Australia at a glance
Sydney Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Unfortunately, I did not discover the glory of TravBuddy until months after my trip to Australia. Still, the events are fresh in my mind and could definitely be used by many of you who wish to travel to such a lush country in the future.
When the majority of people think of Australia they either get a clear mental image of Nemo or the Crocodile Hunter. Either that, or they are fear-ridden by the pressing image of that cute, young, blonde Aussie girl missing half an arm thanks to an overzealous shark. For the Aussie, Nemo has created a stereotype similar to that of the horrific show Laguna Beach or the O.C. created for us Californians. Even when scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns, Queensland, I couldn't help but to want to shriek "NEMO!" at the sight of every clown fish.
The one thing that should be noted about Australia is that they do, indeed, house the greatest concentration of poisonous animals of any country in the World. Far more than hungry sharks, the most prevalent danger to tourists is likely the jelly fish. Until I arrived to this natural wonderland, I was unaware that there were very specific months where the jelly fish were so great in numbers that swimming off the coast of practically every city in eastern Australia was impossible. Luckily, I found numerous swim lagoons looking over the ocean, so it was the best of both worlds: no worry of the jelly fish, while still relaxing to the crashing of the waves. If planning a trip I would definitely research the jelly fish season, and plan the locations of the trip in sync (oh, that word still echoes of that awful boy band) with them so one can have maximum ocean exposure minus these often deadly creatures.
Aussies are some of the friendliest people I've met. They definitely rival my Italian family that would give me the clothing off their back if I would let them. As an American, the experience of a different culture and still being able to easily communicate (of course, I hit a few speed bumps with the constant reference to baby kangaroos as joey's, mosquitoes as "mozzies", etc., etc.,...) was incredible. All seem to "pay-forward" the no worries attitude, and are very easy to talk to and accommodating. Of course this is a generalization, but the fact that the general vibe of the country is so laid-back is incredibly contagious. On a rabbit trail, If you ever visit, check out the calves of these people. I know that sounds incredibly odd, but my brother pointed it out to me and it was definitely a valid observation.
On my trip I visited:
- Melbourne (pronounced "Mel-bin", if American refrain from calling it "mel-burn" or "mel-born")
- Cairns (pronounced "Cans" not "Karens")
- the Whittsunday Islands (beautiful, but hard to reach)
Melbourne was brilliant, but make sure to stick in the city.
Cairns is beautiful as well. Make sure to visit the rainforest and bring your swimsuit! Ask around for directions to a location that is around an Aboriginal (the equivalent to Native Americans in America) housing area.
The Whitsunday Islands are very obscure, but worth the effort. We had to fly about an hour south only to change planes and fly 45 minutes back north. Hamilton Island is host to a major resort, and even if you don't stay on the Island it offers day passes to all its facilities. Whitehaven is also a beautiful natural reserve that offers tours.
Sydney is the most well-known Australian city and has so much to offer. I don't really need to provide much advice as travel information is very easy to find on this city. I guess my main advice is get your Opera tickets in advance! They sell out 2 months before every show, so get online and plan ahead. Even if you don't want to go to an opera, still go to a dance performance or something--- it is all apart of the experience.
There is so much that goes into making Australia what it is... even the disgusting food items like Vegemite must be explored. The best piece of advice I can give, if you ever decide to visit Australia, is to make sure to let all guards down and embrace its wilderness with all your wild side.