AUS: Port Stephens to the Gold Coast
I’ve been on the East coast of Australia. And, WOW…..there are so many beautiful areas here! Since Australia is so big, I’m only sticking to the East coast, and seeing a relatively small portion of the country. Loving the endless picturesque beaches, often with no one on them. And I had no idea Australia was so tropical. It reminds me a lot of California, and feels quite like home (only more exciting because it’s all new territory!)
Anyone considering working in/visiting Australia, I’d say go for it. Jobs are pretty easy to find here. Australia offers a good working holiday visa. There are many people here from all over the world on working visas. It’s available once time in your lifetime, and valid for a year. Must be under 30, which made me too old, haha.
Here is what I’ve been up to the past week or so:
PORT STEPHENS (chill area…not very touristy)
I stayed at a lovely little property, Samurai Beach Bungalows. It had a laid back Asian vibe, and felt like a sanctuary tucked away in the jungle. Warning: must be comfortable with bugs and critters. This was one time I was thankful for my bad eyesight. Many spiders all around….did my best to “keep calm and carry on.” Originally, I hadn’t planned on visiting Australia (one of the main reasons was due to the huge spiders here). Eek!
Below is me with the wild diamond python that lives on site. Don’t worry, he was friendly (enough). He’s usually hiding, but the owner stumbled upon him and brought him around to show/scare people staying at the property.
Near Port Stephens are the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere…Worimi Conservation Lands (also known as Stockton Bight). Lots of 4 wheeling and sandboarding here. I would have sandboarded, but it rained everyday so the conditions weren’t ideal. This area hadn’t had rain in over two months, and I found the break from the sun nice actually. The sun is ridiculously strong here.
NEWCASTLE, amazing sunset while I was passing through:
BYRON BAY, total hippie town…and my favorite place in Australia (so far):
Beach photos below are at Belongil Beach. I stayed directly across the street and spent a lot of time lounging here. Loved how it was not crowded.
Practiced at lot of yoga in Byron Bay….ahhh, happy place 🙂
Also did the Cape Byron trail walk out to the lighthouse. It’s the most Eastern point on mainland Australia. Was a beautiful stroll along the coast and through some tropical areas. Many surfers to watch as well.
GOLD COAST/COOLANGATTA, more amazing beaches, sunniest area in Australia:
I went surfing for the first time! This California girl prefers warm ocean water, which is easy to find here (not so much at home). Definitely got sunburned and was so tired afterwards, but absolutely loved it! Thanks Dan at Walkin on Water for the fabulous lesson. Happy to say I was able to catch a wave on my first try (thanks Dan for giving me the extra push, haha). I found it not too difficult to stand up, but hard to paddle and match the speed of the wave. No photos of me in action (this is when I wish I had a GoPro!)
Full moon beach walk at Coolangatta:
Movie date for one…didn’t have to share my popcorn, haha 🙂
I stumbled upon a Kirtan (singing meditation gathering) near where I was staying, so that made for a relaxing evening. And they served dessert afterwards. Yum!
Last week before I head home….and I’ve been doing lots of reflecting on my big adventure and the next chapter in my life. I feel ready to come home, but also expect it to be a tough transition. Gonna miss being totally carefree. I still plan on updating my blog though, since I’ve learned that I love writing. Excited to see my people (and cat!) back home….but for now, on to Brisbane!