Australia 2016

This past July I went on the best trip of my life with my family to the gloriously beautiful Australia (specifically Sydney and Cairns/Great Barrier Reef). It was an experience of a lifetime with experiences of a lifetime, such as holding koala bears and jungle surfing (which sounds SO much cooler than zip lining, which is what it is). Here’s my recount of my most recent global adventure:

On our first day in Sydney, we walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the views were SPECTACULAR. In the picture above there’s a great view of both the Sydney Opera House (right) and the Bridge from Circular Quay. When you walk across the Bridge, there are even more views of the Opera House from all different angles; basically a photographer’s dream (or a tourist with an itch to take as many pictures on her iPhone as possible). It was a perfect way to spend our first day in The Land Down Under.

The next day we headed to the Fish Market; it was not only impressive with how much fresh fish and seafood was displayed but also the food was delicious. So much fried seafood, it was pure bliss. We then took a ferry to Manly Beach; a popular beach with a wharf containing all sorts of great snack and shopping options. Also a great place to take that perfect beach selfie.

After a couple days in the main downtown Sydney area, we took a train ride to the Blue Mountains. It’s probably the most beautiful place in nature that I’ve ever been to. It has 4 attractions, the best and most fun one being the steepest train in the world! It’s a short ride (less than 1 minute) but it’s worth it because you get an entirely different view of the mountain range and forest than you do when walking around.

The next day we went wine tasting in the Hunter Valley. The wine is Australia is different than in the US, they have different varieties and growing conditions. We were part of a tour group; we visited 3 wineries and tasted 6-7 wines at each place; we probably had 18-20 different wines by the end of the tour. We also saw 2 adorable dogs; I may have chased them around just to pet them and get a cute picture.

My favorite day of the trip was going to Kuranda Village and the animal sanctuary where we got to hold koalas! Each member of my family held Lana the koala and got a picture. The koala was so sweet (trained by professionals) and the experience was just like holding a baby. At the end of the trip, I wanted to take a koala home to California to keep as a pet, but you can’t travel with wild animals out of the country. Hopefully I’ll get to hold a koala again in the future. There was also a bird exhibit where a very friendly green bird popped itself onto my shoulder and let me take a selfie. We also fed kangaroos and gazed at the butterflies.

We then travelled to Queensland/Great Barrier Reef Area and snorkeled along the reef (go while you still can, it’s starting to erode and lose it’s beautiful colors like you see in pictures). But the most exhilarating, adrenaline rush was zip lining in the worlds oldest rainforest! We were equipped with a harness and helmet (I got to be Harry Potter for the afternoon; all the helmets were named) as I flew over the rainforest trees and creeks and saw the beautiful views pass by me. I had never zip lined before; zip lining in the oldest rainforest in Australia was certainly a great first zip lining experience.

We then went to Bondi Beach, the most famous and popular beach in Sydney (and probably all of Australia). Beautiful views and all kinds of walking trails nearby. They also have great shopping and restaurants. Definitely a place to visit if you get out to Australia!

On our last day we toured the Opera House. You can get great pictures of the Bridge, you sit in the theater while sound and light checks are going on around you, and you learn the history of the Opera House (which is quite extensive and interesting). The lobby area had purple carpet, and I took tons of pictures of it because I love purple. While it’s a slightly pricy tour, it’s definitely worth it.

I’m hoping to visit Australia again because it was such a beautiful, exciting, and different place to take a family vacation. Traveling and vacation are both part of the Happy and Healthy Adventure balance. So travel once in awhile, you’ll thank yourself for it. And definitely get out to Australia if you can, because it’s a once in a lifetime trip that you’ll love and never forget. 🙂 ❤

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