Trip Report: Australia

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Australia is a country synonymous with endless sunshine, a laid-back lifestyle, and iconic scenery.  Its natural splendor captivates visitors with promises of grand adventures and its multicultural cities are bursting with a vibrant, youthful energy.  From the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef to the man-made Sydney Opera house, there was lots to do and see. It’s no wonder this country is one of the most popular travel destinations. Here is the cost breakdown of our trip to Australia: Continue reading

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Melbourne: Graffiti

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Unlike Sydney, Melbourne has fully embraced street art and it is very much a part of the city’s personality.  Melbourne is recognized as one of the leading street art capitals of the world, with it being an attraction for locals and visitors wanting to experience the city’s creative expression.  The city understands the importance of public art and how its art contributes to the vibrancy of urban culture.  The many mediums of street art include stencils, paste-ups and murals but not tagging which is considered vandalism and is illegal. The artwork in Melbourne is very progressive, in fact was early to embrace stencil art and is now considered the “stencil capital of the world”.

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Uluru: 24 Hours in the Outback

IMG_1339After a week at the beach, we were ready to head into the outback, to see Australia’s most recognizable natural landmark. Ayer’s Rock (Aboriginal name: Uluru) is a large sandstone rock formation rising out of the central Australian desert in the Northern Territories. The monolith has been around for millions of years and is considered sacred to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people in the area. Looking out the window as our plane descended, I could see Uluru dominating the red landscape in the distance.

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Cairns: Diving the Great Barrier Reef

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View of the reef from our plane

When we planned our trip to Australia, the number one, top thing we all wanted to do was go diving in the Great Barrier Reef, a living structure so massive it can be seen from outer space. The Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than 2,000 km off along the Queensland coastline in north-eastern Australia.  This rich and diverse ecosystem is made up of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands where the world’s largest collection of corals, colorful fish, and countless other species thrive. Continue reading

Whitsundays: Whitehaven Beach

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Close your eyes and imagine a tropical paradise. With fine white sand and clear blue water as far as the eye can see, Whitehaven is probably as close to paradise as you can get. I’ve been to my share of beautiful beaches, but nothing holds a candle to Whitehaven.  It’s no wonder that it’s considered one of the world’s most unspoiled and beautiful beaches.  The area is uninhabited and can only be accessed by boat or helicopter from the surrounding islands.

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Whitsundays: Hamilton Island

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After five days in the city, we were ready to fly to beautiful Queensland.  We decided to stay on Hamilton Island, one of the 74  tropical islands at the heart of the Whitsundays.  The island is situated between the Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef, making it the perfect base for exploring the surrounding areas. Even though it’s the largest of the inhabited Whitsundsay islands, it’s less than 2 square miles in area.

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11 Things To Do Around Sydney

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Sydney is a vibrant, multicultural city surrounding one of the world’s largest natural harbors. Unlike other metropolises, this easy going city is known for its idyllic beaches and rugged national parks as well as its lively food scene and culture. There are so many things to do and see in Sydney, that we had a very packed schedule during our 5 day stay.  Our goal was to see as many things as possible, from the sandy beaches to the mountains to the city.  Here are the highlights of some of the places we visited in Sydney:

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Sydney: Bondi Beach

Sydney is a seaside city with many world famous beaches located right around the metropolitan area.  Bondi Beach (pronounced: bond-eye) is one of the busiest and most popular beaches in the city, only about 30 minutes from the city center.  It is well known for it’s soft white sand as well as prime surfing location. The beach is only 1 km long and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

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Sydney: Graffiti

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Sydney, like many other great cities around the world, has some incredible street art.  The difference between Sidney and other cities is that they have a strict policy against graffiti.   For the past decade, the city has continually inspected “hotspots”and removed many great murals as they get made. The government has a zero tolerance for street artists, and it is against to law for anyone to sell spray paint to a minor. It’s also against to the law for a minor to have any graffiti tool in their possession, and violators will be fined heavily. The stakes are high for these artists who wander the Sydney streets at night armed with spray cans, wanting to express themselves.  Continue reading

Eating in Sydney

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I can’t believe it’s been four months since we set foot in Australia.  I am excited to finally be able to share about our trip down under.  A little bit about me before I dive into all the great places to eat in Sydney, I LOVE MasterChef Australia.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  I’ve watched every episode religiously, usually over dinner.  It’s basically the only time I can watch the show without salivating and craving all the food.  We could not wait to go to the restaurants that appeared on MasterChef and taste the wonderful, crazy concoctions ourselves. When we were planning our trip to Australia, we knew that food would be a major component of our overall experience.  I’ve always felt that food is the heart and soul of a city.  When you go to a new city, a great way to immerse yourself in the new environment is to venture out and try the food that locals eat. It’ll give you a great appreciation for the place and people.

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