When I came to New Zealand for six months, I thought it would be fun to visit Australia while I was nearby. Who knew if I’d ever get the chance again? I didn’t know when I would be in NZ again and if I would get the chance to go to Australia. Turns out I’m here to stay now, but at the time I had no idea that I’d be living here now! Adalia and I planned a week-long trip to Australia. We got a great deal for our holiday at the Sunshine Coast. It was so exciting for the two of us to pack up and hop on our flight to Australia. I’d never been on a holiday like that before, and it was so fun to have this adventure with my sister!
When we arrived at Brisbane, we bought two bus cards and loaded them with (more than enough) money to get around. Then we found our shuttle that was arranged to take us to our accomodation.
It was the perfect beachy resort house! The best part about it? It was right on the beach. It was just a short walk through the bush to get to the ocean. There was also a swimming pool- and a hot tub, which we had to try out for some reason even though it was easily 30C (85F). Yes we are crazy!
We got settled into our house. It was seriously beautiful! It was comfy, including a kitchen, laundry, lounge, bathrooms, and large bedroom with a balcony, where you could see a bit of the ocean! There was a tv as well, and dvd’s to borrow from the office.
I don’t remember exactly what we did when, so this probably won’t be chronological, but here are a few things we did.
One of the first things was to go grocery shopping. We got some cereal, milk, bread, butter, and ice cream and popsicles. I’m sure we got a couple other things too, but those are the important things that I remember. We really wanted to visit a farmer’s market that we saw advertisements for. We started out on the bus but we got off a couple stops early to try and walk the rest of the way. We thought it would be fun to wander around. Who cares if you get lost when you’re in Australia? Well, it wasn’t quite as exciting as we had originally anticipated, because walking can take a while. Eventually we found a store where we asked for a map, and then found our way to the farmer’s market. By the time we got there we were tired and about ready to go home, but we decided to look around anyways since we made such an effort to get there!
We found fresh crab at the farmer’s market, and got some for dinner that night!
We also grabbed some camel milk and some fruit that I’d never tried before- fresh figs, lychees, and passionfruit. They were so good!
We saw this huge lizard one day, and these wild turkeys were all over the place. They’d even be wandering around in town!
For me, the highlight of the trip was fulfilling my dream of going to the Australia Zoo!!!
It was incredible to be there. To see the animals. To watch the shows. To have amazing photo opportunities! I watched the Crocodile Hunter several times when I was little and I’ve been off/on obsessed with it ever since. I remember hearing about him passing away. I remember realizing that Bindi and I are only about three weeks apart in age. I just love. The. Crocodile. Hunter. And. Australia. Zoo. To visit in real life was such a dream come true. I’m so blessed to have had so many amazing opportunities in my life including this, going to Colombia, Malawi, NZ, Canada, and more, and I’m only nineteen. Praise the Lord.
I actually went to the Australia Zoo twice. Why? Well, the first day we missed our connecting bus to the zoo so we were an hour later than originally intended. It was torturous. I wanted to cry. We look up the bus route and figured out how to get to the zoo. Thankfully there’s a bus stop at the zoo so it was easy. We just had to switch buses once. Well. Our first bus was having problems reading the bus cards. Not just ours- everyone’s. So each time we stopped, it took a little longer than it should have. Because of that we were delayed a couple minutes. Just enough that when we pulled into the bus station where we were meant to switch buses- we watched our next bus pull away right as the bus we were on pulled in.
The next bus wasn’t for another hour. We wandered around, checked out a few op shops, and got coffee at a cafe. Finally it was time to catch our bus. It takes a while to get from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane. I was so. Full of anticipation. Finally we pulled into the zoo. It was amazing. Where to start?! It’s a huge zoo so it took ages to wander around and see all we could.
One of my favorite parts was the show at the Crocoseum. It was so incredible to watch these huge, powerful animals being fed.
I sat as close as I possibly could to get a good shot. I was really wishing for a telephoto lens, but hey, I was just grateful for the opportunity. What photographers go through… I sat in the blazing hot sun instead of under the shade because I wanted to get these photographs! And to see these crocodiles up close was just amazing.
