Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Australia - Last Day!

This is the fifth and final blog in a series from our intern Kali who is a student at UW-Madison. She has been studying abroad during the spring semester on the eastern coast of Australia and has composed several blogs about her experiences there...

Australia - Last Day! 

This is my last day in Sydney, and I cannot find words to explain how I feel right now. I can't wait to see my family and others back home, but I will miss so much about Australia. I think that the thing I will miss most about this trip won't be the amazing weather, beautiful scenery, or fun adventures camping and diving, but the amazing people that I have met along the way. Every amazing thing that I have experienced here has been with some very incredible friends that I have made along the way. We began our trip in the little town of Marsfield, and ended up exploring the east coast, from Byron Bay to the Gold Coast, to The Great Barrier Reef in Cairns.

We shared meals, many times at our favorite place Pancakes On the Rocks in Sydney. Most meals had being heaps of pasta and veggie meals, and many Sundays we got together to have our family dinners. We also consumed large amounts of goon at times as any broke college student would.

We explored the city and the artwork and nature of Sydney. We spent every sunny day we possibly could out at the beach tanning, surfing, snorkeling, and climbing the cliffs of Bondi and Manly Beach. We fought off hungry and annoying seagulls on numerous occasions, some of us losing our food in the process. We went on cruise ships around the harbor and spent many hours wandering and trying to find our way home.

We went to Vivid Sydney, which is a week-long event with light shows on the buildings and the opera house, and food and other events. This is a must see event for anyone visiting in June! Also, we all had expected to be warm the entire stay in Australia, however in Sydney they actually have a chilly winter! I do suggest bringing plenty of warm clothes if you come in the winter. I had to buy some and none of us were very prepared for it. No I will not be tan when I get back ;)

We spent many fun nights out at the pubs and campus bars, but of course we had the most fun having our small parties at our own house playing games, both drinking and board games like Life and Settlers.

We went to a play at the opera house; Macbeth of course! It was a great experience and a must see. The opera house is beautiful on the outside, and average looking on the inside, but it is a great experience to go see one of their many shows.

We visited the beautiful Blue Mountains, which are actually blue looking. At the mountains you can climb down the steep stairway to the sister rocks, then ride a sky rail back to the top, or climb back up which we did and I do not suggest at all!

We visited the Botanical Gardens which are very pretty and free to visit! Also the trees are full of bats; hundreds and hundreds of bats which are very awesome. We did everything we could possibly afford and we had an incredible time with everything we did. I wish I could have done so much more while here, but it was all such an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. I met so many amazing people who have changed my life and opened my eyes to a whole new world of things, and I have made some lifelong friends that I will never forget. I hope to see them again someday, maybe on a dive trip or another camping trip, but whatever we do or wherever we go, I will not ever forget my new friends from around the world and my experiences in Australia.

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