International Student Trip to Byron Bay, New South Wales

Petting Kangaroos at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Day One: We left the Gold Coast campus at 8 am sharp.

First stop: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary: I loved this place!! I got to see real Australian animals. I finally saw kangaroos and koalas. It’s so different seeing them in Australia, than at the Pittsburgh zoo. I even got to pet the kangaroos. I saw a really big crocodile, all kinds of birds and snakes. I loved every minute of this place!

After that we turned our clocks an hour ahead, we were in Byron Bay! (Even thought it’s directly South, Queensland doesn’t do Daylight’s Saving like New South Wales does.) We stayed at The Backpackers Inn hostel. I was excited to stay in a hostel, because I’ve never even seen one before. When I first got into the room, I was shocked. This hostel was disgusting. The floor was dirty, and the mattress protector had stains on it. Luckily, the sheets were nice and clean to go over the nasty beds. The one good thing was that the hostel was right on the beach! Then, we started our journey to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is the most Eastern point of Australia. This point was the closest to the US, that I will be in 4 months. It’s so sureal. The hike was about an hour away. It was such a gorgeous site to see. The water, sights, rocks, were beautiful. I even saw dolphins in the water on the way up.

 

Light House at Byron Bay

Then, we made our way back to our hostel. We got all cleaned up and got ready for a night out at “Cheeky Monkey’s.” By this point, we were all starving. We had a choice of a cheeseburger, chicken parm, veggies, or fish and chips. I got the chicken parm. I have to say, the food was delicious. I don’t know if it was because I was starving or if because it was actually that good. Later, the fun began. We all got free beer to start off with. Then, the dancing began. This bar was weird, because they didn’t have a dance floor. There was only dance tables. So to dance, you had to get on the tables. That was actually kind of fun, because it’s different. I’m all for trying and doing new things.

Day 2: I woke up to rain. I was so disappointed because I was looking forward to laying at the beach all day. I just sat around all day until it was time for my group to go surfing. Surfing was so fun! We had a mini lesson, then got to try it out ourselves for about and hour and a half. I was terrible. I only stood up a few times. After that, it was still raining, but me and a few others decided to go into town to do a little shopping.  Then, we had an Australian BBQ. It was amazing! I love Australian sausage. Now it was time to have a fun night out. We went to a bar called “Woody’s.” We all got one free drink to start off with. The atmosphere at this bar was different, there wasn’t much dancing at all.

 

Eastern most point of Australia, Byron Bay

The Final Day: I woke up to rain once again. Again, I couldn’t lay out on the beach all day. I went to the town again to do some more shopping. Finally it was my groups turn to sea kayak. I’ve kayaked before, but never in the ocean. I was really excited to try this out. We kayaked pretty far out. It was so wonderful! The waves just took us out. We waited to see dolphins or sea turtles. We didn’t see anything. It was really disappointed. Though, since we didn’t see anything, the guides said next time we come back, we get a free tour again. I hope I get to go back! Now, it was time to head back to the Gold Coast.

This trip was so fun. I’m so glad I went. I met so many people. It also opened my eyes to all sorts of new things. I love Australia, and I can’t wait to see what else it has in store for me!!

 

Submitted by Meg, Abroad101 Global Ambassador in Australia