By Adrienne Cytto, Staff Writer

Coogee Beach is a fantastic place to learn how to surf./ PHOTO BY Adriene Cytto

The 5K walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach had breathtaking views./ PHOTO BY Adrienne Cytto

One of the greatest things about living in Sydney is the proximity to not just one, but to hundreds of beaches. During my first weekend here, we did a 5K coastal walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach. Although I’m in the land down under, I felt like I was on top of the world. It was such a beautiful day to spend hours walking along the cliffs and beaches just relaxing and having fun with friends, old and new. This excursion definitely set the tone for the rest of my time here. I hope to spend many more afternoons along those beaches, especially since the school I am working at overlooks Coogee Beach. More to come on my amazing time so far at Claremont College Primary School in the future!

Although there are so many beaches close by, some of them are sometimes very crowded, making them difficult places to surf. Last weekend we traveled two hours south of Sydney to Seven Mile Beach near Gerringong with Surf Camp Australia to learn how to surf. The long trek was worth it, as the instructors said this was one of the best beaches in Australia to learn how to surf and we basically had it all to ourselves the whole weekend.

The weekend consisted of three lessons, two on Saturday and one on Sunday, so we would have plenty of time to practice catching some waves. After our first set of instructions, we headed out into the water and I was terrified. Trying to get over the waves with a huge surfboard at your side was incredibly overwhelming as the waves would come crashing into you and pull you back towards shore.

I think the most daunting part of the experience was finally making it out far enough and trying to catch the right waves. Once I started to go through the motions to stand up and balance on the surfboard, it wasn’t so bad. By the afternoon lesson on Saturday I could stand up on the board on my own, even if it was for a brief period of time. Learning to surf was a great experience and I am so glad I decided to do it. One adventure checked off the list, and now on to the next one!