The Australian dream

All of a sudden it all went very quickly. I had always had a fascination for Australia, partly because I have always admired faraway places with an exotic air around them, partly because I had seen beautiful pictures of the time my parents had spent in the country, long before I was born.

It only came naturally that one day, I would want to go to Australia, but that that day would come so fast never occured to me. Circumstances were that I was in the middle of a school year, I had finished high school half a year earlier, but I wasn’t studing anything, just working a bit and there was no way I could start a study halfway through the year. I felt like I should be able to do something more interesting with my life than spending part of it as a cashier at a warehouse. However, that job had left me with a bit of money, but not enough to be able to support myself for at least half a year while I was away. Luckily life gives opportunities, and so does travelling; I would start working as an au pair. It was perfect: I had experience with kids and love the little ones, it was easy to find a family where I could go and within  a few weeks I had booked a flight, arranged a visa and could start a job. Ready to fly now!BackpackFrom an amazing time staying with the family I worked for, I rolled onto my next adventures. These were unplanned and started from my “home-base” in Newcastle, where I had lived in worked the first half year. The path I took is described in the picture below. It doesn’t even cover half of the country, but it was enough to lose my heart to this beautiful country.
From the amazing variety of ecosystems (rainforest bordered by coral reefs), its unique animal species (from kangaroos all over the place to hard-to-spot platypus), Australia has opened my eyes to the wonders of the world and has only further encouraged my wanderlust. When and if you go have the chance to travel the world, Australia is not a place you want to miss.

Australia
Simplified travel itinerary Australia

Since this trip was rather long, not to mention chaotic, I will dedicate a page to all the different aspects and areas that the journey consisted of. Arranging those will take time, so while they are still in the making I would like to refer you to the older and incomplete blog that I wrote during my time in Australia:

http://kirstenvl.waarbenjij.nu/reisverslagen/432179/the-australian-dream/1

Travel details:
Trip:
Gap year in Australia
Date: February 2013 – February 2014
Route: Sydney – Newcastle – Sydney + Blue Mountains – Newcastle – Brisbane + Gold Coast – Newcastle – Cairns – Newcastle – Sydney – Canberra – Sydney – Newcastle – Sydney – Katoomba/Blue Mountains – Sydney – Wilcannia – Broken Hill – Wilcannia – Ivanhoe – Wilcannia – Whitcliffs – Wilcannia – Bendigo – Wilcannia – Hermidale – Dubbo – Melbourne – Sydney – Newcaslte – Sydney.
Transport to Australia: Airplane (combination flight British Airways and Quantas)
Transport in Australia: Car (not mine), bus, train, plane, foot, bike.
Company: Overall just me, along the way a few other people accompanied me for bits and pieces of the trip.
Stayed the night at: YHA Sydney, Elephant Backpackers Sydney, YHA Katoomba, Flying Fox Backpackers Katoomba, Flinders Station Backpackers Melbourne, Red Earth Motel Broken Hill, Daydream Motel Broken Hill, Gilligan’s backpackers Cairns, Kangaroo explorer livabroad Great Barrier Reef,
Highlights: This trip was one enormous highlight in itself, but when looking back I think that the time I spent in outback Australia, as well as my skydive were the most memorable.

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