Hi everyone! My name’s Caelan and I’m one of the new international student bloggers here at QUT. This is my first blog post and I’m super excited to share what I’ve been up to lately, apart from handing in my final assignments and studying for exams!
What almost shocked me the most about living in Australia are the artists that keep on coming back to see their fans down here. Even if they have to travel from the other parts of the world! Specific artists that I adore don’t come much to my home country, Indonesia (maybe the fan power isn’t enough or my country wasn’t ready to have them around lol), which makes me beyond amused coming down here- Brisbane- and I find it so easy to go to gigs.
Last holiday, I traveled to Melbourne, the sixth city I’ve visited in Australia. First of all, I just want to say I LOVE BRISBANE after I finished the trip because the weather is much better than Melbourne’s! lol
My trip was in November, when Brisbane is warm and people are enjoying outdoor activities. However, at the same time in Melbourne, it was only 9°C, which made me feel like I was back in a country in the northern hemisphere.
Although the weather wasn’t as good as Brisbane’s, there are still many excellent tourist places that I would like to share with everyone.
1. Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, where you can see the 12 Apostles, get up close to native wildlife, and take in iconic surf breaks, pristine rain forest and misty waterfalls. After visiting this place, I have to say it’s definitely a place you must visit!
2. Puffing Billy Railway
I still remembered when I chatted with my Airbnb house owner, a Melbourne local, about this tourist attraction. She told me she went there as a little girl and it is a perfect place for family, kids, and tourists. Puffing Billy was built more than 100 years ago and the purpose was to enhance the economic development of the countryside. Now the railway have become Australia’s premier preserved steam railway still in use. Tourists can enjoy the amazing views and the history by taking the trainride.
3. Melbourne City
Some people say that Melbourne city is just like “a big fashion show stage”. There are many beautiful corners, buildings, churches, parks, or markets in this city. For example, Queen Victoria Market, Royal Exhibition Building, Federation Square are all the attractions where tourist can go. Just walking around the city and you will definitely find some places you like!
Have you ever been to Melbourne? Do you like it? Feel free to share your experience below and don’t forget to keep following this QUT blog! 🙂
After having studied at QUT for two years, finally I will be graduating this month. This is the best moment, and to look back at my university life and sharing some experiences with students.
I am going to describe three main positive acquisitions that I have gained during my studies, including time management skills, networking, professional and practical learning.
As an international student, there are so many things I have to do on my own and probably have never done before in my home country. For example, having a part-time job, studying, volunteering, doing an internship, attending workshops and events, doing housework and so on. The most important thing is to finish what you have to do first and then prioritise tasks as well as balance them with your limited time. This is a really useful skill that is also discussed in several workshops or orientation events. It’s not an easily seen skill, but I am sure this skill will significantly influence my future life. After these two years, I understand how and what I should do to multitask that will help improve my future job efficiency as well.
2. Social network
During these two years, I’ve met and made numerous friends from all around the world. There are always some great people who I can learn from for example what they think and do, but also their friendship and support will be there for our future career.
3. Professional and practical learning
QUT is definitely a university for the real world. Although it also means the learning could be stressful for many students. I rhave learnt a lot in classes, assignments, and also working on practical projects for Australian companies. These experiences have given me the ability to deal with problems and finding the solutions.
To sum up, studying in Australia has been a great process for me to understand what my passion or interest exactly is and build enough confidence and learn relevant skills to achieve these goals. Luckily, I have already got a full time job offer before graduating and it is strongly related to my profession and interests. I really appreciate everything and everyone that I have met at QUT and in Australia.
Finally, please feel free to leave your comment below and don’t forget to enjoy your study and keep following this QUT blog!
Today I handed in my last assignment which gave me a bittersweet feeling — only one exam left until I graduate.
As the graduation season is approaching, I got asked quite a few times from family and friends what my plan is after finishing study. To be honest, I’m still not too sure.
