In 1998, I managed to take three full weeks off of work (and THAT was a HUGE battle) to take a trip to Australia. I spent four days touring around Sydney, staying in a friend's flat in the Pyrmont area. Then, for a week and a half, I interned on a research project in Hervey Bay, studying the migratory pattern of the Humpback whale. I ended the trip with a 4-day liveaboard dive trip out of Cairns.
In Sydney, I did as much as possible in a short amount of time. Here's a wonderful resource for things to do in Sydney. My friends, Phillip & Steve (whose flat I was staying in), left me a wonderful walking tour they had written out to follow. They also left me an Australian dictionary in case I had a difficult time understanding Australian! Obviously, I went to the Opera House and the Wharf. But I also went to the Zoo, the Japanese Gardens, and did a walking tour of various architechural structures, gardens and statues.
When I left Sydney (my time there was far too short), I took a quick flight to Brisbane and then a hop up to Hervey Bay, where I was met by a respresentative of the Pacific Whale Foundation. I was about to start a 10-day internship with the Pacific Whale Foundation's project in Hervey Bay. For the next ten days, we went out in a 21-foot Niad, searching out pods of Humpback whales and photographing them. It was an incredible experience!
Finally, I headed up to Cairns, and hopped aboard the Rum Runner, which headed out to Holmes Reef.
In 2002, Kirk and I headed to Australia for 2 months as part of our RTW. You can read all about it on our RTW pages.