This morning we set off further south, leaving Mount Tamborine in convoy in bright sunshine. One of the cars had a steering problem, which fortunately manifested itself in the car park rather than on one of the windy roads! Luckily help was at hand with a local man who could make the part within 2 hours and Joh and the others who stopped to help him caught up later. Geoffrey also had a technical problem – he ran out of petrol. Luckily one of the other members of the trip had a spare can which saved the day.
We drove through some manicured residential areas and on through bushland and farmland. We stopped and went to explore the Natural Arch National Park. This involved a bush walk down to an arch formed of rock with a waterfall behind it. In the rain-forest we heard the whipbirds which are heard but seldom seen. Again it is worth listening to them on You – tube as their sound like a whip is amazing. If the male who makes the call is lucky the female answers with 2 short peeps.
In the creek itself which runs through the valley there are eels which are spawned out at sea and as elvers travel upstream into freshwater rivers and streams where they remain for 8 to 30 years before setting off north to their breeding grounds at sea. We continued on our trip and stopped on the side of the River Tweed. This is not a fast flowing river like the one in the UK. There was a journalist and photographer there and he took photos and wanted to know all about our visit from the UK.
We continued on our route and saw more lovely scenery and superb views of the coastline and then arrived at Byron Bay for lunch on the sea-front. This is a trendy town full of tanned and good-looking youth so we fitted in well (!!?). It has a bay with a long stretch of sandy beach leading round to the headland where the lighthouse stands looking impressive. This is the eastern-most point of mainland Australia and had impressive views. We managed to get a photo of 3 cars in front of the lighthouse holding up all traffic in so doing. There were Dolphins to be seen but not by us. Coincidentally the most easterly point of Spain is near our Casa there.
On to Ballina, via the coast road. We stayed in the functional Comfort Inn along with 4 cars from the local fuzz and their officers. We enjoyed another alternate dinner and said farewell to all our Aussie companions who have been so welcoming and such fun to be with. We feel that we have made some good friends.

Pommie Pete
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