My Australian Adventures Sarah Lighter

Last year I had a great opportunity to travel overseas to Australia for 6 months to study abroad. I arrived in Australia on February 12, 2016. I met some amazing people and gained many friends along the way. I spent the first weekend in Sydney with the study abroad group I went with. We were learning the ways to an Aussie life.

We tried Aussie food. Yes we tried Tim Tams. We also went on grand adventures that included trivia night, surfing at Bondi Beach, kayaking at Manly Beach, and a scavenger hunt around Circular Quay.

This is my first ever picture taken when I arrived in Sydney. Sydney Opera House

Surfing at Bondi Beach

We kayaked to a private beach, only accessible by water and had a picnic with the study abroad group.

Once the first weekend blitz was over, I had to catch a train up to Newcastle Australia where I would be studying at the University of Newcastle. The campus was gorgeous. It felt like I was in the middle of a jungle.

Throughout the semester the group I traveled with would met up to go on more adventures. We went paddle boarding, sand boarding, and visited a Reptile zoo. And of course I met some crazy animals along the way.

Kangaroo, Koala, Wallaby

One weekend I went down to the Blue Mountains Katoomba with the student exchange program. There are over 30 paths with varying lengths to walk in the Blue Mountains. When I went they were doing fog testing, I don't know wha exactlyt but thats why my photos are all foggy. Usually the Blue Mountains are clear and you would be able to see across for miles. Before taking a hike around the mountains we went to a street that had street art, which I thought was amazing to see.

Left is what I saw, Right is what it normally looks like
Street Art Blue Mountains

After the Blue Mountains bonanza, I went up to Cairns Australia where it's always hot. The Great Barrier Reef is located just outside Cairns. I conquered my fear and went scuba diving for the first time at the Great Barrier Reef. I was so terrified but it was a great time overall.

Cairns Australia / Great Barrier Reef

I was very lucky to be able to travel New Zealand for three weeks while I was in Australia. I first started in the North Island in Auckland. I took a backpackers bus all around the northern island for about two weeks, seeing everything New Zealand had to offer. Every stop we took, there were multiple activities you could sign up for. Some activities I did was horseback riding, visited the Hobbiton set, and walked Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Once school was over, I went back to New Zealand, but this time I went to the southern island in Queenstown. I can tell you, I never wanted to leave.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing. 20 km walk. I took this after I climbed up Mt Doom aka Mount Ngauruhoe

Hobbiton set

River Valley Lodge. This place didn't have wifi, so it was so nice to just hang out and talk to everyone on the trip.

Auckland Sky Tower. I stayed in Auckland for 4 days after I finished the bus tour and I explored a bit.

Queenstown NZ

First morning in Queenstown and I was welcomed with a beautiful sunrise.

One of my last and one of my favorite adventures while in Australia was being able to travel to Uluru and Alice Springs. I signed up for If you don't know where these places are, they are in central Australia. These two great cities are conquered by desert land. They also have five seasons. I went during the Wari season. This is their "winter." Temperatures were about 50 degrees everyday.

I woke up around 6 AM before the sunrise to start a 6 km walk around the famous Uluru rock. The sun hit the rock causing it to have this bright orange glare to it. It was gorgeous.

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

I also visited Kata Tjuta and King's Canyon,.One of my favorite moments during this trip is when the group I met up with and I all sat around a campfire and talked into the all hours of the night.. The same night I slept under the stars in a camping bag.

After my last adventure in Australia, I had to head home, It was one of the saddest moments I had ever done. I never wanted to leave, but i know I will be returning again in the near future.

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