Road Trip With D'Arcy Dineen
Summer is approaching; the water is warmer, the sun is more intense and the days are becoming longer.
The anticipation of summer had become too much, so I jumped the gun and organised a little surf trip with 3 of my best mates driving down the east-coast of NSW. Amongst them, a talented film-maker, insane guitarist and a pretty stylish longboarder – what more could I ask for?
There’s something about a surf trip with your mates that fills you with joy and giggles. Whether it’s the loose schedule or unknown destination, the feeling of freedom and is welcome with open arms. I find it hard to feel footloose when in the routine of work, rest, and then play.
And so off we went from our paradise in Noosa. The only plan we had made was to drive no more than 4 hours a day over the space of a week.Our first stop was Evans Head, a quiet little fishing town 45 minutes from Byron Bay. We unpack the swags, went for a skate as the sun set, and then shared a few beers under the stars until we ran out of stories.
We woke up the next morning to an epic sunrise – a perfect way to start the day. Not to mention, the wallabies quietly feeding throughout our campsite. We packed up the car and scooted off down the road to Angourie for quick surf. A quick surf turned in to a half-day pit stop because the waves were pumping, sun was shining and we had no schedule to stick to.
After getting side-tracked we took our time driving down through Coffs Harbour and ended up at Scotts Head. Scotts Head is the kind of town you would’ve head your parents talk about as kids. It’s where the sun and salty air has taken its toll on all the old fibro shacks, leaving their hinges rusty and paint job heavily faded. The only thing that brought Scotts Head down that day was that the ocean was dead flat. It didn’t really dampen the mood though. Instead, we ventured to a Grassy Head for a morning swim and enjoyed the sea breeze while listening to my mate jam Hendrix and Floyd for a good portion of the morning.Later that day we set on the road until we reached a really beautiful spot, Emerald Beach. With the surf blown out and pretty seedy, we quickly brainstormed a short story we could film to kill the time. Search “Juka films” on Vimeo to enjoy a funny little skit we made in 2 hours.
Every town we drove through was similar, with their own little quirk to make them a bit different… They’re either old fishing town or surfing town that never really got any bigger, and that’s why they’re so special. There’s really something about these towns… The odd brick house, the old stray dog, the local pub, untouched headlands and locals that give you the odd look or snarl because you look immediately out of place. It’s a bit of a time warp, with not much having changed since the 70s.
I don’t know what I love more on these kinds of trips, the journey or the destination. If you happen to score a few waves in the process, well, that’s just a bonus.
If you have been on a surf trip, or even just a road trip with your mates along our beautiful coast, do it. Ask your Dad, for his old tent, dig out a swag from the shed, grab the mozzie spray, fill up your car and go. The northern NSW coastline is so hidden and beautiful – it’ll make your day!