How to do Mount Beerburrum Lookout

When thinking about things to do around Brisbane, the first thing that comes to my mind is the beach. Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, North Stradbroke Island, you name it ! However, one thing that I discovered last weekend is that there are heaps of places you can hike only an hour away from Brisbane ! More specifically, there is this place called Mount Beerburrum Lookout where you can hike for around 700m and get this wonderful view :

Not bad right ?

A 700m walk seems pretty easy, but don’t let it fool you : it is very very steep ! In fact, it is a class 4 hike, which are the most difficult ones. What is great about the hike though is that it is not too long, so you really don’t need to be an athlete to complete the walk. There is not a lot of shade on the way to the top and it does get pretty warm at this time of the year, so if you have he chance, try to go in the morning. It takes around 1h to 1h 30 minutes to do the entire loop, so you have plenty of time to go hit the local beaches of the Sunshine Coast after, or even complete one of the other hikes around if you are brave ! One last tip : if you do not feel like getting led by Google maps to an abandoned farm nearby, make sure to research how to get there before leaving Brisbane.

All in all, this hike is definitely worth it and I recommend it 100% !

 

 

Getting fit on a budget at QUT

Working out is a great way to release stress and help you maintain a good body shape and health. Besides the low-cost exercise like running and jogging, there are many options you can choose from to stay fit with a low cost at uni.

  • Join a sports club

In QUT, there are lots of social sports clubs you can choose from. It is a great way to keep fit while meeting new friends. If you just want to de-stress and not work out too much, QUT MY(Meditation and Yoga) Club might be a good option.

I joined QUT MY Time this semester and went for the yoga workshop 2 times a week. I can say it helps a lot when it comes to finding inner peace and be less stressed. The membership fee for one year is only 10 dollar. What a bargain!

 

 

 

 

🙂 🙂

  • Use the swimming pool on campus

It was only until this semester that I started using the swimming pool in QUT Health Stream at Gardens Point campus. This is an olympic standard pool.

The cost for one entrance ranges from $5 to $8 dollar depending on how many passes you buy as a bundle. Besides that, they also run adult swimming classes on weekend which is very helpful especially for me as I can’t swim very well and in Australia pretty everyone can swim.

Picture from Healthstream Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Join the free Medibank Feel Good Program

Starting from March, Medibank Feel Good Program started and it will last for ten weeks. They have a range of free workshops ranging from zumba to ballet fit. You don’t need to prepare anything for the workshop, just simply show up and you will also get free yoghurt at the end.

It is only 15 minutes by walk from QUT to get to the venue of the workshop which is located in Southbank.

 

Let’s get fit together in the new semester!

ISAQ Welcoming Party

ISAQ (Indonesian Student Association of QUT) is an association for Indonesian students who study at QUT. ISAQ is also open to all other QUT students who have interests with Indonesia. This association holds events regularly.

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Cooking is Fun!

It has been one year and seven months since I came to Australia. I still remember when I first came here, I found the living expense was very expensive. So I almost cooked every meal for myself even though it didn’t taste that good.

Gradually, I got busier and busier with university and managed to find a job to support myself. As a result, I got lazy with cooking because:

  1. Prepare food took a lot of time.
  2. Even though I spent time on cooking, it didn’t necessarily taste good.

So after about 2 months, I kind of gave up cooking and bought meal outside most of the time. However recently, I started cooking and gradually had an interest in baking.

I guess it is due to the fact that I was inspired by a friend who loves cooking and always say to me: Food is life, good for soul! I lived with her for a month when I came back from my exchange and didn’t have a place to live. She cooked different meal everyday and they all tasted extremely good. Watching her cooking made me feel that cooking itself is fun and it doesn’t take that long to prepare for a delicious meal.

Spent 15 dollar making 4 portions of pasta.

