We left Australia on May 31st and have been in the Philippines since then…but we wanted to write about our last couple weeks in Australia because they were so much fun!
We wanted to settle down for a week somewhere in Australia to take a break and enjoy the beach. The name alone was incredibly enticing, so after we’d had a few recommendations and done some research, we were really excited to head to The Sunshine Coast! We took a train from Brisbane CBD, and due to a few comical miscommunications with bus drivers, missed the connecting bus to where we were staying. We had arranged to stay with a guy named Shane through Couch surfing, so we let him know we’d be a bit late and apologized for the inconvenience. Shane replied with, “No worries mate, I’m just having a beer.” Which sums up Shane nicely. He even offered to come pick us up from the train station if our wait was too long (luckily it wasn’t!) Shane was more then welcoming when we arrived at his house. He ordered pizza and we chatted about Australia and the US, which was where he was heading in just 4 days!
We spent the next three days hanging out with Shane, getting to know his side of the Sunshine Coast. He was even gracious enough to let us stay a day longer than planned! We met his grandma, some of his friends, and his brother! We had a BBQ one night and went out another night to celebrate Shane’s last night in town before heading on his holiday. When he left, we spent the day with a friend of his hiking to a waterfall, and then got to stay with his brother Anthony and his girlfriend Bella for an evening in a different suburb. We made such awesome friends on the Sunshine Coast all thanks to Couchsurfing and Shane!
Another cool thing we got to do on the coast was go to the famous Australia Zoo! It was one of the things we knew we had to do while in the country, and we were not disappointed. We got to see lots of exotic animals including (but not limited to) koalas, wombats, crocodiles, wallabies, lemurs and kangaroos. The Australia Zoo works with conservationist projects worldwide to protect animal species and their environment, which makes the experience even cooler. We watched Bangal tigers play in a giant pool and were mesmerized by all the different species of snakes…. the cobra especially.
When it was time to leave the coast we were bummed… but felt rested and ready for our next destination!
We got to Sydney with a camper van relocation…. it was a last minute plan that worked out perfectly! We had another fantastic Couchsurfing experience with a guy named Tom this time. Tom and his flat mate Aaron were super awesome guys, we got along great. We went with Arron to the Manly beach food and wine festival, and explored some of the CBD while it was all lit up for the Vivid festival.
We loved walking along circular quay and seeing all the iconic Sydney sights. We got to explore the botanic gardens, try some local cafes, walk on the harbor bridge, wander through the modern art museum, and see the sunset along Bondi Beach.
Sydney had a bustling city center with lots of life and vibrance. It was cool to have a few days to experience it.
Australia was a whirlwind of a month, but packed full of adventures, one-of-a-kind experiences and new friends. We didn’t get a chance to make it to Perth or Tasmania, wedidn’t drive the Great Ocean Road, and we definitely didn’t have enough time in Byron Bay. Plus, that’s just scratching the surface of what Australia has to offer! All this, combined with how much we enjoyed our time in the country, means that we will mostlikely see these places and people again. Which is just fine by us 😊