By Simon Bayliss

The drive to Byron Bay was long and nice for most of the way, dual carriageway, but the Woolgooga to Ballina is still the old single lane road; but a lot of works along the way is a great sign this section of the Pacific Highway will soon be dual carriageway all the way to the border. Much overdue and will make the drive a lot safer.

When on the coast, it is best to hit the water, so Robby and Marc lead most of the group to a cruise along the water from Ballina to Byron Bay with Out of the Blue Adventures. With perfect weather, we cruised north spotting a couple of pods of Dolphin, stopping every now and again for a very informative chat by the operators on not only the marine life but also the geology and indigenous history of the coast. A wonderful 2.5 hour return trip.

While Macca did a trip to the famous Byron Bay lighthouse, those thirsty from the water adventure up the coast did not have to wait long for some refreshment as the next port of call was the Stone and Wood Brewery, a famous Byron Bay boutique brewer of some amazing ales.

With the last day upon us, Macca and Robby are up early to cook breakfast for the group and on the menu is a wonderful omelette with sizzling bacon and chorizo on some local sourdough toasted in the cooking fat.  Thumbs up all around.

The big event for the day is horse riding with Zephyr Horses, a local business that specialises in horseback tours through the rainforest and along the beach just north of the Byron Bay beach. The great thing about Zephyr horses is that no riding experience necessary.

The two-hour ride brought out the cowboy and cowgirl in all the group, with some very sore muscles predicted for the drive home tomorrow.

Our time in Byron finished up with a group dinner at the iconic Balcony restaurant; sensational food with discussions about the highlights of the trip.

Great laughs, great memories and many new friends made… that is what travel is all about.

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