Student Report by Irene G.
Why ICMS – and Australia?
Some of you might have chosen ICMS not only because of the university itself or because of Sydney, but also because of the curiosity of discovering Australia. Australia is a beautiful, adventurous and many-sided country. You should travel before, during or after your stay at ICMS, because it is definitely worth it! Since you are not a work and traveller, you won’t be able to spend several weeks or even months in one place, but still you can take time to visit some of the nicest places for a few days. In the following I’m going to tell you about my 4-week trip I did before starting the trimester at ICMS.
Byron Bay – Brisbane- Whitsunday Islands – Melbourne
Me, my sister, and two of her flatmates went up to Byron Bay for 3 days. Byron Bay is a small, but very popular town at the east coast between Sydney and Brisbane. For surfers and hippies it is the place to be! The people are relaxed, walk barefoot, play music and sing. The beaches are long, picturesque and most of them deserted. Go to Tallows beach, do the lighthouse walk for sunrise or sunset and visit the Minion Falls at the Nightcap National Park.
After Byron Bay I drove with the Greyhound Bus (which is the cheapest option) to Brisbane for one day and one night. Brisbane is a beautiful city with tall buildings along a huge river. Right in the city centre there is a fake beach with two swimming pools where you can swim for free!
Then I headed to the Whitsunday Islands. There I met with my sister again. We had booked a tour on a catamaran for two days and two nights. The tour included all meals as well as the pre and post accommodation in a hostel at Airlie beach. The Whitsundays are amazingly beautiful and the boat tour was so much fun! Every evening a tent was pitched on the boat for us to sleep and in the morning we went snorkelling at the reefs. We spent one afternoon at the famous Whitehaven Beach that is – as you can see from the picture – one of the most stunning beaches of the world! And again, it’s totally deserted!
Once I left the Whitsunday Islands I flew by myself to Melbourne. I stayed at St. Kilda, which is the young and alternative beach suburb of Melbourne. I spent there almost one week. I either went to the beach or to the city centre with some people I met at the hostel. One day I went to an electronic music festival right at the beach- its name is For The Love Festival.
My Travel Tipp: Tasmania
Where you should definitely go is to Tasmania. Many people forget about this Australian state when travelling because it is an island that you can only reach by plane or ferry. But its stunning nature combined in one place (as big as Ireland) is worth to see. I booked a one-week tour by bus (via YHA) to see the whole island. 2/3st of the island are National Parks with beautiful mountains and waterfalls. The east coast of Tasmania is full of awesome bays; one of these is the famous Wineglass Bay.
After Tasmania I flew to Adelaide to visit a friend. He brought me to Second Valley and some other nice places along the coastal south. What you should definitely do is the Great Ocean Road that connects Adelaide with Melbourne, visit the Great Barrier reef at Cairns and of course Ayers Rock in the Outback! I haven’t been to these places yet but I am about to go there during the trimester. Normally you have one or two days off during the week so travelling for a few days is totally possible.
Hopefully I could give you a good overview of what is worth seeing in Australia. You will love the country and probably decide to stay longer than planned. Have fun!