Adalia and I anticipated staying until the zoo closed, around 5pm. But eventually we decided to check the bus schedule and when we did, we realized that the last bus that would take us back to Sunshine Coast left earlier than that. In fact, is was in less than 45 minutes. Let me just say that we were pretty relieved that we checked the schedule when we did. However, because we were intending to stay longer, I was a bit disappointed and really wished we could have spent more time there. The next day I finally realized, hey, who knows when I’ll ever come back here… this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and I really want to enjoy it as much as I can and really be satisfied with it! So I decided to go back to the zoo. Adalia wasn’t as interested in going back, so we did our seperate things that day. I’m so glad I went back so I could just wander around and take in everything and just enjoy it more.
The ‘big’ thing we did on our trip was ocean kayaking. We went with a guide and a few other people. Our guide, Sean, drove us all in his van down a beach for an hour or so, to get to the spot where we would be kayaking. The view was beautiful and it was so fun to anticipate what we might see in the ocean! We were hoping to see some dolphins. We got in the kayaks and paddled out a ways. There were two people in each kayak, and in the middle of the kayak was a clear window so you could look underneath the kayak. As we paddled out, we saw two rays and a couple schools of fish. I was expecting to see a lot more but it’s actually really hard to see through rippling water. We didn’t end up seeing any dolphins but what we did see made it so worth it (I’m getting there!).
Our guide Sean assured us that ocean kayaks are very difficult to tip over so we didn’t need to worry about tipping. But, on the off chance that we did, he instructed us to grab onto the side of the kayak and wait for him to come over and help us back in. Well at one point, Adalia and I somehow had our kayak sideways as a wave came and we ended up falling out. Pretty impressive, huh? Some people (like Kalina who had to endure my clinginess in the ocean in Oregon after we watched The Shallows) may know that I’m actually afraid to be in deep water. I start thinking about what could be in the water and how I can’t see it, and I kind of freak out. Well, same thing happened here. We hadn’t seen many animals yet but I still flipped out the second I was in the water. Wait for Sean to come help us? Yeah right! I grabbed onto the side of the kayak and pulled myself in, and Adalia did the same. As we sat in the kayak, bobbing in the waves, I think we both started to get a little seasick.
At one point, Adalia and I saw something in the water near us. We were excited to see another animal! We couldn’t make out the shape very well, but we watched as it swam towards us, under our kayak, and away.
Later, after we returned to the beach and got in the van, not having seen any more animals, our guide Sean informed us all that he had seen a shark earlier. A SHARK. While we were kayaking. He added that he didn’t tell anyone at the time because it wasn’t around for long so he didn’t have time to call us over to see it, so he didn’t want to scare us. Everyone else in our group was pretty relieved that they didn’t know at the time. Me? I LOVE sharks. I know. It’s kinda crazy. I should be scared of them, and I do have a healthy fear of sharks. But I also love them. I’m not terrified of them because I know they’re not a threat to me unless I’m in the ocean and even then it’s unlikely that I would come in contact with one. Adalia and I didn’t think much of it at the time, besides, ‘cool! A shark!’
Well, when we were on the bus that evening on our way to Noosa Heads to get dinner, we suddenly realized- WE SAW THAT SHARK. We looked up pictures of sharks on our phones and sure enough, that’s the shape that we saw. That’s what swam under our kayak! I’m so excited that I actually came so close to a shark!
Other things we did on our trip included watching movies from the resort office, and eating ice cream and popsicles. It was stinkin hot, guys.
This is the gorgeous beach right behind where we stayed!
So, that was our trip to Australia. It was incredible. I loved Australia! Even now sometimes I think, man, why don’t we live in Australia? And then I remember that everything there can kill you, and New Zealand has the same climate and incredible beaches and even better scenery, yet without all that danger. And then I’m pretty thankful that I live here.
Have you been to Australia?! Where’s your dream place to visit? My current ones are the States (haha…. gotta visit my family and friends!) and I still would love to go back to Colombia someday. And I hope that Jared and I can maybe visit Australia ourselves one day. And… okay I’ll stop there. I think you get the picture- I love travelling.