Checked out of the Grand Chancellor Hotel, Brisbane. Nice enough, room a bit small but comfortable, and a tremendous shower, one of the best we\’ve had.
As we (nominally) had plenty of time to reach our next destination, and having the car, we decided to visit Mount Coot-Tha, a local vantage point from which one could gain some panoramic views over Brisbane. It was only a 20-minute drive officially, but getting there proved to be rather more time-consuming, as finding one\’s way around Brisbane is, not to put too fine a point on it, bloody difficult.
Got there, in the end, to be treated indeed to some great views. It really is a very well developed tourist spot, this. The name comes from the Aboriginal name for the honey produced by the local bees.
Then hit the road for our destination – the Byron Resort at Byron Bay. This took us down the Pacific Coast Motorway which, to be quite frank, was dire. Mile after mile of concrete shopping precincts, industrial buildings, and the truly ghastly Gold Coast, which makes Benidorm look like a quiet backwater (which, of course, it used to be). Plus lots of traffic.
At a major traffic jam, we came off the motorway, had a coffee and decided to take a non-motorway variation. Satnav duly programmed, off we set. This, for the most part, was far, far better – prettier, much more interesting and involving, particularly as much of it was very twisty and undulating. However, 3 miles of the last 6 was on a really rutted and pot-holey gravel track, which we traversed in our hired Toyota Corolla saloon with no four-wheel drive. Very unpleasant, and took us far longer than we originally bargained for. Also, we had to take into account the idiosyncratic time change (+ 1 hour) as we went across the border from Queensland into New South Wales. Same longitude, same area of Australia. Go figure. Politics.
However, we made it without apparently buggering completely the suspension of the car, to be greeted with a wonderful welcome at this lovely resort. We are here for two whole days! Heaven.
Dirty great room with kitchenette, lounge, rainforest view, bath (for Jean) and – a washing machine!! These things are important, you know…..
A great (if expensive) meal at a beautifully appointed restaurant onsite really set the evening off:
Much exploring and relaxing to be done. The omens are propitious indeed.