Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brisbane, Byron Bay, Cairns (Part 1)

Byron Bay

 I thought I would have more time to update but it was actually the opposite.  We would wake up early in the morning, have breakfast, and be out the door at around 9.  We would tour around town and wouldn't be back until 5 or 6 that night.  By then I was so beat.  Not to mention we would take a break, but by 8pm, we'd be out the door again for dinner.  But here's a little snippet of my trip.

Sydney- Brisbane   

We only spent one night in Brisbane, so we didn't see very much.  It's a beautiful city, close to the water with lots of restaurants.  It was raining when we arrived, and really humid.  It felt weird carrying an umbrella wearing a t- shirt.

Dinner: Ortiga.  A Spanish tapas restaurant.  Upstairs is casual, while downstairs is more fine dining, with complex dishes in smaller portions meant to be shared.  Very extensive wine menu.

Beach on Byron Bay.  If you look closely, you can see the lighthouse.  I regret not taking my camera during our 1 hour hike to see it.

Brisbane- Byron Bay

The next morning we rented a car and drove to Byron Bay.  It's a small town right along the beach.  When we first drove in, it was the laid back, cool, and hippy attitude of the people that made it Byron Bay.  The first afternoon we went to the beach, it was cloudy, breezy and showering a bit.  Too cold for me if you consider being in a bathing suit.  The next day we went to the beach again and it was hot and beautiful.

Dinner: Enso.  Funny story.  We saw the chef talking on the phone right outside the cafe we were having lunch at.  Immediately I recognized him.  We used to work together back in Vancouver a few years ago.  Dinner was fantastic.  Small Japanese plates meant to be shared.  Tried new things like sea arugula and sea celery that garnished a perfectly cooked barramundi fish.  The restaurant is only two weeks old, I had trouble finding the website.

This is how koalas sleep.
Byron Bay- Cairns

We drove back to Brisbane and took a flight to Cairns.  Cairns is almost like the Vegas of Australia.  Lots of big hotels and casinos, and the streets are filled with buzzing restaurants, and shops that sell snorkelling tours.  We went on a full day snorkelling tour and it was one of the most exciting things I've done in my life.  We took a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef.  It was exactly what you would see on Planet Earth.  I saw beautiful parrot fish, clown fish, and even a small shark!

Dinner: It was hard to find a restaurant we all could enjoy since Cairns is so touristy.  A lot of the restaurants were not authentic.  The last night we decided to go for an Indian banquet dinner and there was an abundance of curries and pakoras. We all left happy and bellies full.  I can't remember the name of the restaurant nor was I able to search it.

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