|Uh oh - another short driving day. We started with a pretty coastal drive along the Miami shores and then proceeded to Palm Beach. Yes, we are on the East coast -- of Australia! Wonder where they got those names? Some nice beach stops in both areas. The surf was up a bit and the water was full of surfers. And we had some fair views of the Brisbane skyline across the large bay. Surprised me, as we were a pretty good drive south of Brisbane by this time.
We continued on along the coast, climbed a small hill and found ourselves crossing from Queensland into New South Wales. Although we have been in five states and a territory now, this is the first time we have driven across an Australian state border!
At the same point we saw the Captain Cook Memorial, supposedly the location of the famous English explorer's first sighting of Australia. There had been a lighthouse here but it has been replaced by a quite-large memorial.
We left the coast road, made it back to the M1, and drove south to see Tropical Fruit World. This large fruit farm claims to have the largest number of different species of fruit grown in one place in the world! Easy to believe as we enjoyed a tractor ride through acres of exotic fruits. Some we recognized, some we didn't. We had several opportunities to stop and get off our wagon to try some of the fruits in season, such as three varieties of bananas, macadamia nuts, and jaboticaba. The last was Mary's favorite and several of us thought it had great wine potential. It looks like a purple grape, grows directly on the trunk and branches of the tree, and tastes sweet. We also saw avocados, dragon fruit, jackfruit, custard apple and coffee. There were many more fruit trees with the crop not yet in season. After our ride, we adjourned to the tasting room, where we were told about the benefits of the various fruits, how to prepare and eat some of the unusual ones, and had a chance to try many of them. Of course there were also a.number of jams, spreads and toppings available to taste that just happened to be available in the gift shop. We purchased several of the fruits (we're only in our rigs another week!) at prices higher than supermarket, consoling ourselves with the thought of extreme freshness.
Okay, time to move on. Farther south and back to the coast we arrive in Byron Bay, a somewhat avant-garde city with quaint shoppes, restaurants and people. We first drove to the lighthouse, a castle-like structure built overlooking the eastern-most point of continental Australia. We've now been on the eastern-most point of two continents, one for daybreak. Can you name that one? Finishing our walk to the last vestige of sidewalk in a brief subtropical shower, we returned to town and had a nice lunch at Twisted Sista's Cafe.
We left and continued south along the coast for another 30 kilometers. But with on-and-off showers, we didn't make many stops. Even so, we once again pulled into our campground as it was getting dark, which is just after 5 o'clock here. A little socializing and snacking with friends, some leftovers to finish, and it's another day over down under.