So, it’s been just over 2 months now since I touched down in Oz and since I wrote last I’ve been up to so much more! Despite uni work keeping me busy and deadlines creeping up I have still been able to manage my time well and keep up with adventures! Uni here in Adelaide is pretty similar to back home although, for me, I found that you are assessed a lot more throughout the semester via assignments as opposed to having just one big exam at the end of the year. So, although this means I have had to do a little more work throughout the year, it means I only have 2 exams in June and they’re not heavily weighted so I’ll have plenty of time for travelling before I return home.
Over the last month there have been multiple more trips to wildlife and conservation parks- I just can’t get enough of the adorable koalas and kangaroos. Of course I have also continued to explore the Adelaide party scene which never fails to disappoint: I even went to a pool party (even if it did turn out to be a paddling pool). I also had an amazing opportunity to go kayaking with dolphins at Port Adelaide, it was arranged the Exchange Students Network (ESN) and we even got free pizza! We were able to get pretty close to the dolphins as they swam around our kayaks and the weather was gorgeous so it was a great day!
As well as all these little day trips I’ve been on, by far the highlight of the last month has been my 10 day travelling trip during my Easter break. I got together with a couple of friends and we took a short flight over to Sydney. We spent 3 days in Sydney- more than enough to see all the main sights and really explore the city. Of course, we visited the opera house, the harbour bridge, and the botanic gardens, as well as doing some long walks all around the harbour. One day we did a gorgeous coastal walk from Coogee beach to Bondi beach: It was very windy but we saw some amazing scenery. It also just so happens that my old neighbours from back home now live in Sydney and they invited me and my friends around for dinner on our last night. It was really lovely to see them and the kids who I used to babysit when they were toddlers were now 9!
Moving on from Sydney we took a flight to Melbourne where we spent 4 days. As much as I loved Sydney, I think I have to say that Melbourne was more my scene- it’s a really vibrant city with so many cool things to see and really suited to young people with a great, and unique night life. We spent our days doing A LOT of walking: We visited as much of the city as we could including Chinatown (the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the Western world), the docklands, the Formula One racing track, the Olympic park, and the tennis arenas where the Australian Open is held. Within some of the gardens around Melbourne is a stunning Shrine of Remembrance dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the world wars. We paid a visit and took part in a service before climbing to the top of the building to see some great views of the Melbourne skyline.
As well as this we took a day out to go to the famous Brighton Beach to see the beautifully painted beach huts, and top up our tans. Melbourne is also famous for its street art so it was really cool to walk around all the hidden lanes in the city and see all the amazing artwork.
The third leg of our trip was my favourite of all! We hired a car in Melbourne and spent 3 days driving back to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road. We had planned most of our stops before we left but ended having more time than we thought so we added in a few more. I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves but the Southern Australian coastline really is beautiful. For our second night of road-tripping we decided to head inland a bit to The Grampians National Park. Up in the mountains it was so pretty and there were wild kangaroos and wallabies everywhere, although this was scary at times because a few decided to jump out in front of our car. As we cooked dinner in our hostel it was so cool to see the animals roaming around right outside the kitchen window. On our last day of travels, before we left The Grampians, we took a few walks around some waterfalls and got some great views from the mountain top. We then set off on our final 5-hour drive home to Adelaide. We did have one more stop to make though: The Pink Lake! Australia is home to several famous pink lakes, caused by certain species of bacteria and algae, and as one was on our route home it was a must visit. It was a nice break from driving, and although the lake was dry, it was gorgeous to walk around and get some good pictures!