Bondi Beach Murals

A mural at Bondi Beach, Sydney

A mural at Bondi Beach, Sydney

This is my last post for Australia. Truth be told I’m more than a bit behind on this posting – I actually came back to the United States a couple of weeks ago and am now living in Chicago. I suppose I’ve been dragging out this final photo gallery because I’m in some denial that my year in Australia is not only over but was cut short by two months. But I have an amazing work opportunity here in Illinois and I’m excited to explore the midwest – a region I’ve never spent time in before.

Anyway, these photos were taken at the infamous Bondi Beach in Sydney, where there is a long seawall that is publicly sanctioned for murals. There are a handful of incredibly intricate works, and I love that most of them reflect the beach community.

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Scuba Diving in Manly

Anemones at Shelly Beach in Manly

Anemones at Shelly Beach in Manly

I didn’t get a chance to go scuba diving in Tasmania, so I wanted to make sure I went in Sydney before leaving Australia to get one last day in. I was referred to Dive Centre Manly, who do regular shore dives from Shelly Beach. The dive site is well sheltered with good visibility, and rather shallow at a max depth of about 10 meters.

The site has several friendly blue gropers as well as cuttlefish, octopuses, wobbegong sharks, sweepers, cockatoo fish, and huge schools of barracuda and others. Unfortunately the rare weedy seadragon is no longer at the site, as the colony that had been there died off a few years ago and they never repopulated.

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Newtown Street Art Part 1

A mural in the Newtown area of Sydney

A mural in the Newtown area of Sydney

Sydney, like Melbourne has areas that are filled with awesome murals. Newtown, a neighborhood in the west of the city, is particularly known for its street art. I took an afternoon to walk around and take some photos. There were dozens of amazing pieces, including some by well known artists Peque and Crisp. I was disappointed though in the disrespect shown to the art – lots of murals were covered in scrawls and notes. I haven’t seen that to such a high degree in any other city.

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Photo Essay of Sydney

Opera House 1

The iconic Sydney Opera House at night

I spent nearly a week in Sydney, my final week in Australia. Although I tend not to enjoy large cities when traveling, as I prefer the charm and peacefulness of smaller towns, Sydney had an undeniable energy and rich history that made my stay there more than worthwhile.

Highlights of the city included the gorgeous Botanic Gardens, walking from Coogee Beach to Bondi, and of course Sydney Harbour with the bridge and opera house as a backdrop.

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The Coast Walk at Royal National Park

The iconic wedding cake rock on the coast walk in Royal National Park

The iconic wedding cake rock on the coast walk in Royal National Park

The very last stop on my ten month trip through Australia was, finally, Sydney and the surrounding area. I met up with an old travel friend and he insisted we go on the Coast Walk in Royal National Park, which is just south of Sydney. We didn’t have time (or energy, frankly) to do the entire 26k trek, but we did about a third of it. There are gorgeous cliffs, a huge variety of plant and animal life, and swimming holes along the way.

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