Scream that at the top of your lungs, and get that van engine revving. In the summer sun with a pack of mates, nothing can beat a road trip: hitting the road and clocking up some serious mileage to various out-back destinations on long winding roads. In the Aussie summer of 2012, we hired a cringe-worthy ‘Wicked!’ Campervan and took off up the coast, from Melbourne up to the Byron Bay area to ensure we crammed in some Aussie fun before my stressful visa ended.
Our road trip involved cruising up through various little towns with forgettable names and silent streets, sleeping for $5 in a campsite by the River Murray (enough insects and bugs in those camp toilets to last for a lifetime of nightmares – “THEY’RE IN MY HAIR! THEY’RE IN MY HAAAIR!!”), not washing for lengthy amounts of time, never figuring out how to bloody set-up those beds inside the van, jumping in oceans and slobbing out in the beautiful area of Bellingin (New South Wales). Stunning rainforests and beaches surrounded Bellingen and to spend Christmas with my best friend’s family was a pure delight.
We were fed to within an inch of our lives with copious wine on offer. Given complete reign over the little cabin on their land. We cruised this stunning wooded area and camped in random grassed verges by quaint magical rivers. What a time we had!
Then when New Years came around, we packed up our shit and trundled over to nearby Lennox Head. Passing through Byron Bay on New Year’s Eve was a bloody ridiculous scene and we were O so glad we chose the chilled surfer paradise of Lennox Head over the crazed party animals of Byron. In Byron, you literally couldn’t move or breathe as so many people filled the streets/cafes/beaches – way too busy for our liking!
We managed to score a last-minute camp site spot (it’s illegal to pull up on the side of the road and sleep in this little town. Especially on NYE) and who’d have thunk it? It was the same camp site as our most cherished and beloved couple in Melbourne. Cue make-shift cocktails which mainly consisted of Jamison Whiskey and lime, glow sticks bestowed to us by a friendly neighbouring camper and a midnight frolic on the beach to welcome in the New Year of 2013. There must’ve been about five other people on the beach, so we literally ran riot under the moon! Yes, there was a slight drama when Bella sprayed my face with a glow-stick’s toxic insides and temporarily blinded me… but all’s well that ends well! I still had sight within half hour of the new year.
They say that the way you spend New Year’s eve is the way you spend the rest of that year. So I should’ve spent it as a hippie nomad, rolling around beaches with the bestest friends a girl could ask for! Even though 2013 didn’t quite turn out like that, it gave me the best start to the year that a girl could ask for. Damn I miss those girls, and damn I miss that landscape.
All photographs by Sophie Saint