Home ยป First Week in Sydney: Settling in & Visiting the Blue Mountains

First Week in Sydney: Settling in & Visiting the Blue Mountains

I made it! I (temporarily) moved to Australia! I arrived in Sydney on Tuesday, February 12 and have been nonstop since landing. I am staying in Glebe, a trendy and residential neighborhood outside of Sydney’s Central Business District with nine other Fairfield students and a handful of Global Experiences interns. My roommates and I share a two-floor apartment with a balcony and are within walking distance to Darling Harbor- not a bad place to be for the next five months!

My first day was a whirlwind. While fighting off jet lag I had to buy a sim card, grocery shop, buy necessities for the house, and unpack. After all this, we somehow managed to rally for dinner out in Darling Harbor. My first legal drink and sunset experience down under was something I’ll never forget.

Day two was a free day so we decided to make the most out of it and hit the beach. Watching Aussie surfers crush the waves and swimming in the famous Iceberg pools at Bondi were so surreal. These experiences, paired with my first Aussie açaí bowl, left me full of “someone pinch me” moments.

We had orientation pretty much all day Thursday and Friday. I got to tour both of the campuses where I have class- ACU North Sydney and ACU Stratfield- and meet students from all around the world. On Thursday night we danced the night away at Ivy, a popular, four-story club (with a rooftop pool!!), and on Friday, we participated in an “Amazing Race” all around Sydney that oriented us to our new home in the best way. We participated in challenges such as the “Tim Tam Slam” where we had to eat Tim Tams covered in Vegemite (ew), and perform dances in front of the Opera House.

On Saturday morning we left for a school-sponsored trip to the Blue Mountains! We took a bus about two hours outside of the city and began our trip at Echo Point lookout to view the famous Three Sisters rock formation. We also took a guided tour of the Jenolan caves. The tour lasted 1.5 hours and covered so much ground! We walked deep through narrow passages and stopped in large chambers to learn about the cave’s history. In the afternoon, we saw a waterfall and drove to a field to see wild kangaroos! There were over ten of them just lying in the grass, waiting for us to feed them bits and pieces of our trail mix! On Saturday night we stayed at a youth hostel in Katoomba, a quaint backpackers town.

On Sunday, we did two hikes, or “bush walks” as the Aussies call it, and hiked through a rainforest down to a waterfall. We had a picnic lunch in front of a lake and stopped at Featherdale Wildlife Park on the way home to see and feed native animals. The weekend was full of adventure and beautiful scenery!

On Monday, we had our Global Experiences internship orientation and spent the afternoon at another one of Sydney’s beaches. We got Bare Naked Acai bowls (SO GOOD) and swam in the rough waters of Manly beach. We stayed at Manly until sunset and ended our day with cocktails and burgers on the beach.

Tuesday morning I woke up at 3 am to head to Sydney International Airport to fly with seven other friends to Nadi, Fiji. We don’t start classes or our internships until February 25 so we’re hitting paradise for the next six days! Stay tuned for a Fiji post next week- I am SO excited to experience this island nation.

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