Settling in… (Blog 2: February)

It has been a little over a month since my arrival to Sydney. I would like to say I’m pretty much settled in! I have established a routine and have memorized my daily schedule of classes and internship. I am, however, of course still trying new foods and trying to venture to new places.

Just this past weekend my 6 friends and I took a weekend trip to Port Stephens, a coastal town north of Sydney. It took us about 5 hours round trip via the Light Rail, then a train, then a bus. It was a very quaint town, only about 10 or so restaurants and one grocery store. It wasn’t too fit for tourists- not great public transportation infrastructure- but we managed to get around nonetheless! We left in two groups as there was a check in  time frame for the Airbnb we were staying in and some of us had to leave later in the afternoon after their internship for that day ended. The first night, Friday, we unpacked and settled in as we were all tired from traveling.

The next day, we woke up and started with a relatively easy hike up Mount Tomaree. There was supposedly an amazing view of Port Stephens at the lookout which was located at the very top of the mountain. The hike was shady and provided amazing views in itself and was very short! The top provided 360 views of all of Port Stephens- the clear water, the small beaches, the cliffs, the islands, the green mountain ranges, it was breathtaking! We ended up staying at the top enjoying the view of cooling off before we started our descent.

After we grabbed lunch, we made our way towards a small beach that we had seen from the top of Mt. Tomaree. It was such a cute quiet beach! Only about 10 other people, the end of the coastal sand was visible, and the water was amazing clear (although the waves were huge). We all ended up taking naps while laid out on the sand as we were tired from the hike. Once the tide started coming in and the sun set behind us, we made our way back to the Airbnb.

On our last day we ventured out to the sand dunes. It was hard to believe we were only about 5 hours away from Sydney. The sand dunes seemed infinite and it seemed as if I were in a desert range. At the top of the dunes, you could see the ocean water in the distance and forest ranges right next to it as well.