I remember before I left China, I was super excited and decided that I would stay in Australia and find a job there because of the good weather, great beaches and higher paying jobs than my home country. Now two years have passed and I start feeling unsure what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go.
I haven’t worked in China, but got told how fast it is developing and how many opportunities there are. I remember last time when I was doing training for the dragon boat race, a friend of mine who just went on a business trip to Shanghai said: “OMG, so many big deals are happening right now in China!”. It made me really tempted to go back and be part of this rapid change. The thought of joining the booming market made me feel excited.
However, I also have concerns about going back. First of all, there are so many Chinese students returning home every year. Some of them graduated from top universities from all over the world. Therefore, if I go back, I have to compete with all those top talents to get a good job which make me feel very pressured. Secondly, regardless of the chance of getting a good job, I’m not too sure whether I will like the fast pace and busy lifestyle in the finance industry back home.
On the other hand, working in Australia sounds both exciting and full of uncertainty. Will Iget a job? What I should do? Will I stay here forever? I heard from my friends who have already graduate that getting a job, a good one, here in Australia is very hard. As an international student, you sometimes might feel left out among your colleagues because of different lifestyle and communication barriers. However, the work life balance is definitely better compared with China.
Even though I had two years to think about my future plan and career path while studying overseas, I’m still not too sure where I should go. I think time will tell what choice I should make, but for now, I will follow my heart!
I have visited Melbourne twice with girlfriends. The first trip to Melbourne was a placement trip which lasted for nearly a month and the second trip was about a week. Melbourne is a beautiful and interesting place and I have lots of fun and good memories spending time here with my girlfriends.
If you are looking to travelling to Melbourne from Brisbane, the flight takes around 2.5 hours. I will share with you guys what we did in the Melbourne CBD in this post.
Melbourne has a beautiful city landscape. Wandering around the beautiful botanic gardens is a good idea for a relaxing afternoon. The tallest tower that you can see in the centre of the photo is Eureka Tower. You can buy tickets to go up to the skydeck, if you like to get the best view of Melbourne, the view up there is amazing.
Shrine of Remembrance was built as a memorial to the men and women of Victoria who served in World War I and is now a memorial to all Australians who have served in war. It is free for admission and the view from there is pretty good.
Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building is a World Heritage Site-listed building. It is a beautiful building both in and outside. We spent some enjoyable time to chill at the botanic gardens outside of the building. Melbourne Museum is just located a short walking distance from there.
Cook’s Cottage is a historic landmark of Melbourne which is situated in the beautiful heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens. Visiting Cook’s Cottage is like a fascinating step back in time. You need to buy tickets to visit and there is students concession price available.
Napoleon is an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. The gallery hosts a wide variety of exhibition and it is free for entry.
Flinders Street Railway Station is the landmark of Melbourne. It serves the entire metropolitan rail network. This is the popular place to take beautiful tourist shots.
Federation Square is a mixed-use development in the inner city of Melbourne. I would recommend to spend some time at the concourse outside of Federation Square to enjoy the city vibe. Don’t miss the chance to take a ride of the free city tram to see the city.
St Paul’s Cathedral is a historic building with intricate architecture. It is free entrance for public.
State Library of Victoria is a Melbourne landmark and cultural icon. Personally I think it is a very beautiful building and it provides a conducive learning environment as well. I would love to spend some time to study here.
Chinatown Melbourne is the longest continuous China settlement in the western world. It has many good restaurants hidden inside the alleys.
Queen Victoria Market is a major landmark of Melbourne. It is the largest open air market in southern hemisphere.
I guess Melbourne is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to do café hopping. I had lots of fun exploring the cafes, being a great coffee lover.
Degraves Street is a short and narrow laneway at Melbourne CBD. Spend your time to explore the good restaurants, patisserie and hipster shops here.
There are still so many other places which I missed whilst exploring Melbourne CBD. Melbourne’s weather could be fluctuating even within a day, so do check the weather report before you head out to explore this wonderful city.
