Ms. Hoffner's Australian Adventures

The wonderful world of OZ!

My Favorite Things About Australia!!! September 27, 2010

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The GREAT Barrier Reef!!! July 9, 2010

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July 8- Snorkeling the Opal Reef- Gem of the Great Barrier Reef

I’m celebrating another 1st in my life!! I snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef!! This still is hard to believe.  It felt like I was swimming inside someone’s jumbo deluxe aquarium filled with beautiful coral and fish!!! It was just stunning!  So many beautiful fish of all sizes…. many different creatures…. many plants and of course, the coral.


Animals in Australia!! May 16, 2010

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I love the animals I’ve been seeing while here in Australia!!  I seek out every opportunity to see the animals.  I especially love the new and unusual birds.  That’s a surprise I hadn’t expected.  I knew I’d see koalas and kangaroos.  BUT… I never realized there were so many amazing birds too!!!  So here are some of my favorite animal pictures so far.

Petting a Koala


wild kangaroos

Feeding a kangaroo
Dolphin Race

Tasha and a little Red Kangaroo

Wandering with the Emu & kangaroos

Big Bird... Look out!

Baby Roo


Murwillumba April 2, 2010

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Eleven hours north of Sydney is the beautiful Gold Coast, and where I was lucky enough to be able to spend a long weekend in March. Friday, the 19th was my birthday, which consisted of packing for my trip, followed by a lovely dinner out, with my exchange partner’s parents. Even though I didn’t get to be with my family, I felt spoiled and cared for – as the birthday girl should! 🙂

I flew into the Gold Coast Airport on Saturday morning, at sunrise – it was perfect timing! I got to see the incredible stretch of Gold Coast beaches, alight with the day’s first touch of colorful sunlight. This inspired me for what was ahead – a hike up Mt. Warning! (over 9 km)  This is one of the highest peaks in the state, it was used by Captain Cook as a lookout for trouble. And it’s a blessed and sacred place for the Aboriginal people. Mt. Warning is also the rainforest that inspired the movie, Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest. I was soon to find out that this mountain is also an intense and splendorous hike! I got to walk through the rainforest and see plenty of interesting animals…bush turkeys, lizards, eagles! The last portion of the hike was an incredible challenge – it was steep, slippery rocks, with only a chain for assistance! I finally got to the summit, saw two eagles soaring overhead and spectacular views – all my hard word had payed off!

Sunday started out with a lovely beach cookout, on a black-sanded beach with intense crashing waves. It was a beautiful start to my day, and heading to the Curumbrin animal sanctuary after breakfast made my day even more magical! We went to the kangaroo home first, and we got to walk around with the kangaroos! I made a few little Roo friends by petting and hand feeding them!

Monday we slept in, then Tasha and I headed to Coolangata, which is farther up the Gold Coast. We explored Captain Cook’s Lookout and were able to enjoy the beaches. I went with Barb, the new friend of mine who lives in Murwillumba (and exchanged to Colorado Springs two years ago!), to observe at her school. That night we had a delicious Thai dinner on the river, the perfect ending to my weekend on the Gold Coast!

Click on these pictures to read about them and see them up-close


Merimbula March 7, 2010

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On our “far south” weekend, March 5-7th, we went to Merimbula and Pambula. They are small towns, six hours south of Sydney. The drive was long and we hit lots of traffic (which turned it into an 8 hour drive there, and twelve hours on the way home!)

When we got out of the big city and started driving around the countryside, we saw wild kangaroos everywhere! Even in the small towns, they hopped around public parks, in the road, and grazed in front yards.

We went on a whale watching cruise around the bay, but since its not whale season, we were just enjoying the scenery. Then we saw dolphins! They were swimming along with the boat, diving in the wake, and we could hear them chirping – they were having so much fun!


The beginning of my year in Australia January 1, 2010

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Just a start…

I’m here

I'm REALLY here!

Lunch in the Sydney Tower

The Exchange League in Australia hosted a lunch in the tower. The restaraunt rotates so we got to see the 360 degree veiw. Below is the harbor with the opera house.

in Australia!!  I still can’t believe this is real. Over 12 years ago I found out about the Exchange program in Colorado and have dreamed about doing a teacher exchange ever since.  Beginning when I was little I have been intrigued by the mystical, marvelous country of Australia.  My number one  favorite animal has always been the platypus and the koala coming in a close second.  Growing up I often pondered why and how the strangest animals exist in Australia.  I wondered what it was like here.    And of course, when I met someone traveling in the US that Australian accent was a sure sign of where they were from.  Love that accent! So, now I’m HERE!! … and my dream has become a reality.  I have taken in so much in my two months here… it’s hard to know where to start….

So that is what this blog will be… a start.  Just a start to share some of what I have done, what I have experienced, what I can capture and share on this blog.  A new start for me…. a new adventure … a new look on live!  Enjoy!