Hi there Real Gappers, it's Sophie here! I'm just about to leave Australia to head to Thailand, but I thought I'd catch up with you guys on my time in the beautiful Byron Bay first!
Talk to any other traveller down the East Coast of Aus and they will tell you that one of the places you must see is Byron Bay, the land of the hippie for Australia. With such a legendary name to live up to, I was expecting peace signs and tee-pees all over the shot, but in reality it is more bars and clubs (although I did try and hippie myself up a bit by getting feathers put in my hair!). Despite the obvious arrival of the backpacker market, there is still a magic that waves over Byron, but you won't experience this by dancing on the tables at the local nightclub, 'Cheeky Monkeys'! In order to experience the awesomeness of Byron, you need to be down at the beach, walking with the sand at your toes and the warm water crashing against your shins...
While at Byron, something else that's really awesome to do is to head to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. We originally planned to do it at sunset, after a cheeky tip off from another traveller, but unfortunately a extended sangria sesh put paid to that idea, so we ended up doing it in the middle of the day. I'd thoroughly recommend doing it at this time if you are travelling on foot, as the coastal walk and the tracks through the rainforest are tretorous and could be dangerous at night. The views along the coastal walk are simply breathtaking, as the horizon is not interrupted by anything, bar the odd whale or dolphin if you're lucky.
On your trek you get to visit Australia's most easerly point, where the next stop is Antartica, which helps to reinforce the sense of isolation Australia suffers. Once you get to the lighthouse (which takes a good hour or so) you enter back to the town via a rainforest, where we saw a few hippies wondering round barefoot, taking in the majestsy of the rainforest. So if you want to experience the true magic of Byron, my advise is to get your bum out of bars and up to the lighthouse. Your heart may be pumping and your legs might be screaming but by the end of it, the views will take your breath away!