Photography outing at Teneriffe

I have a few course mates who are also interested in photography so sometimes we organise photography outing to take the photos of beautiful Brisbane.

Teneriffe is an inner suburb that located 2.5 kilometres north-east of Brisbane CBD. It is easily accessible by bus and ferry with the travelling time approximately 15 minutes from Brisbane CBD.

Image: You can have a stroll along the river before or after exploring Teneriffe.

Image: There are many beautiful architecture buildings surrounding Teneriffe.

Image: My friend found his best angle to capture the historic building.

Teneriffe is also a suburb hidden with cool cafés and restaurants.

Image: One of the cool cafes at Teneriffe.

Image: Coffee photography session.

Image: An entertaining guy in front of the food truck.

Image: Each of us had a glass of craft brewed ales at the brewing house.

Image: My favourite Gelato shop at Teneriffe.

Image: Recommended to give it a try if you are a fan of Gelato.

Teneriffe is a good place to chill if you want to have a respite from the assignments. I had so much fun exploring Teneriffe while doing my favourite photography. I believe you will have it too!

Melbourne City Tour: See It In One Day

Dear readers,

One of my friends who was studying in Melbourne recently visited me and it reminded me that I haven’t wrote anything about my Melbourne trip yet. So today I will take you with me on a one-day fully packed Melbourne city tour.

When talking about Melbourne, what do you think of?

 

Taking a photo among the cool graffiti 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chilling in a cafe with beautiful cakes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checking out the famous Flinders Street Station?

 

There are indeed so many things to see and do in the city. Let’s go!

8:00 am

I choose to start the day with a nice walk along the Yarra River. The trees, flowers and people make this city so vibrant along with the flowing water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9:30 am

Get some breakfast in a relaxing cafe. Melbourne is famous for its coffee, so you can just walk into one with a lot of locals sitting inside and it won’t disappoint you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10:30 am

Check out some local markets and crafts. The most famous one there is Queen Victoria Market where you can find all sorts of food and local crafts. They even have their own website and you know what? The trading hour is 5 days a week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:00 pm

Let’s get some street food at market! This time, let’s try german sausage and sauerkraut!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1:00 pm

If you want to dig deep into the culture and history behind this city and know how it turned from a gold-rush town into the modern metropolitan, check out the Melbourne Museum, Royal Exhibition Building, state library and the historical arcade.

4:00 pm

The China Town in  Melbourne is a lot larger compared with the one in Brisbane and some of the restaurant sell really authentic Chinese dishes. If you like Chinese food, this will be a must-see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6:00 pm

The place I live is on the edge of the city. Therefore I chose to walk home simply because I want to feel part of the community, checking out what is happening on the street and slow myself down to enjoy the beauty of the city.

Tram is a very continent way to travel in the city for free

Street artist performing drum with such enthusiasm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South bank in Melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed my short stay at Melbourne a lot because this city gave me a new perspective and feeling. It’s different from Brisbane but also similar in some way I can’t really explain.

So now my one-day city tour officially came to an end, next time let’s hit the countryside and explore more of the rough and tough side!

Day Trip to Mt Cootha

Finally, my exam week came to an end and now it is time to have a bit of fun!

I had a friend coming from Melbourne to visit me straight after exam and we just did a day trip to Mt Cootha which turned out to be quite successful.

Here are three reasons why Mt Cootha is a perfect place for a day trip:

1.Botanic Gardens is located right at the foot of the mountain

A highly recommended way to enjoy Mt Cootha is to take a bus to the Botanic Gardens and then hike up to the summit after a nice tour at the beautiful gardens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It took me around one hour to enjoy the whole Botanic Gardens. Some of the highlights include: Tropical dome, Japanese garden, Bonsai exhibition and a lake with blooming lotus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. It’s a nice work-out all the way up to the mountain

The trail we took all the way up to the summit is called crocodile trail which is perfect for a casual hike. Along the way, you will see a beautiful lake and pretty much stay cool as the trees on both sides are tall and leafy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.The view at the top of the mountain is amazing

My friend agreed with me that the view overlooking the whole Brisbane city area is amazing and breath-taking. The fun thing about hiking is that you will always get to see a great view after making some effort.

