Sunday, April 15, 2012

To Australia and Back!

Welp, I feel that I was a bit MIA the past month but as the title suggests, I actually made it to Australia.  So since I'm a little rusty on traveling internationally I didn't realize that I needed a visa let alone a passport valid 6 months after my departure date for Australia. So to my horror, I realized all of this a mere day before I was supposed to leave. Thank the lord, I decided to check my itinerary that Monday morning. So one pleading call to the LA passport agency for a same day appt, a mad rush home to get my old passport, and 4 photos later I was in the Federal Building crossing my fingers that I could get my passport in time. Miraculously, I did. Not only that, the day I flew out I applied for my visa.

With my nerves in tact, I boarded the night flight a few deep, how else was I going to sleep on a plane? When I landed in Sydney, Natalie was there to greet me which was so wonderful! It had been too long since I had seen my best friend, probably the longest we had ever gone without seeing each other. I wasn't jet lagged so I was ready to get out and see the town. She took me to the Sydney Opera house which has a few bars and restaurants next to it and had a few glasses and caught up. Afterwards, we went over to our friend SS's who lives there as well. She has an awesome upstairs patio overlooking Sydney. We didn't stay too long as we all had a flight the next day to Hamilton Island.

So once the four of us got to Hamilton Island, we ferried to Long Island which literally felt like we were on Lost. There were pop. 40 people and turkeys (weird, right?). It was a really pretty desolate place and the only thing to do was lay by the beach, swim, drink and eat.  So once we got there we decided to change our schedule and ferry it to Airlie Beach.

I would liken Airlie Beach to something like South Padre Island. I enjoyed myself more than I would ever at SPI as the beach is much prettier and well it's Australia. The vibe is very spring break and 'anything goes' seemed to be the theme. So like any twenty somethings post college we made our "Adult Spring Break"  a memorable one. There were only a handful of bars to go too and our favorite seemed to be Magnums which we went to everyday. On the first night we hit up the only Irish pub since it was St. Patty's.  So naturally it was bound to be a bit raucous. They kept passing out cider with alcohol guised as something to actually drink. It was awful. I would say it was on par with Vegemite, another sick tasting thing they enjoy down under. We friended a "Buck Party" (their name of a Bachelors) and hung out with them which made the evening pretty hilarious.

The next day we took a boat during a monsoon to Whitehaven  and Daydream and attempted to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef but we couldn't due to the massive amounts of rain. So that was a big blow to the old bucket list. The experience itself albeit slightly horrible was to say the least "educational." These beaches were so pretty but it was hard to enjoy them when you are being pelted by rain. Oh well, there is always next time...ha

When we flew back to Sydney the sun was shining which was so nice as I was used to 'swimming' on land due to the lovely monsoon in Queensland. My first day back in Sydney I decided to do the Bondi to Coogee beach side walk as I had heard that was must. I first stopped at Bondi's Icebergs swimming hole/gym/spa which was insanely gorgeous. I had lunch there and took advantage of the spa facilities.  If only Cali could incorporate these type of ocean water swimming it would beach it much more enjoyable. Just sayin. The walk is a few miles stretch along the ocean and it goes from beach city to another beach city. All with their own "swimming hole." Pretty rad.
Icebergs. Magnifique. 

That evening I had drinks with a dear friend who I met while living in Spain in college. I hadn't seen Michael in 7 years so it really nice to catch up in person. It was as if time hadn't passed at all which was really amazing. I had planned to go see the Blue Mountains  but he convinced me that it was a waste of time so I decided to go to Manly Beach instead and surf. The quickest way to Manly was via Ferry which was a nice of pace since I took I had to take buses and trains to even get to Bondi the day before. Surfing in Manly was an absolute thrill. It was my first time attempting to surf..yes I realize that is pretty ridiculous since I live in Los Angeles. My last attempt I ended up standing up which was a really cool feeling. I am definitively going to try to take lessons this summer.

The following day, I went to Sydney's Taronga Zoo which completed my goal of seeing a Kangaroo. Minus the fact that I had eaten one in Arlie (I know, I know). Apparently, only poor people eat that meat, oops! I also visited the Royal Botanical Gardens which were really pretty. It is next to the Opera House which made the gardens very scenic. That night we went on a ferry on the Sydney Harbour as one of the girls that Natalie knew worked for a marketing esque company that promoted these type of tours. It was really fun since it was a bunch of us that went on this. Another thing I should add is how expensive it is to drink in Australia. Minus the fact that you can't ever order a double, they measure EVERY shot out in a drink and you only get one shot per drink. So there is a lot of pre drinking there. So after the ferry we hit up some nearby bar then made our way to Kings Cross. Now, that area is very West Hollywood/Castro District and was a riot to go out in. I have no clue as to when we got home but it was a really fun night.

My last Saturday in Australia, Natalie's friend Mark, wanted to take us out on his boat which was so nice of him. So Natalie, SS, Lucy, Jilly and I stocked up in alcohol pre boat and enjoyed the sunny Sydney day. We stopped at the fish market for lunch which was amazing. I had never really seen anything like it except maybe in SF. Everything was so fresh and delicious.

All in all, I loved my trip to Australia. Sydney is like LA/SF/NYC and has the best aspect of every city. There was so much to see and do that I felt as if I didn't get to do everything I had planned. I felt refreshed and recharged after this trip. It made me feel like my old self again that sometimes LA makes you lose. This was one of the best trips I have ever had in my life and had such an awakening feeling that I haven't lost yet. As I sit here slightly wishing I was at Coachella and Meg snoring to my right  (Hi Meg) I wouldn't give up  going to Oz for anything. Who knows, I may just go back sooner than I thought....


  1. Loved your trip recap! It sounds like it was glad you had a good time. Lets catch up sometime this week!

  2. ahhh! i want to go there so bad. and i'm so jealous you got to meet a koala. lucky! xo!


    1. Thanks kelly! You should totally go at some point in your life. It is life changing, i promise. :)