We had the windows down in the Subaru. The road swayed and curved with the lay of the land, through valleys and around huge old blue gums. The grass was long and green and the sun was high. We’d left Byron Bay that morning in search of adventure, to head somewhere we didn’t know.
It was winter, but it was still hot. I hadn’t seen a cloud for three weeks and I was stoked to have such good weather while my buddies were here from Sweden. We needed to cool down so we headed for Whian Whian waterfalls.
This is macadamia country and in neat rows hugging the valleys were swathes of these tall trees. At first we thought they were olive groves but the trees were far too big for that. Did you know that macadamia nuts are the only agriculture product that Australia exports that is indigenous to this country? True story!
The roads are narrow and we got lost more than once, the locals were generous with directions.
Whian Whian falls, like most, aren’t signposted very well. At the bottom of a gully, over a bridge we found a clearing beside the road. We followed a well-worn path along the fence line and ducked under low branches, then down slick, rocky stairs to the river.
Big rocks led a path across the slow current. It seemed the water level was lower than normal, it hadn’t rained for some time.
We dropped our towels and started to explore. The sun was bright and hot but it was cold in the shade, the water was icey. We found sections of the rocks in which to recline and we jumped in the frigid water.
We were out pretty quick, due more to finding a few leaches than because of the cold.
We had the place to ourselves and we wore big smiles. Byron bay gets crowded but you don’t have to go far to find your own little bit of tranquility.
I finished a roll of film and we headed back to the car. The road had a gentle curve to it and there was no traffic so we pulled out the skatey. We took turns bombing the hill, and taking photos. We egged each other on to start higher up the hill, carving wide across the whole road, it was as if the world had disappeared, none of us wore shoes.