We reluctantly left Byron Bay but knew there was a lot to look forward to in the future as well.
Someone told us that we had to spend a night in a town called Nimbin, a one-of-a-kind hippie town where they preach legalization of marijuana, world peace, etc. We weren't sure what to expect but curiosity got the best of us so we had to check it out. Turns out it was exactly what we heard about, but more bizarre. The second we got out the van we got offered pot. Then another 3 times in the course of 10 minutes. Then someone tried to sell us hash cookies. (No -- we did not take them up on the offer, it wasn't cheap - hee hee!) I was a bit confused so I asked if pot was legal there. The answer was no, but no one will frown upon you if you smoke it on the street there. We wondered why there was a police staion on the corner -- either they turn a blind eye or they participate as well.
We went to the Nimbin museum there as well, which was full of random gadgets and papered with newspaper cutouts from years passed. Aside from the from of a VW bus in the front, nothing really realted to peace or pot, in fact nothing made sense at all. i.e. the kerosene lamp or the masks -- it was also very dark, more like a haunted house. We paid the $2 donation and got out of there pretty quickly.
In fact we didn't spend more than an hour in the town in total. We did run into the 2 Irish guys on the street, though, who were thrilled they went there just to buy a new stash to last them a few more days. Don't think they stayed long either.
Then we were off to the Gold Coast. Surfer's Paradise was the next destination on the list. We had heard great things about this place -- but turns out it was a concrete jungle - all high rises and tourist traps like Hard Rock Cafe. In fact, we passed Miami Beach and Palm Beach on the way. Apparently it had a happening night life - but we opted to stay at the campsite, cook a nice meal and settle down with our books. We never even touched the beach there as weren't thrilled with the scene in general. We decided instead to move on the next morning for a more quiet, tropical spot.