Now in all honesty, Australia though always and forever on my bucketlist, wasn’t like this huge planned trip. I didn’t know I was going for sure until maybe a month or two before. The conversation as to how this happened went as follows:
A few days after Christmas:
Mom: “That was a fun Christmas. When will we see you again?”
Me: “Well, I have some time off in March so I’ll probably go down to Phoenix then and meet you there.”
Dad: “How about we go to Australia instead?”
And that was that. Literally how we plan almost all of our vacations. Or how I plan at least.
Anyway, after a comedy of errors from Edmonton-Calgary and making it to Vancouver for our red eye flight into Brisbane I landed feeling buzzed and ready to go. Sure I was rocking a 17 hour time difference from home, but I managed myself on the longest plane ride of my life just fine. After an epic Australian breakfast (just kidding, I had an omelette like at any other hotel in the western world and I was thankful they did breakfast like a Canadian would. I think European breakfasts are such a nightmare) we were off to explore the city.
When I’m on vacation my favourite thing to do is to explore. I don’t look at a map, I don’t ask for directions unless there is a must-see destination I have in mind. I know that is probably dangerous sounding but it is all in the name of adventure. I keep my head on straight and fuel myself with gelato as I go.
Brisbane is a cool city. Like, a never-mind-visiting-I’m-going-to-move-there-one-day, type city. They have stuff like sunshine and koalas. I found myself in the middle of a crazy world science fair one afternoon, at a beach in the middle of the city ten minutes later. An iguana basically attacked my foot while I was eating more ice cream in the botanical gardens another day. Scared the shit out of me. Then it had the attitude to turn around and stare at me. I think I will opt for facing a beaver in the Canadian wilderness than an iguana. I shopped and had amazing food the entire way through and enjoyed the company of the friendliest locals.
One morning I went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Now, if you know me and anything about my #lifegoals I never really have had anything huge on my bucket list to do other than just to “hug a koala”. I just knew they give good hugs. Anyway, I could write an entire entry about my time at Lone Pine so I’ve opted to share with you pictures throughout this post of my Australian Animal adventure. I held a koala named Maximus, I fed giant red kangaroos and grey ones. I pet an Emu which was more like a terrifying Jurassic Park bird. This place is basically an Australian Animal Disneyland.
After a week in Brisbane, we boarded a flight down to Melbourne. Melbourne is another amazing city, it offered more great food, great shopping with tons of fascinating little cobblestone side streets. I went to the aquarium one afternoon. I found a gallery with all of the artwork by Dr. Suess. I randomly collected socks. I filled my tummy with more gelato. One of the local girls was smitten over my accent. “Oh my gosh you have the most beautiful accent I have ever heard! Where are you from?????” ….Canada. Lol.
Continuing the theme of “Australian Animals the Adventure” I took a full day trip to Phillip Island. Phillip Island is well, this little island kinda off the coast of Melbourne. After a drive there which included a stop to another animal sanctuary where I pet more koalas, contemplated kidnapping a wallaby, and another stop at a farm where the Alberta girl in me fed a beautiful horse and wanted to play with the highland cattle, we made it to this cutesie island.
Probably my favourite wine on the planet is called “Little Penguin”. It is cheap. It tastes like adult kool-aid and is probably the most unsophisticated drink you will ever have. Anyway, I love it. No I could not find it anywhere. As the sun set I went to this “Penguin Parade” place on Summer Beach where you stare at the ocean and wait quietly to see the little penguins (That is actually what they are called. They are the smallest species of penguin!) waddle up the beach and try and make a break to their burrows for safety. They are cute and hilarious. I found myself totally caught up in watching them and following them back up the boardwalk cheering stuff like “Go penguin!” and “You can do it!” and “Run mthrfckaaaaa!” It was bizarre and amazing. The wind and rain were just howling everyone froze even though it was like 14C outside. It was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. How can this tiny, tuxedo clad bird swim in what is almost the Antarctic Ocean all day, catch some fish, waddle home, sleep a few hours and do it again? Every day. Nature is a crazy thing.
Anyway, I could probably keep rambling on and on about my trip down under. Its been ten months since I was there and I probably have thought about my trip every day since I arrived. I tell anyone that will listen about my penguin experience and show everyone in sight my pictures of the koalas.
If you have read this far down, thank you so much for sticking with me as I retold my adventure. What is the best holiday you’ve been on? Any place on your bucket list?
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