Byron Bay and Sydney, round 2

So, after leaving Brisbane, I ended up getting another Au Pair job down in Sydney.  Before I headed there, however, I made a pit stop in Byron Bay.  Byron Bay is a small town in New South Wales.  A really small town.

It is very cute, and very hippy, and everyone who goes seems to become obsessed with it.

While I liked it, I didn’t really get all the hype.  It’s a cool town, but I wouldn’t want to drop everything and move there.  It felt like any small beach town to me, with probably more weed than normal.  I really enjoyed my time there, but I don’t really get the obsession.

The first day there, I hiked along the beach, all the way to the most easterly point of Australia.  On my hike I saw stingrays, dolphins, and surfers.  It was a stunning walk, with a lighthouse at the end of it.

I met up for a few beers at one of the bars that had live music playing.  I convinced them to wake up early and hike to the lighthouse for sunrise.

The morning hike was definitely rough, given how early it was, but watching the sun rise on the most easterly point of Australia was definitely worth it.  It was gorgeous.

The next day, I flew back to Sydney to start working.

Sydney was so different the second time around, or at least my experience there was completely different.  I was Au Pairing, and working 12 hour days.  Luckily, one of the friends I made there was also an Au Pair, so we shared our pain about how hard that life is.

I still made an effort to get out and explore the city.  This time around, I explored the suburbs and different parts of the city.  I went to the Grounds at Alexandria, a cute marketplace with lots of greenery, delicious beignets, and cactuses with names.

I spent a lot of time at the Women’s Baths at Coogee, which was only for women and children, and pretty much everyone lay out on the rocks by the ocean, tanning topless. It was a new experience for me, and I got so tan there.

I went to Shark beach with some American friends, and that night we went out drinking in Newtown.  I really liked the Newtown area.  It has a lot of cool, hipster bars and such, that we managed to get ourselves kicked out of- also a new experience for me.

For my friend’s birthday, we stayed in a hotel in central Sydney for the night. There were only a few of us, but we went to Frankie’s Pizza and tried to convince the whole bar that we were Russian.  It was one of the most hilarious nights of my life.

One weekend in Sydney I had a few days off, so I headed up north to Newcastle and Central Coast.

I had heard a lot of negative things about Newcastle, but I really liked it there. I was only there for two nights, but I thought it was a cool town.  I spent the first day walking around, trekking out to the lighthouse and laying out on one of the beaches.

The next day I happened upon a surf competition, which was really awesome to watch.  This one was done like a relay, and even though I didn’t really know what was going on, it was such a cool thing to experience.

In Central coast, I stayed in the Entrance, which was a small town near the beach.  I explored the town and helped an old lady collect mussels on the beach.

I was only there for a night, and the next morning, before my bus, I found a cute coffee shop called Gotham Coffee. It had all sorts of comic book references.

Back in Sydney, I spent more time exploring.  I went to a cat café in Surry Hills, drank coconut hot chocolate in Alexandria, and went back to Newtown for a day of day-drinking before the Mardi Gras/pride parade.

The parade was awesome, and I was glad to be there for it.  I went to Pride in D.C. the year before, and was glad that I got to be in Sydney for one in 2017.

I went to Manly beach to see the finals of the men’s and women’s Australian Open Surfing Competition.  I hadn’t realized that it was the big international competition until I got there, and even though I needed my friend to explain all the rules to me, it was really cool to watch.

My last night in Sydney, I gathered my friends and we all went to this cool dumpling bar in Redfern.  We got drinks at the Bearded Titan while we waited for our seats to open up.

The dumpling bar ended up making us wait about an hour for seats, but it was delicious.  We even tried soup dumplings, but couldn’t really figure out how to eat them.

That night, we went back to Newtown for one last time.  We went barhopping, and eventually ended up drinking with a bunch of guys that we kept daring to do stupid things, like arm wrestle the security guards or go up and hug a stranger.  It was such a perfect last night in Sydney (Even though I will be going back in a few weeks).

It was bittersweet to leave Sydney, but I was ready to go somewhere new.

Check back next week for a post about the Australian Working Holiday Visa!

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