Australia is a place I have been both curious about and scared of. Australia is home to majority of the most poisonous snakes, crazy spiders, weird bugs, and fascinating creatures. I am terrified of snakes and they make me queazy looking at them or even think about them. However, from the amount of people I’ve talked to you either see A LOT of them or none of them. So far I seem to be on the track to seeing ALL of them. I’ve accepted its part of being here but every time I see one it just re-establishes why I don’t like them rather than over coming a fear. Besides the copious amounts of things that want to hurt you here, I’ve found a new hobby, increased my love for animals, overcame my fear of the ocean, and have a pretty great tan!
I started in Sydney on March 5, and was there for about 5 days. Everyone I talked to said that it was over rated but I quite enjoyed it! I reckon it’s because I grew up with an interior designer and a bunch of architects around that helped me fall in love with the cities skyline. The architecture was amazing! There was so much old built in the new. The older buildings were so well taken care of and some of the insides were modernized for continued use! This was also a great place for shopping! I quite enjoyed wandering through shops and malls while I was there (averaging about 12000-15000 steps a day). Sydney was also great because I had one of my New Zealand travel mates there! James and I got to have a drink at the Opera house, walk around late at night and he was someone who liked to surf! I actually had my first surf lesson with him there in NZ (he’s basically a pro, he sails too – so it was nice to have someone who was comfortable in the ocean with me). However we hand to part ways so he could go sailing in Perth and do other ocean related activities. Sydney is also where Bondi Beach is so I got to experience what it was all about!
To improve my surf skills I went to Spot X Surf Camp! It was here I truly realized what it was like to be a beach bum. Basically, I would have a surf lesson in the morning a free surf time in the afternoon, and then have a couple drinks at night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all included with accommodation and morning surf lessons which was awesome cause I didn’t have to cook or worry about money. I’m proud to say I picked up surfing pretty quick (thank god for snowboarding) and I learned to love it. I also got to learn lots about the ocean which was good be side I was terrified of it (that’s why it took so long to try it out). I learned about how rip tides work, what different waves were, how to read the ocean and the wind as well as what to do when caught in a rip. Now I’m just terrified of what’s IN the ocean…. like sharks….
After my 3 days of being a surf bum I went to Byron Bay. What I didn’t want to tell people was that there was a shark attack there a week before I was planning on going and surfing. To be fair, the guy that got attacked was out before the patrol was out in the morning and the last attack was in the 80’s. So still not super common. Thankfully for my mother, they waves were crappy…. So I only had 1 good surf. Byron Bay is this hippie town on the eastern most point of Australia. It had an awesome vibe and more great shops. I basically surfed, relaxed on the beach, walked and hiked around. I went up to the light house to try and watch the sunset but the cloud rolled in like every evening there for a rain storm (we even lost power on St. Patty’s day). I also go to see where Chris Hemsworth lives (Liam’s home town too). So as you can see this town is pretty great!
Brisbane is a very funky city, and I’m really enjoying my time here. I basically walked around for 4 hours my first day and saw a bit of everything. The buildings are awesome here; more skyscrapers and very funky designed ones! A lot of thought went into how all the building look. There’s also a lot of older buildings mixed in with the modern. I like it wayyy more than Sydney for that reason. It’s just more pleasant too look at. Since there’s no beach on the ocean here, they have a man made one which I thought was cool, so you’re basically chilling on a beach looking across the river at all the cool buildings. The next day I ended up figuring out the transit system to the Australia Zoo! This is the Irwin’s animal hospital and zoo. It is also home to the largest research facility for Crocodiles! This is not a normal zoo. The animals have massive enclosures but are also quite tame. The Africa section was my favourite as they had Giraffes, Zebras (my first alive one I’ve seen), and rhinos (another first to see). The rhinos were very cool, there was even a couple babies hanging around. There was an opportunity to feed and take pictures with the giraffes but I’ve done that back home. I got to see more koalas; the reason for them being in these hospitals is because the leading cause of death for these guys is Chlamydia because our medications don’t work the same to treat them (were also losing forests).
I also got to see and NRL game (National Rugby League). Rugby is very big in the Polynesian countries, NZ, Oz and through the UK, Scotland, and Ireland. There are two different official ways of playing. Union is what I play back home – it’s way more aggressive than league. League is just for tv it seems, it flows nicer but it’s just not what rugby is to me. But it was an awesome experience to see an arena that size full of people just to watch rugby! We don’t get that back at home nor does the sport get its appreciation it deserves! Overall Brisbane has been pretty great to me!
Traveling has given me a new found respect for animals around the world and how important our environment is for them and us. Every country has unique animals in it. Even though Australia has dangerous animals they are also very unique to the area and it is a very diverse continent. NZ had even more unique animals and plants as they put in more effort to protect the environment and their islands. If everyone put in the same amount of effort as NZ our world would be quite different. I’m happy that traveling has made me find something I’m passionate about. In Bali I applied for university again. I’m hoping to get into Environmental Conservation at the University of Saskatchewan. Im actually quite excited to be hopefully (knock on wood for me) going back to school!
I continue on to Rainbow beach and up the East coast tomorrow (March 24)! I just figured I needed to let people know what was happening in the land down under! I’ll keep you posted about the next half of my trip soon! 🤙🏼🇦🇺