With all the abroad pictures flooding my Instagram, I am getting more and more “homesick” from Australia. Last year, I studied abroad at the University of Sydney. Coming back to Wake, I realized that it is so important to understand the ins and outs of where you’re going before you get there! I feel like if I went back now, I would know exactly what to do and where to go.
My favorite places around Sydney, besides the iconic Bondi and Manly beaches (make sure to do the Bondi to Coogee walk!), are the Figure 8 Pools, Hunter Valley, and Bathurst for Country-life weekend.
The Figure 8 Pools at the Royal National Park, about an hour away from Sydney — I booked a tour through Airbnb.
A winery in Hunter Valley — I did a tour that made a detour to a kangaroo sanctuary and a chocolate factory.
Bathurst for Country-life Weekend — We stayed with a host family who cooked us homemade meals. At night we went kangaroo chasing and star gazing.
The city is so artsy and has so much culture. Make sure to check out the Brighton Bathing Houses, the sick street art, eat at Arbory afloat on the Yarra River, and go on a tour to the 12 apostles!
Byron Bay is a sick little hippie town. Be sure to do the lighthouse hike. It has outstanding views!
Uluru is a must if you want to experience the outback. Although there are literally thousands of bugs, it was one of my favorite trips. P.S. watch out for dingoes!
The Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsunday Islands are literally a dream. I stayed at Airlie Beach with friends and then went back to Hamilton Island with my family. We got to see the Great Barrier Reef and we took a speed boat to Whitehaven Beach.
I went to Thailand with the tour group IntroTravel for spring break. It was hands down the best trip of my lifetime. I spent some time in Bangkok, Khoa Sok National Park, and Ko Pha-ngan. It was a perfect mix of the city life, nature, and the beautiful island scenery that Thailand has to offer.
Unfortunately, I did not travel to a few places due to ~budgeting~ and time loss. Here are some amazing getaways that are still on my bucket list: Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, the Pink Lake near Perth, Bali, and Fiji. If you want to see more amazing Australian destinations, check out the Instagram pages @australia, @westernaustralia, and @southaustralia, and @australiazoo for cute pictures of Aussie animals. I started following these accounts after I left the country, and I wish I followed them a year beforehand just to get a little glimpse of the beautiful country I lived in for six months.