Travel Alone Can Be Fun – Sydney Part 2

I talked about the first day of my Sydney trip in the previous blog. This time I will share with you what I did in the second and third day.

  • Day 2

My second day is composed of a whole day walk among Darling Harbour, Paddy’s Markets and NSW State Library. I also accidentally walked into a lot of other places on my way.

I came across this beautiful Chinese Garden right next to the Darling harbour. It brought me a sense of peace and there were a lot of tourists sitting on the rock and enjoy the blooming lotus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also write down your wishes on the pink paper and hang it up. It was a pleasure to read the nice wishes of other people and be touched by their positiveness and kindness.

  • Day 3

I was chatting with the girls living in the same room with me in the hostel the night before and we were talking about our plan for the next day. It turned our that they wanted to join me for the costal walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach.

We got up early on the day and took a bus to Bondi Beach. The weather was very good, sunny with a little breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luthyda, Layla and I were about to start our 3-hour hike.

Luthyda is from China and currently on her working holiday in Australia.

Layla is from Germany and about to leave Australia after working for one year to commence her midwifery course in Germany.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view along the costal line is just amazing. You can see so many tourists or locals either enjoying the sunshine on the beach, surfing or working out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t life beautiful? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are into nature, definitely check out the costal walk. If is refreshing, beautiful and free.

However, do remember to put on a lot of sunscreen. You can burn pretty bad after three hour in the sun. That’s the lesson I learnt.

My 3-day getaway to Sydney came to an end finally and I had to say farewell to the new friends I met there. Not sure whether we will come across in life ever again, but I guess this is the beauty of travelling alone. You will always meet new friends if you open yourself up. It is amazing to be friends with other people who are so different from you, yet share the same value with you.

I will come back to do the costal walk again in the future, definitely!

Hangout at Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley is my favourite hangout place with friends.

Fortitude Valley is a suburb near to Brisbane City. It takes only 10-15 minutes by bus to get there from Brisbane City. Fortitude Valley is also well known of its Chinatown Mall as it is a hub of exotic Chinese supermarkets and restaurants. Fortitude Valley is such a hip and interesting place. I have so much fun and surprises while exploring there every time.

During the weekends, there is a creative market happening.

Free chess can be played for fun if you are interested.

My favourite brownies shop at My Bakery Lane at Fortitude Valley.

I hope I can have a taste of all the flavours they have.

Once in a while, there may also have free music performance.

Recently I discovered Winn Lane at Fortitude Valley. Hearsay there is a shop selling tasty burger which is recommended to give it a try!

Some of the cool stores at Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley.

You can also spot many graffiti here and there while walking around Fortitude Valley.

James Street at Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s foremost retail and lifestyle precinct. It features a mix of over 130 specialty shops, including a huge range of designer clothing and homewares stores, award-winning restaurants and cafes, art galleries and design havens. You can receive more information from http://www.jamesst.com.au/

My favourite store at James Street. Simply like everything in the store.

My favourite book shop at James Street. The shop also sells tasty Matcha food. Don’t miss it if you are Matcha lovers!

Always can’t resist the desserts and pastries!

I believe you will have a lot of fun and surprises as me while exploring Fortitude Valley!

Volunteering for 2017 QUT Exchange Fair

Are you thinking about going for an exchange? If one-semester is too long or too expensive for you, maybe you can join a short-term exchange program for 2-4 weeks.

At the end of last year, I completed a short term exchange program in Japan for three weeks. It was an unforgettable experience for me where I met lots of friends and sharpened my Japanese language skills. As this program is so good and I hope more students can know about it, today I volunteered for 2017 QUT Exchange Fair.

This event was held in Kelvin Grove campus because the Young University Summit was happening in Gardens Point campus at the same time. The stalls were arranged according to different countries. There were more than 20 stalls at the event with exchange student representatives at each stall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was volunteering for the short-term exchange program stall. A lot of students showed up to ask about what short-term exchanges are and how could they participate. I noticed that many students are interested in Japan and UK.

I came across my friend Jodie when volunteering who attended the exchange program in Sonoda Women’s College with me together last year and she offered to help out at the stall. Thanks, Jodie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a good time sharing with students our experience in Japan and encouraged them to apply either for academic study or professional development purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in  going abroad to study for a short period, definitely go and check out this QUT website: https://qutvirtual2.qut.edu.au/ismms-core/outboundStp/listUpcoming

You can find the detailed information of each program, the application due date and program start date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good luck and have fun!

