you with a 2X4.” Interesting that the numbers are switched depending on where you are. 🙂

    And what a time away you’ve had! Sounds lovely, except for those snakes. Haaaate snakes. There are all sorts of venomous snakes here, too though. And New Orleans definitely runs on its ow time, though the city is much bigger than the town you mention (I did grow up in a town that small, though.)

  6. Corina

    Your holiday sounds wonderful! I’ve been to Sydney and maybe I’ll get to go back some day. Big maybe. Thanks for the mention!

  7. Nancy

    What a lovely place to visit! I want to be on Byron Time and pick fresh berries and walk on the beach (but I can do without the snakes, thank you very much!)😊

  8. davebarclay1954

    I don’t have anything against snakes but why don’t they expect to get trodden on when they hide in long grass? Having said that Byron time I could get used to, beaches and berries too. Having to look out for snakes would completely freak my wife out though. Sydney Harbour Bridge is only slightly more impressive than our original Tyne Bridge, the opera house though, that is brilliantly impressive.

  9. New Journey

    Hello down under, I love your post…what a lovely vacation, minus the poison snakes….looks like you all had a nice time…We have talked about flying to Australia and doing a driving holiday…I checked out the area you were in and it looks lovely…I love the café…bummer about your camera cord and then your phone….oh well keeps things interesting….I went and checked out the blogs you mentioned…love the rocks she made, what a great idea….glad you back at home,..curious, are your kids out of school now??? it just turned fall here….XX kat

  10. roweeee Post author

    Yes, Kath. The kids are back at school now for the final term this year. Then, Mister is off to high school. My daughter might also be going to a different school so it could be an intense couple of months. I don’t like goodbyes and I’m quite involved at the school.
    I am working on a few posts from our trip. Our fridge-freezer broke while we were away and so we were shopping and reorganising and tossing for a few days there as well as unpacking. Then the surface off a filling fell out so yesterday I had a trip into Sydney and read my friend Geoff’s book on the train. By the time I’d arrived back, I’d made quite a dent in it. That was 3 hours of solid reading but I’ve done little on my blog. Anyway, my daughter is supposed to be heading off to drama but took off on her bike and I’m still in my PJs after spending the day in bed catching up. Ah there’s the door. Better run xx Ro

  11. New Journey

    Never a still moment…unless you get to go to the dentist…LOL sorry bad joke…I feel for you about the school changes…I am pretty sure I have gypsy blood in my veins and my kids went to multiple schools…thank Goodness they did okay….bummer about the fridge….did the dogs snub you upon your return or were they just plain out happy to see you…I sit here in awe of you my friend….take care of yourself and rest, just a gentle reminder…..can’t wait to hear more about your vacation…xxkat

  12. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Kat. I posted about the snake tonight. I’ve been a bit slow on the blog front lately as I’ve been reading a friend’s book: “My Father & Other Liars” by Geoff Le Pard. Here’s a review:
    We were lucky with the fridge as my Dad came to the rescue but all this stuff has really been quite a drain…too many decisions. I rang Geoff at work today and he was also thinking fondly of Byron Bay! Take care xx Ro

  13. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Solveig. It was incredible. WE had a very simple, low-cost holiday and yet we got right away from it all. My husband and I are still struggling to return to the real world.

  14. roweeee Post author

    Hi Daisy,
    I’ve been reading on a few posts about the Autumn leaves being delayed.
    The snakes make me shudder too but we’re fine at home.

  15. roweeee Post author

    Sorry to laugh at you falling in the Harbour. I have no heart!
    The shock of returning home has been pretty severe for my husband who is back at work whereas I’ve been a bit in the twilight and just trying to get myself back in kilter.
    I find I notice more through my lens than without and it’s the best chance for this crazed maniac to get close to mindfulness but I get what you’re saying.
    Hope you are having a great week and those Autumn leaves have started turned. xx Rowena

  16. trentpmcd

    Actually, falling in the harbour was quite funny 😉

    I understand what you are saying about seeing things through the lens. Photography has really helped me to notice things. It makes me slow down and really look. Fortunately I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned from photography and apply it to my life. Occasionally at least 😉 But sometimes it is nice to just let the mind go and not look at everything as a potential photo. Another part – the picture i posted on Monday are of wildlife even though i was visiting family. I’ve discovered it is much, much more relaxing to put the camera away when I’m visiting.

    Colors are changing and it is getting pretty. I’m going to be on the coast again this weekend so may miss a lot of it – surrounded by warm water and being farther south Cape Cod changes later than the hills of New Hampshire. Hopefully I’ll get something this year! If I don’t get much worth sharing I’ll post some older pictures.

  17. roweeee Post author

    I should put a reminder in about that as most of my readers are from the Northern Hemisphere. I certainly wouldn’t want to be relying on Australians for my visitors.

  18. New Journey

    I read his other book, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, good read, interesting story…it was hard to put down…it seems since you’ve all gotten back form holiday its been one thing after another..sometimes coming home is the hardest part of holidays…lol kat

  19. roweeee Post author

    I also have Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle on my desk. That should be next week’s read. ONce I’ve posted all the stuff about the holiday, I’ve got a review of Book 2 to go up. Not your usual review though. More of a personal encounter with the book.
    Yes, we certainly did arrive back to a bit. Byron Bay is like a dislocation from the real world and as much as that can be hard to leave behind, having had that time out enables you to get through the crap better as you’ve been recharged and you have something beautiful to reflect back on through the demands of the real world xx Ro

  20. New Journey

    Yes isn’t it nice to be able to stop during the busy day and close your eyes and go back in your mind…just for a minute…gives you renewed energy….glad you all had the change to go and kick back and forget the here and now for awhile…I look forward to your book review….kat

  21. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share: Byron Bay – Back to Earth. | beyondtheflow

  22. roweeee Post author

    Kath, it is an incredible place. My creativity explodes every time I go there. I wrote so much on our last trip including at least two lengthy poems in just one week…I just know that place has an incredible, unexplained energy. I’ve heard various explanations such as obsidian being in the area and it is a volcanic area but I really don’t know. I think being a bit further North but not into Queensland helps.
    We’ve been going there for over 17 years now and know a few locals as well as family. We also have family on the Gold Coast. You wouldn’t believe in the cultural shift from Byron to the Gold Coast and there’s about an hour’s drive inbetween. We had dinner at a friend’s in Bangalow and were treated to a salad from the garden and Gold Coast it’s very ritzy. I like a bit of that and I do like to have a coffee at Palazzo Versace
    I do like a bit of a double life. xx Rowena

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