Our Australian highlights video

Over the weekend we finally had a chance to go through some of our GoPro footage from the Australian part of our trip. To look back at some of our experiences was amazing, it put huge smiles on our faces, click on the image above or click this link to view our video

GOPR2053.00_01_53_45.Still003We feel it’s a snapshot of our time down under. We didn’t capture every moment or experience, but we love these memories that can transport us back in time. The backing track we’ve chosen is London Grammar – Big Picture. We first heard it while sat on the beach at Byron Bay, and for that reason it’ll forever be special.


Keep an eye out for our New Zealand and Bali videos too.

Peace & Love, Edd & Ally x


Reflecting – Australia, New Zealand and Bali 

Since getting back home to the UK after our travels we’ve found it to be a strange mix of emotions.

To see family and friends again has been amazing, but one of the hardest things about being away for such a long time has been the adjustment back to ‘normal’ life, reverse culture shock if you will.

The time back home has given us time to reflect on what we learnt and who we’ve become. Overall we are full of such gratitude that we were able to have such an incredible time together. It truly was the best experience of our lives.

We thank our friends, family, those that we met and gave us somewhere to stay, the locals for such amazing insight into where they live and everyone that made us laugh along the way. Our outlook and values have changed in ways we didn’t think possible before we left.

Life is full of simple pleasures and people from all different cultures and places make it amazing. As one legendary hippy we met put it we’re all citizens of planet earth’.

While travelling we found life was unfiltered and experiences raw, the freedom and simply beauty was quite astonishing. We approach life now in an altered state, the lessons we learnt while away resonate with us on a daily basis.

If there’s one bit of advise we could give to anyone thinking of going away, it would be to just go. You will discover things about yourself that will surprise you in ways you never imagined.

Byron and beyond

Byron was proving to be our favourite stop on the East Coast so far, after a few days of hanging out in the town and on the main beaches we decided to explore it a little further.

We headed to Tallow beach which is on the other side of the headland to the main beaches. It was completely different in character, a long, curving, open bay, reminding us both of Rhossil in Wales. The waves were rough but it was beautiful, with golden sands and turquoise waters.

Best of all was watching loads of crabs scurry across the sand at super speed, dashing back to their sandy homes. We spent ages watching and giggling at the sight.

After strolling along the beach for a while we could see a rather peculiar sight. In front of us lay the strangest coloured water. We had heard about a ‘tea tree oil lake’ and by chance we had stumbled on it. It was incredible to see such a strange body of water, the lake was an array of sepia and purple tones. It reminded me of the lyrics from the Ben Howard song ‘Burgh Island’.

We headed in for a cool down and to rejuvenate our skin. While lying in the lake we realised there was a naked man doing yoga across the other side, somehow he didn’t look out of place.

After our previous attempt to see the lighthouse at sunrise (see last post), we hoped that our next one would be more successful. When the alarm went off at 5am we knew we were in for a beautiful display as the clouds were already faintly catching colour. Edd raced up the road for the next 45 minutes whilst I followed with heavy sleepy eyes. I never have been much of a morning person, but I was glad to be today.

Once we arrived so many people were around watching and waiting in anticipation. This time sunrise was amazing, the sky lit up in vivid orange and purple tones. We felt rewarded and so pleased we had tried again.

The following morning was another early start for us. The destination ‘Mount Warning’.  Whilst sun baking on the beaches we had looked at this part of the skyline from Byron for a week. Fondly discussing the striking looking peak and wondering if we would be able to climb its slopes.

I was a little bit nervous but after a bowl of cereal in the car park we laced up our walking boots and started the climb. The hike felt endless, I have never walked up so many steps in my life and the ground then became uneven and rocky. Luckily the rainforest provided a distraction and was alive with beautiful bird sounds and bugs humming. The sign at the start of the walk had said it was hard and that was definitely no overstatement.

After a two hour climb we were confronted with the final hurdle. A near vertical rock face, twisting and contorting to the summit. We hadn’t come this far to give up. After a few deep breathes we scrambled up the rocks whilst clinging onto a suspiciously weak looking metal chain. I found this quite challenging and it seemed like my legs weren’t quite long enough to reach the next footing.

Finally though, after a final push, we reached the top and the view was spectacular, more than worth the two and half hours of climbing. We could see back to Byron Bay and along the coast to Surfers Paradise. A ring of mountains surrounded and it felt strange to know this was an old volcano. The only worry now being the precarious climb down.

