Photo Mixtape No. 6

A visual narrative of Australia’s wondrous outdoors

Categories: Destinations, Inspirations — Elise Granados

My husband and I love the outdoors, and have always dreamed of exploring Australia. So we decided to go for it, packed our bags, and took off. Our journey started in Sydney, and then we visited the Blue Mountains, Cairns, Kangaroo Island, Melbourne, and Tasmania.  

Upon arrival, I was immediately struck by the stunning scenery—especially the colors and textures of the landscapes. Even more impressive than the landscapes were the people we met along the way. Australia’s diversity was notably present in the amazing cuisine, which was a fusion of European and Asian cultures.

The trip was chock-full of special moments—some that felt like living on another planet. Scuba diving in the Osprey Reef was unbelievable. We spent an entire week on a dive boat, nothing but water as far as the eye could see. Diving 60+ feet down—swimming among rainbow-colored fish, sharks, and bizarre corals—lent perspective for how small we are in this big world.

More than anything, the experience made me realize that we’re all the same—that no matter where we’re from, there are core human values that connect us. This lesson came to life during an unexpected encounter with a farmer. We had stopped to take photos of some sheep on Kangaroo Island, and a farmer drove his tractor up to say hi. What followed was an impromptu tour, a meet and greet with his sheep, and we even got to meet baby lambs that were born that morning. He was a perfect stranger, and his small act of kindness resulted in a cherished memory.

Being outdoors has always been a preferred way to mentally reset, and our entire trip was spent hiking, diving, and appreciating nature’s beauty. Now back home in California, I’ve become more vigorous about creating space and time to appreciate the beauty in our own backyard. I’ve become more present in my day-to-day, and intentionally treasure the world around me.

A sunset in Australia Photograph of the ocean in Australia The sand and ocean in Australia Coral and fish underwater Sharks swim in the water A staircase leads down to a sandy beach Kangaroos A lighthouse Various birds Waterfall Elise Granados holds baby sheep Stars in the night sky



Elise is an Experience Design Manager at Airbnb. She loves taking photos while traveling, gardening, and making personal artwork.

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