Student Voices — "Top 5 Things to Do in Sydney, Australia, for the Adventure Enthusiast" by Allison Griffith

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IES Abroad
March 9, 2016

I'm a self-proclaimed adventure enthusiast, thrill seeker, and free spirit—and I’m addicted to water and sunshine. I love taking pictures, but they absolutely can't substitute the real experience. I studied abroad on the IES Abroad Sydney Program in Spring 2015. I’m an Actuarial Science and Finance, music minor at Bradley University. - Allison Griffith

When you are studying abroad in Sydney, Australia, there are many activities for the adventure enthusiast to enjoy without actually leaving the greater Sydney area. Ready to breathe some fresh air and have some incredible experiences? If you have shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty, an adventurous spirit and an opal card, then this list is for you!

  1. Camping excursion in Royal National Park: Start the day with a nice ferry ride across Gunnamatta Bay to Bundeena Bay. Head for the beautiful coastal walk seeing famous sights like Wedding Cake Rock and Eagle Rock along the way. Then spend the night in North Era Campground. The tranquility and lack of light pollution makes for a wonderful stargazing experience. The driftwood produces magnificent campfires. Go on the weekend and there will be other campers there as well to share the experience with. If you’re lucky, you might even catch part of the whale migration.
  2. Glow-worm tunnel at the Old Helensburgh Station: Bring shoes you don’t mind getting muddy and wet. If they’re waterproof, even better! Avoid going after a huge rainfall as the tracks might be impassible. A quick five-minute walk from the New Helensburgh train station, this old railroad tunnel is full of history…and glow-worms! Once inside the tunnel, let your eyes adjust to the darkness then look up. It looks like there is a little galaxy within. Musically inclined? The echo factor is wonderful so bring a friend to get some good harmonies going.
  3. Snorkeling at Camp Cove: Located in an area where the average house price is $2.7 million, this beach is deluxe. Set back from the street, you’ll feel like it’s a private beach. Only about 300 meters long, this is a local secret, even though it’s part of Sydney Harbour National Park. Make sure to bring your snorkel and head off towards the Northern end of the beach, which is sheltered from the waves. Don’t forget your sunscreen as the sun can be unforgiving on a hot summer’s day! The South Head Heritage trail is easily accessible from here if you want a little coastal walk in your day as well.
  4. Bushwalking through the Blue Mountains: This activity frequently appears on top 10 lists. Over listed but not overrated, this national park should not be missed! Start off doing the Prince Henry Cliff walk. Pass by the “Three Sisters”, then continue on down and plunge into the valley. Head towards the cable car, but take the path to the left that puts you towards the waterfalls. Specifically, the Queen Victoria Falls are stunning. The path allows you to get right next to where the waterfall hits its middle bump: perfect viewing of the whole falls. Going after a rain makes the flow absolutely magnificent.
  5. Take an Acro-yoga class at the YogaBeyond Studio: Located adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, this studio is charming. The instructors are great, and will have you up “flying” in no time. No yoga experience? No problem. The beginner class is structured for everyone. If you’ve ever wanted to try out your acrobatic side, this is the place to go. Make some friends, push your boundaries, and get a good workout—all in a safe environment. Only a short walk from the Circular Quay railway station.

Check out our student blogs for more advice, travel tips, and first-hand accounts of what's happening at our Centers around the world. Or, head to our program pages to learn more about our study abroad programs in Sydney, Australia!

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