That day I missed the pork meat bun so much that I tried to make it myself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After moving out, I started subscribing different Youtube channels on cooking and try to cook food according to it. So far I tried to cook traditional Sichuan style boiling fish, banana bread, pizza, pasta and sponge cake. Not only did I save money from cooking, I also felt a sense of accomplishment!

Lemon sponge cake

Home-made pizza

Banana bread!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking is life, good for soul!

Fun Day Trip: Gardner’s Falls

Want an exciting, new place for a swim other than the beach? Look no further than Gardner’s Falls.

As an exchange student from the United States, I have been eager to get out and explore as much as possible in and around Brisbane. Located in Maleny, just about 90 kilometers’ drive from the city, Gardner’s Falls is exactly my ideal day trip. As much as I love the beach, it’s nice to swim in fresh water for a change. Gardner’s Falls is in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, so there are beautiful views of the mountains and surrounding land on the drive to and from the swimming hole. Once you are there, it’s a perfect location to set up camp for the day with a group of friends and have a picnic while soaking in the sun. Once you’ve had enough relaxing though… You have to try out the rope swing.

I personally am a huge adrenaline junkie, so when my friend told me there was a big rope swing we could go to, I was 100% in. It completely met my expectations too! These pictures don’t do the swing the justice it deserves. You can control how much air you get depending on how high up you perch yourself to start your swing. I may love a good thrill, but I sure am not as daring as the people doing flips off the swing. I’d rather be a spectator when it comes to those crazy feats! Be very careful if you choose to attempt any tricks when you visit Gardner’s Falls.

For those who are slightly intimidated by the height of the first rope swing, don’t fret–there’s a smaller rope swing for you to try out. Of course, the picture just so happens to be showing someone doing a flip… But no need to do anything fancy! It’s exhilarating enough to just swing through the air into the water.

If you REALLY aren’t feeling the rope swings, you can simply watch from the rocks and hang out! There were also people jumping off the rocks into the water. The water is very deep and is a safe depth to jump into. Just be sure the area you’re about to jump into is clear of any other swimmers!

QUT Dance Showcase

I came across QUT Dance Facebook page last time and knowing that they were recruiting volunteer photographer for their upcoming showcase. I registered to volunteer as the photographer and would like to share my volunteering experience with you guys.

I went for their rehearsal and one of the showcases to take the photos.

The following photos are some of the performances during the day.

At the end of the showcase, the performers danced together and thanks the audiences for their coming.

I enjoyed watching the showcase while taking the photos. If you are interested in watching the showcase, simply like their pages to get updated. Or you can also join the society if you would like to be one of the performers! Besides, there are some free dance classes for students who are keen in learning dancing to join throughout the semester as well.

 

 

Growing while studying

O-week was such a good chance to talk to new students and get to know more about them, (at the same time getting the $2 lunch deal! hehe).

It’s my forth semester in QUT. As the semester started, I can’t help but to reflect on the previous semesters and realised I have encountered many new experiences and have grown a lot. I used to be quite reserved and could possibly be quiet around people I am not familiar with. But coming to Brisbane for study, I have to step out of my comfort zone to be more outgoing.

During tutorials, I would have to get involved in discussion and interact with my course mates. I used to have low confidence in public speaking. But most of my units required oral presentations and this really force me to overcome my shyness.  And during group works, I would be able to group up and work together with different people. I have learnt a lot about working together as a team and it’s always fun to listen to different point of view. It’s also nice to see how different individuals have their own working styles.

QUT is a university with students from various nationalities. There are many opportunities for me to meet friends from all across the world and learn a lot about their cultures. Studying in QUT has made me experience so much of my personal growth in just two years!

Throwback to my New Zealand Adventures

As an exchange student, January and February were the perfect opportunity for me to explore the great country that is New Zealand. Since it is approximately 14 400 km away from my hometown (Montreal, Canada), I decided I had to see EVERYTHING, from Auckland to deep down the South Island. Even after 18 stops and a lot of time spent on the bus admiring the scenic roads, I still can’t say I am a New Zealand expert, as there are way too many gorgeous places to see over there. However, I still managed to see quite a lot, and I can definitely say that I am now in love with the country.

