I can hardly believe that our Australia travel has come to an end. It feels, like the news about traveling »down under« just arrived yesterday and not two months ago. We are blessed to be able to travel to Australia, even though we staid here for 12 days only. Twelve days is really so little for such a huge country like Australia, but we were still able to see and capture a little bit of its culture and way of life.
Landing in Sydney introduced us with its many tall skyscrapers, which look down on the famous Sydney Opera House and The Bridge with no shame at all. This was a sight which did make a big impression on us – after all we are coming from a small countryside town, having no more than 3000 inhabitants. I guess having good weather in Sydney and escaping the winter, made everything even better.
Visiting Bondi Beach and Manly showed us, what a big part of people’s life is surfing. Surfing in Australia is their way of life for sure! I do not blame them, as catching your first wave makes you addicted to this sport in no time. Surfing in Australia is like having a cup of coffee in Italy – you just cannot start your day without it.
We cannot pass by the fact, that Australians, living on the coast, are extremely active all year round. Not a single hour went by, seeing someone who jogs, hike, ride a bike, rollerblade, play tennis, paddle, surf or is doing some kind of outdoor activity.
All our wishes on the bucket list for Australia were becoming a reality each new day spent here, down under. A big thank you goes for sure to the YHA, as they have organized the whole trip for us. Without them we would not be so involved in the local life and in activities we have done during our travel. I guess the main reason would be the cost, as our wallet would not be able to handle them all. That is why we can truly be grateful for everything we did during our Australia travel.
Hiking the Blue Mountains, where kakadus were elegantly flying over us, and the smell of the eucalyptus trees did take us to another world. Not many people visualize Australia as being a very green country. Also our first though of Australia is the outback and its red roads. Blue Mountains are filled with lookouts, where some of the most amazing sceneries can be enjoyed. This region is also perfect for trekking enthusiasts.
Lots of cute little coastal towns gave us another perspective of Australia. Towns like Port Stephens could easily become our new home. Relaxed and easy going atmosphere is something you can easily adjust. With the help of locals, we finally realized, why so many people are moving to Australia or having it for one of their TOP travel destinations.
The vast areas and huge distances which most of us, coming from small countries, are not familiar with, make the whole experience and travel around Australia even more picturesque. You cannot get a clear image of its size, if you’ve never visit Australia. The fact that we in Slovenia can go for a cup of coffee to Italy, skiing to Austria, take a swim in Croatia or make a day trip to Hungary, is for most of the people leaving their entire lifes in Australia just unreal.
The last few days of our Australia travel was spent in Melbourne, which is indeed a very culturaly mixed city. I guess we could say that for the whole Australia, but maybe Melbourne makes you feel this even more. We could see this cultural mix everywhere we went, what sure made us feel welcome. The only disappointing thing in Australia for us was the attitude towards the indigenous people, Aborigines. Unfortunately we could hardly see them and when we did, they were nothing else than the big mascots and attractions for tourists. It is sad that hardly anyone talks about them and respect them. It felt like people would rather forget about them completely. No surprise, if we know that the new comers did almost erased them from the land, including their mystical culture, which was greatly connected with nature and respect towards it.
Melbourne is for most of Australians know as a shopping paradise, but it is also a great starting or finishing point fort one of the world’s famous roads – The Great Ocean Road. When traveling to Australia, driving along the Great Ocean Road is just something you have to do. You will be amazed how beautiful sceneries can limestone cliffs give you. Don’t miss out on the Twelve Apostles – the most recognizable spot on the whole road.
Australia by itself is not very rich in history, but who cares, as it has one of the richest flora and fauna in the world. There are species, which we can find only here in Australia and nothing can beat spotting kangaroos and koalas in the wild. I guess not seeing them, means not seeing the real Australia.
Seeing the whole Australia in 12 days is of course mission impossible. When we told our friends we are going down under only fort his short period of time, lots of them laughed and said we are mad. Well, they were right in a way, as just reaching Australia from Europe means travelling for more than a day. But honestly told, we would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Even though 12 days is very short, it is still enough to get the first filing about the country and seeing if you like it. Having a smart plan will help of course and in the case of Australia, less means more. Our suggestion would be not to rush and not trying to see everything, as you just cannot. Don’t spend majority of your time on buses, trains or planes and rather spend more time exploring a smaller area. Indulge yourself in the culture, life and its people. You will be amazed how many unforgettable memories you can do in less than two weeks. After all 12 days is still much better than staying home and feel sorry for yourself, wanting to go, but having your job as an excuse.
Australia is amazing, incredible, vast, exotic and on the other hand, it fills like home… But I guess home is where your heart is and we left a tiny little piece of ours in Australia for sure. We felt in love with it completely and we will be back again for sure.