Mount Tibrogargan is one of the many mountains in the Glass House Mountains National Park. It is famous not only due to its steep cliffs, but also the resemblance to a gorilla. That’s also the reason why some people call it Mount Gorilla.
I went there with friends on a weekend by car. It’s about one hour drive from Brisbane city area.
We got off at the car park and took the summit trail. One lesson we learnt from that day is: don’t bring too much things with you while you hike. Before we head off, we went to the supermarket to buy some food and carried the woolies bag all the way to the mountain top. It turned out to be very inconvenient.
After a 30-minute hike, we arrived the cliff. It was actually recommended for experienced climbers only due to the steepness. You can see from the picture that the way to the top of the mountain is almost vertical to the horizon.
I was a bit terrified at the beginning because I haven’t done any proper training before. But my friends helped me and I managed to climb up successfully.
If you don’t have any rock climbing experience and none of your friends do either, It is not recommended for you to climb up because it can be quite challenging and difficult.
After climbing up the cliff, there is actually still a long way to go. But I didn’t continue because I’m a little terrified and didn’t have confidence that I would climb up safely. I thought it would be safer to stay at where I am and enjoy the current view.
When I get more experienced, I will try the track to the mountain top one day.
I really enjoyed this all-green view and will sure come back to conquer more mountains in the Glass House Mountains area.
Travelling with girl friends is like a venture into a wonderland. A girl friend and I decided to travel to Sydney together after we finished the exams.
Below are some places that we visited during our trip. Those places are recommended for you to visit there if you are planning your trip to Sydney.
- State Library of NSW is the oldest library in Australia. It is a large reference and research library open to the public. From my perspective, the design of the state library of NSW is more vintage compared to the state library of QLD. However both libraries offer the very cosy and conducive environment to concentrate the study.
- Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of the most beautiful art museums in the world. The Gallery presents fine international and Australian art. A definite place that shouldn’t be missed if you are arts lover. The general exhibition is free for entrance.
- Sydney is a wonderful place to do café hopping. We went to Three Williams for brunch on a fine Sunday morning. The food was excellent and it made me drooling by just looking at the photo.
- Climbing up the bridge (walking up the staircase) may cost you penny. If you are budget traveller, the another good option is strolling along Sydney Harbour Bridge to enjoy the view of Sydney Opera House and also the hustle and bustle of the river with the ferries.
- Queen Victoria Building is a historic shopping centre that is delicately designed. The place to visit if you want to have a shopping spree.
- St Mary’s Cathedral is located in the centre of Sydney. It stands as a Christian statement of grace and beauty. It represents the spiritual origins of the Catholic Church in Australia. Furthermore, it is one of Sydney’s most treasured historic buildings and one of the finest examples of English-style gothic churches in the world.
- Blue Mountains is a rugged region west of Sydney in New South Wales. It is famous for the beautiful scenery by encompassing steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses. Galleries and gardens. You can plan your day trip there by taking train. Otherwise, you can leave all the homework to the travel agency by purchasing the day trip from them.
- The Grounds of Alexandria is nestled in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s. It is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences. By holding the philosophy of creating experiences for communities through quality products, innovations and an ever-evolving vision, The Grounds has attracted a large volume of visitors to pay a visit there.
- Sydney Fish Market is a large marketplace featuring shops for seafood, deli items, wine and baked goods and restaurants. This is definitely one of my top 5 places to go in Sydney. How enjoyable to savour the fresh seafood, sushi, wine etc with the beautiful harbour view! I couldn’t ask for more!
- Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is located on the edge of Sydney Harbour. MCA exhibits a wide range of collections. The general exhibition is free for entrance.
- The Rocks is nestled on the edge of Sydney Harbour and framed by Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera house. It is an unrivalled blend of the old and new. Personally I really enjoy hanging around at The Rocks.
- Darling Harbour is Sydney’s great celebration space. It is always busy no matter day and night.
