Australia Day 9: Last Day in Sydney with an AMAZING friend & local showing us the ropes in Manly Beach

Hi Love Bugs,

It is 10:05pm in Fiji, and I am sad to say this is my last Australian post. We had such an amazing time, and the memories will truly last forever. I can’t stop reflecting on how blessed Sean and I are to have shared this experience with our dads. It brings a tear to my eye knowing we were able to bring them on such a journey. This trip does not even scratch the surface as to how filled with gratitude we are to have been blessed with such amazing parents. This does not even thank them in the slightest for all they have done. We feel blessed, and lucky to have such amazing families. We miss you.

On our last day in Sydney, we met up with an old friend Mick from our internship in Chapel Hill, NC in 2011. Mick just so happens to be from Canberra, Australia, and we were so excited when plans worked out to meet him in his homeland, the beautiful Australia!!! Mick drove 3 hours to see us! We had no idea Sydney was that far away. We feel so blessed and honored that he did that for us. Thank you so much, Mick! Thank you, thank you, thank you. We honestly had the best day ever. He showed us around Manly Beach which consisted of gorgeous beaches, delicious burgers, great drinks (multiple drinks…who are we kidding), another amazing cliffside walk, and a tour of his university…which just so happened to be the very place the Great Gatsby was filmed. Wowza, did we have fun! Follow along for some pictures of our day! 🙂

Just hanging out with the street performers before the ferry
Just hanging out with the street performers before the ferry…

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Day 8: Exploring Sydney & an Unbelievable Night at Quay

Hi Love Bugs!

I really cant even begin to say how much I love Sydney…even on this gloomy rainy day. I wish it was a city in the US because I would move there in a heartbeat. My dad and I took the ferry (public transportation) to explore the city. It is the only way I would travel if I lived here. Yes of course you have the option to ride the bus, take a taxi, or catch the train but why not go by boat? Being on the water is always better. We signed up for a bike tour around the city, but the weather was not in our favor. It got cancelled after 30 minutes due to severe rain, but honestly it was perfect because we discovered the world famous Paddington Markets instead. The night ended with the MOST AMAZING dinner at Quay, the 5th ranked restaurant in the world! It had unbelievable views, and the food was to die for!

There is ALWAYS a cruise ship in the Sydney Harbour. They are literally traded out every day, and I would LOVE to take a cruise to Sydney! Where do i sign up? I am already dying to go back!
There is ALWAYS a different cruise ship in the Sydney Harbour. They are swapped out every day. I would LOVE to take a cruise to Sydney! Where do i sign up? I am already dying to go back!

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Day 7: Blue Mountains & Gartner’s Amazing SPOOKISH Fright Night Party

Hi Love Bugs,

I have been so behind on my posts. As a quick update, Sean and I made it to Fiji and we are now 16 hours ahead of the US and it is 6:30am. I am listening to the sound of the waves crash against our private deck, and it is pure bliss. I am planning on catching up on my posts today because I am up so early due to the time change. We are 2 hours ahead of Sydney.

The Blue Mountains outside of Sydney are absolutely beautiful. They almost take your breath away with all of the colors in the the sandstone. The reason why they are called the Blue Mountains is because the Eucalyptus trees give off an oil from the leaves that make the mountains appear blue in the distance. On our way to the mountains, we passed a zoo and many fruit farming fields. It is Autumn here so the leaves were starting to change, and it was just beautiful. We stopped at many look outs, and even saw an aboriginal dance that I was chosen to be a part of. It was pretty fun! Once we got back from the Blue Mountains, we went to quite possibly the best party I have ever been too. Gartner rented out an old warehouse and it was decorated for a Fright Night theme with dying roses, a hearse, spider webs, fog, purple lighting, etc. They really went all out. They hired an amazing spooky band, and dancers that walked around dressed up in costume. They even danced perfectly to thriller at one point. They also had a few make up artists painting ghoulish faces. I wish I would have taken advantage of this, but the line was too long. The people who got their make up done looked absolutely amazing. Some had sugar skulls, while others had Mad Hatter type painted faces. Overall, it was amazing and completely over the top.

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He was a sweet little guy……in between trying to fly away! Lol.

