Port MacQuarie – “I’ve Never… Been to Ozzie Pozzie” ;-)

24 Nov

So what can we say about this past week…? Chelsea and I have spent the last seven days in a small town half way between Sydney and Byron Bay (where I am presently writing this from). Suffice it to say that it was simply incredible. Let me start at the beginning… (warning: this is a lengthy post)

Our original plan was to take the train and bus from Sydney all the way into Byron Bay. We were standing in the Sydney Central Station with our tickets virtually in hand and decided that 15hrs on a train and bus was a bit much and literally pointed at the map half way up at a little town called Port MacQuarie. Chelsea said that she remembered reading something about the town in our Lonely Planet Book (thank you Care and Jon and Alan!) so decided that because the train was leaving in 20mins, we’d hop on it instead.

After giving Chelsea a brief panic attack (I went for a food run and made the train with 90seconds to spare) we were on our way. The 6 hour train ride followed by the 1 hour bus ride gave us enough time to realize that we didn’t have anywhere to stay and crossed our fingers that this little hostel called “Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers” would have space available for us. Upon getting off the bus in Port Mac I called the phone number off the pamphlet that Chelsea got from our Sydney hostel and was greeted by a friendly voice (later to be known as Phil) saying that they had room available for us and that he’d have the shuttle sent over to us at the bus stop. Two younger guys (Simon and Jake) arrived minutes later eating the most delicious looking pizza we’d had ever seen. We rode back to the hostel and because we were on our honeymoon, Simon moved us from a dorm into a double and charged us almost $10 less a night that he should have/was supposed to.

Our first day there we figured we spend it getting some groceries together and getting settled in…or so we thought. We ended up drinking a bit more than our “fair-share” and met a few of the residents of the hostel. Rada from Wales, Saskia from the Netherlands, Steve and Ash (the pommie’s Couprie and I are gonna SMASH on MW3 when I’m home), and Brad, one of the people working to live there. After 11pm we all got cleared out of the common area and decided to move our party to the local park. After putting up with getting bitten by ants for almost two hours, we decided to call it a night!

The next morning we wanted to explore the town and walked to the harbour and through the cute shops that were open. A local tradition in Port is to paint the large rocks that were along the water side in the harbour. (Alan we sent you one of Harley Quinn). We then moved into town to an attraction called The Glass House. It was a local art and cultural centre that had a few exhibits going on. One of which was done by local high-school students and was absolutely incredible. Was also a pretty good insight into the plight of being a teenager these days too… one display called ‘Fear’ gave me nightmares! lol Upstairs from there Chelsea found a display called “Ultrabuddha” which was some form of modern artistic take on a Chinese comic book character. After almost giving myself an aneurism trying to figure out what it was all about, Chelsea found chalk boards where you could draw your own version of what you felt an Ultrabuddha was. (Chelsea says that Jay would appreciate our drawings…whatever that means) That night the hostel was having an all-you-can-eat pizza and box wine (affectionately referred to as “Goon”) night. When they said they were ordering from Domino’s, I was somewhat skeptical. But holy crap… I’m not sure where Canada fell off the recipe wagon with respect to Domino’s pizza, but they need to look up the Ozzie version ASAP! The wine was…well…. free. Let’s leave it at that…

The next morning we woke up and decided to do one of the coastal walks that Port Mac offered. We started at a place called Flagstaff point, and Port Mac didn’t waste any time impressing us even more. After a few quick photo opps at the flagstaff itself (was used in late 19th century to warn ships of the rocky shores) we were turning to leave and Chelsea saw something splash a kilometer or so off shore. We waited and kept watching and realized that it was a pod of Humpback whales migrating past us! We tried to get some pictures (you can kind of see them) but they were a ways away. The experience itself though was fantastic! We continued on our way for an hour or so and came to another beach and was surprised yet again by a pod of at least a dozen dolphins splashing and playing in the waves and showing off for a boat full of people. This experience however was soon overshadowed by the steaming pile of naked old man penis we were treated to further down the beach… yes apparently this one doubles as a nudist beach. The camera went away…and we picked up our pace. We were told about this magnificent lighthouse that crests the coastal walk perfectly. Well if you go through the pictures, you will see that it looks like a Lego building placed on top of a mountain. Regardless though we had walked the whole trail, saw some amazing things, and got some incredible pictures.

Because we hadn’t yet been to the ocean in Port Mac, we decided to take advantage of the free body boards available and head down to the beach. It was somewhat windy so we weren’t sure of what the waves were going to be like. Well as you can see from the pictures and videos (God bless the waterproof cameras) they were pretty intense. The lifeguards had flags out to mark where the safest spots were to swim so we were sure to stay between them! That night was supposed to be our last night but we decided to just stay the weekend and see what we felt like on Monday. Turned out to be the best decision we made…

The rest of the trip was spent by the pool, drinking with friends, and playing some card games. (I am STILL gin-rummy champion). I was even treated to a night of midnight fishing by Brad (the one “sleeping” in the pictures on the pier). Eventhough we didn’t catch a thing, it was still a great night out. Monday night was another blurry night with friends. Chelsea and I had the bright idea to purchase 30 cans of beer figuring that would last us until the time we left (now Wednesday) and awoke to only 5 cans remaining… So the staff moved Sangria Night ahead a night for our departure party. Do yourself a favour and check out the pictures and video of this… 48 litres of Sangria POLISHED by the residents of Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers.

I’d like to take this time to say a very special thank you to the staff and friends we made at Ozzie Pozzie from both Chelsea and myself. You were without doubt the best group of people would could have asked for!! See you all again in a few weeks!!

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