There are two cafes on the summit but you can also choose to have a picnic there if you want to have a day trip on a budget. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My day ended with a nice picnic along with the gentle breeze at the mountain top. If you go there next time, please have fun and take lots of pictures!

 

Portsea: Hidden Gem near Melbourne

If you have an extended stay in Melbourne, there is another coastal destination to explore other than the Great Ocean Road.

The town of Portsea, Victoria is on the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula, directly across Port Phillip from the Melbourne CBD. It is a wealthy suburb that is a popular holiday location for Victorians.

There are absolutely beautiful beaches, such as Portsea Back Beach, and lots of options for other outdoor activities, such as walking tracks and footy. Attractions such as London Bridge and Fort Nepean can be found in Portsea.

There is a great selection of cafes and restaurants to choose from. If you enjoy sailing, make sure to check out the Portsea Surf Life Saving Club or the neighboring Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club. Portsea is a great option if you would like a weekend away from the city at the beach!

Exchange student interview: Juyeon Suh

Photo: Exchange student, Juyeon Suh from South Korea. Image taken at QUT Gardens Point Campus.

  • What university are you studying?

Ewha Womans University in South Korea.

  • How long was your exchange at QUT?

About 5 months.

  • What course were you studying at QUT?

My major is journalism. I took four classes at QUT. Three of them were about journalism and one of them was Australia Geography.

  • What do you learn from the exchange experience at QUT?

Australia is one of the most multi-cultural places in the world. A multi-cultural society is made up of people from various backgrounds and ethnicities. I could make friends of all different races and learn from them. It was really interesting to share each culture. By doing so, I became more open-minded. After studying in Australia, my perspective and thoughts are broadened.

Photo: Exchange student, Juyeon Suh. Image taken at Kangaroo Point Cliff.

  • What is the main difference do you find between QUT and your university?

Although Ewha Womans University provides students some discussion courses, the number of classes is too limited. Also, there are so many students in each class that students cannot have enough time to express their views. On the contrary, QUT has lots of discussion courses and the number of students in a class is small compared to mine. I was happy to express my opinion during the classes actively.

  • Any tips for the prospective exchange students?

I really recommend you to visit lots of places while studying abroad. Australia is really huge and has many different types of weather. It has many different environments inside. For me, Australia was a really great choice. I traveled lots of parts in Australia such as Alice Springs, Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney and so on. Each part has different feel and its own attraction. In addition, Australia has various kinds of animals, which are hard to find in other countries. I saw many kinds of kangaroos. There are also many koalas in Australia, it is easy for people to see them. Many of my Korean friends envy me that I could see them. QUT International Student Service also provides school trips for international students with resonable prices. I recommend you to check mails from QUT International Student Service.

Photo: Exchange student, Juyeon Suh. Image taken at Alice Springs.

Cultural Exchange Trip at Japan

I was so lucky to grab the last spot to participate in the University life in Japan (Oceania) programme 2016 in December which hosted by Sonoda Women’s University.

Image: Sonoda Women’s University.

This is one of the best trips in my life so far. I kind of having some Japanese culture contact since young through anime and entertainment. I have been longing to travel to Japan for a long time. I was extremely excited for the long awaited trip when I received the email from David regarding to my successful application!

On the first day of the programme, David (the person in charge) fetched us from Kansai airport to our hotel at Amagasaki. The coach journey from Kansai airport to Hanshin Amagasaki station was so enjoyable due to the excellent scenery and introduction given by David along the way. David brought us to tour around Amagasaki and introduced us some places near our hotel. I can feel the kind hospitality of Japanese from the very first day of the trip. I feel like the living expenses at Japan is similar to Brisbane. However, I was so spoilt with the various options of food and products. On the other side, the size of the accommodation is much smaller if compared to Brisbane. Regarding to the transportation, the train lines there are very confusing so do bring a map with you in case you get lost. The buses are always on time so do arrive early at the bus stop if you can’t take the risk to miss the bus.

