From a Land Down Under

This has been a wonderful trip up the east coast of Australia. We started in Sydney, then traveled north to Byron Bay, the Whitsunday Islands, Cairns, and finally, Port Douglas. It was a lot to see in just 10 days, but I feel like I got a good taste of Australia’s east coast.

Even though it’s winter and we had a few rainy, cold days, we’ve really lucked out with the weather. Upon arrival in Sydney, the rain cleared just long enough for us to sail on an America’s Cup yacht in the harbor (although it was very cold!). On the yacht, we received some instruction on sailing, worked hard to put the sails up, and even got to steer for a bit!

The worst of the weather was, fortunately, on our travel days and it was nice and sunny just in time for our surfing lessons in Byron Bay.

Taking surfing lessons was awesome! Although, I probably won’t try it again. It’s not like kayaking or paddle boarding, where you just need to carry the board to the water. Surfing was a constant struggle to get myself and the board back out for the next wave. I did manage to learn how to stand up and ride a few baby waves though! It was so much fun!

The weather warmed quite a bit as we migrated to the Whitsundays. It was so beautiful, I could have vacationed there for a week. We hopped on another, smaller sailboat and enjoyed being in the sun. I even saw my first wallaby there!

After a brief stop in Cairns (ahem, pronounced cans), we moved on to Port Douglas where we learned to spear fish crabs and sift through the muddy mangroves for clams. It was actually a very peaceful experience: wandering with purpose through the shallow ocean waters and maneuvering through mud and mangrove roots in the forest. I’m just thankful we didn’t encounter any angry crocodiles!

Finally, we journeyed out to the Great Barrier Reef for a swim, but that experience deserves it’s own entry…

~ LiAnn

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