Welcome back one and all to your favourite Unimelb student blogger! I’m back on the other side of the ditch for another semester and I couldn’t be happier!
I’ve got an exciting semester starting off and I can’t wait to share it all with you all!
First of all, I’d like to start off with one of, if not, the most exciting thing I did over the summer, my February intensive course. So you might be wondering, hold on a minute, what’s an intensive course? Well, let me explain. An intensive course is a subject that is usually taught over an entire semester compressed into a very short period of time. The closest equivalent to Auckland would be summer class. However, whereas summer classes tends to span over a few weeks at least, my intensive subject lasted only one week!
That’s right! Starting classes on Monday 8:30am and finishing with 2 exams on Friday. This subject is called Australia in the Wine World (AGRI10039) which is taught at Unimelb’s agricultural and veterinary Dookie Campus located 2 hours away from the Parkville Campus. It covers the basics of wine-tasting, grape varieties, viticulture and European wines. On Thursday, we had the opportunity to visit a nearby winery to taste their wines and learn about the winery’s history.
Returning back for the official start of the semester was also a very welcomed feeling. I managed to catch the famed SummerFest that lasted throughout O-Week at before the start of the semester, and compared to WinterFest last semester, I definitely felt the heat and excitement for the start of a new year! There were so many different clubs and stands that gave away free food or small trinkets that i would constantly go just so I could save some money to spend on other things.
Along with the start of a new semester, I decided to stay and discover more of Australia this semester for my midsem break which lead me on an adventure to the tropical paradise of Cairns which is the home to the Great Barrier Reef. despite looking so close on the map, the climate between Melbourne and Cairns couldn’t have been more different. Whereas Melbourne was experiencing a chilly autumn, Cairns was still as hot as ever with scorching days and tolerable nights after the sun has set. I took advantage of this weather and went on many different activities around the city and surrounding waters.
The first on my list was a rainforest tubing trip that saw us travelling down the Mulgrave river to experience the surrounding nature as the water helped to cool us down. Going down the river gave me an awesome view of the rainforest up close and personal and near the end, I also had dragonflies fly up and rest on my leg as I floated downstream.
The next day, I was keen on taking a peek on the surrounding islands so I hopped on a boat to the famed Fitzroy Island. When I say that Fitzroy Island is a must-go, I really mean it. The entire island is covered in lush greenery and absolutely beautiful beaches, where there were coral reefs lining the shore. I spent a good few hours in the water and then went about exploring the island where I took a walk through the secret garden and saw birds, butterflies and many skinks that roamed the rainforest.
Third day was the most exciting as I went on a cruise to the surrounding coral reefs and got the chance to go scuba diving and snorkelling! I encountered all sorts of marine life such as snappers, parrotfish, sea cucumber, giant clams, starfish, corals and many more. Scuba diving was a lot harder than I thought as every metre that you descended, you needed to equalise which is the act of popping your eardrum to alleviate the water pressure. Snorkelling was a lot less straining on your body and only required a good attitude and an eye for the details.
All in all, I’m so happy to be back in Australia, and I can’t wait to share more with all of you!!!
Till next time!
Your friendly Unimelb guide 🙂