East coast's best kept secret

Trip Start Oct 03, 2012
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Trip End Feb 28, 2013


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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, November 26, 2012

Today I arrive in Yamba, a small town on the east coast 1,5 hours south of Byron Bay. I'm getting a good vibe driving through this town. There's only one Backpackers in town runned by three brothers. One of them is Shane, a former surf champ. As soon as I check in, Shane's asking me to join his tour which starts in 5 minutes. It's only 10 bucks, worth a try I guess. Shane does his own tour in town to show the backpackers around and have some fun. It's called Shane's 10 Dollar bullshit tour for a reason.. which I am about to tell you.Our crew get's in the bus an Shane drives us through town telling about it's history and showing some of the hotspots like the house of Mr Billabong. Mr Billabong started of in a garage and bow owns the biggest villa in Yamba! The coastline has 6 different beautiful beaches and we get to see them all. It's one of the best surfspots in Australia for beginners and pro's. Kelly Slater competed here against Shane to surf one of the most dangerous waves that breaks just before the cliffs. After seeing the surroundings we get to do our first fun activity: Pelican feeding! Everyone gets to feed the pelicans one fish. You hold the fish as high as you can so all the pelicans will try to get it. Seems easy right? Well it's actually a bit intimidating beeing surrounded by 15 massive pelicans snapping at you and trying to get the fish out of your hand. The could easily break your fingers or worse. And watch out for Cranky! His name speaks for itself. He's not only after the fish, he'll bite anything! My turn.. I hold the fish as high as I can trying to avoid Cranky and not to get bitten anywhere. After few seconds of 15 pelicans snapping their beaks I let go of the fish and quickely move away! That was kind of a thrill haha.                                       Our next activity will be cliff jumping. As I told you before I have a slight fear of hights but I decide I will try this once. We head off to the spot and suddenly Shane stops.. He saw a snake near a big hole next to the track. Everybody gathers around as Shane is trying to catch the snake to show it to us. It's hidden in the hole and Shane's reaching in the tey to catch it. He says he's almoust got it, and them suddenly Shane starts to tremble.. Something doesn't seem right in this picture to me. A grown man brave enough to put his head and arm in a hole to try to catch a venomous snake and then starts to tremble at the last moment? I call bullshit on this one! Still I don't say a word cause I don't want to spoil the fun. Everybody has their camera's ready and then Shane pulls out the snake and throws it in front of the group who start yelling and duck away. It was a fake snake! Still hilarious to scare people like that, too bad for Shane I saw it coming haha. After this little prank it's time gor the serious stuff: cliff jumping! There are  2 different hights to jump from. 8 meters and 15 meters. I'll just take the 8 meters.. The cliffs are situated near a fresh waterpool close to the beach. To get on top of the cliff you have to swim across and climb the cliff. That was the easy part. Climbing was a little harder but for me the hardest part was making myself ready to jump. I say a little prayer and jump! That was pretty cool actually! But one time is enough for me now.  Our last activity is to handfeed some sort of local piranhas with white bread. Be careful for your fingers cause they will eat them if they can! Shane's 10 dollar bullshit tour was definetly worth the money :DNext day it's time to surf! I must be honoust and wasn't any good today.. So I'll keep practising. I did caught a couple of waves, not bad for my second time! In the afternoon I meet up with Alexandre who I met in Christchurch. Nice to see him again! He's never seen a kangaroo so far so I take him to the golfcourse where the kangaroos hang out and chill in the shade. After that we walk to te beach where Alex does some drawing and I sit down and write a little. Perfect end of the day.Yamba is indeed one of the best kept secrets of the East Coast and just has everything you could wish for but still remains a calm and uncrowded backpackers spot. Definetly visit Yamba if you can!
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