Hello Everyone! Sorry I have not written in a while but I have been traveling for most of the past 3 weeks and so I haven't had much access to internet. Australia has yet to get in the free WiFi game.. most hostels we stayed at had WiFi available but you had to pay for it and it was pretty expensive and pretty slow, so it wasn't really worth it to try and get on, especially when there were so many other things to do. Anyways you're probably wondering how I've been able to travel so much around finals time, but here it actually isn't even close to finals- since our semester started so much later (in late February), I am really only halfway done and so last week we had what was equivalent to Spring Break in America, only of course they don't call it that since they don't even really have seasons in Queensland, and if they did this time of year would be considered Fall rather then Spring. They call it "Lecture Recess" and the weekend before we had a 4 day break for Easter, so most of us study abroad students took advantage of the time off and went exploring.. all over Australia. I don't have time right now to write in detail about everything I did so I figured I'd put it in bullet point form and add some pictures- but overall it was one of the best couple weeks here and it was really cool to see more of Australia, meet other backpackers, and just generally have adventures!
- Over Easter Weekend we went to Airlie Beach where I spent one night and then left for a 3 day 2 night sail around the Whitsunday Islands, where we snorkeled, went for fullmoon bushwalks, and stopped at Whitehaven beach, probably the most beautiful beach I've ever been to. The sand is 98% silica and it's the sand they used to make the Hubble Telescope- it even squeaks when you walk on it!
|On the sailboat at sunset.|
|At a lookout before hiking down to Whitehaven Beach.|
-After going back to school for 4 days, we left for Sydney!! We walked around the city and the Sydney beaches, where there are no stingers but the water is cold! At night we hung out at our hostel or went to King's Cross, Sydney's infamous redlight distract where the best nightlife is.
|In front of the Sydney Opera House.|
|Touching the Sydney Opera House!!|
-After 4 nights in Sydney, we left for Byron Bay, a super chill little surfer town where we hung out on the beach, went sea kayaking with dolphins and turtles, and went to visit a nearby hippie village called Nimbin.
|About to go sea kayaking with dolphins.|
-After 3 nights in Byron Bay, we travelled up the coast to a place called Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast. I was expecting it to be small and laid back like Byron, but it was actually much bigger. It's kindof like Australia's version of Miami Beach or Vegas, with skyscraper hotels, casinos, amusement parks, and all kinds of themed shows and tacky night clubs. It was fun but I definitely preferred the atmosphere in Byron Bay! If anyone reading this blog plans to go to Australia I'd put Sydney and Byron Bay at the top of my recommendations!
-After the Gold Coast we spent 1 night in Brisbane before heading back to Townsville. Unfortunately we didn't have much time to spend in Brisbane but we walked around the area our hostel was in which included Brisbane's Chinatown, and made friends with other backpackers staying at our hostel.