So, for those of you who might want to head to New Zealand during semester break or even this Winter, here are the places I think you will not want to miss:

  1. Queenstown

The adventure capital of the world! If you ever have the chance to visit New Zealand, DO NOT miss Queenstown! In only 4 days, I skydived, went on a luge ride, hiked the Ben Lomond mountain, went on a cruise through Milford Sound and of course, ate a lot of Fergburgers (some of the best burgers in the world). Other activities include bungee jumping, canyon swinging, jetboating, mountain biking and a lot more! Even if you are not a thrill seeker, Queenstown is still very enjoyable. The town is surrounded by mountains and has a very chilled-out vibe, so it is really for everyone, whatever your age or interests.

  1. Taupo

The town might be quite small, but the lake next to it definitely is not! Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and the second largest in Oceania with a surface of 616 square km. The lakeside town is lovely, but most travelers head over there for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the best day hike in New Zealand. It is basically a 7h loop hike that will take you around heaps of different landscapes, from mountains and volcanoes to lush forests. If you are not that much of a hiker, the Tongariro National Park has so much to offer, and a lot of very easy walks can take you around to see its gorgeous surroundings.

  1. The Coromandel Peninsula

I don’t think there is any beach quite like the ones I saw in that region. Unfortunately, I only stayed one day over there, but it was still absolutely worth it. My hostel was only a short walk from the very famous Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own spa pool on the beach. The water gets VERY hot during low tide due to the geothermal activity close by. If you dig in the wrong spots, you might even (slightly) burn yourself! But if you do it right, it is an absolutely unique and amazing experience.

  1. Wanaka

Some people say that Wanaka is just a smaller Queenstown, but these people are wrong. Wanaka is a unique place for sure. Surrounded by lakes and mountains, the hiking possibilities over there are endless. Roy’s Peak is definitely the most popular and rewarding hike in my opinion, but there are heaps of less demanding and still worthwhile walks in the area. If you are a nature lover, you will fall in love with Wanaka in moments.

  1. Lake Tekapo

I am still not sure if this place was even real. The turquoise water of the lake and the mountains in the background might even make you weep a little. At night, most people head to the lovely Church of Good Sheperd where you can actually see the Milky Way in the night sky. I was fortunate enough to be there in the right time of the year for that (late summer), but even if you go in the Winter, you will see more stars then you’ve ever seen at once for sure.

So there you have it folks! Hopefully I’ve convinced you to put New Zealand on your bucket list. Just know that wherever you go in this country, whether it’s somewhere on that list or not, you will leave knowing that you have to come back again.

Brisbane – An active city

It doesn’t take long after arriving in Brisbane to realise what an active city it is. No matter the time of day, runners, bikers, and walkers can be found. What a beautiful city to do it in too! There are many marked paths for pedestrians and bikers throughout Brisbane, which make it safe to do whatever activity you like best. Not only is it safe, but the view is wonderful as well. All along the Brisbane River paths can be found and being along the river gives a nice cool breeze, which is especially nice when the Brisbane sun decides to create ridiculously warm temps.

If it’s a challenge to motivate yourself and get out the door, Brisbane also has many fun runs and other road races to sign up for. The perfect way to get active and feel good. Invite your friends and make it fun! Brisbane is the perfect place to be outside and moving about.

Orientation Lunch

Monday, 20 February 2017 marked the commencement of O-Week at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for academic calendar 2017. There was a lot of interesting events during the O-Week. One of the interesting events that caught my eyes was the $2 lunches. It was simply because you cannot get $2 worth of lunches anywhere near QUT. Because of that, this event was included in my must-attend events during the O-Week and in which I always had my lunch during the O-Week (of course because of the price). Read more