Urbanest – Student Accomodation

Located in South Brisbane, Urbanest is just about a fifteen minute walk to QUT’s Gardens Point campus. It is also a five minute walk from many restaurants on Grey Street and the Streets Beach. Needing to travel further? Urbanest is right next to the bus and train stations.

The apartment building itself is quite suitable for a University student as well. The two most common room styles are:

  1. a 5 or 6 person apartment, each resident with their own room and bathroom, and a shared common room and kitchen
  2. a 16 person apartment with 8 rooms, meaning two people per room and bathroom, and a shared common room and kitchen for the apartment.

There are also single suites and studio style apartments. Urbanest has a movie room, a fitness center, study rooms, and a laundry room. The management for the most part is pretty good. They know how to do their jobs, and do their best at accommodating residents needs. They also put on events for the residents.

Urbanest is a very sociable place with students from around the world. It is very easy to meet people and fun to learn about the different cultures this world has to offer.

No the apartment complex isn’t perfect, but it’s worth looking into if the majority of your classes are at Gardens Point – or even Kelvin Grove!

Travel Alone Can Be Fun – Sydney Part 1

After one year and a half in Brisbane, Australia. Finally I decided to explore other states in Australia.

I booked my ticket on Jetstar, which is a budget airline. The return ticket cost me around $120. Before my departure, I also book a youth hostel in the centre of Sydney, and the price is about $30 per night.

Even though I’m travelling alone this time, I wasn’t too worried because first Australia is a really safe country and second, you can meet new friends who are also travelling alone. And a good place to meet them is in hostel.

I spend the first two days in Sydney mainly walking around the city. If you haven’t been to Sydney, let me tell you, the CBD there is so big and there are so much things to explore.

St Mary Cathedral near Hyde Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After arriving in the afternoon, I took a long stroll nearby. When walking past a park, later I know it’s Hyde Park, this beautiful cathedral came into my view. I took a look inside and there was an event happening.

Then I walked past the botanic garden, like the one in Brisbane, people like taking wedding pictures there.

Inside the botanic garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I kept walking, I saw a pathway similar to the Brisbane riverside walk. Enjoying the terrific river view and breathing the fresh air, I couln’t believe this walkaway leaded me Sydney Opera House.

The view you can see along the pathway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Opera House and Harbour Bridge are right in front of me. I couldn’t believe this breath-taking moment and that a random walk leaded me here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seagulls were enjoy the gentle breeze like I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

🙂

I took lots of pictures and some video clips. While I was taking pictures, quite a few people walked up to me and kindly asked me to take pictures for them. As a return, they also offered to take me pictures too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is truely a multi-national city. You can see so many tourist and hear various languages. What surprised me is that they city took Chinese New Year to an official level. You can see the Chinese New Year vibe everywhere including giant rooster statue in front of the Opera House, giant Chinese Animal Lanterns from Circular Key all the way to the Rocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it got darker and darker, you could see the beautiful lanterns shining under the moon. Overwhelmed by the astonishing view, I took a seat opposite the Opera House and enjoyed music street artists were playing and got ready to leave for hostel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the following days, I went to the Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour, met two friends in the hostel and took a long hiking along the coastal line from Bundi Beach all the way to Coogee Beach. It was hot, it was fun and it was the best part of the trip!

I will talk about the beautiful costal line in my next blog, stay tuned!

College of Excellence Networking Dinner

The College of Excellence hosts an annual networking dinner for its members, where CoE members from all years at uni come together for a formal, sit-down dinner.

This year, the dinner was hosted at 66 on Ernest, with a price tag of $25 per head. However, the CoE launched a “Buddy System” this year (where a senior is matched up with a Junior, in an informal mentoring relationship), so if you could come to the dinner with your buddy, the price would be halved for both of you so you could receive tickets at the price of two-for-one.

The 3-course meal that was served was definitely worth the money we paid, and the dinner was a great way to reconnect with some of my friends amidst my busy semester schedule. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pics of my beautifully plated food, but rest assured it was pretty good on the taste buds and aesthetically pleasing to look at (clearly, because I was so excited to eat it, that I didn’t stop to take pics).

Before the dinner, members are asked to attend a Networking and Etiquette workshop from CoE, where we are taught about dinner table etiquette and the art of networking. We are encouraged to practise our networking skills at the dinner and meet new people.

We were given a little checklist to ensure we met people from different faculties, from different year levels and with different paths into the College.

All in all, I would definitely go to the dinner next year as well. See you there!

