"Byron Bay" episode of RoadTrip 2013 released on YouTube

A still image from the Contiki RoadTrip 2013 Byron Bay/Bangalow video.
A still image from the Contiki RoadTrip 2013 Byron Bay/Bangalow video.

UPDATE 11.45am: SO here is what all the fuss was about.

The people behind the Contiki RoadTrip 2013 have released the final video of the series that has trekked around Australia, taking the tour group, ultimately, to Byron Bay.

And, when we say Byron Bay, we mean Bangalow and Currumbin.

The Byron Bay segment features the YouTube elite doing a cooking challenge through the Bangalow Cooking School at the Bangalow A&I Hall before cutting to a tour of the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where the "vloggers" got to cuddle koalas, feed kangaroos and be intimidated by a cassowary.

Unfortunately, the only member of the group to actually make it to Main Beach at Byron (on camera at least) was presenter Tim Deegan, whose pieces to camera were recorded at the park there.

Sadly, the footage of the group getting to try out billycarts at  Bangalow did not make the final cut.

The video is tracking well on YouTube with views already approaching 11,000.

DECEMBER 9: UNBEKNOWNST to the wider community, 11 internet celebrities snuck in and out of Bangalow yesterday.

The 2013 Contiki RoadTrip brought 11 of the top YouTubers down under for a trip of a lifetime and some challenges along the way, and yesterday was the day they hit Byron and Bangalow.

Marnie's fan-girl moment with YouTube heroine

With a combined total of over 10 million subscribers, the YouTubers, Nadine Sykora, Alli Trippy, Datev Gallagher, Troye Sivan, Louis Cole, Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart, Jack Douglass, Jesse and Jeana, and Corey Vidal, all hosted by Tim Deegan, crept into town yesterday for some filming.

Visiting Melbourne, Sydney, Uluru, Cairns, Brisbane, Byron Bay/Bangalow, and Surfers Paradise, the YouTubers were filmed over the whole journey and the shenanigans they got up to, all to be uploaded on Contiki's own YouTube channel.

During the RoadTrip, the internet stars faced some local challenges, with the final challenge in Bangalow on the last leg of their trip, yesterday.

The winner of each of the challenge would score a holiday with Contiki for one of their own subscribers.

Global social media and content manager for Contiki, Will Weeks, said the RoadTrip was a chance for Contiki to show off not only the amazing destinations they visit with their tours, but also for each of the YouTubers to engage with their individual audiences.

In yesterday's challenge the celebs were, in teams, cooking with local produce and showcasing Australian cuisine, before taking on a tasting challenge hosted by Bangalow Cooking School, with thanks to Byron Farmers Market, Bangalow Chamber of Commerce, Salumi Australia and Heaths Old Wares.

Libby Lund-McDonald, of the Bangalow Chamber of Commerce, Grace Events, and Little Wings Australia, said the event was an amazing opportunity to show the types of food we produce in our region to the rest of the world.

One of the YouTubers, Canadian travel blogger Nadine, said the cooking challenge was stressful, hilarious, and a slight failure for her team of non-cookers, but she was having a ball in Bangalow.

Following the two food-based parts of the challenge, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, Peter Mortimore, helped the YouTubers into some billy carts for the next part of the challenge.

In the town of the famous Billy Cart Derby, what better way to acclimatise our visitors than to sit them in a rolling box and push them down a hill?

To find out more and to watch the footage of the challenge, go to and

Marnie Johnston, our journalist, meeting her "idol and inspiration" Nadine Sykora, travel blogger. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star
Marnie Johnston, our journalist, meeting her "idol and inspiration" Nadine Sykora, travel blogger. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Marnie's fangirl moment with Nadine Sykora

EVER met someone you truly admire and turned into Helen Keller?

That happened to me yesterday when I met my idol and inspiration, Nadine Sykora.

I went into complete fangirl mode: hands sweating, heart racing, and I lost the ability to string intelligent sentences together.

Now why, may you ask, was I losing my mind over someone most of you have never heard of?

Well, it's simple: Nadine lives a life I dream of - she travels the world and makes YouTube videos about it.

And she has 155,406 subscribers and over 30 million views for doing it.

Even Contiki, who she is partnered with, proclaims her as the gold medal winner for how many Contiki tours one girl can go on.

I've been watching her videos for over a year now, and I can safely say she is the reason I finally stopped dreaming and started doing.

She helped me decide that now is always the time to live the life you want - today, not tomorrow.

I've since started my own travels and my own video blogs, inspired by the work she has done.

When I met her yesterday she was just as amazing as I had imagined, and of course, completely down to earth.

She gave me a huge smile and hug, chatted to me for ages about her experiences, gave me advice for my own path, and even left me by making me promise to Tweet or email her later.

Coolest. Day. Ever.

Check out my own videos at

Topics:  bangalow byron bay editors picks

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