Life Travel

Life-changing Australia

By Hannah Schadel, Camrose Canadian Travel Writer

The breathtaking view of Sydney's harbour. Supplied

The breathtaking view of Sydney's harbour. Supplied

I have been holding back on writing a travel article on my home sweet home, as I am obviously extremely biased when it comes to the land down under. However, every time I introduce myself to a Canadian, within the first five seconds I receive the response of “Australia eh’? I have always wanted to go to Australia. It’s always been on my bucket list.”

 

So due to the overwhelming positivity I have received from my friendly Canadians, I present you Sydney, Australia.

Before I begin explaining the many reasons why you should travel to Australia, I have a very important announcement to make. No, you will not die from the abundance of bugs, spiders, snakes or sharks that are supposedly “infesting” our land. Sure, you might get stung by a blue bottle when swimming in the ocean, but nothing a bit of cortisone cream can’t fix. Or a bull ant might make its way up (or down) your pants and give you a couple of nibbles on your back-side, but again, nothing a cold pack can’t fix.

Let me put it in perspective for you. Nobody in Australia has died from a spider bite since 1979. And on average, there are only two recorded deaths by sharks every year. Apologies on the eerie statistics, but I often hear that people would love to visit Australia but are scared they will get bitten by something. To me, that is like saying you don’t want to travel to Mexico because you may eat some shady shrimp. We take the good with the bad, and in Australia’s case, there is certainly way more good than bad.

Now that my public announcement is out of the way, I can begin explaining why Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

There are many reasons to love Australia, from the physical beauty, to the incredible down-to-earth people and the diverse, organic terrain.

My first piece of advice when travelling to Sydney involves before you even land on the tarmac of Sydney International Airport. Do yourself a favour and book a window seat for your flight. Whether it’s a clear, blue day watching the harbour sparkle and yacht’s sailing around the city, or a summer’s night with the Harbour Bridge and

Opera House lighting up against the city skyscape; you’re in for a stunning show.

Sydney is defined heavily by its rugged coastline that penetrates every surface of its beaches. You’ll be mesmerized by the beaches, with turquoise blue-hued ocean that displays every gradient possible due to the coral reefs and sand banks below. Long stretches of white sand that seem as though they stretch out for miles, touches the water where surfers and swimmers indulge. Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world and of course you must visit, but realistically, it doesn’t matter what beach you visit in Australia. Every single stretch of ocean shows off its unique beauty. Spending your days going beach-to-beach is honestly probably my number one tip when visiting. Taking in the salty air, with the warm breeze and the sound of rolling waves will leave you captivated.

Apart from the beaches owning the cliff-sides of Sydney, in the heart of this majestic city, you’ll find the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This giant structure spans the harbour at one of its narrowest points and first opened in 1932. At 134 metres high, 1,149 metres long and 49 metres wide, this 52-tonne infrastructure is the largest and heaviest steel arch in the world. Gaining a glimpse of this artwork is not difficult as your wander through the winding streets of Sydney, but if you want to experience this magical bridge up close and personal, a bridge climb will allow you to soak up every minor detail and major panoramic view.

Directly opposite the Sydney Harbour Bridge you’ll find Sydney’s most recognizable landmarks, the Sydney Opera House. With the architectural piece referencing a yacht’s billowing white sails, gliding across the harbour, you’ll immediately recognize and appreciate the beauty behind this structurally smooth and sophisticated building. The complex is made up of five performance spaces, where opera, dance, theatre and concerts are performed. When visiting Sydney, attending a performance of any kind is the best way to experience the building and appreciate the architecture behind it.

Around the corner of the Opera House, the pathway effortlessly flows into the Royal Botanical Gardens, one of my favourite spots in Sydney. Whether you need a place to rest your feet, or whether you’re interested in the hundreds of different kinds of plants and trees. Before heading towards the Botanical Gardens, stop in at a fresh food market and grab some fresh prawns and a bottle of bubbly, sit down and enjoy a picnic in the sun. Not only are you sitting in one of the most sophisticated and established gardens overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, but you’re tasting the best prawns you’ve probably ever had in your life.

Although I am not the biggest fan of zoos, and quite frankly I proudly despise them due to the nature of some conditions, Taronga Zoo in Sydney is actually quite the contrary. No matter what your personal opinions are when it comes to your moral views and ethical stance on zoos, Taronga Zoo will leave you feeling content with the treatment and welfare of animals. With each habitat designed specifically to replicate each animal’s natural habitat, the animals are not only treated like royalty, but the zoo care-takers are knowledgeable, respectful and passionate. Taronga Zoo is strategically located on the bushy harbour hillside which overlooks the entire city, harbour and iconic landmarks. Despite the zoo animals having a million-dollar view, they are blissfully unaware as they bask in the sun and enjoy their scheduled feeds.

The above attractions are only a few reasons why Australia is worth a visit. I will replace my very long list of reasons with this simple statement: Go to Australia, it will be an unforgettable and life-changing experience.

With its sparkling harbour, dreamy beaches and impressively handsome inner city, let Sydney, Australia inspire you.

To learn more about Australia, head to www.explorethegoodlife.com or follow us on instagram @explorethegoodlife 



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