Australian Adventure: Four Cities and a Barrier Reef

In a marriage that has been purposefully built on and around adventure, Angela and I promised each other that Australia would be our tenth anniversary trip. We started planning and saving years in advance, wanting to make our Australian journey the epic experience that the island continent so rightfully deserves.

With the planned trip still a few years away at the time, Angela’s parents began toying with the idea of making the journey with us. We had already traveled with family and friends on numerous occasions, including multiple international dive trips, quick jaunts to Florida, and even our honeymoon cruise to Mexico and Belize. We enthusiastically welcomed the company and began expanding our original plans to meet a wider variety of Australian interests.

We also reminded them that we were then only on year seven of our marriage, that Australia was still three years away on our original timeline, and that we were nowhere near our savings goal to be able to afford the trip. But Angela’s father, Dan, is a man of action. When he decides to do something, it gets done. And with alacrity.

Dan asked if we could move the trip up by a couple of years and then generously offered to cover our airfare and lodging so we could put our saved finances toward scuba diving. Angela’s parents and her brother and sister-in-law would join us after our dive excursion so we could all see Sydney and Melbourne as a family.


Daniel and Shea Smith (left) and Dan and Betty Smith (right) with us in Sydney, Australia

Australia is deceptively enormous, nearly identical in land mass to the continental United States. Even with a three-week adventure, we had to limit ourselves to the eastern coast of the country, essentially traveling the Australian equivalent of Maine to Miami.


(illustration: @Amazing_Maps)

Our route took us from Brisbane to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, and then on to Sydney and Melbourne before heading back to the States.

And so we begin the story of our Australian anniversary trip, which arrived two years early and yet right on time.