A compendious history of Ali in Oz

How I Spent My 8 Months in Australia


  • Swam in the Pacific and Indian Oceans
  • Visited 6 of the 7 capital cities
  • Traveled to all 7 Australian states
  • Slept in 21 hostels
  • Enjoyed countless coastal walks
  • Witnessed the most beautiful beach sunrises and sunsets
  • Watched the sun rise and set over Uluru, the spiritual heart of Australia
  • Flew over the beautiful vineyards of The Hunter in a hot air balloon
  • Tasted wines in 5 different wine regions
  • Stood at Australia’s most easterly and south westerly points
  • Met the amazing local wildlife including wombats, echidnas, koalas, Tassie devils, kangaroos, dingoes, emus, camels, and kookaburras
  • Tasted kangaroo and emu on a “Coat of Arms” pizza and ate a kangaroo burrito, too
  • Sampled Australia’s delicious craft beer selections
  • Cheered on two sparring kangaroos in the vineyard fields
  • Dug my toes into some of the whitest sand beaches in the world
  • Cliff jumped in Yamba
  • Drove a 4×4 along the beaches of K’gari
  • Played model for The George and YHA Perth City
  • Sailed the Whitsunday Islands
  • Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef
  • Explored Fraser, Rottnest, and North Stradbrooke Islands
  • Slept outside in the Outback under the Milky Way
  • Surfed in Byron Bay (attempted to surf?)
  • Attended a rugby game
  • Went hiking in the Blue Mountains, Cradle Mountain, Kata Tjuta, and King’s Canyon
  • Attended a concert in Sydney’s Opera House
  • Cruised along Sydney’s harbor on a Catamaran
  • Watched the most spectacular New Year’s fireworks display in Sydney, among one of the first to ring in 2016
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with a crew of fellow international orphans
  • Honored the memory of Steve Irwin at the Australia Zoo
  • Spent Christmas Day at Bondi Beach
  • Watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart Boxing Day Yacht Race
  • Attended the Australian Open in Melbourne
  • Road tripped along the Great Ocean Road
  • Traveled up the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns via a hop-on/hop-off bus
  • Sipped cocktails on rooftops in Australia’s best cities
  • Experienced Adelaide Fringe Festival
  • Spent 6 days touring and camping in the Outback
  • Attempted to play a didgeridoo
  • Explored the cave systems of South West Australia
  • Went sand boarding in Western Australia
  • Cuddled a koala
  • Fed carrots to wild kangaroos
  • …and even journeyed across the ditch to New Zealand!

Thank you to all the wonderful people I met along the way. I will cherish our moments and my memories always. You’re a special place, Australia.

Published by Ali Gaffey

An American girl full of life and adventure!

3 thoughts on “A compendious history of Ali in Oz

  1. Absolutely amazing and awesome! I’m extremely thankful to the Lord for this opportunity and for your protection along the entire adventure. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures. I’ve enjoyed learning so much about Aussie through your eyes. I love you, Ali! Mom


  2. Great job Ali, you did it all, so happy your trip was so very special and you were successful in covering all you wanted to do.


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