Arrival – Sydney City Tour – Vivid Festival – NG Wildlife Photography Exhibition – Best Job Finalists Meet
Day 1 – June 10th
I arrived in Sydney on a bank holiday, the Queen’s Birthday to be exact. It was like walking into a scene from Vanilla Sky, at 6am on a Monday morning the streets of CBD were completely deserted. It was a way cool way it be introduced to a major global city. Definitely something which doesn’t happen everyday.
Luckily for me, I have two friends in town who had the day off and asked if I would like to see Sydney. Hell yeah!! With two local guides and a nice sunny morning I took off and got the full intro to this wonderful city!!
From Bondi Beach, to the Opera House and Botanical Gardens, to the famous Harry cafe de Wheels for a quintessential Australian Meat Pie, to the Harbour Bridge and north shore neighbourhoods, to Manly Beach and some rippin’ Ice Cream. What I start and what an intro!! Big shout out to Kevin and Julia for being such wonderful hosts!!
Day 2 – June 11th
Today was a bit more chill day, I had a nice breakfast at the QT Hotel (which is amazing) and took off to CitiBank with a few other finalists to confirm our debit cards and Australian Bank accounts. From there I had a wonderful lunch with one of my competition Nick, and the Tourism Australia rep for the Wildlife Caretakers, Nicole. It was so nice to finally meet Nicole (twitter account link) after having so much communication via email over the last month almost. She has worked tirelessly on our behalf and I cannot express enough my thanks to her. And yet, there is so much more to go!! Fun stuff Nic!
After lunch we met up with the other Wildlife Caretaker finalist, CC from Taiwan. Together, her, Nick, and I walked over to the Australia Museum to check out their newly launched exhibition, National Geographic’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year. It. Is. Amazing!!!!
From the museum, I had the great fortune to meet with another couple of friends from past travelles and have a bit of a catch up session before hitting the hay and calling it another early night. I can say I am well over any jet lag now, but those first couple days were a little rough. Nothing this Canuck can’t handle though.
Day 3 – June 12th
The big day has arrived, this is the official start day to the ‘Best Jobs’ finals and the first day we get to formally meet everyone and start our briefings. It. Was. Incredible. The crew met for a killer breakfast at the hotel and all walked over to the Tourism Australia head office for the intro. We were greeted by Nick Baker, the Executive General Manager of Consumer Marketing and Andrew McEvoy Managing Director of TA, not to mention all the other TA staff who had been doing most of the tough stuff behind the scenes. It was so great to finally the entire team. This is such a skilled and talented group of people working for Tourism Aus, I was overwhelmed trying to get a G’Day in to each of them!!
The day was jam packed with info, media briefings, interviews, profiles, gear, cameras, laptops, smart phones, the works!! Everything a Wildlife Caretaker (me) could ever dream of!! It is awesome truly, the amount of support we are each getting from Tourism Aus is humbling.
From the head office we all headed out for our first group dinner. We went to a very nice resto right in the heart of the CBD, The Ivy. It was amazing, I had a steak and half to say that it was world class! Coming from Argentina, I have become a bit of a beef connoisseur, but knowing Australia has fine beef product I decided to go for it and was well impressed. Of course ordering it blue, as rare as rare can be rare without being raw, was the way to go and it did not disappoint. Such a great meal to end such an awesome day!!
The best Jobs finals are now underway and things are moving in full force. I am incredibly excited about the next couple of weeks and plan to post as many updates as possible during that time. This is just the beginning guys!!! There is a long way to go from here!!!!