Down Under ’18: The Sydney to Brisbane Experience

Hey everyone! It’s been a hot minute. I’ve been so incredibly busy this week on my G Adventures trip, but now I’m finally in Brisbane at Chris and Sue’s (!!), I can give you all a proper update.

For anyone that doesn’t know what G Adventures is, it’s basically a tour company that specialises in super fun tours for people of all ages – mine was one of the 18 to 39 tours – that go all around the world. My trip was the Sydney to Brisbane experience, and was a super whirlwind tour of Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Yamba, Byron Bay and a tiny bit of Brisbane at the end.

Here’s what I got up to:

DAY ONE, SUNDAY 21ST

Met up with the group in the evening and had dinner to get to know each other.

DAY TWO, MONDAY 22ND

New friend Rachel’s birthday! It was a free day so I took some of my new friends over to Manly on the northern side of Sydney for a beach day in the sun. In the evening we went for dinner in Darling Harbour for Rachel’s birthday and then bar hopped.

DAY THREE, TUESDAY 23RD

We headed off up the coast today for what seemed like a hundred hours. We made our first stop at the Mount Pleasant vineyard in the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting session (at about 10am – I think you can guess how that went down), before driving for several more hours up the coast to Coffs Harbour. Before dinner we went down to the beach, where Lindsay gave us a very quick yoga lesson!

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DAY FOUR, WEDNESDAY 24TH

Up and off to the Dorrigo Rainforest, a beautiful, ancient area of Australia that hasn’t changed in thousands of years. We did a two and a half hour walk that went down and round through the forest, but unfortunately we didn’t see any huge snakes or spiders! We did get to see waterfalls though, which is just as good. After our walk we drove back to Coffs Harbour to visit The Big Banana. It’s literally what it sounds like. Then it was off to Yamba, our stop for the night, where there was the most beautiful beach and we had some crazy good Thai food. We stayed up late playing ridiculous games of Heads Up.

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Dorrigo Rainforest

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Yamba Beach

DAY FIVE, THURSDAY 25TH

Surf’s up – today was my first ever surfing lesson! We drove off to a town called Lennox Head for our lesson with Mojo Surf. We started off by having a quick land lesson of how to paddle and the four steps to actually getting up on the board. I have a newfound respect for surfers – what is easy on land is so, so, so hard in water. We had about an hour in the water itself, just practicing what the guys had told us and hoping for the best. I nearly made it up by myself a few times, but when the guys came over to help me I managed to stand up and properly surf for about 10 seconds! I’m well chuffed. Right at the end, the head coach found out I now live here and felt that I just HAD to know the right lingo and be able to do get over the waves I didn’t want to surf properly, so I basically had my own private lesson. What I didn’t realise was that while I was having the time of my life, my face was getting redder and redder until the entire thing was completely and totally sunburnt. It still hurts to move my face. Send help.

After our lesson we had a spot of lunch in Lennox Head before driving up to what is probably my second favourite place I’ve seen so far – Byron Bay! It’s a proper hippie town that’s full of surfers and just generally cool people. A trip to the Byron Bay lighthouse was first – and we even went all the way down to the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. We had a little look around the town before getting some dinner at a thai restaurant, and then decided to save our energy for Australia day!

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DAY SIX, FRIDAY 26TH – AUSTRALIA DAY!

Happy Australia Day! To be honest, it wasn’t quite as crazy as I thought it would be – although it still was very fun. I went shopping and exploring with Emma and Laura in the morning after a spot of breakfast at Bayleaf cafe while waiting for the rest of the squad to finish their skydive. I really do love this town – it’s got so many weird and wonderful things going on. There’s something cool everywhere you look! That night we went out for Lindsay’s 30th birthday! We had dinner at Main Street burgers before hitting up the Railways Friendly Bar and Woody’s Surf Shack.

DAY SEVEN, SATURDAY 27TH

Today was basically a driving to Brisbane day, so that the guys that were carrying on with the full tour could get to their next stop without a ridiculously long drive. I was so sad to leave the group though – I feel like I’ve made some proper good friends, and we haven’t even known each other for a week!

This trip was a definitely 10/10, the only problem being that it wasn’t long enough. It was a nice start to my East Coast adventure, and now I’m even more excited to be back with G Adventures exploring the Red Centre to Melbourne!

 

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