Australia’s hidden destination: Tasmania

I’ve been in Australia for 2 years now, and I’ve travelled to the main states such as Victoria and Sydney. During the semester break, I had the opportunity to visit Australia’s hidden destination – Tasmania. Also known as “Tassie”, it is located south of the Australian mainland.

I personally think it’s an underrated state but one thing is for sure, its a very intimate place, but so beautiful. Why is it you ask? Here’s some reasons why!

  1. Beautiful Scenery
  • Tasmania is surrounded by so much nature, you’ll fall in love looking at it every single day!

      2. Snow

  • There’s no snow in Queensland, so I thought it was pretty amazing! I went to visit Mt. Wellington and Mt. Field – Who said paradise had to be tropical? This was one for the books!

 

The list will go on if I continue to write but I always like to tell people that to see, is to believe! Going to Tasmania in real life is such an amazing experience, and I’m sure it will be for you too!

One more thing, make sure to take some boots with you! Going up the mountain would be hard without them 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straddie Story

The prominent getaway destination for Brisbane people; North Stradbroke. One of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen is on this huge island. Although I only had the chance to explore the northern coast of this island, it already gave me the best view. Queensland really does offer you irreplaceable moments in life.

It’s amazingly sooo easy to go to this paradise from Brisbane. Just take the train to Cleveland (an hour more less train ride), and go to the pier to take the ferry. Everything is on google and this official website https://stradbrokeisland.com/ . They have student prices for the ferry too 😀 and within the island they have shuttle buses that take you here and there.

The video might explain well how the island is really good for a day or even two days getaway; however you like it. I’m actually planning on going camping there before I graduate uni. Whoever is keen feel free to comment down below :]

Watch the Stradbroke video

 

Road trip down south

Cedar Creek Falls in the Mount Tamborine area

We hired an eight seater van and just spent the day road tripping down south. We wanted to trek but time wasn’t enough to bring us to Springbrook National Park, so we decided to go here instead, where the track was very easy.

We spent an hour or two just laying around watching the calming view. People were swimming but it wasn’t too crowded. It was a bliss surrounded by nature and silence, running away from the busy Brisbane CBD. Check out the video to see how the day turned out and see the images on flickr to see my skills on the analog camera Canon AE capturing the day 😀

Now boarding to every corner of the world…

As global citizens, an indispensable part of our life-journey is the universal experience which comes along with the excitement of exploring and being exposed to the world. Study Abroad/Exchange Programs offer a suite of benefits and outcomes for students interested in exploring the world beyond their tabloids and boundaries to embark on an international adventure. Being an exchange student has been one of the prestigious rewarding opportunities that you will have the good fortune of experiencing.

As a university for the real world, QUT puts a premium on learning overseas. Thus, QUT International Student Mobility offers a wide range of programmes including Semester Exchange Programmes, Short Term Programmes, Study Tours, Work Integrated Learning Programmes, Research Internships, etc.

Being an engineering student, I will be able to expand and branch out my academic knowledge in various academic disciplines. These programmes offer a significant opportunity to gain practical experiences and expose yourself to real-world applications. These programmes nourish your previous academic knowledge and support your degree at QUT.

Going on an exchange to a different country cultivates a sense of wonder and curiosity to explore the new environment. It would be an enlivening opportunity to meet and build social networks with the people from around the world. Accompanying a new geographical location, you will be gifted with unforgettable experiences, life-long friends and a wealth of learning about the world around yourself.

As a QUT Exchange, you will be able to

  • improve personal flexibility, encompassing an ability to reach compromise, focus and succeed through challenging times.
  • expand awareness and adoption of alternative, multi-faceted approaches to learning, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • enhance your interest in global issues as well as a broader general knowledge with cross-cultural understanding.

Thanks to QUT International Student Mobility, I was privileged to go global on several exchange programmes including South Korea, Germany, Japan, etc. I highly encourage you to apply for these amazing exchange programmes on QUT Global portal and get yourself on a flight to somewhere you dreamt of.

 

My travels across the South-Eastern border

During my winter break this year, I was invited by my best friend and her family to travel across the South-Eastern border of Australia with them. Our journey started with a flight to Melbourne, and road trips to Shepparton, Furner, Mount Gambier and Adelaide, and flight back from Adelaide to Brisbane.

The trip was an immersive experience as we stayed on farms owned by family friends, and I played with lots of baby lambs, had freshly laid eggs for breakfast and also had a bonfire night in the freezing weather.

My best friend surprised me with a trip to the Blue Lake, Tantanoola caves and the possum caves in Mount Gambier.

The spectacular Tantanoola caves have a stunning arrangement of stalactites and stalagmites made exclusively of limestone and dolomite, and the structures are still active! This is one of the few wheelchair accessible caves in Australia.

The Blue Lake in South Australia is a crater lake formed over an inactive volcano in Mount Gambier. The depth, colour, and visibility of the lake changes with the season.

On the way to Adelaide from Furner, we also came across the famous giant lobster, and absolutely had to take a picture of it!

The notorious giant lobster!

All in all, this trip inspired me to aim to travel more across Australia and explore the less famous towns and cities and discover more of Australia’s stunning landscape and natural formations.

Fall in love with EKKA in this August

Once in a year, the Royal Queensland Show (EKKA) is here in Brisbane again!!! This iconic show brings the city and the country together and showcases the best of Queensland in ten days. Before heading to EKKA yourself, you can now follow my steps and gain a unique insight about EKKA from me!

