Byron Bay and Nightcap National Park – 48 hours in Paradise

It is not often I will call a weekend away Paradise, normally awesome, cool, wicked, fun, great, brilliant would suffice but in this case Paradise is the only word that can truly describe just how much fun and enjoyment I had.

I flew to the Gold Coast on Saturday night with a friend, got picked up from the airport and driven the 50km south to Byron. The best thing about Saturday night was the rain, it is still very odd to be living in a country where rain is a rare commodity and when you see it falling you smile.

Sunday was spent hiking in the Nightcap National Park. Initially we were meant to just walk a 7.5km and 4.5 hours on the Minyon Loop Track to the base of the Minyon Falls and back up. Problem was despite stopping for around 30 minutes for lunch we managed to complete the track in two hours.

Minyon Falls

Rather than waiting 2.5 hours for our transport back to Byron we decided to head up to Rummery Park Camp Ground via Boggy Creek Track. This took an hour and once we had stopped again for food and wildlife spotting we decided to head up a fire break to try and spot Cape Byron and its lighthouse.

Cape Byron + Lighthouse

Once we got back to Byron Bay we had a beer and danced at the Byron Beach Hotel where Lisa Hunt’s Forever Soul band was performing covers of many songs from the 60s – 80s. The great thing about the Beach Hotel was it didn’t matter who you were, how old you were or how you were dressed everyone was having a fun time; it was a very relaxed and friendly family environment.

At 5am on Monday I got up to catch the Sunrise over the Tasman Sea. Getting up to see the sunrise is one of the best experiences you can ever have and it is a tradition of mine to do so when I am in the bush or a beautiful country environment. The sunrise over Cape Byron certainly did not disappoint and was well worth getting up so early for.

Monday morning was spent sea kayaking in Byron Bay. Getting out through the surf at Byron Bay was a fun experience as there was around a 2m swell onshore and further out some of the waves on the reef were breaking a lot larger. I was fortunate that I only got tossed out of the kayak once on the way out. Once we got about 2.5km offshore we were able to spot fish jumping, green turtles and a pod of bottle nosed dolphins. It was one of the most fun and spectacular things I have ever done in my life, I may love the mountains but being in a kayak, offshore around 20m from a pod of dolphins is awesome.

Once we got back from our tour we headed into the surf to do some boogie boarding.  The rest of the day was then spent getting a very late lunch and looking through the town. Overall this trip was Paradise. If you plan to go to the Gold Coast do not go to Surfers Paradise, instead head to a real piece of Paradise – Byron Bay.

Byron Bay - Paradise

Two and a Half Days in Melbourne

Ha ha ha and ho ho ho and a merry old land of OZ.

Saturday:

  • Got up at 2am to head to airport to check in for flight.
  • Arrived at Auckland Airport at 3.30am, checked in.
  • Departed Auckland at 6.10am
  • Flight was extremely bumpy, for the first time ever got Motion Sickness two and a half hours into the flight… so did lots of other people on the plane including an air hostess.
  • Landed 20 minutes early at 7.50am
  • Got on bus into Melbourne Central, arrived at Southern Cross Station.
  • Walked to hotel, stopped at Mc Donalds for breakfast, checked into hotel.
  • Went for a walk to look at town, found Federation Square, watched street perfomer, met up with friend.
  • Went on tramp ride around the city
  • Went on river cruise down the Yarra
  • Went back to hotel at 4pm, fell asleep while mum went shopping
  • Got woken by mum at 7pm, went out for dinner
  • Got back to hotel, watched Sky News
  • Went zzz

Sunday:

  • Mum set alarm for 7am, she woke to me cursing at it.
  • Had breakfast at Hotel, was really busy, lots of hungry hungry hippos.. people.
  • Caught tram to Vibration Training place.
  • Caught train to Dandenong
  • Visited friends house
  • Got driven to Sunnyvale
  • Checked out these awesome Asian supermarkets… Think St Lukes but all Asian, had a sugar cane drink
  • Got driven back to Caulfield
  • Caught train back to city, got off at Parliament Underground Station not 100% sure where we were.
  • Went shopping
  • Caught tram to St Kilda beach
  • Had dinner at St Kilda beach
  • Caught tram back to town, which went on train tracks as well as roads… so cool.
  • Watched Sky News and the 20/20 Cricket
  • Went zzz

Monday:

  • Woke at 5am
  • Caught 5.45am tram to Southern Cross Station
  • Caught 6.15am bus to Airport
  • Checked in went shopping!!!
  • Flew back to Auckland at 9.25am
  • Landed in Auckland at 2.45pm
  • Mum went shopping again.
  • Got through customs just before 4pm.

Bali Nine Executions: Inhuman, Unjust, and just plain sick

This is how Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will be executed.

Chan and Sukumaran will be taken from their cells with the minimum of warning, driven to a deserted beach or jungle clearing and shot without ceremony by a firing squad.

No one will be told in advance of the date or time of their executions.

Australian reporters have been told that the deaths of Chan and Sukumaran will be carried out by a squad of 10 men drawn from a paramilitary police unit called the Mobile Brigade.

Under strict secrecy demanded by Indonesian law, they will be told several days in advance and allowed to see close family or friends, or to make final telephone calls.

But the times and places of their execution will not be disclosed.

Decoy convoys could be used to fool relatives or the media staking out the prison on the day of execution.

Bagus Wahyono, who selects the execution squads after watching them shooting dolls, told the Sydney Morning Herald only two rifles, selected at random, will have live rounds.

The others will fire blanks to ease individual consciences.

The only other witnesses will be a religious representative, a doctor and one of the trial prosecutors.

The newspaper said Chan and Sukumaran will be dressed in white aprons with a red cross marking their hearts, and would be handcuffed to a post, tree or chair.

A hood will be drawn over the heads, and the order to fire given.

A final shot to the heart or temple may be required.

This is not an execution, it is murder. It is murder for fun. It is murder for the sake of having some target practice. It is murder, it is premeditated. It is murder because NO ONE deserves to be killed in this way. It is just sick and the international community needs to make a stand against it. Unfortunately the international community seems to have lost its legs in the past few years.

Australia Sells Out Own Citizens

Andrew Chan And Myuran Sukumaran are now facing death by firing squad in Bali. A penalty that is opposed by the Australian Government.

However, the worst thing about the sentance is that the Australian Fedral Police (A department of the Australian Government) gave the information about the drugs to the Indonesian Police. This got these Australian citizens arrested in Indonesia and facing penalties that the Australian government is against. The Fedral Police could of arrested the members of the Bali 9 when they arrived back in Australia, and they would not be putting the lives of their own citizens at risk.

The end reality is that the Australian government has put international politics before the lives and safety of its own citizens. The very citizens that elected it to government to protect themselves and their nation. Shame on you John Howard, Shame on you the government of Australia, Shame on you.

True politicians, honest leaders do not sell out their own citizens.