If you think of a place that you want to travel to, there usually is a good reason. Great food, beautiful scenery, good hiking trails, visiting friends or family, etc. Most destinations have particular attractions. Though Australia has many, one of the reasons why I wanted to go was for the animals.
The animals there are not as scary as people claim them to be. I can’t say the same for those notorious spiders everyone here talks about, but for the most part, I was able to get close to the animals. We’re not allowed to actually hold a koala in our arms, but it’s also not because they’ll attack. Worst off, I had been avoiding dingoes for a couple of days because I was told that they are wildly dangerous, but my tour guide explained that many are actually very gentle and sweet. We put our hands out into the gate and let the dingoes come to us – they came over to sniff our hands, and that was that!
There are tons of animals that I’ve never heard or seen before. Besides the fact that I get to experience meeting them, I’m really excited to share my sights and stories with my students. The more they know, the better!
Anyhow, I can write pages and pages about the animals, but let’s get some visuals going. Some of these aren’t particularly Australian animals, but I just loved them anyway! I’ll share some fun facts I’ve learned in between.
The cheerfulness from these words still echo in my ears as I’m greeted with smiles here and there in Australia. Quite possibly (with a high probability) that this could in fact be my favorite place in the world, it has its reasons. I had never had such a great ambition of saving money to go to a place that I never dreamed I would be able to go, but this past summer, with the need to fly to Hong Kong came the opportunity to spend 9 more hours on a flight over to the great down under.
Australia is BIG. Going there and trying to see as many places as you can is like trying to see the entire United States in two weeks – impossible. So my friend and I chose the two main cities to live in, and then a couple of day trips outside to explore in. Sydney and Melbourne. Just like I inquired as I researched the trip, I tried to find out which one was “better,” and there really was never really a good answer. Now I know why.
Sydney and Melbourne have completely different vibes. If you ask me, I would compare Sydney to NYC (very busy, train system, crowds, condensed city center, beautiful urban parks, all kinds of cuisines), and Melbourne to San Francisco (trams, quieter, more space, less crowds, laid back, gorgeous fields and wineries outside of the city, cooler temperatures). I loved them both and would move there any day… any day now. 🙂
Going backwards from my last stop to the first, here’s Sydney! Some of my favorite highlights included the following:
1) Drinking hot chocolates and espresso (’cause Starbucks just won’t do over there! Flat white and lattes are solid. I can drink them in my dreams… okay, maybe not but I would love to.)
I can’t believe it’s August! Mid-August to say the least. All the years of talking about this trip (Australia mostly) and in the blink of an eye, I am back to the hustle and bustle of New York City. It was a dang good trip though, and a successful one. I’m really grateful for the experience! For now, here are ten of my favorite panoramas that I’ve taken in Australia while I get those other photos together. Thanks for stopping by (and see you on Wednesday as I’ll have my next post up by then!)
Photos in order from top to bottom: Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon, Shipwreck coast, Victoria Parliament, Degrave Street, Royal Botanic Gardens, Three Sisters, Twelve Apostles, Yarra Valley Chandon Winery, Sydney Harbour area