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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Cheers Mate! – Backpack New Zealand & Australia

Cheers Mate! - Backpack New Zealand & Australia 1

G’Day Mate!

Greetings from the beautiful country famous for the Sydney Opera House, cuddly koala bears and one of the most beautiful reefs in the world. After departing the land of the long white cloud we couldn’t help but be dazzled by the size and vibrancy of Sydney. We welcomed two new trip members Abby and Lilli who joined us for the last leg of our tour. The rooftop terrace from our accomodation overlooked the famous Opera house as well as the Sydney Harbour bridge. The cityscape was dazzling and a far cry from Queenstown’s quaint charm. Our first exploration of the city was climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the whole group made it to the top and were awestruck by the view. Isa and Molly particularly enjoyed the 360 degree view of Sydney from above the world famous structure!

The following day we got an insider’s tour of the workings of the Sydney Opera house, one of the most distinct architectural buildings in the world. We followed that afternoon with a trip to the Taronga zoo where we got to witness all the famous Australian creatures we know so well including koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, cassowaries. Abby and Ezra conquered the heights of the zoo as they climbed over the kangaroo pen on the ropes course, which we all enjoyed! Sydney felt like a whirlwind and the group was looking forward to heading up to Cairns for some tropical weather!

After our flight to Queensland we settled down in the Atherton Tablelands in a small town by the name of Yungaberra. The vast mountains and farmland was something we hadn’t pictured tucked into this tropical rainforest. On the Wallaby Lodge was cosy and right up our alley, comfortable dwellings with a chill atmosphere and plenty of room to roam and explore.

We took a tour to the rainforest and visited the famous Milla Milla waterfall where many commercials have been filmed. All of the ladies in our group got to practice the famous herbal essences hair flip in the crisp water underneath the fall. We cycled around Lake Eacham, which Gaby powered through twice, and went on a night canoe trip where we spotted some red tree kangaroos and even a few wallabies! At night we brought out our best entertainers with a lip sync battle of boys versus girls, and enjoyed a variety of board and card games. We felt at home here and we’re starting to come to realization that the trip is winding down.

Our final stop was Cairns, where we would spend our last few days.  Our first experience was learning about what to look for in the reef followed the next day by snorkelling and diving the Great Barrier Reef, then wake-boarding and knee-boarding, and enjoying our last few days together. Eden got up on a wakeboard for the first time! A small miracle happened when we went diving the reef, we woke up early to overcast and rain. The boat ride wasn’t the smoothest but as we dropped our anchor at Norman’s reef in the Outer Barrier the sun came out and it remained out for the whole day! As we headed back in the late afternoon we came back to a grey cityscape- we had somehow managed to once again have the good weather follow us! This seemed to have happened our entire trip and we couldn’t be more happ y about it! Thank you weather gods! We had a few veteran divers Gabby, Isa and Matt while we had others who SCUBA dived for the very first time included Seth, Lilli, Eden, Abby and Hannah. The rest of the group had just as much fun snorkelling the reef. We saw a giant sea turtle, who struck a pose for a photo with Eli, Nemo, and coral so colourful and vibrant it absolutely blew us away! Many trip members said that this was one of the coolest experiences of their lives so far! The Great Barrier Reef definitely did not disappoint!
As our amazing adventure comes to an end, we are sad to leave our trip family. We will cherish all the memories and discoveries we made together, forever!

Many thanks for following along on our journey- we had a wonderful time and we hope they did, too!

The Westcoast Blogger