Monthly Archives: July 2015

Well it’s finally here, the last part of my trip to the Great Down Under! After my trip to Australia, I flew over to New Zealand and met up with my cousin Ben. Ben is form LA, but while I was booking my trip a few months before the trip, I┬ánonchalantly suggested he come with me. Before I knew it, he was looking at flights to New Zealand, booking said flights, and then all the sudden I had a travel buddy for my stay in New Zealand!

There are many similarities in culture with Australia and New Zealand and the differences were big and small at the same time (to me at least). To get an idea of the difference, I would say Australia is like Los Angeles and New Zealand is more like Seattle. Our 1st stop was Auckland, the bustling metropolis of the small island nation. It’s big city with a small town feel. Everyone we talked to was so kind and welcoming to us as we wandered the hilly streets. There are TONS of park where you hike up ancient volcanic cones (small volcanic cones but still challenging) where you can get great views of the city. After a few days in Auckland, we made our way to the middle of the north island to a place called Rotorua. Rotorua is FULL of volcanic activity. So much in fact there are giant sulfur pits in the public parks. Pillars of steam and the constant smell of eggs emit 24 hours a day. After being there for 24 hours, we got used to smell of egg and the small city on the edge of a giant lake was ours to explore. There were A TON of outdoor activities to do in Rotorua. We went to Hobbiton (where they filmed The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings), went Zorbing (being rolled down a big green hill in a GIANT inflatable hamster ball full of water), went zip lining through the rainforest where we learned all about the wildlife and animals of New Zealand (maybe one of the best things we did on the trip), and hiked the Tarawera trail to Hot Water Beach (where the hot springs pour in to Lake Taraweara). Again, I could go on and on about all the adventures and things we saw and experienced, but showing you is way easier. Enjoy a glimpse of the STUNNING little island country known as New Zealand!

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So it’s now time for part two of my trip to Australia: My stay in Sydney. Sydney was such a lively and vibrant city. It was the perfect balance of historic and modern. I loved just wondering up and down the streets and just taking in all the amazing architecture and beauty Sydney had to offer. Just a short train ride and then a quick bus ride away was Bondi Beach. The closest thing I could compare it to something stateside would be Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk except no rides, super clean, more surfers. Muralists have painted all the walls along the beach and they had THE COOLEST swimming pool right next ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. After a full few days of exploring Sydney, I hopped on a train and went to meet my new friend Elise, a local aussie, who wanted to show me something most tourist who visit Sydney don’t know about: The Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains are about an hour and half train ride from downtown Sydney out in the Australian “Bush” (aka: the wilderness). Elise was THE BEST tour guide and told me SO many amazing things about her country’s history, all about the native floral and fauna, and took me to all her favorite spots which of course were off the beaten path so we literally had KILOMETERS all to ourselves. They are called the Blue Mountains because of the blue gum trees that cover all the mountains. As you look out in the distance, the blue gum leaves reflect the light of the sun, making the mountains off in the distance appear blue. Cool, right? After we explored all the mountains had to offer, Elise made sure I got to try a proper Aussie pie at her favorite Bakery. Aussie Pie is very different from American pie. For one, they fill their pies with mince meat and a sauce I would describe as a barbeque sauce, but more tomato cased and not as smokey flavored. Elise told me I had to add Tomato Sauce (aka: Ketchup) to my pie which did make it quite delicious. I could literally go on and on about all my adventures and the beauty of New South Wales, but it’s better to show you a glimpse of what I experienced. Enjoy!IMG_0844IMG_4219 copyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_0788OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_4412IMG_0824IMG_0832IMG_4270 copyIMG_4268 copyIMG_4255 copyIMG_4305 copyIMG_4346 copyUntitled 15Untitled 8Untitled 23IMG_4402 copyIMG_4434 copyIMG_4446 copyIMG_4467 copyIMG_4479 copyIMG_4555 copyUntitled 5Untitled 7Untitled 11Untitled 14Untitled 24IMG_0867IMG_0920IMG_4589 copyIMG_4731 copyIMG_4790 copyIMG_4796 copyIMG_4820 copyIMG_4836 copyIMG_4867 copyIMG_4871 copyIMG_4877 copyIMG_4897IMG_4902 copyIMG_4925 copyIMG_4976 copyIMG_4962 copyIMG_4981 copyIMG_4992 copyIMG_5003 copyIMG_5005 copyIMG_5013 copyUntitled 25Untitled 26IMG_5033 copyIMG_5053 copyIMG_5066 copyIMG_5076 copyIMG_5084 copyIMG_5101 copyIMG_5105 copyIMG_5111 copyIMG_0925