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About My Trip to Australia

Australia was an amazing adventure! I explored bustling cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where I wandered iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. But I also got a taste of Australia’s wild side with tours to the Great Ocean Road, the West MacDonnell Ranges, and Uluru. I even got to see koalas and wallabies up close at the Featherdale Wildlife Park!

Getting around Sydney was a breeze with the Opal Card, a reusable pass that worked on trains, buses, ferries, and even light rail. I spent a delightful day exploring the Sydney Harbour area, including the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. For a totally different perspective, I went to the top of the Sydney Tower Eye and got blown away by the 360-degree views of the city.

Outside of Sydney, I flew to Alice Springs to explore the Red Centre. There, I joined tours that took me to the West MacDonnell Ranges and Uluru (Ayers Rock). It was incredible to learn about the Outback’s natural wonders, history, and Aboriginal culture. 

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Getting around Sydney was a breeze! I purchased an Opal Card, which is a reusable card that can be used on trains, buses,ferries, and light rail. It’s definitely cheaper than buying single tickets.

The train system was easy to navigate and a great option for getting around the city center, although not for reaching the airport. If you’re looking for scenic views, the ferry is the way to go – it offers stunning views of the harbor and accepts Opal Cards as well. Buses are a good option to connect to trains and ferries, or to get to locations outside the city center.

I also found Sydney to be a very walkable city. I did a lot of walking around and it was a great way to see the sights.

I spent a delightful day exploring the Sydney Harbour area. I started my day at Circular Quay, a bustling transportation hub with ferries, restaurants, and shops. It was a great place to get oriented and take in the sights and sounds of the harbor.

From there, I couldn’t resist making a beeline for the iconic Sydney Opera House. I took a tour of this architectural marvel and was amazed by its unique design and stunning views of the harbor. Next, I wandered through the Royal Botanic Gardens, a haven of peace and tranquility right in the heart of the city. The gardens boast a wide variety of plants from all over the world, including the prehistoric Wollemi Pine.

I also made sure to check out the Sydney Harbour Bridge, another must-see landmark. You can walk or climb the bridge for breathtaking views of the city and harbor. After a full day of sightseeing, I enjoyed a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants or cafes around Circular Quay. It was the perfect way to end a perfect day!

I decided to stay at the Shangri-La because it was close to tourist sights and public transportation, and it had stunning views of Sydney Harbour. I paid extra to upgrade my room to one with a harbor view, and it was definitely worth it! The view was amazing. The room itself was spacious and comfortable, with a king-sized bed and a bathroom with a bathtub and shower.

The only downside was that it was a bit of an uphill walk from the train station. But overall, I would highly recommend the Shangri-La Hotel.

I spent a delightful day exploring Darling Harbour in Sydney!

I started my exploration with a visit to the peaceful Chinese Garden of Friendship. It was a tranquil oasis in the middle of the city, with beautiful landscaping and traditional Chinese architecture. Next, I strolled across the Pyrmont Bridge, taking in the views of the harbor and the city skyline.

In the afternoon, I wandered around Cockle Bay Wharf, a lively entertainment precinct with restaurants, cafes, and shops.I grabbed a delicious bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and enjoyed watching the people go by.

I also came across the Australian National Maritime Museum, which looked like a fascinating place to learn about Australia’s maritime history. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to visit this time, but I made a mental note to come back next time I’m in Sydney.

Darling Harbour is a great place to spend a relaxing day or a fun night out. There’s something for everyone, and it’s a great way to experience the sights and sounds of Sydney.

I explored Bondi Beach, Sydney Tower Eye, and the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) while I was in Sydney.

Bondi Beach was amazing! Even though it was the tail end of winter/early spring, I enjoyed watching the surfers catch some waves. I wasn’t brave enough to get in the water myself (those rip currents!), but I got some fantastic action shots with my zoom lens. 

