A national holiday, three beaches, kangaroo for dinner and a job are a few of the things that have happened since my last Australia update! Mo is settling into his new job, I was out searching for one and we’ve been taking advantage of our nights and weekends to soak up everything Australia has to offer (especially the sun).
Our second weekend here, we took a bus to Bondi Beach. Bondi is known as Australia’s most famous beach, even though most locals would say there are far nicer beaches than this one. I was pretty happy with it!
One of Mo’s friends from a past internship happened to be in Sydney as well and even was staying on the same street as us- what are the chances?! It was nice to have someone in a similar situation as us for our first two weeks here. Sydney is a huge city, but it’s still a small world!
Mo and I have gone on some fun dates including a picnic at the Royal Botanical Garden, watching the sunset from the Opera House and going to the Opera Bar.
We spent this past Saturday morning at Paddington Market, a cute little market with handmade crafts and souvenirs, and the rest of the afternoon at Bronte Beach. There is a small beach area, as well as The Bronte Bath, which is a pool of ocean water. Waves crash up on the sides and literally knock people into the pool! I think the sun may have been a little too strong, because that night I decided to order kangaroo for dinner. It was one of those impulsive decisions, when my mind and stomach were telling me to order chicken, but the waiter talked me into kangaroo. I figured I would probably never want to try it after seeing one so I went for it… Let’s just say I would prefer regular steak! It has its own distinctive taste, unlike anything I’ve ever had.
The next day we took the ferry to Manly Beach, and saw a little swimming penguin along the way! We’ve heard that Manly Beach is one of the local’s favorite beaches and paradise for surfers. The waves were MASSIVE. I stayed in the ocean only about five minutes before feeling like a got beat up! Luckily, we had lots of surfers to watch for our entertainment!
On Monday we celebrated Australia Day (or Straya Day as they call it). It’s a national holiday that all six states in Australia celebrate on January 26. This day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain. This holiday is a day for Aussie’s to come together as a nation to celebrate Australia and being Australian through festivals, fireworks, community events and barbeques with their mates. You can read more about the history of this national holiday here.
Australia Day turned out to be rainy and a little chilly (I actually got called “brave” by an Aussie for going out when it was raining and 68º!) but Mo and I still walked down to see the Ship Race we had heard was a “must-see.” It was a little underwhelming… but still fun to experience! I got together with a woman I met at church for coffee and then Mo and I watched an amazing fireworks show/music performance at Darling Harbor from our balcony at night.
In addition to these fun activities, I also accepted a part-time job and start tomorrow! I will be working at a small physiotherapy clinic and am so excited to have an opportunity to do something that is familiar to me. Mo and I have been attending Hillsong church and are looking for more ways to get involved through their volunteer and small group ministries. We are also starting to plan some trips to travel to different parts of Australia. We have lots to be thankful and excited for!
Here is a video of the fireworks show at Darling Harbor last night with DJ Havanah Brown preforming live for you to experience.
Happy Straya Day, mates!