Image: The bus and train station near to our hotel.

Sonoda Women’s University doesn’t offer as many courses as QUT so the size of the campus is also much smaller compared to QUT. We don’t have the chance to explore the student accommodation because we were arranged to stay in the hotel nearby the campus during the program.

Image: The student accommodation of Sonoda Women’s University.

I always have the interest to learn Japanese language. I have the chance to learn some basic Japanese language during the cultural exchange programme at Sonoda Women’s University. Even though there is communication problem, however Fujiwara sensei tried her best to make the class become an interesting one for us. Now I am so proud of myself because I am able to introduce myself in Japanese language. The another class I enjoyed a lot is the Japanese crafts. We learnt to make some beautiful Japanese crafts and got to bring it home as well. We got the opportunity to be clad in two types of Kimono and also being introduced about Shinto and tea ceremony. It was an interesting experience indeed to learn about Japanese culture this way. I also got the chance to handmade ichigo daifuku (strawberry mochi) and savoured it after that. It tastes so yummy and I am craving for it now.

Image: The group photo with the professor and staffs of International Students Department at Sonoda Women’s University on the first day of the programme.

Image: Having fun during Japanese craft class.

Image: Our very first Kimono experience.

Image: Having been introduced about Shinto by the priest and trying on the red and white kimono.

Image: Ichigo daifuku aka strawberry mochi making lesson conducted by the students.

The two highlights of the short-term program are the visit to primary and junior high school and the homestay at Ojiro. I am so impressed by the friendliness and discipline been cultivated in Japanese since the young age. I had so much fun while spending time with the adorable and polite students. During the homestay at Ojiro, we were so lucky to see the snow. My first snow in life was so beautiful and I will forever remember it in heart. I have been assigned to homestay at a sensei family consists of grandmother, father, mother and two little girls. My host father is a vice-principal of a primary school and my host mother is a primary school teacher at Ojiro. My two little host sisters are studying at their high school and junior high school separately. My host father tried his best to communicate with me in English and introduced me Japanese culture in English as well even though he is not familiar with the language. I got to know more about ‘yukigassen’ (snowball fighting) from him as he is one of the judge for the game. I had wonderful time spending with the family and also the visit to the primary and junior high school at Ojiro. I will definitely plan my visit to Ojiro again whenever there is a chance.

Image: The drama performance by junior high school students.

Image: My host family at Ojiro.

Image: The scenery outside of the house of my host family.

Even though the program schedule is quite packed, we still have the time to do some travelling.

The following photos are the scenery where we managed to arrange the time to travel to.

Photo: Osaka Shinsaibashi.

Image: View taken from Tsutenkaku Tower.

Image: Street view at Kyoto.

Image: Kobe Port Tower.

I am grateful for being one of the members for this cultural exchange programme. This trip gave me so many wonderful cultural exchange experiences. I cherish the rapport relationship we forged among the members and also with the host family. Big thanks to Sonoda Women’s University and the host family for hosting us so well at Japan. And also thanks QUT Global for giving us such a good opportunity to have this type of experience during our university journey. It made this trip possible for me with the bursary provided by QUT.

Image: The group photo taken at our farewell party.

I collaged some small clips during the trip into a video, here is the link for you if you are interested to know more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wptNWklDOKs&feature=youtu.be

My first skydiving experience

I have always wondered what it would be like to fly. As a kid, I used to pretend that I was a bird, an airplane or anything that flew through the air.

Skydiving has always been of interest to me as a natural consequence of my desire to fly. I have always wanted to do it, but never thought I will be able to do it.

Well, during the Easter break, I had an opportunity to visit Whitsunday Islands with my friends. We spent the whole week there, exploring the islands, skydiving, snorkelling, ocean rafting, visiting Airlie beach, Boat haven beach and White haven beach, which is clearly the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.

