Emma Alquist: Sydney’s Landmarks

Since arriving in Australia I have taken every opportunity to travel and see as much as I can. There are a lot of national landmarks and iconic places in Australia, especially Sydney in particular, and luckily I have been able to see more than a few.

Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Australia and I am fortunate to be a resident of Bondi, which is a suburb of Sydney. I am able to get to the coastal walk from my house in about 5 minutes. The coastal walk is an oceanic walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach and is absolutely beautiful. I do all my runs here, and each time I still get the chills from how stunning it is. The beaches are also lovely, with beautiful sand and blue waters. Right now the water is a little chilly, but very refreshing. And of course you have to beware of sharks!

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Also in Sydney is the famed Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Seeing the Opera House for the first time was when I really felt like I was in Australia. You see so many pictures of the Opera House, but when you finally see it in person, I can tell you it’s 100 times better than any picture. It really is such a beautiful piece of architecture. Taking the ferry to Manly Beach is one of my favorite things to do because I get to ride right pass the bridge and Opera House, which are stunning around sunset.

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All of these places are beautiful and monumental must-see places in Sydney, but I think the most fantastic part of Australia is the Great Barrier Reef. I was fortunate enough to travel north a few weeks ago and take a scuba trip out in the reef, and I was blown away. My eyes were wide open as I swam in the clearest waters filled with such diverse and beautiful wildlife and corals.

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I could have spent countless hours in the water swimming around and looking at the crazy and mysterious life the ocean has to offer. I couldn’t believe how captivating it was, and I kept thinking what the reef must have looked like 20 or even 100 years ago, before coral bleaching was as prevalent of a problem as it is today. Luckily we dove in a great area where not many damaged or bleached corals were visible, but I’m sure it has still changed dramatically over the years.

I wish I had more than 6 months to explore this country because there are so many amazing places to see. I will continue traveling later this month until I depart back to the United States, so I hope to see as much as possible!
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