Countdown to Australia Trip: 16 days to go
I was going to do a post on New Zealand today but decided to keep that for later. I’m going to fill you in on my first trip to Australia. It was almost 6 years ago now and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I went with my high school rugby team and it was quite the adventure.
The first hostel we checked into Sydney was tiny. Like most hostels, it was just cheap accomodation. We didn’t spend much time there. The first couple of nights were spent in the hostel and then it was out to billets houses to get a feel for the enemy, I mean mates we’d be playing against.
The billet we bunked at in Sydney had a beautiful house that we didn’t even get to stay in. We stayed in the full size guest house in the back yard. No biggie. While we were there we picked up a rugby game in the stadium in Sydney. Note to all you travellers that would like to remember what they did and where, take lots of photos of signs of where you are and what you did and write a journal!! I can remember what we did on our trip easily enough but exact names and places don’t come easily!
Only 3 days into our trip we had to actually play a game. I don’t know if the side we played was extremely good or we were all still jet-lagged and not used to the extremely warm weather, but the game did not go very well.
From there we headed off to Newcastle for some playing in the surf, playing rugby, watching rugby and general shenanigans.
The image off to the left is just before the game in Newcastle where we lost only by a few. The weather was much more pleasant for a fast-paced rugby game and we were accustomed to the atmosphere. The people were fantastic to stay with, hang out with and play against. We checked out another rugby game after that and then prepared for the epic bus ride that would take us to Surfer’s Paradise.
Surfer’s was definitely most entertaining city we stayed in. We arrived to beautiful weather and the hugest beach I’ve ever seen. There were surf paddling competitions happening on the days that we were there, which brought a lot of people to the beach. The billet we stayed at owned a large piece of property a ways out of town so getting a ride anywhere was a bit of an issue. We rode some ATV’s around one of the days chasing kangaroos in the fields which made up for the lack of proximity to the city.
The game we played there was also the most entertaining. Getting to know the other team well before you play adds another element of enjoyment/humour/misery to playing any sport. We almost won this game, it was a close one, it could have gone either way. In the end the team from Surfer’s came out on top.
A day later we were upside down at Dreamworld, an amusement park and zoo on the Gold Coast. They had heaps of rides and animals of all sorts. If you find yourself there check out the really tall ride. It’s very similar to the Hell-a-vator in Playland in Vancouver but the opposite. You get strapped in with a bunch people and they raise you up the tower. The tower is huge, when you’re at the top you can see for miles and miles. You slowly ride up this tower until you’re at the top. Once you’re there you can take in the incredible views for what seems like forever. After a random amount of time, ride-operator-guy decides it’s time for you to lose your lunch and you freefall. It’s not a natural feeling. It’s one of those rides that your stomach is in your throat the whole way down and then you can finally breath once you put your eyes back in your face at the bottom.
Another quick jaunt up to Brisbane for a couple days with the last team and the final game. We actually won this one, which was quite satisfying. Our time in Brisbane was all too short though. From memory and photos, it seems liked we rolled in, played a game, had dinner on the river and flew out the next morning.
The flight and ferry home seemed to crawl along while I was there but now seems like it flashed by. For some reason I slept fine on the way down but hardly slept a wink on the way back. I boarded the ferry in a tired stupor and manage to stay away most of the way back. We arrived bump and bruise free and slept for 2 days.
I remember most of the trip very fondly but have one regret; it went too fast. We saw a fair bit and got to meet a lot of great people but it’s just not enough time to sit down relax and really enjoy the cities, their accomodations and, dare I say it, the locals.
- for the adventure -