Exploring Australia!

By Vitoria Spoorenberg, University of Sydney

Exploring new places has been one of the most exciting parts of studying abroad. My mid-semester break was the perfect time to travel since we had a one week ‘holiday’ from university.

I made unforgettable memories with great friends and it is an experience I will cherish forever.

We started the trip in Byron Bay, drove along the Sunshine coast, stopped in Noosa Beach and ended on Fraser Island.

My writing would never do those places justice, so I made a video instead. Hope you enjoy a glimpse into my travels!



Some more general travel tips:

1) Flights

  • For cheap flights in Australia look on JetStar or Skyscanner
  • JetStar has promotions/flash sales every Friday which are worthwhile checking out
  • Clear your ‘cookies’ on Safari/Chrome before booking flights – annoyingly, airlines and booking websites tend to raise prices if you repeatedly search for tickets

2) Car rental 

  • It can be difficult to rent cars in Aussie as most rental companies require you to be 21 and have a ‘young drivers’ fee
  • The most student-friendly companies are ‘JucyCars’ and ‘Car Next Door’ (no fee and you only have to be 18 to rent)
  • Book in advance if possible because cars sell out quickly, especially during the public holidays
  • Approval on the ‘Car Next Door’ app can take up to 2 weeks!

3) Go to Fraser Island with a tour guide/travel company

  • Navigating Fraser alone is challenging since there are no roads (only sand paths), very few directions and no service
  • You need permits and a 4WD if you want to drive/camp on Fraser alone
  • We went with a tour company called ‘Pippies Beach House’ in a group of 25 other students
  • ‘Cool Dingos’ is also a good tour company to go with and good value for money
  • You still drive your own cars and are in your own groups but you follow the experienced tour guide and his/her itinerary
  • It was really sociable, fun and a great way to meet new people

To end this blog post, I think it’s important to note that exploring new places during your semester abroad doesn’t require expensive and extravagant trips. In Sydney especially, you’re surrounded by the most amazing places which are perfect for one-day/weekend trips.

The Blue Mountains National Park, Palm Beach and Jervis Bay are all two-hours by public transport/driving and are equally beautiful !

If you want more specific travel tips/advice, feel free to email me: vitoria.valadaospoorenberg@student.manchester.ac.uk or message me on Facebook! I’m more than happy to help!

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