Easter weekend in Australia is one of the few nationally recognized times when most people have a few days off from work and school. Considering this was our last break before the end of the semester, a few friends and I decided to take a journey into the Australian Outback.
Our plan was to take about a 15 hour drive to two national parks; however, we ran into a major problem… flies. That’s right, when we reached our first destination, we were greeted by swarms of black flies–I couldn’t even walk without waving my hands back and forth. It was so unpleasant that we decided to head back to the coast a few hours outside of Sydney.
We arrived in Port Stephens and camped out there for two days. There were magnificent beaches and views (and no flies ruining our time!). One really cool experience was going sand boarding on the sand dunes at Anna Bay. For just $20, we hopped in a 4-wheel drive car that drove us through the dunes to the sand boarding site. From there, we received a quick tutorial and hit the dunes. Some of them were pretty steep so I was able to get some good speed going down.
Some important advice if you plan on going sand boarding: always remember to lean back and fall on your butt! We unfortunately saw someone fall forward and break their arm.. but that can definitely be avoided if you follow the simple directions.
We then headed down the coast back towards Sydney and camped over at Royal National Park. The following day, we made the hike down to the figure-eight pools–the park’s biggest tourist attraction. Although the area is called the “figure-eights,” there is only one pool that actually has the perfect eight shape. Nonetheless, it is a pretty remarkable sight–naturally formed rock pools overlooking the ocean.
After this long weekend, I definitely became aware of some things to plan for future road trips. For one, always do as much research as you can about your destination, especially if it requires a lot of driving. We probably could have known about the flies in advance if we had done some more searching on the internet. Also, keep in mind who you are travelling with. When you spend hours upon hours with the same people, tensions can often run high… but that is understandable given the cramped space and in our case hot weather.
Only a couple of posts left! I’m so sad that my time here is coming to an end.