on my way Backpacking, roadtripping and travelling the world


Finally some days off from uni

Time passes so fast, that I even didn't realise my first two months of uni are already over. The last days were quite tough, as because of the week off due to the floods, the exams and papers were quite concentrated in the last week of February. So I ended up working during the nights for several days, and my flatmate Sarah even compared me with a possum — sleeping during the day, active all night. Hopefully it was worth it so waiting for my results.

After these stressful days (or nights) I was really looking forward to my first break between the 6-week teaching periods. Together with my flatmate Axel we rented out a camper van and went on a 4-day road trip towards the South and the Gold Coast.
Our first destination was Byron Bay, where we spend two days. The weather wasn't as good as desired, but on the first day in Byron after some time the sun finally came out. We drove to the lighthouse and walked the peninsula hike passing the most easterly point of Australia.
From the tip of the peninsula we had a nice view overlooking the bay and the Julian Rocks 3 km offshore. That's the place I visited in the next morning on a boat — geared up with scuba gear and reedy to dive. The currents there were the strongest for four years, so our guide took us on a drift dive, which was pretty exciting. The good thing was, that the currents attracted a big manta ray measuring up to 4 metres wingspan. It was just awesome to watch this huge ray gliding gently through the water. Besides this I saw a couple of Leopard Sharks lying on the sand, two huge turtles and some school of fish. Altogether this was by far the best dive I had until now. I had some beautiful dives in the Philippines, but didn't see some big stuff.
After the dive we headed inland to see some of the National Parks in the rainforest. Again I was amazed how green and hilly Australia is, just some kilometres off the coastline. In Nightcap National Park we visited the Minyon Falls that drop 100 metres down a steep cliff. After a night in rainy Nimbin we drove back towards Brisbane, passing the hilly hinterland. The rainy weather didn't allow us to climb Mount Warning, but in Springbrook National Park we took a look at the Natural Bridge. This bridge made out of stone was shaped by water over thousands of years. Under the bridge there is a cave where bats and glow worms can be found. It was too bright for the glow worms but we could hear and see some of the bats flying around in the cave. On our way back to the car we encountered a small lizard that was sitting on top of a rock and didn't mind being photographed.
The 'Best of all Lookouts' didn't keep his promise because the clouds were really low in the meantime and there was no lookout at all, so we decided to head back to Brisbane.
After having returned the van on Sunday morning I joined Eva on the Batty Boat Cruise up the Brisbane River. We left on the afternoon and had a pleasant boat ride to Indooroopilly Island where we watched the flying foxes as they started to awake just shortly after sunset. After a while the whole sky was almost black as hundreds of bats started flying around in order to find food. On our way back we passed the beautifully illuminated skyline of Brisbane - a perfect ending for a couple of days off.

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