I got to fly for the first time, and it wasn’t by riding in an airplane. It was by jumping out of one from 14,000 ft. high which is my biggest adventure till date! My friend took an initiative and booked our slot at Skydive in Airlie beach, Whitsunday Islands. We got the 11:00 AM slot. I reached the place by 10:30 AM hoping to return with my mission accomplished.

Check in at the reception

I checked in at the reception and completed the paperwork, where you basically sign your life away and waive the Tandem of any liability in the event of a mishap (injury or death). I had to sign the waiver that I already read all the safety rules and watched their video and responsible for my life. I also paid money for photos and video.

As I came out of the reception, I looked at the sky. The weather was very unpredictable. Kept on changing from being sunny to cloudy, rainy with cool breeze. But, I was lucky enough that the weather was perfect when my turn came. It was clear, blue and sunny with cool breeze. I thanked God for that beautiful time and prayed that it should not change till my jump.

Diverting mind 

Before your turn comes, you will have endless time of the world to think about anything you want to divert your mind from freaking out. I was chilling with my friend getting our endless pictures clicked as if it would be the last day of my life. No matter whatever the time of your Tandem slot is given, you will have to wait for at least minimum 2-3 hours depending upon miscellaneous reasons (be it weather conditions, etc.). You will see a number of people climbing the airplane and landing through parachute.  Videographers and photographers would be clicking their endless pictures, family and friends would be waiting on the ground. You will get fascinated in 2-3 take-offs and parachute landings and be desperately waiting for your turn.

Waiting for announcement of your name to dress up and instructions 

As soon as I heard my name, I was waiting for my instructor who came in few minutes and introduced himself. He gave me the jump suit to dress myself over my clothes. The jump suit was little loose, but then my instructor fixed it and it was looking fine. Later, my instructor gave me 5 minutes of Skydiving instructions – cross arms, head back, knees bent and jump. One tap on the shoulder is a sign to open your arms. Second instruction is to bring the arms close to chest as the parachute opens and knees bent for landing.

My friend and I are all set to go to the boarding place!

All set to fly

Within 15 minutes, my instructor took me to the airplane boarding area. He took the interview video of me and my friend and asked several questions whether we were nervous or it was our first jump etc. He instructed me to look up while diving and smile in front of the camera, look for his sign when he will give me to hold his hand and I have to let him go as per his sign. I wasn’t nervous that time. I was feeling very excited as if I was going to war front to save my country.

Ready for interview?

Time to take the jump

Luckily, my friend and I were in the same plane. I was about to climb. By now, I knew that it was the time of no turning back and not freaking out as now universe also conspires me to jump! We’re in. The door closes. We’re off. Squashed into two benches that face each other. At 10000 ft., my heart was beating fast and I was little nervous, trying to overcome my fear by smiling and looking out of the window. It was looking surreal from the airplane window.

Smile and Tension at the same time!

At 14000 ft., my instructor nudged me towards the open door. As soon as I saw my friend jumping out of the plane, I was fascinated by that sight. The plane ride lasted for almost 20 minutes.Standing at the edge of the door and looking out at the vast openness below, I must trust you believe that I am not trying to fake any sense of bravado when I say that I felt no fear. There was no expression on my face – no anxiety, no tension. I was utterly devoid of pain, grief and worry. I felt no affliction of the mind or the soul.

Beautiful view!

I looked out upon that beautiful view and was surprised to feel complete peace within myself. In that moment, I felt like I owned the world. I could feel the cool air on my face with the speed of more than 200 mph as if it was welcoming me. However, I only remembered my instructions. You might be thinking how I could forget such important instructions, but it happens because of tension! Thanks to my instructor who bend my head on his shoulder within fraction of seconds before our jump.

Thanks to my instructor!

