Lecture Recess

Prepare yourself for a lot of photos!

I just returned from lecture recess and to say the least, it was amazing.

Dena (Dena is from California, we met each other on move in day) and I went all along the east coast for our mid semester break. We started in Sydney. On Saturday afternoon we flew down the coast to Sydney. That night we met up with one of my friends from high school who has been living in Sydney for a few years. She showed us around some of the bars and clubs. The next day, Sunday, Dena and I were determined to see as much as we could. We walked all around Sydney, we started in Kings Cross and made our way around to Darling Harbour to the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, in addition, to the Botanical Gardens.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
Sydney Opera House, Australia
Sydney Opera House, Australia

By the end of the day, we had walked over 11 miles, to say the least, we were tired!! That same day we caught an Uber to take us to the eastern part of Sydney, Bondi. Bondi is a beautiful and touristy beach. We visited and swam in the world famous Iceberg pools. This pool is right along side the ocean which makes for a beautiful view and great pictures.

Bondi Beach, Australia
Bondi Beach, Australia
Icebergs Pool, Bondi Beach, Australia
Icebergs Pool, Bondi Beach, Australia

We met a few Americans on our night out, one happened to be from Seattle! We walked up and down the beaches and looked at all the shops Bondi had to offer. Unfortunately, Bondi was a lot colder than we expected with lots of wind. The average temperature was about 58 degrees, compared to 80 degrees in Townsville! Other than the temperature, Bondi is beautiful and I would highly recommend putting it on your bucket list.

Tuesday morning at 3:30am Dena and I woke up and headed to the airport for our 6:10am flight to Gold Coast. We stayed in Surfers Paradise for one night. We walked along side the beach and shopped around. We went to the clubs with friends that we met from the hostel. Even though we were in Gold Coast for only one night we met some awesome people and still got to explore Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise, Australia
Surfers Paradise, Australia

On Wednesday, Dena and I bused down to Byron Bay. Byron is a very popular beach town. Beautiful beaches and great surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and more. Byron reminds me of Portland in a way because of the hipster and chill vibes that come along with the town.

Byron Bay, Australia
Byron Bay, Australia

We met some new friends all across Europe and played games and got to know each other. The hostel we were staying at offered free wine and cheese every Wednesday night, yes please! On Thursday we rented bikes and biked our way into town, had lunch and listened to live music on the grass looking out onto the ocean. We sat on the beach for a total of three hours just watching people surf and petting dogs. The next day we woke up at 4:15am to bike two miles to the Byron Bay light house to watch the sunrise. The bike was at least one mile straight up hill and to say the least, by the end of it we were properly sweating, but the view was totally worth it.

Byron Bay Lighthouse at Sunrise, Australia
Byron Bay Lighthouse at Sunrise, Australia
Sunrise View, Byron Bay Lighthouse, Australia
Sunrise View, Byron Bay Lighthouse, Australia

In addition to the sunrise, there were whales breaching and swimming in pods. Such a beautiful sight! After we watched the sunrise we went back and took a quick hour nap and ate breakky. It was such  beautiful weather in Byron on our last day, we rented surf boards and surfed.

Byron Bay, Australia
Byron Bay, Australia

The waves were just small enough for us to catch a handful. We only had a few wipe outs! Later that day we took the bus up to Brisbane.

At our last destination, Brisbane, we arrived to our hostel in the city at 8:30pm. At this point we were pretty tired from waking up early and being in the sun so we went to bed early! We did explore the city at night before bed and got to see the night life environment. We woke up and caught a train to Northgate which is a suburb north of Brisbane. Our friend Ben, from Uni lives up there and picked us up. Us three and two of his mates drove a few hours north to a beach called Moolooaba beach.

Moolooaba Beach, Australia
Moolooaba Beach, Australia

It was a bit windy, but it was fun to hang out with some mates and have a beach day. We returned back to Ben’s house a few hours later and he headed to another one of his mate’s house. We played games and watched the storm. There was a massive thunder and lightening storm and it was nothing like the small lightening strikes we get in Portland. After that, we took the train back to the city and packed all of our clothes for our 5:15am wake up call to head back to Townsville.

Overall, our lecture recess was such a fun time. We met so many great people at all of the hostels. In 8 nights, we stayed at 5 different hostels and met people from Brazil, U.K., Switzerland, Norway, South Africa, Canada, Germany and more. Dena and I are so thankful and so lucky to have this opportunity to travel abroad and see what Australia has to offer.

Cheers!

Makenna