Aussie Outlaw Provides The Spark On Trip From Surfer’s Paradise To Byron Bay
The adrenalin rushed through my body and my toes began to tingle.
It took abbot 10 days of being Down Under, but I finally had my “wow, I’m in Australia!” moment.
It was a small thing, really, but not insignificant. I was traveling on a motor coach (bus) from Surfer’s Paradise to Byron Bay. I had chosen a company called Premier because I noticed it went not along the highway but through the many coastal towns between the two cities.
I thought, “what a great way to see Australia and get somewhere at the same time!”
And that indeed proved to be the case. The route went though small beach towns and provided views of the ocean and one beautiful bay after another. After we breezed past one of those bays, I looked to the right for no particular reason and there it was, my moment.
In an otherwise ordinary strip mall was a sign for Ned Kelly’s Pizza.
Ned Kelly’s Pizza!? It was like seeing a kangaroo and a koala bear while being hit on the head with a boomerang. There’s nowhere else in the world you will find anything with Ned Kelley’s name on it except here. I was definitely in Australia now!
Ned Kelly – I learned from reading my favorite book on Australia, In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson – is an Australian folk hero. He was an 1800s outlaw, Australia’s version of Billy The Kid, and for some reason he’s treated with deep regard by Aussies.
There’s even a whole town, Glenrowan in Victoria, devoted to his life (and death, which came in a somewhat comical shootout with the law), including the apparently really hokey “Ned Kelly’s Last Stand” attraction.
At any rate, after feeling more like I was in California and Florida rather than Down Under, seeing Ned Kelly’s Pizza in strip mall in a dot of a beach town called Tweed Head, I finally felt as if I was in Oz.