Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Sydney to Brisbane drive (Day 5)

We left Lismore with an impression of a funky Christmas tree roundabout.

Alstonville had two venues penned into our itinerary. House of No Steps, or Summerland House, was where we stopped first, as we thought of having brekkie at Turning Point Cafe.

The special thing about this place is that almost everyone here has a disability of some sort.

Both of us ordered the same thing, scrambled eggs on toast and chai latte.

If Mum were here, her favourite location would be the Garden Centre, where they sold different kinds of plants, pots, accessories, statues and whatever else you could think of for your garden.

We also visited the Watts Cottage Museum, dedicated to founder Lionel Watts who became quadriplegic after contracting poliomyelitis. The House With No Steps was established after he found a lack of training and rehabilitation programmes for people with disabilities that would help them re-enter the workforce.

There are fun stuff for the children, as well!

Summerland House With No Steps
253 Wardell Road, Alstonville, NSW 2477
02 6628 0610 (Tel), 02 6628 3718 (Fax)
Daily 9:00am - 4:00pm except Good Friday and Christmas Day

Situated just a few minutes drive along the same road is Amaze 'n' Place.

After paying the entrance fee, we were asked if we would like to attempt one of their seeker's games and thought, hm, why not?

Our challenge was to find the answers without climbing through the trees. And so, off we went into the maze!

We had to look for statues or plant ornaments, which matched the questions. It made us very dizzy looking for a particular mushroom (there were so many of them!), as we were walking in circles trying to find the right route.

It was not as easy as we thought it would be! We underestimated this maze, which comparatively, looked easier and smaller than the one we visited a few years ago.

Amaze 'n' Place
149 Wardell Road, Alstonville, NSW 2477
02 6628 7518 (Tel), 02 6628 0822 (Fax)
Daily 10:00am to 5:00pm
Adults: $12
Children and Concession: $10
Children under five: Free

I was a little worried that we may not be able to find our next destination but little did I know that this 'unknown' place on Google Maps had tourist signposts leading the way!

Where? Yes, the Bexhill Open Air Cathedral.

Ideally located at Inspiration Point, worshippers have the luxury of an extremely big screen of rolling green hills, as it overlooks the Corndale Valley with views of the Nightcap National Park in the distance.

Just a few hundred metres down the road sits the Church of the Good Shepherd, which serves as an alternative venue should the weather becomes unsuitable.

We quickly grabbed some KFC before re-living the 70s at Bangalow.

I wonder which part of the 70s were these part of... haha...

It did not take us long to arrive at Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge.

The dormitories had quick access to the pool.

You could choose to sit outside to relax or just hang out on a hammock near the creek.

If not, play some volleyball.

We thought it was quite funky, the choice of 'room' we chose...

It was like this gigantic tent with the luxury of two single beds!

The downside of this was that we had to walk all the way back to the dorms, where the toilets where situated to answer nature's call. And with the rain, it made going to the toilet a big hassle.

Arts Factory Backpackers Lodge
1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay, NSW 2481
02 6685 7709 (Tel)

With the entire evening to kill, we spent the whole time walking around Byron Bay town.

And boy, walk we did! We checked out almost every shop there was in town. One shop particularly caught my attention, and after covering the whole place, I returned to Institute of Cute.

They were most friendly and helpful and to top that off, I was given a free 'lucky little ladybird'!

While paying, I asked where to go for something nice and we were pointed to Fishmongers Gourmet Fish & Chips.

Audrey and I shared a half family box, which was a seafood selection for two.

We could not finish the whole serving but it was worth the effort (however much we put in) because the seafood was fresh. I would not mind trying their Manly and Bondi branches. At least I would not need to travel that far.

Fishmongers Gourmet Fish & Chips
Bay Lane (Behind the Beach Hotel), Byron Bay, NSW 2481
02 6680 8080 (Tel), 02 6685 9726 (Fax)
Daily 12:00pm to 10:00pm

Distance covered today: 65km (we made up the lack of driving with heaps of walking!)

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