We are blessed to live on the beautiful Far North Coast of New South Wales. There are so many amazing places in Australia, but this area holds a special place in my heart, as it’s close to where I grew up.
You know, life gets so busy, and we can all let things slide sometimes, including friendships. I’m blessed to have an amazing group of close friends, all of whom I treasure. However, we can all certainly fall into the trap of being busy with work, children, parents, business, fitness regimes (haha!), hobbies and all the other important things which pull us in different directions. We used to get together for a weekend every year, but it’s been about three years since we’ve managed a weekend together. We all love the opportunity to relax and reconnect. It’s also great to have some time to just be ourselves, rather than someone’s Mum, wife, daughter, sister, maid, carer, taxi driver, etc. …
Last weekend, my friends and I visited the pretty town of Lennox Head, which is about 15 minutes north of the regional centre of Ballina, and around 20 minutes south of iconic Byron Bay. Lennox Head has a variety of good restaurants and cafes, as well as a range of gorgeous homewares, gift and fashion stores. There’s even a gelato shop! 🙂 It’s also got a more relaxing ambience than a lot of other places.
Having arranged a beachside apartment for 2 nights through Stayz, we arrived on Friday afternoon to find a lovely homely abode. We assume the property is the owner’s weekender, as there were a lot more decorator items and some lovely paintings which you usually don’t find in a holiday rental. Once unpacked, we took a long walk up to the northern end of Lennox Head (about 6km return), which eased our consciences about the calories we anticipated consuming over the weekend.
On returning to the unit, we prepped a salad for dinner (the healthy part of our dinner, which otherwise consisted of take away fish and chips), then popped out to the veranda to put our feet up and relax with a glass of bubbly Prosecco. I usually have to stop at one glass on a Friday night, if I have a drink at all, as I’m the taxi driver for teenagers, so I need to be sober to drive. Well, needless to say, there were no pick ups required this time, so the glasses were refilled and we thoroughly enjoyed several glasses of our beloved Prosecco. The conversation flowed, along with the wine, and we laughed about fun times and embarrassments we’ve shared over the years. Our dinner went down a treat, and we finished it off with some lovely Lindt chocolate – not my usual Friday night fare, but oh so good!
The next morning, my annoying body clock had me awake pre-dawn, so I quietly got up and went outside to enjoy a quiet cup of tea and watch the sunrise. After my cuppa, I took a lovely walk down along the coastal path and snapped a few photos on my phone. The sunrise never ceases to amaze me and this day, it was another stunning sight.
On returning to the unit, my friends had started to stir and let’s just say there were a few sore heads amongst us. I really enjoyed my cup of Dandelion tea (it’s a liver tonic!) and some vegemite toast – enough said! The other girls had coffee and toast all round. The thought of a cooked breakfast didn’t tempt us one bit!!
We managed to get our act together after we’d all freshened up and we headed off to Ballina for a pedicure and some shopping.
After our pedi, we drove north to Byron Bay for lunch, where we experienced the paid parking the town has recently installed, which limits you to 2 hours in any one spot and you pay $6-8 for the privilege! We parted with all the gold coins we could muster, then wandered off to find lunch. Just along the street, we found a place called the Ginger Pig, where we enjoyed delicious steak sandwiches.
After lunch, we wandered the trendy boutiques and homewares stores, which are lined up one after another – how do they all survive? We were shocked by the exhorbitant prices of the fashion and the snooty aloofness of the retail staff, who mostly didn’t even bother to acknowledge us, even when the store was otherwise empty. I learned a long time ago that you can’t judge a book by its cover – you never know what people are prepared to spend in a store. Each of us intended to buy something – we just had to find an item we loved enough! In the end, we gave up looking and decided to head back to Lennox for a gelato, as our parking meter was about to expire.
You may be wondering why we didn’t base ourselves in this popular town, which is a tourist magnet. On our first weekend way 13 years earlier, we really enjoyed a visit to Byron, including the nightlife. As we’ve matured, our collective interests have evolved and we now seek out quieter places, rather than the busyness of places like Byron Bay, which in our opinion, has become overrun with an eclectic mix of back-packers, well-healed sea changers and alternative lifestyle seekers. Byron is still a very beautiful place – it’s beaches are renowned world-wide, but the vibe of the town has changed in recent years. We were pleased we’d decided to stay in the quieter, more affordable hamlet of Lennox Head.
Arriving back in Lennox Head, we all felt more relaxed. The gelato was sensational, and we managed to visit a couple more shops before heading back to the unit for some quiet relaxation. After freshening up, we headed out to the popular local Italian restaurant, Quattro. The food here is mighty delicious! We shared a bowl of warm Sicilian olives and a glass of delicious red wine while we waited for our mains. Each of us enjoyed our main courses, the sensational dukkah-crusted lamb and the yummy salmon fillet. We had just enough room for dessert, so we squeezed in a shared sticky date pudding and chocolate fondant – deeeeelicious!
On Sunday morning, we had an extra hour, as it was the end of daylight saving time (thank goodness!). But true to form, I was awake pre-dawn again, which was around 4.30am! Nevertheless, I got up to enjoy the requisite cup of tea and watch the sunrise again. Of course, I took myself for another stroll with the phone/camera and took some more lovely sunrise pics.
A little later, when my room mate awoke, we walked up to the top of Pat Morton lookout, at the southern most end of Lennox Head, to enjoy the view back over the town and work off that dessert! It’s a pretty big hill to walk up, just so you know :-).
After breakfast, we took a drive to nearby Bangalow and wandered this pretty little village. They have a variety of fashion, food and homewares shops, from the affordable to the more expensive. We enjoyed our morning here and there were a few lovely items which tempted us along the way.
By lunchtime, we had to head back to the unit for a late checkout, then we had our final lunch at a place called Williamsburg in Lennox Head. Williamsburg is a trendy little place, frequented by young hipsters with beards and low-slung chinos. We didn’t really fit the criteria of their usual clientele, but we sat down at a table, hoping we could just get some lunch. The menu consists of burgers, burgers and more burgers – albeit delicious burgers! They did offer a salad too, and the lunch was lovely. Then it was time to head home.
Our weekend was over so quickly! We hugged and said our goodbyes before getting into separate cars and heading back to our families. I’m so grateful to have such lovely friends who love and support me, even if we don’t catch up as often as we’d like to. Till next time girlies! xox
A few more things to do in Lennox Head:
- Swimming and beach walks
- Water activities on Lake Ainsworth – canoeing, sailing etc.
- Scuba diving and snorkelling on the northern end of Seven Mile beach
- Surf School
- Travel to the nearby hinterland for rainforest walks
When was the last time you had a weekend away? Where did you go? Please leave your comments in the box below. Grazie! 🙂
Linking up with the lovely Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit for #LovinLifeLinky
Also linking up with the gorgeous Kirsty for #IMustConfess