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New South Wales
I took a spontaneous road trip through #NewSouthWales, #Australia. We started in Sydney, where we experienced the high energy of Mardi Gras. Then we headed to #PortStephens, where we went #whalewatching, skydiving and rode quads around the sand dunes. I also tried parasailing and took a hot air balloon ride. It was an #active, non-stop adventure!
First of all, I should probably apologize for my lack of posting. I’ve been a little busy. And by busy, I mean having an amazing time, and blissfully ignoring my blog.
Over the past month, I have been exploring and roadtripping around New South Wales, Australia. I’ve done everything from hot-air-ballooning, sand dune quad-biking, surfing, para-sailing and even skydiving (twice). Yeah, I jumped out of a plane. No big deal.
Needless to say, it’s been an amazing experience… and I can’t believe it’s already over.
It all started about five days before departure, when I first learned about the trip. Yes, five days before. Always up for a spontaneous adventure; I didn’t think twice.
Suddenly, I was on a plane and flying half way across the world. By the time I landed, I didn’t know what day it was, or what time zone I was in.
Arriving in Australia
Before I could orient myself, I was meeting the five new people that I would be spending the entire next month with, and would be getting to know all of their gory details and learning each others crazy habits.
I’m sure that my jet lag and under-slept delusions made for an accurate first impression.
We spent the first couple of days exploring Sydney and getting a feel for our surroundings. Mardi Gras happened to fall on our third night, and we weren’t going to let that experience pass us by.
Mardi Gras happened to fall on our third night, and we weren’t going to let that experience pass us by.
In a sea of tiaras, feathers, glitter and sticky body sweat; we weaved our way through the streets and around the cheering crowd.
The next day was the official start to the road trip, and it started out with a bang. I happened to scroll through the Visit NSW Facebook Page on the bus, and noticed a couple of posts about skydiving.
After further investigation, I learned that we would be jumping out of a plane in approximately twenty minutes.
From that point forward, the trip took a turn for the extreme. We were all running on adrenaline, and wanted to find the next crazy activity to participate in.
We were all running on adrenaline, and wanted to find the next crazy activity to participate in.
Port Stephens was probably one of my favourite stops in the whole trip. We started out by driving a large hummer out into the Stockton Sand Dunes (which make you feel like you’re in the middle of the desert, by the way).
We then hopped onto some quad bikes and proceeded to zip around the dunes like eight year old children on a sugar high. I couldn’t get enough speed, and continually overtook anyone that drove in front of me.
Whale Watching at Port Stephens
Helicopter Scenic Flight in Central Coast
Fort Scratchley Historic Site
We plummeted down nearly vertical 100 ft drops and launched off sand ramps over equally steep uphill slopes. The quads slid around on the sand like butter, and I absolutely loved the spin-off of a sharp turn.
The Hot Air Balloon
Later in the day, I almost had a small heart attack. The crew decided that they wanted to stick me in the ocean. Oh, and string me up in the air behind a speeding boat, attached to a para-sail. Did I ever mention that I’m terrified of the ocean?
It turned out to be pretty awesome, but I have to admit that I was crying (tearless cries, I swear) like a school girl and possibly screaming profanities at the sharks that I imagined were beneath me when I got dipped in the water. Flying up in the air was amazing, though.
I had never been hot-air-ballooning before, so when we sailed over the Hunter Valley I nearly forgot about the 4:30 am wake-up call. We spotted a group of kangaroos, and I lost it.
We spotted a group of kangaroos, and I lost it.
The view was hard to look away from, and I suddenly wanted to be friends with the old man from “Up”.
I’ll just give you a brief list of our activities now, but you can be sure to read more later.
-Sand dune quad biking
-Wind tunnel flying
-Jet boat riding
-Tree top canopy walking
-Tobagganing (yes, in Australia)
-Steepest railway in the world
-Petting wombats, koalas, kangaroos and more
-Guinea pig and hermit crab racing (not together)
I have to admit that I’m pretty depressed to be back home now. I don’t show my excitement very well, but as I was boarding my plane in Sydney it suddenly all hit me.
I didn’t want to leave, and I wanted to go back and do it all again with a little "more energy" (don’t ask).
I have an endless amount of work to get done, and will only be home for a week before heading to Finland. But, come back soon, because I have more updates to come.