First Time Travelling Outside Asia

In my life up till early 2017 I have ever been in several countries. Those countries are Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Indonesia (my home country). It was exciting to travel to those countries. But guess what? All of them are Asian countries which more or less have similarity in terms of the cultures, foods, and so on. I did not have the chance to travel outside Asia before.

Read more

When dreams come true!

When you live in Australia, who wouldn’t want to either cuddle a Koala or pet a Kangaroo?

Being an exchange student from India, I have been eager to come out and explore as many places as possible in Australia. It’s my dream to hold and cuddle a Koala bear. This week, I had the opportunity to visit the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary with few of my fellow exchangies.

They made my day!

Located only 12 km from Brisbane City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest Koala sanctuary with over 130 Koalas. It’s very convenient to take public transport to Lone Pine. Route 430 takes you straight there within one hour. Bus number 430 from Queen Street Station and bus number 445 from Wickham Tce stop 158 are few other easiest options.

Photo Courtesy (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary)

If you’re an active social media user, the whole park offers free WIFI so you can still post pictures on social media, even if your mobile data is running a bit low. What more could the travelling blogger ask for? There are USB recharging points, tables and several of these blogger lounges scattered around the park where you can just sit and relax for a few minutes.

The Koala cuddling experience was amazing. It’s nice to meet these adorable, cute and fascinating creatures along with other equally remarkable animals. This is an animal encounter you won’t forget.

Beautiful Experience

At Koala Pine Sanctuary, you will see platypus, dingoes, snakes, turtles, wombats, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, sheep dogs, bats, lorikeets, kookaburra, crested hawk, southern cassowary, raptors, possum, emu, wallaby and many other creatures.

It has a baby inside!

The emu- Australia’s native bird and second- largest living bird by height, after its relative, ostrich

 

 

 

 

 

A perfect day trip schedule!

Tasmanian Devil
Photo Courtesy (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wombat
Photo Courtesy (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a general store where you can buy Kangaroo food, snacks, coffee, cold drinks. There are gluten free and vegetarian options available too. The Riverside Cafe is located just outside the sanctuary.

 

Traveling to the Gold Coast

While Brisbane itself has a lot to offer, it is also only one or two hours away from the ocean and major beaches. If you have a free day, hop on the train in the morning and head down to the Gold Coast. The trip is about an hour train ride plus a twenty-or-so minute bus ride. Use the Translink website or app to figure out your route and fare; it will be cheaper if you have a GoCard. Once you’re there, you’ll have a full day of laying out in the sand, swimming in the ocean, and relaxing. Depending on what beach you go to as well, you’ll have plenty of shops and restaurants to explore. Surfer’s Paradise is a great beach if you’re looking for this. No matter what beach you choose, you’ll see that the ocean views are beautiful. Grab some friends and make a day out of it – you won’t regret it.

My volunteering experience with RSPCA

I attended QUT Skilled Volunteering Expo and signed up for a few organizations that I am interested in. After signing up, I received the emails when they need volunteers for the events.

I had a lot of free time after finishing the final exams so I registered my name to volunteer as the photographer for Santa Paws Christmas market by RSPCA QLD.

The RSPCA is an independent, non-government community-based charity providing animal care and protection services. The RSPCA’s mission is to prevent cruelty to animals by actively promoting their care and protection. If you would like to know more about RSPCA, here is the link for you: https://www.rspca.org.au/

Basically you can find all types of things related to pets in the RSPCA superstore.

If you want to have a pet and believe that you will be able to take good care of them, adoption is a pretty good idea.

There are seven reasons why you should choose adoption. So think about adoption!

Some fun facts about the dogs’ age when comparing to human years.

The following photos are the cute dogs in the RSPCA adoption centre at that time.

Other than dogs, there are also cats in the RSPCA adoption centre.

People can have their pet’s photo taken with the one and only RSPCA’s Santa Paws on that day and also do some Christmas shopping for their pets.

The dogs were clad in with the Christmas accessories by their owners and waiting for the photos to be taken.

This little cutie pie wore the fancy clothes. How adorable is it!

The following photos are some other cute dogs I met during the event.

This little one was sniffing my camera haha!

Happy dog and the happy owner.

Two cutie pies.

Not only the pets, kids also have a lot of fun during the day.

The team is there to help you if you need any.

My volunteering experience with RSPCA was great. If you have time and feel like doing something meaningful, think about volunteering.

Sidebar: I met with other RSPCA volunteers during my morning run along Brisbane River at South Bank. The volunteers were strolling with the dogs for adoption in RSPCA.

Everyone is welcome to get close with the dogs and have fun with them if you are keen.