I spent my last weekend in Sydney visiting my friend Rachel and her hubby, Brendan in Avoca Beach which is about an hour from Sydney to the North. The train ride out was picturesque, it winds through the countryside and along the bay and it was a nice day so I was able to enjoy the view. My friend Rachel picked me up from the station in Gosford, a little town about 20 minutes from the coast where she lived in North Avoca beach. It`s a gorgeous seaside town, and after I got a driving tour of all the beautiful beaches along the way, I settled into the Swan household for the evening. I was treated to several new Aussie beers beachside at the beer garden, and caught up with my friend over (a great many) drinks and delicious Thai food. We had a blast, I even got to take in some footy and got to listen to some Aussie musicians that I hadn’t heard of before.
The next morning was Rachel’s birthday, so I got to be a guest at her birthday brunch with the whole family! Rachel lived with my family in Canada for a while, and I had forgotten her parents had also visited, so it turned out her family knows my whole family, it was great to chat and hang out with people who knew all about my life in Canada and to experience a taste of beachside life outside of Sydney. After a seaside breakfast at the surf club on Avoca Beach, we hit up the local markets where there were trinkets, antiques, handmade crafts, clothing and food for sale. It was a perfect way to spend a lazy sunny Sunday, and I bought some gifts and even a few trinkets for myself! I loved the beachy atmosphere of the town, it was super friendly and reminded me of some of the summer neighborhood markets we have back home in Toronto.
After the markets we had a “sausage sizzle” with Snags (sausages) and Rissoles (home-made hamburger patties) and I sampled some good Australian beer (on fifty lashes, coopers ale) on the front deck of the Swan household, and then was treated to a scenic drive of the surrounding area, including a visit to the beach where Rachel and Brendan had gotten married six months earlier, and a stop of ice cream as well. The surrounding ares is gorgeous, national parks are all over the place, and it seems like a great family community so close to the city. I’m glad I’ve been able to get out of the city so much while I’m in Sydney and into the surrounding countryside, it’s very different from the rest of Australia, and stunningly gorgeous! I feel pretty lucky to have so many friends in this country – I think I will be back to take advantage of this country sooner than later, there so much that I missed, and more that I want to see!
After a sunny afternoon train ride back to the city, I was ready for my next adventure – a week-long trip to Melbourne, to catch up with some more Aussie and Canadian friends. My plane ride was pretty uneventful as far as rides go, only an hour and a half to get there. I ditched my big backpack for the week so it was fast and painless – I didn’t even have to wait for my luggage!