With a country this massive, any visit to Oz requires prioritization. In just 8 short months, I’ve traveled all 7 states and explored 6 of the 7 state capitals. Looking for suggestions of what to see and do in each? I’ve got you covered with all my favorites!
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!
We’ve spent four beautiful months together and created memories which I will cherish forever. I’ve hiked your coastal cliffs, sailed your harbors, explored your neighborhoods, wined and dined in your restaurants, viewed your highest points, and tanned on your beaches. I can’t imagine a better place to spend my first few months in Australia and am forever grateful for our time together. And now, as I reflect back and set my eyes on the future, I think it’s time for us to move on, to see other people and places. Thank you for being the city I’ve grown to love, with my five favorites included below.
Bucket List: “Spend NYE in SYD” Check!
“There will be over a million people!”
“You will need to arrive early and make a day of it.”
“Most of the good vantage points are ticketed and will cost at least $150.”
“All the free spaces are alcohol-free.”
In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, my head was spinning with information overload. This was my first, and likely only, time in Sydney for the celebration and I was determined to see the world famous midnight fireworks…I just didn’t know how I would pull it off.
Sunset over Sydney Harbor
A friend of mine introduced me to Travel Massive before I arrived in Australia. She lives in New York, is a travel blogger (@TheGlobeGetter), and is part of Travel Massive’s New York City chapter. Knowing that I too have a travel blog, she suggested I join the Sydney chapter to meet up and network with travel industry people in my new city. Travel Massive’s mission is “to unearth and connect travel insiders in every city in the world in order to empower change in travel”. Thus far, I’ve participated in two of Travel Massive’s events in Sydney, one of which I was privileged enough to have my friend, The Globe Getter herself, join me!
Beautiful early morning sunrise over Hunter Valley (and a fellow hot air balloon next to us!)
The alarm sounds at exactly 4:15am, those dreaded chimes ringing in my ear. I roll out of bed, momentarily confused as to why I’m being forced awake at this hour. It’s still dark outside and there’s a chill in this Hunter Valley pre-dawn air. After breaking free of my sleepy haze, I realize I’m about to check off an all-time activity on my bucket list, one that I’ve been looking forward to since I was a child; flying in a hot air balloon!
Located a mere two-hours west of Sydney, an oasis of rolling green and natural beauty awaits. A World Heritage site since 2000, the Blue Mountains offers a welcomed escape from the busy city life. The air is crisp, the birds are playful, and the sunlight breaks through the towering trees at perfect angles.