Sharon and I had such a great time Saturday (May 9) with Helen exploring Byron Bay and being able to see so many beautiful sights. The Cape Byron Lighthouse, the Coastal Rain forest, the most Easterly Point of the Australian Mainland are certainly sites we will never forget.
But today (May 11) we are headed to a place that most people dream about seeing. One of the world's seven natural wonders, and we are going to drive there! The Great Barrier Reef!
We start our 7 hour drive to the north at 7 am in the morning, but not without first stopping at Australia's version of Starbuck's, Zarraffe's Coffee. I have become a big fan of their White Chocolate Mocha over the last two weeks and there is no way I was starting this long drive without one!
Our first stop is 3 hours later in a little town called "Gympie". We found a great little cafe where I had a latte along with an apple strudel and Sharon had an English fruit cake with a cappuccino.
As we continued to drive north we came across a little place selling opal's. So how excited are we to be able to shop for some genuine Australian opal's. Seri of Wind Song Opals in Gunalda QLD was an absolute sweetheart, helping us to decide on just the right stone. I ended up with 2 rough cut opals and a beautiful sodalite bracelet and matching earrings.
I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the Australian road signs that we saw along the way. You know these warning signs had us keeping an eye out for a Kangaroo that might just jump out in front of us or see a Koala munching on some eucalyptus!
We finally make it to our destination, the Town of 1770.
1770 is a small (very small) seaside village which was the second landing of Lt. James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour in May 1770! This is where we will be staying before heading to Lady Musgrave Island to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef!
After we check into our hotel, "Sandcastles 1770" (which is really in Agnes Waters) we decide to check out where we will be boarding our boat to head out to the Great Barrier Reef in the morning. We stopped in at "Lady Musgrave Cruises" and found out that we need to be here bright and early in the morning because the boat will leave at 7:30am!
Well it's time for some dinner. Now of course Helen had recommended this great spot with outdoor dining overlooking Bustard Bay, so guess where we had dinner? That's right, "Saltwater Cafe & Pizzaria". This was the perfect place on the waterfront with an open air bar and dim lighting.
It's been a long day and I need some wine! So Sharon headed up to the counter to order us a glass of wine while I was taking some pictures. She was informed that she had to go to the counter to the left and order it there. By now I've joined her and no one is here. But there is this sign that reads "Ring the Bell". Sharon did just that and who shows up but Anna, the girl from the counter to the right who told her to go to the counter to the left!
But we can't order a glass of wine. What!! Good news.....we can only order a bottle of wine. I love this place! It seems that they only have a license to sell the wine, not serve it. We decide on a $19.95 AUD bottle of Crouchen Riesling, an Australian wine (of course) from Brown Bros. Winery in Milawa.
We then claim our spot at one of the candle lit tables and settle in with our wine and then it dawns on us that this place does not have any menus. How do we know what we want? Well it seems that the menu is posted every night on a chalk board. Tonight is "Pizza" night.
So pizza and wine it is! Since we couldn't make up our minds, we ordered a pizza that was half Banks and half Endeavour.
A toast to good friends, pizza, a bottle of wine, and the adventure we are about to experience tomorrow....The Great Barrier Reef!
If you would like to see more pictures of our journey today just click here "Where's Debbie" and then see the album "Great Barrier Reef - Part 1"