Our journey home was a little more hectic than we would have preferred. Our connecting flight from LA was cancelled, so Julie, Katie, and I ended up spending the night at a small hotel outside Nadi, Fiji. When we finally arrived in LA, we had missed our flight to SLC so we spent another night near LAX.
The last tourist stop in Australia was a couple nights on the Sunshine Coast. This city is known for its great views, weather, and beaches. Julie, Katie, and Lyle were excited for their early morning surf lessons.
Julie was the first one in the group to stand up on the board and had several good runs. She looked like a pro.
After journeying to Sydney and canyoning in the Blue Mountains, Katie, Julie, Lyle, and I ventured up the west coast to a small town called Hervey Bay. We only had a few days left in Australia at this point, and our plan was to visit Fraser Island nearby. Fraser Island is the largest island on the east coast of Australia and a popular tourist destination for locals. It has over 100 miles of beach and it is best explored by 4wd, so we rented our Land Rover in Hervey Bay and took an afternoon ferry to the island.
From Sydney, we hopped on the train and traveled west for about an hour to the small town of Katoomba. Here we met up with a tour guide that took us into the Blue Mountains for some cliffside traversals and rappels. The day was broken into a morning and afternoon session. We spent all morning learning the basics of ropework and did two rappels along a cliff.
After departing Christchurch, our group separated. Most of us (Katie, Julie, Monica, Matt, Lyle) ventured to Cairns, Australia for a few days of scuba and snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef. However, Justin preferred to stay safely inland and instead opted to visit Uluru (aka Ayers Rock). After a few days, we would all reunite in Sydney.
Packing is never easy. On my first trip overseas, I had no idea what to bring and ended up hauling gear around Europe that I never used. Nowadays, I try to underpack with just the essentials. Continue reading My packing list→