Blue Mountains, NSW

The Blue Mountains are such a fantastic day trip from Sydney.  It cannot be missed.  In the eight months I lived in Sydney I went up three times, but looking back I’d like to go back a lot more! It’s also a few degrees cooler than Sydney, so it’s an especially great escape in the summer!

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Airlie Beach, Queensland

My grandest adventure in Australia was up to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the infamous Whitsunday Islands. It’s one of those places that’s plastered all over Buzzfeed lists of Top 10 Unbelievable Places or You’ll Never Believe This Australian Beach click-bait articles.  And honestly, it’s all totally justified. The Whitsunday Islands are truly unbelievable.

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Port Stephens, NSW

Port Stephens is the ideal destination for a long-weekend getaway from Sydney.  I happened upon it by accident, after browsing the destinations of YHA hostels for inspiration, and took a risk based on a few impressive-looking google images.  For some reason this place is not advertised in the travel books.  But I guarantee it is a must-see.

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Royal National Park

After eight months living in Sydney, I didn’t find anywhere in Australia I loved more than Royal National Park.  A short 1 hour train ride and 15 minute boat ride from Central Station in Sydney’s downtown is the world’s second oldest national park and, in my opinion, the world’s best coastal walk. I went every chance I got.

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