From Coombabah to Byron Bay
The day started with the frustrating realization that my telephoto lens' focusing mechanism was broken. I had planned to go searching for wild koalas. Optimistic and armed with an early wakeup, I headed into Gold Coast hoping a nearby photo shop might have rentals available. It soon appeared I was out of luck. Frustrated, but just around the corner from Coombabah conservation area, I decided to go for a walk anyways. After about an hour of searching, I was lucky enough to spot a koala on the branch of a eucalyptus tree. As other folks walked up the path, I took them to the spot and one nice British couple let me use their binoculars for a better view. I was halfway back to the car when I ran into a couple women with two little girls in tow, hoping to find a koala. They are so difficult to spot, I offered to walk with them to show them the precise location. And what a coincidence, one of the women was from Beaumont and her husband was an Augustana alumnus, graduating a couple years after me!
On somewhat of a whim, and with plenty of day ahead of me, I decided to head down the coast to Byron Bay, the most easterly point of mainland Australia. The drive went smoothly and I spent time at the lighthouse first. After drinking in the views I had a bite to eat at a taqueria, wandered about town, and headed out to Wategos Bay to watch the sunset. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.
Here is a video recap: