What better way to experience the Sunshine Coast than going on a whale safari, abseiling the Glass House Mountains, or gallop down the beach? We have gathered some of the coolest things to do on the Coast and believe us – you can’t do this everywhere!
Experience the extraordinary at this seasonal whale watching cruise! The humpback whale migration is one of the most magnificent natural encounters we can have. You can feel the excitement all around as you will look along the horizon for the first blow or splash from these gentle giants. These amazing animals can sense us near them and curiously swim up to see our excitement – get up close to experience their breathtaking breaches, loud tail and pec slaps, tail lobs, spy hops and performing their classic peduncle throws!
Equathon Horse Riding in Noosa can provide you with an amazing experience on horseback, regardless of your experience! You can choose between bush or beach rides, 1 or 2 hours. We believe this might be one of the coolest ways to experience the Noosa North Shore! Equathon’s Australian Stock Horses are skilfully trained and are experienced in all locations, including the Noosa Trail Network, Noosa North Shore, and a diverse range of other stunning trails across the Sunshine Coast.
The TreeTop Challenge has something for every age and fitness! We love how these obstacles are suited for everyone, ranging from green to black lanes. If you’re a bit afraid of heights, this is something you should consider doing as it will make you heaps braver and experience a feeling of achievement! It’s super fun and you get to spend as long as you want there, but we recommend you to book an early start time as it can get a bit crowded in the middle of the day.
This is something for adrenaline junkies! Experience something a bit out of your comfort zone and absail the mountains with a view over the Sunshine Coast! Soak up the view of the surrounding glasshouse mountains as your guide attaches you to the rope and safety line for you to enjoy the controlled descent down the rock face above the tree lines. Your guide moves the abseil locations throughout the duration of the activity. The best part? You can abseil the mountain as many times as you like during your session.
What better way to explore Noosa than cruising through the rivers whilst simply sitting back and soaking it all in? Cruise into the dark tranquil mirrored waterways of the famous Noosa Everglades, and take a swim in pristine waters or photograph the wildlife. After morning tea, enjoy a leisurely river cruise back to your base, where a roast lunch will be ready for you. Enjoy the beautiful views of lake Cootharaba whilst eating and maybe even spot a few kangaroos before heading back to Noosa. We reckon this might be one of the best experiences, so get amongst it!
Jet boating taken to the next level! This jet boat thrill ride actually uses the waves, to spin, jump and surf! Strap in and hang on, you’re heading out into the open ocean, using the surf like never before! Experience some amazing manoeuvres, including jet boat spins, wave jumping and more. Your jet boat ride takes you along the Mooloolaba river out the bar into the ocean. Sit back and hold on as you are taken on a ride you won’t forget – it’s loads of fun! You are seated in racing seats with 4 point safety harnesses, in the fully enclosed and air-conditioned cabin to maximise your comfort and safety. No need to wear bulky and uncomfortable life jackets! No getting soaking wet and cold. Pure thrills at its best!
Bakkenteigen receives a number of internationals each semester, the majority being Spanish. As the only Australian, the most asked question of me became ‘Why would you come to Norway?’
I had a few reasons, and my answer changed with each person to ask. However, the most honest answer was that I made the obligatory promise everyone makes to their international friends to visit once they returned home. Sooner than anyone expected though, I made good on my promise. Of course, there were other reasons, such as wanting to experience another culture and its history, but the next major reason revolved around the one thing on my bucket list: I wanted to see snow.
There were a handful of truly memorable moments. First, a drive to Sweden to ‘buy groceries’, AKA, a standard trip Norwegians make to buy cheap alcohol and stock up on lollies. Driving to other countries isn’t such a casual occurrence in Australia. Another was seeing snow for the first time. As anyone from south-east Queensland will tell you, we don’t see much snow here, and as someone whose family avoids the cold, I didn’t have many opportunities to experience the snowfall in Australia. I was definitely surprised to find out that snow is wet and well, cold.
There were many other firsts too, such as watching leaves change colour and fall in autumn, and then cross-country skiing in winter; discovering that with sleet and cold weather comes ice and slippery surfaces, and realising as I watched children fall over, get up and continue running from my spot on the ground that perhaps I wasn’t cut out for what cold weather brought after all.
I had the opportunity to do so much during my semester in Norway – travelling in Europe is so cheap! – and even though I didn’t get around to seeing everything I wanted to, I’m grateful for the time between my studies that allowed for me to explore. I was able to see not just the parts of Norway my friends lived in, but also Verdens Ende (the world’s end), the mountain Gaustatoppen, and other countries too, such as Sweden, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands too.
At Bakkenteigen, whilst the courses and material are different, the study itself is not that dissimilar to USC. With my particular course however, the tutors tried to make things easier for the students by making each assessment piece a group project as there are generally not many native English speakers in the class.
A few tips for those looking to study in Norway:
Make sure your courses are given in English, and in saying this;
Communication isn’t an issue. Most Norwegians are quite modest about their English when they have no reason to be, and they’re always happy to help, if only you ask.
Go out of your way to introduce yourself and make friends. Some may come off cold and standoffish, but really all it takes is for you to make the first move (or a little bit of alcohol).
Double check that your luggage is being sent straight through to your destination and that your travel insurance covers lost or damaged luggage.
There are so many festivals in Australia that you should check out, with everything from genres such as electro, rock, dubstep, pop and indie music! We have put together a list of 15 festivals in Australia that we believe you should check out whilst studying!
Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple Music Festival is held every year in Mayand is the biggest festival on the Coast. With well-know local and Australian artists such as Peking duk, Broods and PNAU headlining in 2019, The festival has steadily grown in profile and popularity, and is regularly sold out. With a growing list of annual events, The Big Pineapple Music Festival is now an event of national standing, having been awarded one of Australia’s top regional music festivals!
2. Woodford Folk Festival – Woodfordia, QLD
Held every New Years Eve, Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music and cultural festival held near the semi-rural town of Woodford, 72 km north of Brisbane. It is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia where approximately 125,000 people attend the festival every year. With approximately 2000 performers and 438 events, this festival is featuring local, national and international guests.
3. Festival X – Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne
Fairly new on the market, Festival X which kicks off on November 29th in Brisbane, will feature some huge headliners such as Calvin Harris, Armin Van Buuren and Lil Pump, the perfect mix for those who want to experience some top American artists. Australian artists such as Alison Wonderland, Anna Lunoe and Godlands will also be there to give you the real Aussie experience, so you really just have to book a ticket and see for yourself – you probably won’t be disappointed!
4. Splendour in the Grass – Byron Bay Parklands, NSW
Splendy, what should we say? This is definitely the festival for all ages and people, and there is so much to do that we could have spent a whole day writing about it. Held in the North Byron Parklands every July, the 2019 version featured some of the greatest artist on this planet. Experience some of the best Australian and American artists, visit the Tipi Forest, Global Village, The Bohemian Lounge, The World Stage, and much much more! The opportunities are endless and there’s no question about why this festival attracts people from all over Australia and even internationally. You just have to experience it for yourself, it’s something unique!
5. Falls Festival – Byron Bay Parklands & Tasmania
Starting it off with Splendour in July, there is not time for withdrawals having Falls Festival right around the corner. Similar to Splendour (except from being held in the middle of the summer and you’ll probably be sweaty all the time), Falls this year will feature Halsey, Vampire Weekends, and Peking Duk (even Lewis Capaldi!) so this might be something you don’t want to miss out on. What better way to celebrate the New Year right?
6. Listen Out – Brisbane Showgrounds, Queensland
Listen Out, this is one of our favourites! Held every September/October (yes, it’s right around the corner!), this festival will bring you dance, electro and hip hop with artist such as 6lack, Biscits, Cosmo’s Midnight, Denzel Curry and Diplo. Being a popular festival for Sunny Coast people, in addition to The Big Pineapple Festival, this festival will give you more of a city-vibe. With two stages, you can easily move from one to the other if both of your favourite acts are on! Accommodation is normally easy to find being that it’s located in the heart of Brisbane, but be quick – it’s always sold out!
