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Far North Coast & Hinterland, New South Wales

Byron Bay, Australia


Australia is so huge that when they changed the names of everything into things that the white man could pronounce they ran out of creativity and just got literal.
Minion: What shall we call this bit that is right at the very furthest north of New South Wales?
Captain: Well, we shall call that the Far North Coast.
Minion: But what about this bit here that is still northerly yet not quite as northerly as the far north?
Captain: Let us henceforth refer to this area as the North Coast.
Minion: Captain, there is more. What about this part that which is positioned in the middle of the coast of New South Wales?
Captain: Hmm, this is a difficult one. I feel we should christian this bit… Central Coast…

You get the picture.

Byron Bay – Most Easterly Point Of Mainland Australia
Arrived: 10/06/06
Left: 21/06/06


You know how in Alaska they have about 50 different words for snow? Well in the UK we have 290 different words for rain but only one word can describe the rain we had in Byron Bay; Torrential.
It’s the kind of unrelenting rain that highlights all kinds of exciting things such as the fact that the wipers on the car don’t wipe the water away so much as move it around a bit and the caravan leaks in two places.

Byron Bay is beautiful, it’s a small town on the coast that attracts surfers and hippies from all over the world.
You can watch whales from the lighthouse, go snorkelling round Julian Rocks (about 3km out from the beach) or surf with dolphins.


We stayed here for just over week, I wanted to learn to dive here but not enough people wanted to do the course so I missed out. We stayed for longer than we intended to as we found out that if we wanted to work in licensed premises in New South Wales or Victoria we needed a Responsible Service Of Alcohol certificate so we hung around to do the course.

A trip to Byron Bay isn’t complete without a beer at Cheeky Monkeys, the locals will try and put you off going there but don’t listen to them, they must just have taste and class or something.


Ballina – Has A Big Prawn

Bow down to your crustacean master.


Nimbin – Cannabis Capital Of Australia
Despite the fact the only thing I inhale into my lungs these days is fresh air and occasionally a bit of salt water during my sporadic attempts at snorkelling, Nimbin was still a wicked place to spend a few hours.
It’s small but has huge personality, once the haze of incense and pot smoke clears you’re met with a tiny little village where every other person squints at you through swollen, red eyes and wonders if you would like to purchase one of their "good, strong marijuana cookies."

Anyway, I'm off to resist the urge to grow dreddlocks, wear knitted jumpers and wander round smelling of patchouli with a dog on a piece of string.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on June 21, 2006 from Byron Bay, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
tagged Bollocks and BigThings

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Big Things #3

Coffs Harbour, Australia


With #2 being The Big Prawn in Ballina, #3 is The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Yep, it's big and it's a banana.
We didn't go inside on account of Emma's pathological fear of the bendy, yellow fruit but I reckon it wouldn't have been worth it anyway.

A massive prawn humping a building is a hard act to follow.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on June 22, 2006 from Coffs Harbour, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
tagged BigThings

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Big Things #1

Surfers Paradise, Australia


I totally forgot about this guy until I was sorting my photos out the other day;

Wet N Wild on the Gold Coast, Queensland, is guarded by this ever so slightly sinister kangeroo.

You wouldn't dare pee in the pool with this monster watching over you.

permalink written by  Koala Bear on June 8, 2006 from Surfers Paradise, Australia
from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
tagged BigThings

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Random Nuggets Of Information #1

Echuca, Australia


Because vine pruning is very much a "Nice Brain; You Won't Be Needing That" kind of job my thought processes shut down between the hours of 7.30am and 4pm and generally don't bother kicking in again until jump started with the fifth or sixth cup of tea in the evening.
Add to that the fact I go to Body Pump three times a week. Everyone knows there's a direct correlation between muscle growth and brain shrinkage so any attempt to blog has been met with drooling and slight twitching.

I'm going to be a slack jawed imbecile by the time I leave Echuca.

Anyway, stuff has happened apart from being a Victim Of Crime, I just haven't been able to string coherant sentances together to tell you about it so in lieu of a well thought out and properly constructed post, you get the following drivel.


Everyone's A Fruit And Nut Case
A drunk bag lady tried to get into my car whilst I was stopped at some traffic lights in Melbourne the other weekend. I now pray to the God Of Central Locking on a daily basis.


Blonde Moment
Our car has automatic gears and as I was driving to work the other day it felt like it was dragging and not changing up. The car was really struggling, I pressed the accelerator harder envisioning huge mechanics bills, convinced it must be the gear box and even as I neared the bridge to cross into Moama it still felt like it was in a too low a gear.