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Day 6: I LOVE Sydney (Gorg Cliff-Side Hike, 360 City Views, & Gala Dinner)!!!

Hi Love Bugs,

We have been so busy running around Sydney, and I am absolutely in love with this city. We have seen so much, and have covered tons of ground! This city is stunning! It is a 3-way cross between San Francisco (for the hills), Chicago(for the cleanliness), and New York City (for the amazing old architecture). Yesterday morning we started off our day at the Opera House for the Gartner Winner’s Circle Kick Off. The Opera House is HUGE! The inside is amazing. The artist who created it is a total genius. Little did we know, the Opera House is not one full structure. It is multiple sphere shaped buildings. After the kick-off we had lunch in the Sydney Sky Tower, which reminded us of the Seattle Space Needle. The restaurant at the top has 360 degree revolving views of the city. It takes 110 minutes to complete a full turn. After our amazing lunch, we walked around the city, and then made our way to Bondi (pronounced Bond-EYE) beach and did a beautiful cliff side walk to Bronte Beach. We finished the day at the Star Convention Center for a Gala Awards Dinner. The venue was jaw dropping. If it felt like we were invited to a 100k wedding.

The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House
Beautiful morning at the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Beautiful morning at the Sydney Harbour Bridge

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Australia Day 4: Rainforest Tours

Hi Love Bugs! We visited the Daintree Rainforest yesterday, and boy was it lush! We had a series of interesting experiences to say the least, but it ended up turning out to be a-okay! We started the day off by going to the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas. We got to see many native Australian animal species in their natural habitat. We also had the opportunity to feed the wallabies, and hold a koala–being with the animals was my favorite part of the day! We then went to Mossman Gorge which was absolutely beautiful. However, if I were to be honest, I have seen bigger gorges, and better sceneries throughout North Carolina. We were a bit disappointed with the rainforest tour because we did not get what we paid for due to a scheduling error. Nonetheless, we had a great time.We then made our way to Port Douglas for lunch at the beach. This however was not an ordinary beach–it prohibited access to the ocean due to sharks, crocodiles, and deadly jelly-fish. Remind me again why there is a resort on this beach? Beats Me! We finished the day by taking a crocodile cruise, and we spotted 2 full grown crocodiles(both male and female) and then 2 baby crocodiles. All of the pictures below were taken on my Nikon D3200, besides the pictures holding the Koalas. We purchased those.

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Sleepy Koala

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Australia Day 3: Wow, in awe! Great Barrier Reef Full Day Excursion

Hi Love Bugs!

We snorkeled 2 outer reefs yesterday, and couldn’t believe our eyes. The under water world is magnificent. I knew the Great Barrier Reef was going to be amazing, but I did not know how breathtakingly beautiful it was going to be in person. We had great visibility, but had to fight some serious current due to the wind, and a cyclone forming out in the ocean. Good thing for noodles (our floaties), or we would have been out of luck! The ocean was incredibly rough while leaving for, and away from the reefs. The boat was bouncing back and forth and it caused many people to get sea sick; however, the crew said the weather was out of the norm, and is usually a lot more calm. Lucky for me, I was okay due to preparation! All of the pictures below were taken on the GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition. Enjoy!

On the Catamaran excited to hit the first reef!
On the Catamaran excited to hit the first reef!

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Australia Day 2: Fitzroy Island & Green Island in the Great Barrier Reef

Hello Love Bugs! I started this post last night at 9:40pm Australia time, and I couldn’t finish it because of the horrible spotty internet in the lobby. The lobby was filled with people trying to get on the same server. Luckily for my jet lag, I am up at 4:36am, and I am the only one here. Hallelujah! We were blessed with another day full or sunshine, and we took advantage of every second of it! Today, my dad and I went to Fitzroy Island, and Sean and his Dad went to Green Island. I like to say, we divided and conquered. The pictures below were taken on my Nikon D3200 and my GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition.

Fitzroy Island, aka the hidden gem of the GBR: One of the most beautiful places I have EVER laid my eyes on. It is true paradise. The crystal clear blue ocean meets the mountainous LUSH terrain. We saw wildlife, and GIGANTIC limestone and granite boulders.

Truly breathtaking
Truly breathtaking–on the way to Fitzroy! #GoPro

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