It's officially been one month since arriving in Sydney, and I can honestly say that I am starting to feel like a local. The first few weeks started off great, everything felling like a new grand adventure. From exploring the grounds of the iconic opera house to walks along some of Sydneys most beautiful beaches, I truly felt like I was living the dream. However, as time as gone by and we have become more acclimated to life here in Australia, the trip has begun to feel less like a vacation and more like real life...which is not at all a bad thing. I'm starting to find little hidden gems in the city, as well as the outskirts, that prove why Sydney is so great in the first place. My favorite is this little Thai restaurant in a little nook of the city (but I can never actually remember the name). I also got the chance the other day to travel into a more rural part of Australia for a work trip, and finally got to witness some wild wallabies (which I was literally dying to see). The trip is actually flying by, and I can only hope that this last month doesn't fly by as fast as the first one did. Below I'll point out some of my absolute things to do in Sydney, just to name a few.
Taronga Zoo: As an animal science major, I knew before even arriving that the Taronga Zoo would be a favorite of mine. One of the best things about it occurs before you even get to the grounds! You have to take a ferry over to the Zoo across the harbour, and the views are as always nothing short of spectacular. The park itself is filled with basically every animal you can think of, from Australian natives such as Emu's and Kangaroos, to African species such as tigers and elephants. My personal favorite was the giraffe exhibit, which was located in a spot that directly looked over the harbor and resulted in some really breathtaking photos. The seal and otter show was another must-see. I definitely recommend making a trip down to the Zoo if you have time!
Coogee/Bondi Coastal walk: From somebody who comes from Florida and spends basically everyday at the beach, I can honestly say that I have never been on a beach that even compares to those in Sydney. Both Bondi and Coogee beaches are absolutely incredible, the sand is amongst the softest in the world. The towns are both lined with cute little cafe's and restaurants that are outstanding, and even in the winter time the surfing is phenomenal. The other day, we were able to do the roughly 3 mile walk from Bondi to Coogee, which is a coastal path that has some of the most amazing views that I have ever seen. I recommend going around sunset, as the sky was literally the color of cotton candy and it was a view that I will never forget.
Palm Beach: Palm beach is located about an hour away by bus, which is not bad at all if you go on a Sunday when all travel is limited at $2.50. My friends and I rented an airbnb for the day, and had a private beach. The town was amazing, filled with little markets and shops, serving as one of my favorite memories thus far in Sydney. We stopped to do the lighthouse climb, which was extremely picturesque. I have come to find that there really isn't a bad view in Sydney, regardless of where you go.
I could not be more excited for my last month here in Sydney. So far, it has been the adventure of a lifetime, and I cannot wait for the rest of the trip to unfold. Australia is a truly remarkable place, and I don't think that I'll ever want to leave.
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<p>My name is Haley Straub and I am an animal sciences student at the University of Florida aspiring to be an exotic animal Veterinarian. I also have a huge interest in international studies and dance, both of which I am receiving minors for. I could not be more excited to travel to Sydney this Summer and gain a ton of new life experience, both in and out of the workplace!</p>