Australia, to me, has always seemed very different from my home in Washington State. Animals like, koalas and kangaroos and places like the outback and Great Barrier Reef set this country-continent apart. As a young boy watching The Crocodile Hunter, I dreamed of traveling Down Under though i had doubts it would ever happen. When Steve Irwin died i was distraught in the loss of one of my heroes. After Steve Irwin's death, my yearning to travel to Australia only grew. It was in my seventh-grade year that my dream came true. I would travel with the People to People Student Ambassador Organization.
After a dragging 14-hour ride, my group arrived in Cairns. There, we visited an Aboriginal group who told us of their history and taught us all how to throw a boomerang. Next, we took a boat to the nearby reef and snorkeled. The reef was absolutely filled with beautiful and strange life. After a day in the reef, we took a bus to Townesville where we learned about Australian politics from the town council. We then visited a large and diversified aquarium. For the next two days, we stayed over at a farm. At the farm we hiked the terrain and saw a pack of wild horses and other wild animals. Later we learned how to use bull whips and took a horse ride around the property.
The next site we visited was Yeppoon where we explored the vast Capricorn Caves. After another ride, we finally arrived at the Australia Zoo. The Zoo was even cooler than I had ever imagined. I got to feed and pet a herd of kangaroos and see the massive saltwater crocodiles. Also, i got to hold a koala bear and see a multitude of other critters.
The final site we visited was Sydney. In Sydney, we took a backstage tour of the Oprah House and learned of its history. Next, we were taught of Sydney's history and how Europeans came to live here. Since the end of my wonderful trip to Australia, i have come to learn that beauty is everywhere and that cultures can be wildly different but there are similarities that all people share.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.