Nov 5, 2009

The World Down Under

Whitsunday Islands in the Great Barrier Reef

To have the opportunity to live in another country for months, is one of the best experiences a person can have. Living in Sydney, Australia for four months definitely made it my favorite city in the world. Sydney, along with most other areas of Australia I saw, is very clean. The people that live there care about what it looks like, and that definitely is shown to anyone who travels there.

There is definitely something to be said about the Australian way of life. They work to live, rather than like in America, where most people live to work. They appreciate what they have and the beauty that surrounds them. Australia is home to many of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whitehaven Beach, located in the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands in the Great Barrier Reef, is the most photographed beach in Australia. We spent three days and two nights on a boat in the islands for scuba diving and snorkeling. We had the unfortunate incident that it rained 95 percent of the time we were there; however, we were still lucky enough to see many amazing sights and did get the chance to take a few beautiful photographs!

Australia seems to be home to endless natural phenomenons. The Australian Outback was more attractive then I would have imagined, especially seeing all of the wild kangaroos! We were fortunate enough to get to spend a weekend playing on a family farm. From many points we were able to see, what seemed like, forever! Most families that own land in the outback have owned it since their ancestors came to Australia. The farm that we visited had purchased their land for about $1 an acre!  Another beautiful area was the Blue Mountains where one of the world’s steepest railways was. For someone who is not very fond of heights, it was a little nerve-wrecking, but beautiful. The Blue Mountain’s were the site of many interesting views including the Three Sisters rock formation and Katoomba Falls.

Lastly, the most well known of Australian architecture, the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Harbor Bridge is exquisite. That is a sight that I would never get tired of! I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to do the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb. In order to do so you start at one end, climb up through 2 lanes of traffic and trains, to the top of the bridge. You continue up to the tallest point of the bridge, cross over, and head back down. It was an absolutely amazing view!! Along with many other items on my list of experiences while down under, I was able to see an opera, La Boehme, performed in the Opera House. It is extremely hard to sum up a four month adventure in just a few paragraphs. There is always more to tell. The bottom line is Australia is, without a doubt, the most amazing place I have the traveled and part of my heart will always be in Sydney.

About the author:

Perri Neirman spent a semester in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji while majoring in Hospitality at Grand Valley State University. While as a student, Perri worked as a server at restaurant at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. She is seeking to relocate from Michigan to Texas before the end of the year to continue her hospitality career.

Woodstock in the Australian Outback
Woodstock in the Australian Outback
The Three Sister in the Blue Mountains
Katoomba Falls in the Blue Mountains
Sydney Harbor Bridge with the Sydney Opera House in the background
Manly Beach, New South Wales

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