For a totally different perspective, I headed to the Sydney Tower Eye. At over 1,000 feet tall, it’s the tallest building in Sydney! The views from the observation deck were incredible. I could see everything – Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park… The 360-degree view was amazing, although I couldn’t quite get a good picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge because of the sun glare. The short 4D movie before going up the elevator was a fun little add-on, even if a bit cheesy.

Speaking of shopping, I stumbled upon the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) by accident. I was actually looking for a camera store when I wandered in. It’s a huge, beautiful building that covers a whole city block! Since I was on a mission to find a camera store, I didn’t get to explore much of the QVB itself, but I’ll definitely check it out next time I’m in Sydney.

The last place I visited was St. Mary’s Cathedral. It’s a Catholic church that’s known for being one of the longest in Australia. Unfortunately, there was a service going on when I arrived, so I couldn’t really look around inside. I did manage to snag one picture with permission, but it wasn’t the greatest vantage point. Next time I’ll try to go when there isn’t a service so I can see more of the beautiful architecture.

I had a fantastic time visiting the Featherdale Wildlife Park! Located just outside of Sydney, it was easy to get to the park by public transportation from the Sydney Harbour Area.

The park is home to a wide variety of Australian animals, including koalas, wallabies, and kangaroos. It was amazing to see these animals up close and learn more about them. I even got to feed the wallabies for just $3 a cup! For an extra $25,I also had the unforgettable experience of petting a koala.

The park is open every day except for Christmas Day, so you can plan your visit anytime that works for you. Overall, I found the Featherdale Wildlife Park to be a fun and educational experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Sydney!

I flew Virgin Australia Economy X class from LAX to Sydney. I originally booked Economy, but I was able to upgrade to Economy X.

I really enjoyed the flight! The seats were comfortable, and the food was delicious. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. I was even able to get some sleep on the flight thanks to the earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, and sleeping mask that the airline provided.

Overall, I had a great experience flying Virgin Australia and would definitely recommend them to others.

The Northern Territories Red Centre

Alice Springs was my launching pad for exploring the Red Centre! I stayed at the Hilton Doubletree because it was in a good location and part of the Hilton brand (gotta earn those points!). My room was a classic queen, with a comfy bed, a couch, and a big workspace – perfect for catching up on my website after long days of touring.

The Doubletree wasn’t within walking distance of downtown, but that wasn’t a big deal since I spent most of my time on tours (12 hours in the West MacDonnell Ranges and a whopping 18 hours at Uluru/Kata Tjuta!). Being exhausted, I mostly ate at the hotel. Their restaurants were great – I had a delicious rib eye at Saltbush the first night (over A$50 with tip!).

For the next two nights, room service was my savior. After those long tours, I couldn’t face going out. One night I had a barbecue bacon cheeseburger and fries, the next a meat lover’s pizza. Both were delicious and perfect for refueling in my comfy room. Overall, the Doubletree was a great base for exploring the Red Centre – comfortable room, good food, and close enough to the airport for an easy arrival.

I joined a fantastic tour with Emu Run Experience to explore the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs. My tour guide, Bluey, was a real character – knowledgeable and passionate about the Outback. He shared fascinating stories and Aboriginal legends throughout the day, bringing the history and culture of this ancient land to life.

The tour started comfortably with a pick-up right at my hotel in Alice Springs. Our first stop was at the historical site of John Flynn’s Gravesite. Flynn was a legend himself – a pioneer flying doctor who dedicated his life to serving people in remote areas of Australia. We learned all about his remarkable contributions to outback healthcare.

Next, we continued our journey deeper into the West MacDonnell Ranges. Our first stop amidst the stunning scenery was Simpsons Gap, a dramatic gorge carved by millions of years of erosion. It was amazing to walk through this natural wonder and learn from Bluey that it barely ever rains here! The arid landscape painted a picture of a time and climate so different from what I’m used to.

Standley Chasm was our next stop. This towering cleft in the earth was another breathtaking sight. The sunlight filtering through the walls of the chasm created a magical play of light and shadow. We also learned about the cultural significance of this place for the Aboriginal people.