It was then I noticed the large, red "Park Brake" light on the dashboard.

I released the handbrake continued on my way, wondering if I should introduce a large coffee and a sharp slap around the head into my daily morning routine.


Safety First?
I wear large tinted safety goggles at work because vines have a habit of snapping back into my face, spurs flick off and head straight for my eyeball or I scratch an itch on my head forgetting I have pointy cutting things in my hand so now I have a lovely Reverse Badger tan thus marring my perfect features.

Eyesight or that perfect all over colour? Decisions decisions.


Echuca Tourist Day Out: 13/08/06
Those of you that have been paying attention will remember that Echuca is the Paddlesteamer capital of Australia.

  • waits while everyone contains their excitement*


  • A few of us took a ride on the PS Pevensey last weekend, We had amazing weather for it, the temperature got to about 19C and while its nothing compared to the recent UK heatwave (*glares*) can I please point out that it's still winter over here. The ride was $19 for an hour up the Murray River which serves as the border between Victoria and New South Wales although it does actually belong to New South Wales.


    No Echuca Tourist Day Out is complete without homemade fudge from the Penny Arcade so we bought a slice of that followed by an ice cream and a can of coke then headed back to the hostel before our teeth fell out.


    Trail Of Destruction
    No one told me you shouldn't put dripping wet clothes in a tumble drier ok? The washing machine broke down halfway through my wash leaving my clothes sat in a vat of black water so I just stuffed them into the drier and hoped for the best. Anyway, I only shorted out three appliances in the process and it's not like anyone uses the drinks machine anyway...

    It's also worth noting that attempting to operate laundry machines whilst under the influence of Wine In A Box is unadvisable.


    Wine In A Box
    Makes your head hurt.

  • waves goodbye to last remaining brain cells*


  • permalink written by  Koala Bear on August 19, 2006 from Echuca, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings

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    Big Things #4

    Swan Hill, Australia


    It's a cod... It lives in the Murray... It's really really really large... It can only be the Big Murray Cod in Swan Hill, Victoria.

    We saw this last Saturday when we went on our Magical Mystery Tour. Apparently there's one up at a place called Tocumwal but that's in the opposite direction to what we were going and lets face it, once you've seen one gigantic cod you've seen them all.



    permalink written by  Koala Bear on September 19, 2006 from Swan Hill, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings

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    Big Things #5, #6, #7 & #8

    Cowes, Australia


    Big Wave
    Not technically big but I've seen it on other Big Things websites and I do so like to be unoriginal.

    Big Koala

    They never seem as cute and cuddly when they're three metres tall do they?

    Bit Tap

    Even has running water, perfect during one of Victoria's worst droughts in history.

    Big Cow

    Daisy does steroids.

    All these can be found on Phillip Island. Other things found on Phillip Island include penguins and some rocks. If you go to Phillip Island either take someone else or a crate of beer.

    permalink written by  Koala Bear on October 20, 2006 from Cowes, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings

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    Big Things #9

    Dadswells Bridge, Australia


    The Giant Koala, Dadswell Bridge, Victoria.

    Quite possibly has mange.

    permalink written by  Koala Bear on October 26, 2006 from Dadswells Bridge, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings

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    Big Things #10

    Gumeracha, Australia


    High in the Adelaide Hills in a place called there's a toy factory and this massive rocking horse.

    The toy factory sells, amongst other toy-like things, little bags of sawdust which they market as Rocking Horse Shit.

    Some people will buy bloody anything.

    permalink written by  Koala Bear on October 28, 2006 from Gumeracha, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings

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    Big Things #11 & #12

    Erldunda, Australia


    On day 7 of the Heading Bush Outback tour we rocked up to Erlunda for lunch and saw these freaky looking things; The Big Echidna and the Big Lizard.

    They're kept behind a large mesh fence, possibly to stop them from escaping and taking over the world.

    Hey, anything can happen in the desert.

    permalink written by  Koala Bear on November 5, 2006 from Erldunda, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings and HeadingBush

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    Big Things #13

    Coober Pedy, Australia


    The Big Winch in Coober Pedy, South Australia is a winch that is big.

    See, told you.

    permalink written by  Koala Bear on November 11, 2006 from Coober Pedy, Australia
    from the travel blog: Sod Off Great Big Mission Round Oz
    tagged BigThings and HeadingBush

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