Australia

Australia

 

G'day mate!  After 3 months of travel through Asia we had arrived in a new part of the world.  We would spend more than two weeks exploring by car the vast Australia landscape, the sixth largest country by total area in the world.

 

We camped and slept in caravan parks along the Eastern coastal states of Queenstown and New South Wales and along the way encountered kangaroo, koala, and wild horses, went surfing in Byron Bay, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and even made a pit stop for Laura to try on Australian wedding dresses (Sean, of course, wasn't allowed to attend!).

 

The Aussie coast was pristine and peaceful, however it all began in the awesome and bustling Sydney, the most populous city in Australia and home to the worlds largest natural harbour.  Our first stop, a visit to the iconic Sydney Opera House, one of the worlds most distinct and creative arts centers...

Laura taking in the Sydney harbour and Opera House view
Laura taking in the Sydney harbour and Opera House view
Sydney's central business district
Sydney's central business district
Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge & Opera House

Our Sydney home base was the Coogee Beach neighborhood, a place Sean had frequented years ago while visiting his younger sister Kelly who lived there while studying at the University of New South Wales.  It was our favorite part of the city and home to a coastal walk well known by locals that leads to Bondi Beach...

our neighborhood beach for a few nights, Coogee
our neighborhood beach for a few nights, Coogee
along the coastal walk to Bondi...
along the coastal walk to Bondi...
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After spending the last few weeks in Southeast Asia it was a nice change of pace to hang in Sydney and Coogee, a place that reminded us more of home (particularly the burgers!).  After catching up on western cuisine and the comforts of Sydney, we hopped a 2 hour flight north to Hamilton Island and from there a ferry to the town of Airlie Beach, which would be our home base for our scuba diving adventure.

 

This was an Australian activity that we had highly anticipated, in fact, it something that we had planned to do even before we left for our round the world trip, scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef.  Laura's sister Kristen bought her a weekend scuba diving certification course in Boston the Christmas prior to leaving for our travels in prep for this moment (Sean had already been certified).  So here we are, 11 months later in Australia and after a 3 hour boat ride to the outer reef, it was go time...

gearing up!
gearing up!
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last minute prep!
last minute prep!

and we're off...

that's Laura in front, with the cool pink flippers
that's Laura in front, with the cool pink flippers
big fish encounter
big fish encounter
the coral...
the coral...
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Sean hangin
Sean hangin
sea turtle!
sea turtle!
hello from "down unda"
hello from "down unda"
the outer reef
the outer reef
all smiles after an awesome day
all smiles after an awesome day
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After our memorable day on the Great Barrier Reef we rented a car and spent the next 10 nights driving the East coast... road trip!  We stayed in campsites and parks along the ocean and since we didn't have camping equipment, bought just enough gear to get by as we turned the back of our car into a comfortable bed!  We met interesting people along the way, ate our dinners on the beach, visited the Australia Zoo, and enjoyed every minute of a simple lifestyle...

Sean sleeping in after night 1
Sean sleeping in after night 1
this camp had a waterslide for Sean...
this camp had a waterslide for Sean...
and trampoline for Laura, so awesome!
and trampoline for Laura, so awesome!

Day 2...

wild horses
wild horses
Laura prepares dinner
Laura prepares dinner
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Sean pulls a late night with our rowdy Aussie neighbors!
Sean pulls a late night with our rowdy Aussie neighbors!

Day 3, a visit to the Australian Zoo...

Seasons Greetings from our Aussie Fam
Seasons Greetings from our Aussie Fam
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crikey!
crikey!
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red panda
red panda
oh shhleeps
oh shhleeps
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Day 4...

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our backyard
our backyard
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We spent the remainder of our time in the hip and funky Byron Bay...

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live music with locals
live music with locals
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Day trip... Laura to try on wedding dresses and drink champagne!

Grace Loves Lace "appointment in progress"
Grace Loves Lace "appointment in progress"
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Laura strolls while Sean surfs...

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First off, a thank you to our sisters!  Kelly for the recommendations in Coogee and Sydney and Kristen for the scuba diving classes last December in Boston, love you both!  Loved our time in Australia too.

 

There isn't much in life that can top a coastal road trip, one that includes koalas and scuba diving to boot!  The warm open air of Australia and its coast was the perfect way to kick off our last few weeks of travel.  However it's time to get rough and head to a world filled with rugged mountains, geothermal parks, volcanos... and hobbits.  Next stop, Middle Earth aka New Zealand!

14 Comments on “Australia

    1. I knooooow we literally missed each other by a few days!! So glad you got to experience this beautiful country too!

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