Australia often surprises a lot of international students because it is much bigger than you think it is! Did you know that Australia is almost the same size as mainland USA? It has 10,685 beaches and it would take you around 29 years to visit one new beach every day. From the weird and wonderful wildlife to the stunning scenery it is difficult to know where to start exploring. So here are my top tips for international students in Australia, on some of my favourite places to visit while you are over there.
1. Sail the Whitsunday Islands
At the top of my list of places for international students to visit in Australia are the Whitsunday islands. Made up of 74 islands (69 uninhabited) this magical place is surrounded by clear turquoise water, secluded bays and pure white sand. The only way to explore it is by boat, but there are lots of options available. From yacht hire companies starting at AUD$365 a night for a six-person yacht to Whitsunday tours.
2. The Penguin Parade – Phillip Island
Watch the world’s smallest and probably cutest little penguins returning home at sunset to one of the largest colonies in Australia. With as many as 32,000 returning home (after breeding in the summer) on a given night, it is quite an experience.
3. Dive with great white sharks in Port Lincoln
If you are an overseas student looking for a bit of adventure, book yourself onto a white shark tour! There’s no feeling quite like coming face to face with one of the worlds most supreme predators from behind a cage. It’s definitely an experience to remember and one you won’t forget any time soon!
4. Watch baby turtles hatch in Queensland
Every year between January and March, tiny baby turtles emerge at a handful of beaches along the Queensland coast of northern Australia. You can watch them appear for the first time as they burrow out of their small holes and head towards the ocean to begin their lives. There are five perfect locations along the coast where you can witness these baby turtles hatching. Follow the link below to find out more…
5. Drive The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is famous for being one of the best road trips in the world. You could drive it in three hours, but my advice for international students would be to take your time and drive the route over a couple of days because there are so much wildlife and natural beauty to be seen. Visit the famous surf spots of Torquay and Bells Beach. Drive along shipwreck coast and see the Twelve Apostles (a picturesque collection of towering limestone). Stop off and explore lush forests and walk through waterfalls at Great Otway National Park. And finish your journey with the famous whale watching waters of Warrnambool, where every June to October whales come to give birth.
6. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
This enormous nature reserve in Australia’s northern territory offers so much to see! You could easily spend 3 or 4 days exploring this beautiful national park. From wetlands, rivers, waterfalls, swimming holes, sandstone escarpments and vast amounts of wildlife – it has it all! For any international students looking for wildlife, the best time of year to go is toward the end of dry season, particularly Yellow Waters Lagoon. You will see all types of wildlife crowded into shrinking wetlands.
7. Visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge
As one of the first places in the world to welcome in the new year, the world-famous Sydney Harbour puts on the most spectacular fireworks display that is not to be missed. The night will be filled with fantastic spectacles, but the real show starts at midnight when the pyrotechnic display illuminates the sky from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House, and the harbour barges. If you don’t get the opportunity to visit during New Years the Harbour Bridge is still well worth a visit. You can actually climb to the top of the bridge 440 ft above sea level. When you get to the top you will be rewarded with an incredible 360º view of Sydney.
8. The Great Barrier Reef, off the Queensland coast
A trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the breathtaking beauty of the worlds largest coral reef. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is larger than the great wall of China and is the only living thing on earth visible from space! Whether you view it by aircraft, glass-bottomed boat, snorkelling or scuba diving, this beautiful reef filled with marine life is a once in a lifetime experience for anyone visiting Australia!
9. Learn to surf
If you have ever wanted to give surfing a try, where could be better to learn thaN the warm sunny climate of Australia? Whether you rent a board and have a go by yourself, or book yourself into a surf school, it doesn’t matter. Either way, you will have a lot of fun.
If you aren’t sure where to start and would prefer to learn from the experts follow the link below to discover the best surfing spots and schools in Australia.
10. Have a BBQ on the beach
There are a few things every overseas student should experience whilst visiting Australia. One of those things is having a BBQ on a beech. You will find free to use bbq’s all over Australia but some of the most highly recommended BBQ beaches include:
• Main Beach – Gold Coast
• Alexandra Headlands
• Bribie Island