Australia Needs Our Help

Australia is engulfed in flames.

Australia is on fire. 19 of the country’s 22 million people live along the Eastern Coast of Australia.

In 2015, I sold the majority of my possessions, packed a carry-on bag, and moved to Australia to start a new life adventure. It was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. While living in Australia, I traveled to each of its seven states, from the coastal cliffs in Sydney, to the red dirt and clear skies of the Outback, and even down to the small heart-shaped island of Tasmania, loving every minute of it. Australia is a beautiful country filled with incredibly unique and curious wildlife, stunning rainforests and coral reefs, and people who truly know how to live life. I cannot say enough great things about Australia and it is forever on my heart.

Because of this, the images and stories I’m reading about the fires burning across Australia are gut-wrenching. If you do not know much about what is happening, please read this article to begin to gain an understanding. These fires are fueled by the current summer heat and recent years of incredible drought. They are worse than the fires that tore across California in 2018 and span a far greater distance than the 2019 Amazon fires with no end in sight. Some say the worst is yet to come.

Australians are losing their homes, with fires beginning to threaten the larger cities, ash has reached as far as New Zealand, tourists and locals are having to be rescued by navy ships, and the wildlife population is dying at an alarming rate. Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Hospital has treated over 90,000 animals so far. The country is equipped for fires but not like this. Volunteer firefighters are desperately working to save communities and animals from the inferno. The situation is dire and greater help is needed.

So, what can we do about it? I urge you to help raise awareness at a minimum by sharing this story — and dozens of others — all across the internet. More eyeballs = more help. Additionally, a number of organizations and volunteer services are aiding in the firefighting and recovery efforts for affected communities. You can find a ton of handy links and information below. Please consider donating to support these funds.

Pray for Australia. 

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Photo Diary: The Great Barrier Reef

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Purple starfish, sea slugs, blue spotted fantail rays, clown fish, and coral-chomping parrot fish are a few of the many colorful locals you’ll meet among The Great Barrier Reef. While it’s true that some of the reef is dying, a greater portion is still teeming with life. I had the privilege of snorkeling in two spots along the Reef: Hastings Reef and Michaelmas Cay. Both were filled with colorful coral and curious sea life, both sparkling under the sunshine.

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East Coast Adventuring: From Brisbane to Cairns

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While not quite half way, I’ve split my East Coast Adventure into two parts: From Sydney to Brisbane and Brisbane to Cairns. After 48 hours in Queensland’s capital, Beth and I began the second half of our journey, which included all of our day trips and overnight tours. The scenery between Brisbane and Cairns changes dramatically as rain forests and sand islands are gradually introduced into the tropical landscape. We had much to look forward to and several more stops ahead. First up, the beautiful Noosa!

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Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

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From the first time I caught a glimpse of Whitsunday’s magical, pristine beaches and its famous heart reef, I knew I would be prioritizing a visit. And as I sat with my travel agent to plan the East Coast Adventuring, I was most excited for this tour. I booked a two-day/two-night sailing and snorkeling trip with Explore Maxi and arrived for the tour with very high expectations. Is this ever a good idea? Yes, the trip was beautiful, adventurous, memorable, and eventful, but not quite in all the ways I had imagined.

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Dingoes and Drop Bears on Fraser Island

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As part of our East Coast Adventuring from Sydney to Cairns, my sister and I planned a 3-day/2-night beach camping trip on Fraser Island. We joined a crew of 21 others and our Drop Bear Adventures tour guide for a getaway on the world’s largest sand island. While many know this east coast island as Fraser Island, the Butchulla people’s traditional name is “K’gari” meaning “paradise”, and after our beautiful visit, I can’t think of a more appropriate name.

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East Coast Adventuring: From Sydney to Brisbane


On April 29, my sister, Bethany, and I embarked on a three-week journey up the East Coast of Australia, departing from Sydney and heading to Cairns. We planned our route carefully after consulting travel agents, fellow travelers, travel blogs, and Lonely Planet. The drive from Sydney to Cairns is a long one – 29 HOURS! – so we opted for the Greyhound’s hop-on / hop-off pass. We’re coming for you, Great Barrier Reef!

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