1.Fashion Parade & Art

Never been to a fashion show before? Now it’s your turn to enjoy the show at Ekka like a celebrity. Here you can see the works of Queensland’s top designers and have your photos taken with gorgeous models after the fashion show. As far as I know, this fashion show has been a must-see for EKKA since 1980. Additionally, the Creative Arts and Crafts competition shows you the most talented creations in Queensland and you can see creations ranging from embroidery, beading to leatherwork.

2. Animals & Agriculture

Australia’s cute creatures can be more than koala and kangaroos, and you will realize this in the animal nursery. A tour of the animal nursery in EKKA, you can literately embrace with any cute little animals! After washing your hands, you can directly enter the playground and enjoy your time with small animals such as cows, sheep, and little pigs!

In the ten days of the EKKA Carnival, competitions ranging from paintings, beauty contests for cakes to the largest vegetables will take place all the time. Among them, I am really impressed by the wood-chopping competition. It is definitely one of the best matches with the Ekka’s theme–“Bring the country to the city”. The wood-chopping area is always crowded with the audience who is keen to see the axes and flying sawdust.

3. Food & Drinks

The only thing I should say in this section is to walk around and eat as much as you can! EKKA is definitely a heaven for the foodies, where you can enjoy the delicious cuisines made by the freshest ingredients in Queensland. No matter you are a fan of the traditional Aussie food or you are super willing to try something new, EKKA gives you everything. I would just recommend a few here, the iconic EKKA strawberry sundae, Hot Dog, King-size churros, twisted potatoes, and chips loaded with meat and source!!!

4. DIYs & Photo Time

Do you want some lovely souvenirs from EKKA? You can actually do it yourself!!! Try to make yourself a crown decorated with blooming flowers or bring your friends and families some tulip made by a piece of paper!

  

Definitely go and visit the 7 LIVE Studios at EKKA to go behind the scenes of some of Australia’s most loved television programs. At the 7 LIVE Studios, you’ll be able to experience your dream job behind the 7 News desks. 
Weird and Wonderful Praying Mantis Stilt Walker is another fabulous chance for cool photos! They are an international performance group that has entertained crowds at EKKA for years. They are dressed up like insects on stilts and bring nature to life by dancing and wandering through the crowds.

5. Night Shows & Fireworks

Spending your night time at EKKA will be a perfect end to your EKKA experience. EKKA offers more than fireworks and it gives you a performance of Australian culture. I can name a few that you should never miss out: Wheel Standing monster car competition, Wild Colonial Wagon Chase and the Fireworks-Spectacular are the most eye-catching parts at the night. Fireworks are perfectly combined with performances and the superb equestrian skills make you cannot stop cheering. P.S., all of these are so much better to see with your own eyes since photos just cannot express how fantastic they are !!!

One more thing you should always do: Just remember to stop for a while and have a look at the EKKA rides at night, they are just amazing!!!

No matter what inspires you to come to EKKA, I can guarantee that EKKA will definitely fill you up with happiness and excitement and gives you the energy to reawaken your inner strength and your love for life! So remember to have your own EKKA experience this August and have tons of fun!!!

 

Lady Elliot Island; Southern Great Barrier Reef

LADY ELLIOT ISLAND, GREAT BARRIER REEF

Coral reefs that surround the island along with the clear water.

One time experience to Great Barrier Reef makes you come back for more. Just a month after going to Cairns, Lady Elliot Island was my next destination. It was an easy planning,  I  only needed the website ladyelliotisland.com, along with the saved up money (because yes, Lady Elliot Island wasn’t cheap at all….) and it got me through real easy.

So this is how you get to Lady Elliot Island; you pay individually even though you arrive in a group. The price includes; transportation to and from the island, food (breakfast and dinner), free snorkeling around the island, accommodation, and much more. Extra activities are also provided, one which I took of course; diving!!

Lady Elliot Island Cafe, where we had breakfast. The island is known to be the home to manta rays.

Lady Elliot, homes of Mantas.

The interior of island

This is how the island looked like.

It’s not Australia without the seagulls!

The sea wildlife just seconds from the beach.

This clear water! You just go 2 meters off the coast to meet a turtle, and several more meters to meet a blue spotted ray and reef sharks.

SUNRISES

Sunrises on the east side of the island. So cold in the morning in May

SUNSETS

Sunsets from the Lighthouse area. People gather here everyday to enjoy the view together.

Milky way on Lady Elliot. Taken with DSLR Canon EOS 40D, 17-85mm Canon Lense, f/4.0-5.6.

More on specific camera settings on flickr.com/photos/pcsyafira.

Lady Elliot Island: Most definitely best destination I’ve been to in Australia yet.

 

Pricilia Clarissa Syafira

2018

CISA in Cairns

The 8th CISA National Conference 2018 was held in Cairns from 25th to 28th June 2018. The National Conference is the biggest conference of international students in Australia. In essence, there were over 250 international student delegates and industry professionals, making it the biggest international student conference Australia wide. This year’s CISA National Conference was themed as ‘Overcoming Barriers’ to acknowledge the issues faced by international students in Australia. International student leaders, as well as various industry leaders, were collaborating in Cairns to find solutions to these problems and concerns together.

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