After soaking up the beauty of Standley Chasm, we continued to Ochre Pits, where Aboriginal people have been collecting ochre for centuries. Ochre is a natural pigment used in traditional Aboriginal paintings and ceremonies. It was fascinating to see the colors and learn about their significance in Aboriginal culture.

Our last stop of the day was Glen Helen Gorge, a place of outstanding natural beauty. We enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch at Glen Helen Lodge, the perfect way to fuel up for an afternoon of exploring. The gorge itself was a sight to behold, with towering red rock walls and a permanent waterhole. 

This tour with Emu Run Experience was a fantastic way to experience the West MacDonnell Ranges. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Alice Springs who wants to learn about the Outback’s natural wonders, history, and Aboriginal culture.

I squeezed in an amazing adventure with Emu Run Experience in a single day! We started by heading out to Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) first. These giant, round rocks were a dramatic change in scenery from anything I’d ever seen before. We went on a walk around Kata Tjuta, and it felt like stepping back in time. The ancient beauty of this sacred place was truly awe-inspiring.

After our walkabout at Kata Tjuta, we journeyed to Uluru (Ayers Rock). As the sun began to set, the landscape transformed around us. We witnessed a breathtaking sunset paint Uluru with vibrant colors, and our guide shared some fascinating Aboriginal creation stories that added another layer of meaning to the experience.

To top it all off, we enjoyed a delicious barbecue dinner under the stars before heading back to Alice Springs. This Emu Run Experience day trip was a fantastic way to experience both Kata Tjuta and Uluru in a limited amount of time. It was a jam-packed day filled with incredible sights, cultural insights, and a delicious meal under the Outback sky.


I joined a tour of the Great Ocean Road with Go West Tours. Our guide was ScoMo, who was highly rated by previous tour participants. We departed from Melbourne and made our way to the awe-inspiring 12 Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks standing tall along the coast, before heading back to our starting point.

The tour included stops at various interesting locations along the Great Ocean Road. We stretched our legs at Lorne Beach, a popular spot for swimming and surfing. We also made a stop at the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch, a significant landmark commemorating those who built this scenic road. For any animal lovers, the Kennet River Koala Walk was a fantastic opportunity to see these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. We continued our journey to Apollo Bay, a charming coastal town offering a relaxed atmosphere. The Great Otway National Park was another stop, where we could have enjoyed the beauty of native forests.

The undisputed highlight of the trip was the helicopter tour of the Twelve Apostles. This provided a unique perspective of these natural wonders, allowing you to appreciate their scale and majesty from above. If you are interested in this add-on, be sure to factor in the A$145 cost on top of the A$137 base tour price.

Overall, the Great Ocean Road tour with Go West Tours appears to be a fantastic way to experience this iconic Australian landmark. With its mix of stunning scenery, diverse wildlife encounters, and historical sites, this tour promises a memorable adventure. 

I hopped on a comfy Go West Tours bus with Maddie, my guide who seemed to know everything there was to know about Phillip Island. We set off for a day of exploring this fascinating place.

Our first stop was Brighton Beach, which is famous for its colorful Bathing Boxes. I couldn’t resist snapping a few pics in front of these iconic landmarks – it was a fun way to start the tour and get a feel for the whimsical vibe of Phillip Island.

Next up was the Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary. This was where things got really interesting! I got the chance to get up close with some of Australia’s amazing creatures.

The tour continued to The Nobbies, a spectacular natural formation with panoramic views of the coastline. As I soaked in the scenery, Maddie shared interesting stories about the local wildlife and the history of the island. It was fascinating to learn more about this special place.

The big finale of the tour was the Penguin Parade. Here, I witnessed hundreds of little penguins waddling up the beach after a day of fishing out at sea. It was an incredible sight to see these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. Seeing these penguins in person was unforgettable.

Overall, the Phillip Island tour with Go West Tours was a fun and informative way to explore the island’s natural beauty and unique wildlife. I would highly recommend it!