The best of Northern Rivers in Australia

queensland nsw border

I just came back from Australia and we went to Queensland and New South Wales for a proper Northern Rivers experience. We actually landed in Queensland but the border to New South Wales is just about 5 minutes away from the airport. This is the obligatory “straddling the borders” photo and the hotel we stayed in actually has one half in NSW and the other in Queensland! It helps with legislation, they had a casino in one part of the hotel.

wallaby

Here’s some of the fun stuff that we did. Hand feeding a wallaby.

crab pots

Deadliest Catch: New South Wales. I love the series so I’m just going to go “Yeah, sometimes you just have to set the pots and follow your heart. It’s been six weeks out at sea and I think the greenhorn ain’t gonna make it”. Heh! No, seriously, we actually pulled up some crab pots.

yabbie pumping

Yabbie pumping with Irina!

yabbie

Here’s what a yabbie looks like – it has one huge claw and apparently, it’s edible. I wish I could say I caught this one but none of us had any luck with the yabbies.

mud crab

I had the most awesome mud crabs! Just look at the size of the claw. Now imagine sucking off the tender flesh and filling your mouth full of pure fresh crab meat with all the natural juices. I could eat it for the rest of my life!

(if only I can say the same about my relationships)

crab meat

I also learned how to eat it by picking out all the flesh with a crab fork to produce a bowl of sinfully pure crab meat. OMG I just love the way they prepare it, no sauces, just pure fresh crab. I would probably shank you with the crab fork if you took this bowl away from me. NO SHARING! *glares

hand feeding

Alright, don’t try this at home kids. Hand feeding is not recommended. Damn birds have tiny little teeth and they bite.

bacon poached eggs

Double bacon with two poached eggs on Turkish with grilled tomato and rustic potatoes at Cafe d’bar.

surfers

This is the view you’ll get while you’ve having breakfast. I know, it’s amazing. The tiny dots are people surfing.

finger lime

This is an Australian bush finger lime. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen – shaped like a finger and with perfect pearls of caviar like lime that bursts in your mouth. It’s not as sour as regular limes too.

flutterbie cake

The famous Flutterbie cakes with fresh cream, strawberries and jam in a quaint little cafe at Tyalgum – a tiny town with just a small row of shophouses right in the heartland of the Northern Rivers area. I can camwhore quite well eh? Reckon I got the act cute look down pat in this one. Yup, figure I did. ;)

mavis kitchen

Lunch at Mavis’s Kitchen at Murwillumbah – the acclaimed organic low-food-miles restaurant which is featured in MasterChef.

planking

Yes, you’ve been to Mt Warning…but have you planked in the middle of a road with Mt Warning as the backdrop? ;) Mount Warning is said to be the best place to catch a sunrise in Australia.

cattle auction

Cattle auction at Casino Beef Week in…Casino. Yup, it’s a small town in New South Wales. I just wish they had a casino so I can say I’ve been to a casino in Casino. It was awesome, we sat on bales of hay to watch the auction.

pig

Babe was there too. The pig I mean. No, not that one, you mean, mean person. You outta be ashamed of yourself! The pink pig.

wood chopping

The very manly wood chopping competition. You can just smell the testosterone in the air…and also flying bits of wood chips if you’re not careful.

skydive byron bay

Skydive Byron Bay! Jumping out at 14,000 feet and experiencing a 60 second freefall is pure bliss.

byron bay

Imagine sea kayaking around this bay with the waves crashing through your kayak as you power into the great blue sea. We spotted a pod of dolphins too!

cape byron kayak us

This is the “After” photo with Alycia, my team mate in the kayak. We felt more exhausted than we look, or at least I did. She’s awesome though and we were the only team that didn’t overturn the kayak (insert asterisk for small print). #purewin

byron bay steak

This is the best steak I’ve had, bar none. Medium rare with tender beef that melts in your mouth. It’s at Byron at Byron, the only 5 star resort in Byron Bay. The steak is locally sourced and all the ingredients are from organic farms a couple of miles away. Perfect farewell dinner for the trip.

limo

I wish the trip had lasted longer. Thanks to AirAsia X, Tourism New South Wales and Tourism Northern Rivers for organizing this trip. I really liked the limo. Yup, we had our very own limo, complete with champagne. Move out of the way, important people coming through. ;)

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38 thoughts on “The best of Northern Rivers in Australia

  1. Good Lord you did have fun in Aussie! I spent 7 years there and I’ve never been yabbie pumping. I was in Perth though.

    Glad to see you’re having fun HB! :-)

    • Yeah I did! It was an awesome experience, being in the Northern Rivers area, away from the bustling cities. :)

      I’ve never been yabbie pumping too, it was fun, but I didn’t catch any. Heh!

  2. How was skydiving? I would love to read about your experience. I mentioned in a previous post that I have always wanted to try it but never had the guts.

    • I love skydiving. This is my third time skydiving in Australia and the first time in Byron Bay. It’s very picturesque – the descent when you pull the chute, you get about 5 minutes to see the scenery – the bays, the towns, the ocean.

      More fun than a barrel of monkeys. :)

    • Heh! Yeah they have this pagent too – Beef Week Queen but it takes into account all sorts of things like skills in milking a cow. :)

    • Hello Diana! :)

      No worries, we had a great driver who’s a lot of fun called Jason – he watched one side of the road for incoming traffic and Cheesie watched the other side.

