Prior to this travel year, I would look up potential airfare based on my final destination. There was no time to spare dilly-dallying getting there or back with so few vacation days. Go, go, go! Now searching for flights is more complicated…in a good way! Excluding date restrictions for meeting up with family or friends, I have heaps of freedom and flexibility.
On the way from Christchurch to Cairns, a 15+hr layover in Sydney was an opportunity to glimpse a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. From Cairns to Bali, buying two tickets (one with points) with a multi-day stop in Perth was a chance to hang out with a new friend and save several hundred dollars.
Sydney deserves more than a few paltry hours to explore, but it was at least possible to stop at a few classic spots. The efficiency of my visit was largely due to my best friend hooking me up with a local (her ex bf) to stay with (yes, she’s amazing). He generously carted me around town and accompanied me to dinner (on Valentine’s Day…whoops). They both were awarded brownie points.
Perth wasn’t initially on my radar, but now I agree it should be on everybody’s list. Travelers in New Zealand talked so highly of it that I was easily persuaded to make it a stop on my world tour. Once there, white sand beaches, a classic city skyline and dreamy sunsets sold me on the west coast of Australia. It had the pace of a suburb, quirky neighborhoods and massive parks too. As a bonus, a lovely girl whom I met in Queenstown hosted me during my stay. She donned the tour guide hat and drove me to the beach, funky areas and even an outdoor boxing class (at sunset, along the beach – yes, please!). Without her or her car, it would have been a pricey visit. Things are sprawled out in and around Perth!
My time in Australia was full of lovely people and hospitality from start to finish! I had an amazing few weeks there and look forward to visiting again!