So you’re on this wild road trip most likely heading to Byron Bay in all its wonder but are you stitching yourself up by skipping a beautiful location that NSW has on offer?
Recently, I set out on the renowned road trip from Sydney to Byron with three boys and a camper van. Although we were sent for work, none of us wanted to be in a rush to trek the 9-hour trip to Byron.
All of us wanted to explore new activities, hikes, rainforests, amazing surf, and that’s exactly what we did. Doesn’t sound like a bad idea right?
I understand that many people reading this may not have all the time in the world to stop at every place on their journey. However if you do manage to compile a couple of sickies & annual leave for a getaway, I ask you to take the opportunity to go and see what is out there. But where would I sleep? Not to worry are plenty of Air B&B’s, motel’s, campsites etc. or better yet hire a campervan, its like a home on wheels.
Anyway, I’ll share with you a moment I had to myself after we stopped in at the coast.
It was a sunny afternoon in autumn and the crew and I decided to pull of the highway and catch the sunset by the ocean. Using trusty old Google maps, we set out to reach Hat Head National Park in the Mid- North coast of NSW.
As we pulled up at our destination we couldn’t really see much in fact it all looked pretty average. I was beginning to regret that we had not done the cliché Crescent Head stopover and flown straight past. That was until I had this moment….
Climbing out of the van, I spotted a path leading towards to headland and decided to run and check it out for us before we lost the opportunity to shoot anything with the light.
I ran the path for a while before the trees parted allowing me to see through. What I witnessed was stunning; a white sandy beach that stretched out as far as the eye could see! There were a couple of people setting up for a bonfire on the beach and some fisherman packing up for the day.
Knowing that the sun would disappear quickly, I turned around and legged it back to tell the boys, risking all the peace and quiet that I could be having… (Kidding guys love you)
Jumping back in the van we shot down to the beach. All the equipment came out, three DSLR’s, a drone, water housing, a Polaroid and film camera…one could suggest we were pretty keen on capturing it? And very happy we did!
Walking onto the chalk like sand…we were in awe. The ocean was smooth and the sky was lit up with pink and yellows and reflecting it on the water. Stripping down to bathers, we marveled at the length of the beach, its emptiness and the sky putting on a free light show...and to think we were missing out on VIVID?
With floaty devices in arm and a drone in the sky, we reluctantly got in…let’s just say fresh water. Despite it being fairly cold, it really was the perfect set for a beer commercial. An astonishing sunset was unfolding before us… add a beer in hand and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Hat Head is really just a wonder in its own right. It’s beauty lies within its sleepiness and untouched surroundings. It breathes splendour and its untouched nature pours into your soul.
One thing I highly recommend you do in your time there is gear up with a floaty device and float from the landmark bridge in the river right out to the ocean. Grab some snacks with a UE Boom equipped, set up the most Instagram worthy shot, or take yourself on a bush walk through the lush forest, either way you’re bound to be grinning.
Hat Head is just one example of a stop you can make on your nomadic drive up the NSW coast. You don’t have to spend all day there, but just be sure to catch the golden sunrise or pastel sunset. This place just goes to show what you can find if you look just that little bit harder. I suggest you grab a case and go suss it for yourself!
Photography by Pat Suraseang and Myself.