FEB 27 // DAY 29

Since I wasn’t planning to visit Sydney in the first place, I definitely wasn’t expecting to have the pleasure of visiting the Fjord studio there. As luck would have it, a colleague of mine I met an event last year now works in Fjord Sydney and I got in touch before the weekend. Nate and Eva, ambassadors for the studio, were kind enough to show me around, share a few of their projects and give me a glimpse into lunch options in the area. The space is very different from Melbourne, given that they share it with Accenture and Accenture Digital. It felt like the Washington D.C. or Chicago office with more plants, cooler light bulbs and a barista. Yes, the office has it’s own barista. Just chilling. Making coffee. In the kitchen. NO BIG DEAL. Take notes, Seattle. Sydney has it’s coffee game figured out.

Also, I’m just going to come out at say it, coffee is significantly better in Australia. Like, by leaps and bounds. Maybe the bad coffee in New Zealand is affecting my judgement. Nope, I’m just trying to soften the blow. It’s way better.

We didn’t want to leave Sydney, but with a plane to catch in Brisbane–an 11 hour drive away–we had to hit the road. First stop was for an acai bowl in Manly Beach. I think that’s the fifth or sixth acai bowl of the trip. Tiffanie is much happier when she gets one, so we hunt them down whenever we can. I don’t think they make acai bowls in Southeast Asia, so this might be our last for a while. Tiffanie’s sister Acacia recommended Manly and I’m glad we checked out! It’s got a San Diego vibe with cute little shops and promenades. Definitely wish we could have spent more time there.

Driving through the hunter valley was exquisite. The rivers are wide and lazy, the rocks are the iconic rust color and the traffic cameras are only a little obnoxious. Australiva is crazy about speed limits. I highly recommend getting a car with cruise control. It was really helpful.

Coopernook Forest Camp–our destination for the night–was at the end of a creep-tastic forest road. The spindly trees and dark, backwoods cabins conjured up something between axe murders and zombies. Thankfully, several other travelers were not deterred, so we had plenty of company at the site and could rest easy.