- Watsons Bay is a harbourside which located at the eastern suburb of Sydney. A good place to go for a coastal walk and enjoy the comforting sea view. It takes less than an hour ferry ride from Sydney Harbour to get there.
- Bondi beach is definitely one of the most popular beaches in Australia as its golden crescent and clear, turquoise waters never fail to impress. Even though you are not a beach person, you can still easily occupy your time as Bondi beach is packed with restaurants, bars, fashion boutiques, alfresco cafes etc.
- Paddington Markets is a Saturday market at Sydney since 1973. If you are a fan of crafts, you absolutely shouldn’t miss visiting Paddington Markets as you have the opportunity to find some exclusive Australian designed and crafted products at there. Paddington Markets is easily accessible by the public transports.
We had so much fun while travelling around Sydney. Hope you have as much fun as we have while travelling with your friends at Sydney!
Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world which includes more than 2,900 kinds of reefs and 900 islands. This natural precious just locates in Queensland and people can travel to this area from many “entrance cities”, such as Whitsunday and Cairns.
Today I will share my travel experience in Cairns’ Great Barrier Reef, including outer and inner barrier reef.
Outer Barrier Reef
Most of diving lovers would choose this place to become their travel destinations. The underwater world is so magnificent where you can see thousand kinds of corals, see lives, and fish species. Except for scuba diving, there are still many activities you can enjoy in this area, such as snorkelling, helicopter tours.
Inner Barrier Reef
There are also several islands in the area of Inner Barrier Reef, such as Sudbury Reef, Double Island Reef, High Island, and so on. Furthermore, “Fitzroy Island” and “Green Island” are two most-visited tourist islands and I will personally recommend everyone to visit these two places if you are here for the first time.
This is a natural and quiet island where people can enjoy hiking, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, glass bottom boat tours, and so on. There are many beautiful coral ecosystems under Fitzroy’s water world. Enjoying your travel underwater and hiking are the best ways to explore this island!
It is the most convenient island in Great Barrier Reef. You can just arrive this island from Cairns in 30 minutes. Green Island is the place for tourists not only to enjoy water activities, but also enjoy food at many restaurants, and even go shopping or visit crocodile zoo. However, although you can see numerous fish in Green Island’s see, it’s not easy to find out coral environments here. Hence, if you are a coral lover, I would recommend you to visit other islands first.
If you wanna further experience the amazing underwater world in Great Barrier Reef, check my 1-minute vlog and enjoy this world class diving environment!
Cairns is absolutely one of the most famous Australia cities. Students may have many chances to visit this amazing city. However, where should we go?
Except for “Great Barrier Reef”, there are still many excellent places where tourists should visit. Today, I will list 5 top tourist attractions in Cairns and also share my travel experience to you.
Well, it’s actually Cairns’ South Bank (lol). This attraction has an artificial swimming pool next to the ocean and a large parkland for people to have BBQs, exercise, enjoy the sunshine, and so on. When you visit Cairns, it’s the place you would like!
How can we miss delicious food when we are travelling? Cairns Night Markets is the biggest night markets in this city where you can find creative products, numerous famous restaurants and yummy food. When you feel hungry in Cairns, come here!
Shopping is also the popular thing that tourists love to do. Cairns Central Shopping Centre locates next to Cairns train station and is quite closed to city centre. It includes many kinds of stores which usually provide discounts. If you wan to find somewhere to buy something back, this shopping centre is your good choice!
It’s a really special village that includes several cultures, music performances, beautiful views, and markets. The most popular way to explore this area is taking Scenic Railway and Cableway to see the breath-taking natural environment. Also, there are many delicious food, clothing shops, aboriginal culture experiences, and even zoos in this place. Kuranda is definitely an attraction which has multiple tourism values that can satisfy every kind of tourists!
5. Cairns Art Gallery
If you are a person who loves art and understanding local developments of art, this art gallery is probably your best choice. It exhibits several historical, Aboriginal, and modern art works regularly. What’s the better thing? It’s totally free!
Which one is your favourite one? Feel free to leave your comment below!
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