Australia was never a place we planned on going, but when Covid hit, it became a safe spot we could get to from Asia. We planned to stay for a month and then go on to New Zealand, but Australia and New Zealand both closed their borders within a few days of us getting to Australia.

Our original visas let us stay for 3 months in Australia, but one month in, all flights to the US through Western Australia had been cancelled. We kept waiting, thinking in a few weeks or a month that we would be able to get another flight, but every flight we booked would get cancelled.

More than two months in and no idea of when we would be able to get home, I started applying for a Covid visa. The process was long and complicated and you couldn’t get anyone to answer any questions. Unsure if we would get the extended visa, we figure the only way to get home would be to leave western Australia. At this time most of the states in Australia were closed to one another. The only place we could fly to was New South Wales. So we booked tickets to Sydney and tickets back to the US from Sydney. We were all really sad to leave western Australia. To this day, years later, we still miss it.

We booked a house in Ingleburn, a suburb of Sydney. We spent two weeks in Sydney. We enjoyed our time there. We had a small little house close to a few bakeries, grocery stores and shops. I tried passion fruit slices. They are like sugar cookie bars with passion fruit cream on top. Jess and I ran a lot. We played at parks with the kids, ate out and drove to the city.

We had a lemon tree outside our house. We made a lot of lemonade.
Nolan and Margaret at our house in Ingleburn.

We made sure to visit downtown Sydney and the famous Sydney opera house. We walked around the city and Jane was so excited to find flaming hot Cheetos after not having them the entire trip. We decided to let her get some even though they were $9 a bag.

Sydney Opera House
Chinatown in Sydney

1. Royal national park- we spent one day hiking around Royal National Park. There were beautiful beach views. We also spent a lot of time playing on the beach. We hoped to see the famous figure 8 pools, but we never figured out exactly where they were. There was an area we couldn’t get past because of the tide. Either way we thought it was a beautiful place.

2. Eagles-another hike we did was to the famous Eagle rock. If you look from the side it looks like the head of an Eagle.

Nolan and Ashley on Eagles Rock.
The kids played in all the little pools on the hike. Nolan was so excited when he saw frogs, but wasn’t able to catch any.

3. Whale watching

4. Hike manly to bindi

5. Fitzroy falls

Fitzroy falls

6. Blue Mountains

Plane ride home
Our favorite Australian treat. Like circus peanuts, but banana flavored
Arriving in Seattle

In our year adventure we: went to 14 countries, 4 continents, rode 20 planes, 2 trains, 4 buses and 2 boats and moved 51 times. We had the experience of a lifetime!

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