Coolangatta to Byron Bay
Distance Travelled - 98 km
Had some trouble getting to sleep last night with lots of things on my mind but eventually nodded off about 1 am. Woke at 4.30 am to the sound of the alarm on my phone going off and struggled out of bed at about 4.4 5am. Got sorted and left around 5 am to take Keri to the airport for her flight to Cairns for her conference for uni. After I dropped her at the airport I went back to her place and went back to bed.
Got out of bed about 7.45 am and proceeded to finish the last bits of packing the car and cleaning up after breakfast etc ready to leave. Headed off towards Fingal Head in NSW, stopping at Maccas on the way to post the blog.
Took some more shots of Fingal, with its new paint job, and then spent an hour or so watching the surf from the hill top between the lighthouse and the beach. There were some glorious breakers rolling in and not long after I sat down to watch 2 pods of dolphins numbering about 20 in total swim through. Unfortunately I only had my wide angle lens with me which made photographing them difficult but I did get one poor shot that even after cropping makes it not real easy to see. A few of the dolphins rode the surf and jumped over and through the waves giving me the opportunity to get one in a shot.
After viewing the dolphins until they left, I went round the head more to watch a couple of surfers and was able to see a couple of whales out in the deep, too far away to photograph or see too closely but the spray and size of the shapes left no doubt they were whales. A few minutes after spotting them they disappeared and so I took my cue to head towards Byron Bay.
Got to Byron Bay Lighthouse and settled in for a lesson in patience. Although I know it probably doesn't matter, I really want my lighthouse photos to have no people in them. Given that Byron Bay has, on average, over 1400 visitors a day and over 500 000 visitors a year and the fact that it is school holiday time in Qld I didn't like my chances and thought I might end up having to compromise on my wishes. However, after 3 hours of waiting and snapping photographs I had 3 people-less photos I was reasonably happy with. I left the lighthouse and went towards town but the traffic congestion was incredible so I returned to the lighthouse to wait for darkness so I could do some night photography.
After taking some night shots at the lighthouse I left to go find one of the beach car parks that might give me access to a view of the lighthouse at night with perhaps a chance of getting the beam in a better position for the ideal photo I want. I will try and find somewhere close by to sleep and head back to the lighthouse for some sunrise photography before heading off further into NSW and heading for Richmond River and Clarence River lighthouses.