This installment of The Week in Pictures is a little late not because I had so little to share but for the opposite reason: it’s been such a full week that I wasn’t quite sure where to start. I felt completely overwhelmed…in the best possible way.
I left for Australia last Friday night and after a quick layover at LAX to meet up with Gala, we boarded our 14 hour (!!!) flight to Brisbane. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I really don’t do a whole lot of research when I’m traveling to a new place; I’m all about the element of surprise and just letting things unfold naturally. I’d heard plenty about Australia in general but knew very little about Queensland. And boy, was I pleasantly surprised at all it has to offer!
Over the last week, we’ve spent time relaxing at a spa, stayed at numerous boutique hotels, eaten some of the best meals of our lives, explored Surfer’s Paradise, hopped a flight to Cairns and then Port Douglas where we spent our days poolside, watched a glorious sunset on a sailboat, jungle surfed (I even ziplined upside down on the last platform — more on that later!), lounged at the beach, taken a helicopter tour over the Great Barrier Reef and taught our first Blogcademy workshop down under.
These snapshots are a sneak peek to give you a taste of our week but the real fun will be coming soon as I dig deeper into each of our stops and share many more photos and details. Needless to say, even after as much traveling as I’ve done this year, I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever top the experiences of this trip.
On our overnight Virgin Australia flight over to Brisbane, I awoke to a very Blogcademy-themed breakfast. Quite perfect, don’t you think?!
My first full day in Australia started out with a bang. We hit Dreamworld for the morning and I got to hold Brandy the koala. But the funniest moment was this outtake of me handing her back….it looks like I’m a terrible mother, trying to get rid of my baby! Haha! Kat and I are still talking about that bundle of joy! Yes, we’re obsessed.
We stayed in more amazing private residences and hotels than I can count on one hand but my absolute favorite of the bunch was the QT Gold Coast. I took about a million photos of the property and just wait until you see the full thing!
The best part was when we were walking down the hallway to breakfast the next morning and I realized that the striped carpet combined with my striped Kate Spade Saturday skirt was quite the retina burner.
Every time I thought our stay couldn’t get any better, it did. I was sad to leave the QT Gold Coast but then, we visited the QT Port Douglas. They had the best pool I’d ever seen…and this sign only added to the charm.
Our stay in Port Douglas was at this gorgeous place and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I awoke to this view on the first morning.
We spent our days poolside at our Port Douglas pad and I unwound by putting together mini still lifes. Totally normal.
One of my favorite experiences with the girls was taking a sunset sailboat tour around Port Douglas. I’ve never been much of a boat person but in the last few months, I’ve been on quite a few, from a pontoon in Minneapolis to a sailboat in Greece!
I didn’t realize until our last day in Port Douglas that we had private beach access. Doh! I stepped through the gate and this is what I saw. It was the most peaceful place to hang out, with fallen coconuts surrounding us and sailboats passing in the distance. I wish we’d had more time there.
On our last morning before teaching, we took a helicopter trip over the Great Barrier Reef. I was a little scared because I’d never been in a helicopter before but all that dissipated when we landed on a sandy knoll to take in the reef up close and personal. This was one of the best experiences of my life by far.
This weekend, we got back to work, teaching our class of “Brisbabes” and we’ve already made so many new friends. Aussies are such a welcoming bunch and I can’t wait to see what the rest of our trip down under has in store for us. I had no idea what to expect from Australia but now I can honestly say that I’m so glad we’ll be back next year once again with The Blogcademy. Over the next few weeks, I’ll have a ton more to share about all of our discoveries, both on land and off. Thanks for following along and remember, you can keep up in real time on Instagram and Twitter. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
All photos by me except the Blogcademy image by Janneke Storm.