Sixty second free fall

The first few seconds seemed to be a blur due to the sensory overload. But once we achieved terminal velocity, it was incredible. There was no falling sensation, the kind that one experiences in a roller coaster. Rather it was almost as if we were floating on a cushion of air. I know that this is the moment everyone will be waiting for – the 60 second free fall. I had to hold my instructor’s hand but the air was very powerful and I wasn’t able to hold his hands. He managed to capture our close-up shots.

Freefall

Parachute and Landing

60 seconds later, he launched the parachute and I found myself peacefully floating towards the drop zone. I hear his voice in my ear as he loosens my goggles, unfastens the harness and asks if I’m alright. Suffice to say, that it was exhilarating. My instructor asked me if I wanted some spins on Parachute, I said No!

The parachute ride down took around 7 minutes and the landing was incredibly soft. Wow, this experience was nothing like I had imagined. It was the best moment of my life and I couldn’t express it in words!

After my jump, I spent a while chatting with my instructor about the dive, I thanked him and gave him a big hug. I got out of the equipment and returned the jumpsuit. I believe that my first skydive has thrust me a little closer to my existence and changed my perspective about the world. It is an experience that I hope to undertake many more times and shall never forget my first jump experience. Maybe, I will be doing my second jump soon but first jump is always special.

If you haven’t tried skydiving, I strongly urge you to try it once. It is definitely a life changing experience you’ll live throughout your life!

 

Roma Street Parkland

Have you ever wondered where to walk around and relax in Brisbane? Or do you want to hold an outdoor event in Brisbane? Or maybe you want to do volunteering work in a parkland environment in Brisbane? Well, Roma Street Parkland is the answer!

Roma Street Parkland (ref)

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International student interview: Jodie Chu

Image: QUT International student, Jodie Chu. Taken at Japan during the short term mobility program by QUT Global.

Where are you from?

  • Hong Kong

How long have you been in Brisbane?

  • It has been 1.5 years.

What course are you studying?

  • Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics

How do you find being a part of QUT?

  • As an international student at QUT, I have a lot of opportunities to engage in the real world environment and Australian community. Besides, I got the multi-cultural experiences from real world placement program, QUT global exchange program and East West activities. On top of that, I find the course I am doing now is good and it is more practical than the other universities as well. I am happy to have the opportunities to practice my cooking skills and doing experiment every week.

What do you like to do during your leisure time?

  • Travelling and reading

What is your favorite quote?

  • Be perseverant.

Chasing the sunset

I like to take photographs of sunset because it is beautiful. If you like to see or take photographs of the sunset as well, probably can think about these few places around Brisbane that I am going to introduce you.

  • Wellington Point is a suburb of Redland City, about 22km south-east of Brisbane. It is the good place to catch sunset!

The photo was taken at the bottom of the bridge before the sunset.

The following four photos were taken from the sun was about to set until almost set. I am so astonished by the changes in the colour of the sky at that golden hour for photography!

I think it is a good idea to include people in the sunset photographs as well.

The photo was taken above of the bridge after the sunset. Isn’t it amazing? The sky became pinkish colour after the sunset.

  • Redcliffe is a residential suburb of the Brisbane metropolitan area located within Moreton Bay Region LGA in the north-east of the Redcliffe peninsula, approximately 28 kilometres north-north-east of the Brisbane CBD. It is good to choose to go there on a Sunday morning so then you can also explore the market there.

You can find fresh produce, arts and crafts and many other things there.

There are also goats in the market!

The following few photos are the beautiful sunset at Redcliffe.

The sky turns into pinkish colour after the sunset at there too.

  • Shorncliffe pier is a historic pier which situated near Saint Patrick’s College and lower Moora Park. It takes around 35 minutes to travel from Brisbane city.

People say here is the good place for meditation.

  • Kangaroo Point Cliffs are heritage-listed cliffs located at Kangaroo Point just across the Brisbane River from the Brisbane CBD in Queensland, Australia.

The last few photos were the beautiful sunset with the view of Brisbane city.