I recently traveled to Australia, and I’m going to tell you all about it, so stay tuned!
The first thing to know is that Australia is a vast country. I recommend that when traveling to Australia, pick a couple towns or cities to visit, and spend time there getting to know that particular area through hiking, socializing, touring the towns, and taking in all the beauty. We decided to go to Gold Coast and Cairns (pronounced “CANS” or “CANES”).
First stop: Gold Coast
This is the view from Burleigh Hill, where everyone watches the sun rise and set. It was a short walk from our airbnb. There was a cyclone (hurricane) out in the ocean during our stay, and it made the waves crazy rad. Check out this short video of all the surfers taking advantage of the waves at five in the morning. That’s passion!
Because of the cyclone, we didn’t get the chance to have beach days in Gold Coast, but we did go on this crazy hike up a mountain in Burleigh Head National Park, right by the beach.
Our hike was up a mountain. A beautiful mountain! Check out this short clip of our hike:
Our sore legs were worth this view.
I turned 28 in Gold Coast, and for my birthday we visited the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This was one of my favorite days in Australia. The animals are well taken care of at this sanctuary, and it was really exciting getting to interact with the animals, not just see them. I held a koala, and got to feed kangaroos. I think one of the coolest things of the sanctuary is that lorikeets, which aren’t kept by the sanctuary, but they fly down during feedings. I held a bowl with food, and they flew down on their own. Some will even stand on your head!
BOING BOING BOING
Like I expressed above, feeding the lorikeets was really neat, because they don’t belong to the sanctuary. The sanctuary provided us with some kind of milk for feeding, and they flew down on their own!
Look at what’s on our heads!
Did I mention that I also got engaged while I was in Australia? Yes, I did! Nick had planned a special getaway where he was going to take me on a seaplane, and propose on an island. However, the seaplane got canceled because of the cyclone. But no worries, because our friend, Flick, came to the rescue, and set up a blanket with pillows, flowers, and champagne on Burleigh Hill. On February 23, at sunset, Nick and I, along with our friends, Carl and Gina, walked to Burleigh Hill, and Nick proposed. It was so special. Big thanks to Gina, who helped Nick out in so many ways to make that evening possible as well!
Isn’t this setup just beautiful?!
Next Stop: Cairns
This was the view from our Airbnb in Cairns. Aren’t the trees just beautiful and luscious? That’s because Cairns is in the middle of a rainforest. During our stay, it showered throughout most of our days, but they’d only last about 10 or 15 minutes, so they didn’t last long enough to keep us inside. But one thing is for sure, we saw plenty of rainbows! We decided to visit Cairns, because we wanted to see the Great Barrier Reef, and this place was perfect just for that. We booked a tour that included a small breakfast, a ride out to the reef (which was about an hour and a half), snorkeling gear, lunch, and a partial submarine tour around the reef. We snorkeled by Michaelmas Cay, which is a sandpit in the middle of the ocean. It’s also a bird sanctuary, so there were many, many birds. We rented an underwater camera, and took a lot of pictures. These are just some of them:
We also went to the Cairns Aquarium, which gave us a better look at some of the species that are found at the reef.
It’s finding dory!
We also got to go deep sea fishing. Nick and Carl hooked a lot of fish, but only one got railed in, but it was small, so they let it go. Regardless, it was a great experience (as long as you don’t mind the sea sickness!).
One of the last things we did on our trip was take a tour to Fitzroy Island. A boat took us out to the island. It was about a 45 minute boat ride. Fitzroy Island was absolutely stunning. There was so much beauty: clear, blue water, and luscious greenery everywhere. Our friend Anneliese joined us on the trip, and it was so fun. We relaxed, and had a picnic lunch on a secluded beach, and got to paddle board near the beach!
I mean seriously? Just look at how stunningly beautiful Fitzroy is!!
Our trip was amazing. I definitely recommend going to Australia at least once. Saving up the extra cash and eating in is so worth the experience, and the beauty that is Australia. We spent our days with good friends and beautiful people.
Australia is also easy to travel within the country itself. We found fairly cheap flights to get us from Gold Coast to Cairns. The tours that we took in Cairns were reasonably priced as well. When we dined out, we never tipped, because waiters and waitresses make good money there. One thing that is a little hard to get used to is the time change. Australia is basically a day ahead of the US, so staying awake past seven is difficult, but doable. Another good tip is to not take too much clothes! Australians dress very simple (shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops). We had a washer and dryer at both of our airbnbs, so the extra clothes I packed was unnecessary. Also, take an electric converter, because their outlets are weird.
If you have the travel bug, and are wanting to go out of the country, I definitely recommend taking a trip down under. Trust me, you won’t regret it!!