TRAVEL-LOG: AUSTRALIA, mate!
The land of the Hemsworths’, exquisite nature, kangaroos, koala’s, and spiders.. you would expect them to welcome you at the airport. As someone suffering from arachnophobia (major), I emotionally prepared myself for the worst. Buttt this wasn’t necessary – I didn’t come across one teeny tiny spider. This beautiful country treated me well back in January and I would like to share some cool stuff and tips for ya’ll, so read along!
I chose to fly to Melbourne from Bali (Indonesia). Why? To be honest, it is one of the biggest cities in the country that I’ve ever heard of and it is by the coast so I thought this is a place where I could enjoy city life and get away for some fun in nature. Also, the city of Melbourne is known as the cultural hub of the country! And this proved to be a very true, if I say so myself.
I booked an apartment in St. Kilda by the beach (based on location, price and activities). Upon arrival, I realised that this particular neighborhood of Melbourne attracts many youngsters with its nightlife. It reminded me of the Jersey Shore and Animal Planet; you get the point, right? So if you’re a 60 year old at heart, I wouldn’t advise to stay here. Nevertheless, it is has a lovely beach, a boardwalk highly influenced by the presence of hipsters, nice restaurants and activities in summer (December – February). In short, a cute small town to keep you entertained. Public transport connections are great as well. The metro will take you to the exciting city centre of Melbourne just in 20 minutes.
When I first got to Melbourne, I felt super welcome and safe in this metropolitan city. So many different ethnicities, art, food markets, restaurants (I was happy to see the South African Nando’s; the most amazing halal chicken place), chill spots for drinks (South Bank) and overall friendly people which made me feel at home. I was happily surprised by the representation of many different backgrounds in this city. From the Chinese to the Lebanese (I was feasting on hummus). Yay for diversity!
Highlight of the Trip
To escape from the big city and as a nature enthusiast, I booked a tour to the Great Ocean Road: an amazing drive along the coast in the South. This drive literally leaves you breathless: the majestic mountains, the color blinding ocean, healthy forests and cute animals were STUNNING. It definitely humbled me as a human being. It was yet another confirmation of how small and meaningless we are as people in the bigger picture of this planet and beyond. With that being said, mankind really needs to get its shit together and protect our planet!
After Melbourne, I headed out to Sydney for a couple of days. My impression of this equal metropolitan hub: the Australian version of New York City. It reminded me so much of the Big Apple: architecture, skyscrapers, food trucks, a diversity of people and individualistic. I felt like I was stranded in a city full of work-obsessed people in their own zone; minimal human connections. However, they do know how to have fun! You can find a whole other vibe at Bondi Beach and surrounding area. From young to old, hip to street, nothing matters at Bondi. It’s funky, fun and fabulous. Also, the Sydney harbour is a great spot to chill: food, culture and music. For the shoppers amongst us, Sydney offers amazing malls (such as Pitt Street Mall and Westfield) and outlet stores. But, this wasn’t the reason of why I wanted to visit Sydney. I wanted to see more of Australia’s nature so I took another tour!
Highlight of the Trip
The Blue Mountains! This beautiful vast area of landscapes is located two hours from Sydney and it is well worth the visit. You’re surrounded by green, rocks, waterfalls and you literally feel like an ant in the midst of huge mountains. You have the option to go for walks, hike trails or take the cable car. Must see: walk to Echopoint (platform) for a view of The Three Sisters; a collection of three huge rocks.
Option: if you’d like to explore the area a bit longer, you can stay overnight in the cute town of Katoomba.
Yes to Aussie land!
If you ever have the opportunity to travel to this area of the world, Australia should be on the top of your list. I hope to return one day and take time exploring more of this beautiful country. Nobody can ever take the experience of being in this country away from me and I will cherish it for life.
N.B.: Australia in general is very expensive compared to Europe, but it’s unreal in the big cities. 10 dollars for a cheese sandwich: like what the F?! If you’re planning to visit Australia, make sure your pockets are deep – just sayin’.