When I arrived in Byron Bay – I had been told to stay at The Arts Factory Lodge as it is a true hippy hostel and that is what Byron Bay is all about. When we arrived there I was amazed by the size of the hostel – the huts were fantastic, you expected to walk in to sleeping bags on the ground but there were single beds in there made up and ready to go. The atmosphere was amazing – didgeridoo sessions where they teach you how to play and you can buy your own and paint it yourself!
They offered nature walks to discover the true beauty of Byron Bay. As I was a 'flashpacker' (I didn't have a backpack – I chose a suitcase with wheels and had all my lovely girly things with me – My hair straighteners, makeup, curling tongs, wax kit... basically everything but the kitchen sink) I was quite shocked at how much I enjoyed getting back to nature.
We had dinners by the campfire, backpackers playing guitars and singing together. It was a great place to meet other travellers and hear their travel stories.
The second day we were there, we took a tour to Nimbin. Nimbin is renowned for its magic cookies and has been said to be the Amsterdam of Australia. I had never tried any drugs before and was a little nervous. I kept thinking to myself what would my mother think... :-) she wasn’t here though!! Time to have a little fun, we took the bus and the second we got off it we had people on the streets offering us all kinds of cookies, weed etc.*
We had breakfast before we thought about taking anything... In the cafe we had a coffee and cake too... special cake! My friend and I were rolling around the floor with laughter!! We decided to buy two more bags of cookies to entertain us on the way up the coast. Greyhound can be such a long trip – we thought we would add a little fun into it :-)
"TIP - don't cure the munchies with more magic cookies"
Unfortunately we got a bit excited about our new found happiness – We decided to eat a few more cookies on the way back! (Must have been the munchies!!) TIP – don’t cure the munchies with more magic cookies!!
My friend started freaking out and crying her eyes out when we got back to the hostel. She was screaming, and completely flipping out!! I didn’t know what to do so I asked the staff at the hostel what to do – They gave her lots of water, and managed to calm her down – explaining to her that she wasn’t going to die and she would be fine in an hour or so...
The next day she was so embarrassed to be seen by any of the staff, but thankfully they were so cool about it and we had a giggle about it. Note to self – first time trying cookies!! Don’t overdo it!
We continued to make our way up the coast after spending about a week in Byron Bay, partying, learning to surf, skydiving and dolphin kayaking... It was an experience of a lifetime.
Our next stop was Surfers Paradise, what a place!! It reminded me of Miami, only smaller! The nightlife was fantastic! Non stop partying, fantastic beach and of course Dreamworld and Movie world!
We managed to pick up a great price on the tickets! We got the two day ticket, which lets you go back the next day if you didn’t get to go on all the rides or just wanted an extra day! We went out that night on one of the local pub crawls – probably the most embarrassing night of my life. I got so incredibly drunk, made a complete fool of myself and at some point thought it would be a great idea to take a boy I met that night back to the hostel!! My room mates thought differently!! I was in a six bed dorm, and had a top bunk!! (God love the person underneath us!)
"The night manager came in and told us off"
We stumbled through the door at 4am, giggling and carrying on! We both managed to make it up the steps to the bunk safely!! (It amazes me!) We were getting quite cosy and I could feel the bunk shaking!! I could hear my room mates getting really pissed off, one of them got up and left the room. Soon after she left the night manager came in and told us off and asked me to check out the next morning!! I was so embarrassed I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me!
So I checked out and moved to the Islander resort which is bang in the city and close to everything!! I behaved myself here and had a great time for the rest of my time in Surfers Paradise!
I continued up the coast and if I was lucky enough to pick up, I made him check-in to a private room!
You live and learn everyday! Never regret your bad decisions, learn from them and look back and laugh!
Editors Note: Read this article if you want to learn of other places to have discreet sex in hostels (rather than waking your roommates up). Want to learn about "flashpacking"? Read Flashpacker or Backpacker? What type of traveler are you?Disclaimer - *Drugs are illegal in Australia!