To take the time to explore beyond Byron was amazing, all the time reinforcing our feelings that this place was super special. We found it very hard to leave, it really had captured our hearts.

As a farewell we enjoyed our dinner and beers on the beach, the sky then lit up with the most spectatcular sunset – we felt humbled to be there, as we had done for the duration of our stay in the Bay.

The greatest surf of my life

It is very hard to put into words an experience that you have dreamt about or given a lot of prior thought to. For me this was surfing at ‘The Pass’ in Byron Bay and I was lucky enough to fulfil my dream. 

We walked down the beach to the famous surf spot the previous morning, to see it in person was amazing. The surf was good but it was slightly too windy. I sat and watched how the wave broke for quite a while, this would help prepare me for when my opportunity arose. 

On our fourth day of being in Byron everything seemed to align and it was the moment to realise my dream. The conditions were better, with a light offshore wind and plenty of swell, my hopes were high that the wave would be working well. 
We hunted around town for the cheapest board hire. Eventually I found my chariot, a slightly battered longboard, and we eagerly headed to the beach.

When stepping onto the sand and looking to the right I could see small black figures riding long peeling waves on the horizon. The wave was working well and I could barely contain my excitement. I felt nervous, but once in the water and paddling out this feeling evaporated. 

There were 50 or more surfers on the main peak, all bobbing up and down as the swell passed beneath them. Perfect right hand 4-5ft waves peeled off the headland, it was an amazing sight. After the long paddle out I sat on my board for a while, partly to catch my breathe but mostly to watch as surfers danced down the face of the waves. 

After a few minutes I felt ready and I made my way over to the take off point. A wave rolled in and I paddled, the board cruising nicely as the swell took me. I checked left and no one else was on it, this was my moment. I popped to my feet as the wave built in size. As I looked down I could see the turquoise water bending up in front of me and Mount Warning in the distance. I turned the board at the top of the wave then headed for the bottom and turned back to the top, repeating this a few times. All the time the wave maintaining a perfect clean shape in front of me. 

I’d heard it was a long ride at this spot, and it felt like hours had passed as I snaked my way to shore. I tried to absorb the moment as fully as I could. The combination of the wave, the setting and the journey here made me realise this was the best wave of my life.

As the wave finally faded, I was stunned and filled with pure joy, I whooped with a huge grin on my face. I looked back at where I had come from and couldn’t believe the distance I had travelled, easily the longest ocean wave I had ever caught.  

I spent the next 2 and a half hours  catching waves, paddling back from the monster rides and chatting to others out there, all until arms felt like noddles. It was one of the best afternoons of my life.

At the end of the surf I was completely overwhelmed. The only way to celebrate in true Aussie style was with a skooner of my new favourite – Byron brewed Stone & Wood ale!

Byron Bay – Cheer up, slow down, chill out. 

Byron Bay, for me a place that conjures up images of hippies, awesome surf and perfect golden beaches. I’m so happy to report that the place exceeds these expectations in every way, it’s amazing and very special.  

We stepped off the coach after a relatively short journey from Yamba. As we struggled with our oversized rucksacks through the town almost immediately you could feel the vibe. This sign on the way into town sums it up well ‘Cheer up, slow down, chill out’.

Sure it was busy, with backpackers, holiday makers and locals but there was a relaxation and happiness in the air that was hard to describe. More often than not people would stop to say hi or smile as you walk past and there was an overwhelming sense of calm amongst the relative chaos. This place felt right for us.

An early 5am start followed the next morning with a 45 minute walk to the lighthouse. It’s the most easterly point of Australia so we would be the first people in the country to see the sunrise. Unfortunately Mother Nature was not on our side with the horizon full of clouds. We purposely didn’t go to the rock signifying the most easternly point so we knew we would have to come back. 

The beaches surrounding Byron are simply incredible. Whilst strolling down the main beach the town becomes hidden and all of a sudden you are in a tropical paradise. It is a visual delight and hard to take in, not for the first time while being in Australia I didn’t know whether to take photos or stare in disbelieve. Usually a muddled combination of the two occurred. 

We’ve heard about the ‘Byron Bubble’ -the effect of staying longer than intended. It’s fair to say we are now in the bubble and it’s going to be hard to get out of it.  

Keep an eye on the blog, we intend to post a few more times about beautiful Byron, including our adventures climbing Mount Warning, surfing the Pass and seeing sunrise at the lighthouse.