After many trips to exotic and not-so-exotic places I have come to find that there needs to be a balance between sightseeing and resting. In Australia, another key component comes up that should be included and that is activities! Australia is a great place to be doing something. Be it snorkeling, hiking, sky diving, or anything else you can think of. It is definitely a top destination inline with the likes of New Zealand and Interlaken, Switzerland. Starting in Sydney, I of course took in all the major sites but was able to squeeze in some other activities outside of the norm. Though many people go to the http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/, few find the time or the money to catch a performance. I was lucky enough to get a great deal from the ticket counter. By taking an Essentials Opera House tour for A
UD$35, you get the ability to buy a “Best Available” seat for the cheapest seat price. Example: Best Available seat is Orchestra for AUD$300 and cheapest seat is AUD$100! Though it was somewhat of a splurge I was able to enjoy a world-class performance, in an amazing setting and seat. After enjoying some of the city sites for a few days I decided to venture further out to the Sydney beaches. I decided to take the ferry to Manly Beach, north of Sydney. Not only did the ferry take us through Sydney Harbor for great views and time on the water, it was a fraction of the cost of an actual harbor cruise. Manly is a quaint northern suburb of Sydney with a beautiful beach and great fish & chips. Another activity option for beaches is the Coastal Walkway. I took the bus to Coogee Beach farther down from the more famous Bondi Beach. From there, there is a 5 km walk along the coast and shore line. It was breath-taking to see all the waves crashing, far below from the tall cliffs. The vistas are amazing to catch a glimpse of spectacular scenery just a few minutes outside of the bustling city. I bid goodbye to Sydney and its beaches to take in some of the surrounding forests known as the Blue Mountains. There I did one day of abseiling and canyoning which has to be one of the best activities I have ever down throughout my travels. We began the day by abseiling 3 different height rock faces finishing with a 30 meter abseil!
After, we put on full-bodied wetsuits, helmets, and harnesses to go canyoning. Hiking down a valley, we reached a rushing stream/river where we continued to climb and swim through as the tall canyon sides with lush greenery, shaded the bottom floor where the water rushed through boulders and fallen trees. Sometime we had to jump into pools below or slide down rocks with the rushing water to get to the next part of the canyon. All this climaxed with another tall abseil down the face of a waterfall! Let’s just say that you want to get down as fast as you can when tons of water is pound down onto your head. It was altogether extremely exhilarating and something so unconventional I am recommending it to anyone wanting to do something out of the ordinary! With my mountain adventure ended, I headed up north to Byron Bay. Here I took a surfing lesson and not to my surprise I was not very good 🙂 But as I am in the land of the surf and sun I thought this would be a very fitting activity to try. A half day’s worth of instruction, pickup, and board rental resulted in a great day of sun and waves. Though the pounding and currents were hard on me it was a good workout and now I understand why surfer bodies are very tone and well… Hot! haha. Currently, nursing a bad sunburn but am ready for more fun and activities!