      …besides, you can hear it if cars approach. :)

    • Hello Brian!

      Heh! Yeah, it was a lot of fun to go to the Northern Rivers area. I’ve never been here despite all the time I spent doing my uni in Melbourne. It was great, the small town ambiance.

      Casino has a three digit population figure and the Casino Beef Week was interesting. :)

        • Haha! That one threw us off a bit too bro!

          Casino is actually a small town in New South Wales. :)

          There isn’t a casino in Casino, unfortunately but there are pokies.

    • Heh! Well, you’re always going to Europe anyway but ya, Australia is a lot of fun! I loved being back and doing something totally different – instead of the cities, we went to the more unspoiled rural areas.

      You’ll love Byron Bay! There’s a lot of great restaurants with organic food (they’re also big on low-food-miles) and locally produced wine! :)

    • Oh noes! :(

      I think I would eat seafood anyway even if I’m allergic to it – all the prawns, crabs and oysters you’re missing. T_T

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      Yup, it is sinfully juicy, they just cook it by itself coz it’s very fresh so the juices are from the crab…divine! :)

  3. HB, great photos in your entry. I see it was so much fun on your trip. Funny when having someone take your picture the secnd one from the top entry. It made you look like an angel would a halo on top of your head. My friends all see like a halo. I had friends always take funny pictures of me coconut trees, streetlight growing on top of my head in pictures wiseguys.

    • Thanks Vickie!

      Heh! Yeah, I noticed that border structure and wanted to take a photo with it so we went off early to get a shot there. :)

      We arrived early in the morning so that’s the sun rising that’s causing the halo effect. :)

      Haha! I guess that is one way to make photos fun. Hmm…I could try that. ;)

    • Yeah! It was delicious Mila! :)

      I loved the huge mud crabs. The claws are gigantic, full of flesh. I wish I could eat it all over again. :)

    • Eh? What’s that gotta do with the Northern Rivers trip? That happened way before this vacation. I haven’t been in a relationship for quite a while before this one and don’t plan to again. :)

      I’m going to keep myself occupied instead!

      I loved going back to Aussie, it was quite fun for me since I haven’t been back since my uni days in Melbourne. It was good to visit the places that’s a bit more obscure and interesting instead of the same ol’ tourist hotspots. :)

    • Yeah, it was a great experience! :D

      Well, as for the skydive, unfortunately it’s a tandem one – that’s a tandem harness you see there.

      The last time I skydived in Aussie, it was an AFF (assisted free fall) where you skydive alone, with the instructor holding on (but not strapped to you) for assistance.

      I wanted to go solo skydiving this time around too, but I went with a group where every single one is doing their first skydive, plus this was sponsored by Skydive Byron Bay so I can’t switch it. :)

      It still was good though – the view was amazing and there’s some terminal velocity action (60 seconds freefall) at a 14,000 feet skydive. :D

      You know what would be awesome? Jumping out of a plane WITHOUT a chute and getting a tandem stapped on midair. There’s only two people in the world who’s done it before. I want to be the third. Heh!

    • Heh! Close enough. ;)

      It was actually the person who can split the wood the fastest. Each man was given the same size of log and they started hacking away at it when the whistle blew, just raining blows between their legs while standing on it, first on one side, then the other.

      It was quite interesting really. I have a video of it somewhere. :)

    • Haha! T___________T

      Yes, you ate some of the mud crab that I so diligently used the crab fork to harvest for like an hour (or so it seems).

      My good deed of the day. ;)

    • Haha! Well, maybe it wasn’t an angelic type of halo. ;)

      It could be God’s wrath or maybe I’m secretly the left hand of God.

      Yar, I have commited blasphemy and used the name of the Lord in vain. ;)

    • Yeah, it’s a lot of fun! It’s very different from the cities that I’m used to.

      This is rural outback Aussie, very nice change of pace. :)

    • Yeah skydiving can be an expensive sport coz of the plane you need to take you up. I think the gas for that is the bulk of the expenses. :x

      There is a place in Johor where you can skydive for about 1k (RM) per person if you can get 10 people to share the plane. I think I’ve mentioned it to you before bro.

      …they need the person to book to have a Solo A license though but I’ve HEARD people going skydiving alone, and they don’t really check everyone’s license. ;)

      The chutes they have are limited but some of them has an automatic deploy at a preset height so theoretically, you CAN skydive alone (from my point of view) as long as you know how to steer and land, which a 2 hour crash course can fix.

      The trick is not to freak out in the middle while freefalling. The chute will still autodeploy but if you forget to steer, you’ll miss the dropzone and that’s very dangerous coz you might land on a tree, someone’s house and break something (people have even died from cracking a skull from a bad landing).

      However, if you hit the drop zone (which is pretty large), you’ll be safe. :D

    • A wallaby looks a lot like a kangaroo. It’s just several differences in size, tail etc which differentiates the two. :)

      Haha! Yeah, I know and I did in the first one, but the smell of asphalt didn’t agree with my sinuses. ;)

    • Hello Fiona!

      Yeah, we had a lot of good food in Northern Rivers. The places we went to are very big on organic and healthy food. They also promote low-food-miles e.g. closer the source to the plate, the better! :)

      …everything you eat is fresh coz they don’t import stuff from a continent away but instead use local produce.

      The steak was awesome. They had the medium rare down pat! :D

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