Bison Abroad | Leaping out of Airplanes


During a weeklong fall break (which is like spring break but in Australia) my boyfriend came to visit and we got to explore some popular cities.

We rented a car, which made getting around much easier. It was strange at first being on the opposite side of the car and driving on the opposite side of the road.

PAYTON MARK | THE SPECTRUM Color pops at Southbank in Brisbane.

We started our trip by driving an hour to Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland. We went to Southport, Brisbane’s main attraction. In this one place you were around the river, skyscrapers, a manmade beach and a colorful sign of the city.

The next stop was to the Gold Coast, an hour from Brisbane. This city has it all and is well known for many things. Surfers Paradise is one of them — a large beach with skyscrapers right next to it. We explored a market along the beach while taking in the views.

PAYTON MARK | THE SPECTRUM Surfer’s Paradise, viewed from above.

Now I can cross another thing off my list — going on a helicopter ride. The Gold Coast was the perfect place for it. We looked over the whole city but my favorite part was when we were over the ocean and could see Surfers Paradise and the skyscrapers.

Aside from the city life, the Gold Coast also has many National Parks. We went to Springbrook, which is known for beautiful lookouts and is home to many waterfalls. Purlingbrook Falls is their largest one and was one of the biggest waterfalls I’ve ever seen.

After three nights in the Gold Coast we made our way to Byron Bay, where we got to check another item off the bucket list: skydiving.

PAYTON MARK | THE SPECTRUM A moment of pure adrenaline at 14,000 feet.

I was nervous but also very excited because anyone I had talked to about skydiving said it was the best thing they had ever done. It was a feeling unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. How do you put into words the feeling of jumping out of a plane at 14,000 feet in the air?

This was Australia’s tallest skydive and I’m so glad I was able to experience it. I sincerely hope it won’t be the last time I skydive in my life.

My journey in Australia has opened up so many doors to new possibilities and has taught me a lot about myself. I’ll forever be grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to many more memories that’ll be made in my last half of my adventure.

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