Jessie and a wallaby

Ever since I was little, Australia has been at the top of my list of places that I want to visit. In April 2008, I finally made it! While teaching English in Japan, a trip to Australia was relatively cheap and easy, with only a seven hour flight from Nagoya to Cairns in northern Australia. So with two of my friends, Myra and Katie, I bought my ticket and set off. This page serves as my scrapbook of our fantastic journey down Australia's east coast!

Jessie with Minx the KoalaWe visited Cairns, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Sydney, where we had such adventures as scuba diving and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, seeing a performance at the Sydney Opera House, gazing at Southern Hemisphere stars through a telescope, standing in the midst of a herd of kangaroos as they went hopping right past us, floating in a cable car over seven kilometers of tropical rainforest, hugging koalas with velociraptor claws, and more!

Wanna see the excitement with your own eyes? Check out my album:


If you want to hear the adventures in more depth, you can read my write-ups of each day of the trip. Day 3 and Day 7 were my favorites, but every single one was great.

Jessie and Myra in the air in CairnsThe photo album has almost 400 pictures in it (and those were just the good ones!) and the trip logs are pages and pages long, so I won't go on about the details of the trip here. But suffice to say this was the most amazing vacation I've ever taken. Teaching English abroad is really hard sometimes, but being able to see the world—both in my host country and the countries that are "close" to it—makes it worth it. If I ever have the means again, I really hope I can make it back to Australia one day.

By the way, if you're planning to travel there yourself or if you're just curious, check out the links for some of the things we did:

The photos on this page are (from the top) me at the Australia Zoo with a wallaby, me at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with Minx the Koala, me and Myra jumping into the air in Cairns, and Myra and me ten meters below the Coral Sea. You can also see a picture of the Q1 Tower, in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, on my skyscrapers page. I really like how that one turned out, and quite to my surprise, too. All of these pictures are also in the album above.

And for more adventures in the Coral Sea, check out my novel, Defying Gravity! I originally came up with this story and its world in 1994, and had started writing it before I knew I would be going to Queensland, Australia, but was still working on it as we went. It was like I had walked right into my own novel. Now that is an exciting experience!

Check out Travel Library for more travelogues like this. (I'm trying to get mine included!)

Jessie and Myra scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef

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