By Tom Collins (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia).
Having to wake up at 4:30am, I can’t say I was exactly excited (I love my sleep). This morning, as always seems to be the case with flights, didn’t go according to plan. My brother lost the car keys, but luckily my sister had stayed at ours that night so she took me to the airport! Crisis averted.
The flight itself was so much better than I thought it would be. First was a seven hour flight to Abu Dhabi. I didn’t get to see much of Abu Dhabi as I just ran through the airport to get to the gate. The next flight was delayed an hour and a half. It took eleven hours and I slept for about five of those. I landed in Perth at 2:30pm to 32C, just a tad hotter than Salford.
I’d flown to Perth because I have family living there. It actually worked out a similar price flying to Perth and then getting an internal flight to Canberra as it would to fly straight to Canberra. It might be worth considering this as flights to Canberra are often more expensive than other Australian cities. For the same price, therefore, I could visit another major city in Australia on my trip.
Perth was amazing. I only had three days there (I’ll return for a few weeks at the end), in that time, however, I visited Mullaloo Beach, Yanchep Lagoon and Caversham National Park. At Caversham I saw kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and loads more Aussie animals. The last time I saw a kangaroo was when I was in Perth when I was twenty months old. That time I decided to chase the kangaroos. There are now signs up saying ‘DO NOT CHASE THE KANGAROOS’. I’d like to think these were put up because of me. The kangaroos were amazing! They were so placid and you could stroke and feed them as though they were dogs. One did decide to grab my map and start eating it and refused to let go of it, however. I’d definitely recommend Perth and I can’t wait to go back for longer.
I then had a flight to Canberra which only lasted four hours. Checking in for an internal flight is a lot less stressful than an international flight. I got to Canberra at about 11pm, and when I got to my accommodation there was pretty much nobody around. I’m staying at Burton and Garran Hall, which is the cheapest (I think) at $405 a fortnight. This works out to just over £100 a week. I was shown to my room and I skyped my family.
Next time I’ll tell you about O-week (their equivalent of Freshers) and my first few weeks of lectures when reality actually starts to bite. I also plan to blog about academic and social differences between Australia and the UK and any trips I make around Australia.