I’m sitting in a little cafe in Boston today. It’s cold here… really, really cold with at least a foot of snow on the ground outside. Finishing writing this blog post knowing I was in beautiful warm and sunny Australia only a few weeks ago makes me want to go back. Maybe I should use that free flight from Cebu Pacific to use for a weekend getaway (HA). In case you missed it, catch up on The Cebu Stranded does Manila and our first few days in Down Under in Sydney! Australia Part 1 .
The best travel plan is no travel plan. If you go to a place with every detail and activity scheduled, you really are only seeing the surface of what a place has to offer. I love going to tourist attractions, as they highlight the cities important history, but it’s also important to get to your destination and feel the place, speak to locals, and make sure you include a few “off the beaten trail” activities in your trip. I love being a spontaneous traveler. It makes the trips more interesting and sometimes our favorite things end up being things we have stumbled upon.
So with spontaneity in mind, we ended up planning our Aussie road trip at 1:30 AM on Monday morning to leave that day. We booked a car online to pick up in 6 hours, looked up a route along the coast, and packed a backpack with a few essentials (bathing suits and snacks for Sean). Our destination: Hyams beach in Jervais Bay, about a 3 hour drive outside of Sydney.
Guess what.. Australia drives on the other side of the road.. okay, put your game face on Sean. We rented a car (and purchased full insurance JUST IN CASE #ballers). Sean took his seat in the drivers side, and we were off. It was a bit of a challenge to start out your first “opposite side of the road” driving experience in the middle of a city, but Sean did great! Besides a few close encounters, he didn’t hit anything … or anyone.
Sean and I really enjoy driving… well let me rephrase that, Sean really loves driving and I enjoy the ride. My driving skills are… let’s just say I would have certainly hit someone. Anyway, we really enjoy small road trips. We took our time driving along the coast on the Great Pacific Highway. It conveniently took us through wine country 🙂 and the scenery was really beautiful.
Fun fact of the day – In 2006, Hyams beach was ranked by Guinness Book of World records as having the whitest sand in the world. This clearly influenced our roadtripping plan. Hyams beach, although internationally ranked, was not at all touristy or crowded. In fact, there is only one small cafe near the beach.. No attractions, no shops, just a small beach community tucked away with stunning sand and waters. You park right along a small road that runs parallel to the beach and are instantly hit with amazing views of the water.
After a few hours at the beach successfully not getting a sunburn, it was time to fulfill one of my Aussie vacation goals of “Roo Hunting”. Not physically hunting, but I was determined to find a wild kangaroo. Kangaroo’s in Australia are a bit like deer in New England. They are most commonly found at dawn and dusk. We did a quick google search and found a valley where sightings are quite common, so we were off towards Kangaroo Valley. If there was anyplace to ever find a roo, it’d be there.
Of course, my dream came true and we found a little baby kangaroo on the side of the road along our drive. In all of my excitement I took snap chats & video but forgot to take an actual picture, so sorry about the poor quality of the photo.
These post are only the smallest glimpse of Australia, but I hope you were able to fall in love with the country as we have. It’s far to travel to, even from Hong Kong it was still a 9 hour flight, but it is absolutely worth the trip.