We decided to fly to Australia a few days early as the September airfares were cheaper and also we wanted to do a bit of traveling before DTS! After 24 straight hours of travel (including one domestic flight, two international flights, and one very long train ride) we arrived in a small city in the Blue Mountains called Katoomba. Once there we made our way to our awesome Air BNB in this cute little 1920’s bungalow.
Then we immediately walked to the local Yellow Deli (aka the same group that owns the The Mate Factor in the Springs) for some mate and food. After eating we walked to the Three Sisters which is a really cool rock formation on the cliffside shown below.
After all of that travelling and walking, I fell right to sleep as soon as we got back to our room and didn’t wake up for 12 hours. Jet lag is serious business. Because of the time change, we woke up before the sun so we grabbed some excellent coffee at a nearby shop and headed to Scenic World. This place looks just like the amusement park in Jurassic World. It has a bunch of mechanical rides that let you see the mountain valley. While there we rode a mountain tram down to the bottom of the valley (steepest funicular railway in the world!), stood in an aerial tram with a glass floor as it went across the valley, and rode in a glass gondola to the top of the valley! It was a really cool way to see the mountians in the area with a little thrill added in. We also walked through miles of rainforest there and learned a lot about the trees, wildlife, and mining history of the area. Below are just a few of the pictures we took!
After we rode all of the rides and hiked along the trails, we again headed back to the room where I promptly fell asleep again and Connor went to get us meat pies (what has become one of my favorite foods eva!). I woke up, groggily ate my meat pie, and fell asleep (again, for 12 hours). And again, we woke up before sunrise, packed our bags, grabbed some weird but delicious coffee drinks that I’m certain were not the iced lattes that we ordered, and took another bus and another train to Sydney. After walking several dozen city blocks with our giant backpacking backpacks and duffles, we found our Air BNB in a cool neighborhood called Pott’s Point. Then we immediately went in search for some healthy food. After eating we walked to the Botannical Gardens and the Sydney Harbor. The gardens had the biggest trees I have ever seen and I thought they were way more impressive than the Opera House or the Sydney Bridge. Those were great too though! Also we’ve seen approximately one billion cockatoos so far. They’re like crows here and are just everywhere! So cool. We’ve also seen several wild parrots and kookaburras! One Sydney kookaburra in particular must have known I was an American tourist because he was giving me some serious stink eye and I thought for sure he was going to attack me. Anyway, after several miles of walking we got some gelato before going back to our room. Again, I slept for 12 hours. Yep, I’m officially 100. I’d chalk it up to jet lag but who am I kidding – this is just me. Below are some pictures we took of our first day in Sydney!
Our second day in Sydney was the one I had really been looking forward to because we were spending it at the beach! We took a bus to Bondi Beach and did the Bondi to Coogee Beach walk. It’s several miles of walking along the coast and seeing some of Sydney’s prettiest beaches. Bondi was too crowded for our taste so we decided to go to the last beach, Coogee. While still crowded, it did have beautiful crystal blue water that was a nice temperature to swim in! We laid out and swam for several hours before heading back to our room via bus and train. We were pretty hungry at that point so we went out for some Indian food and then relaxed with a couple of books in the room. Connor decided to go for a short run and bring back meat pies and they were so good!!!! Why aren’t we making meat pies in the U.S.?? I’d be 10 pounds heavier if these were a thing back home. So good.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our mini vacation before we head to Newcastle to start our DTS tomorrow! It was such a blessing to be able to take a few days together to rest and get our bearings before we get into the school routine. Tomorrow morning we will take the train to Newcastle for orientation! I’ll try my best to write a post at the end of this week letting you know how it’s going! For now, I am going to sleep for what will probably be 12 hours. 🙂