7. Grass is Greener – Gold Coast, QLD
We’ve lost count in terms of how many new festivals there are this year, but we are not complaining! Event though Grass is Greener has been around since 2016, it has recently picked up here in Queensland and will be kicking off on the 19th of October in Gold Coast. Tyga will be headlining along with Amy Shark, Hermitude and The Veronicas. If you already know you won’t be able to make it to Gold Coast, they are giving you a second opportunity to experience the festival in Cairns on the 26th. To us, it is not too expensive and definitely sounds like the grass must be greener at that festival, considering their line-up.
8. Wildlands Festival – Brisbane Showgrounds, QLD
Wildlands is a brand new, unique one-day dance festival. Happening at the end of December, Wildlands is the brain child of two of Australia’s most loved festivals. Beyond The Valley and Origin Fields founders have promised the biggest and most exciting dance, electronic and hip-hop acts, both national and international. This year’s lineup will feature sets from RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, Skepta, Ella Mai and Green Velvet (info). With tickets around 170$, we believe this might be a good hit for those who don’t want to spend heaps of money on a three-day festival, but would still like to experience the best of the best right before New Years!
9. ULTRA Australia – Sydney & Melbourne
ULTRA came to Australia for the first time in 2018 featuring some big artists such as Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers and Marshmello. ULTRA originally being from America, the festival has now made itself popular on the Australian market. With March 7th & 8th on the schedule for next year, we recommend making it a long-weekend trip to Sydney or Melbourne to get the whole package!
10. Field Day – Sydney (New Years Day), NSW
Who experienced FOMO last year when missing out on Cardi B and Fisher performing? In saying that, this year might also live up to you expectations as we have Green Velvet, Dom Dolla, RL Grime, Skepta and many more performing – this is definitely scoring high on our top list of music festivals 2019! Celebrate the first day of 2020 with your friends in Sydney and experience the best of our Australian (and some American) performers.
11. Beyond The Valley – Lardner Parklands, VIC
Since it’s inception in 2014, the boutique music festival Beyond The Valley has grown into an annual party-goers haven. Running annually over the New Year’s Eve period, BTV’s carefully crafted selection of local and international artists perform across three distinctly designed, purpose-built stages. Each year, thousands of festival-goers from all over the globe travel to the lush Parklands of Lardner to experience Beyond The Valley (info). This year, (it’s unfortunately sold out), artists such as RÜFÜS DU SOL, Tyler, the Creator, 16BL and Bag Raiders will headline along with many more. Start planning for 2020 and be quick, the tickets can sometimes be hard to get a hold on!
12. Groovin The Moo – Oakbank, Bunbury, Bendigo, Canberra, Maitland, and Townsville
Ever since it’s kick-off in 2005, this festival has provided a groovy atmosphere! Held every year in May, the festival featured some big artists this year with Billie Eilish, Aurora and ASAP Twelvyy. There are heaps of locations to choose from, enabling you to literally plan your road trip everywhere! All of the shows sell out every year, so be quick if you want a hold of some tix next year!
13. Origin Fields – Perth, WA
Heads up, Perth seems to be your new NYE plan! Ring in 2020 with Tyler The Creator, Skepta, RL Grime, UK singer Ella Mai and another Aussie favourite, Golden Features. This not-to-miss-out-on festival is held from December 31st to January 1st and believe us, after reading this, you’re probably about to realise that there’s a lot of festivals around NYE. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but you now have a difficult decision to make!
14. SandTunes Music Festival – Gold Coast, QLD
Another new two-day festival which has definitely not been saving any money on artists, featuring LOGIC, Travis Scott and Dean Lewis. They have been met with some criticism being a bit expensive (would explain the lineup), and changing the venue just recently, but we believe with their new 1-day ticket, it’s definitely worth a go! However, if you’re the type of person who hates how 1-day festivals go too quick, this might be the reason to get a hold on that 2-day pass! Save some money and get amongst it, November 30th is right around the corner!
15. Laneway Festival – Brisbane, Sydney, Auckland, Adelaide & Fremantle
Last but not least, the Laneway festival in Brisbane which featured Cosmo’s Midnight, Crooked Colours, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and many more this year. It’s been around 15 years since it first kicked off, and it’s absolutely one of the favourites around Australia. Starting predominantly off as an indie music event, the festival grew in popularity and has expanded to five Australian cities, including Auckland, New Zealand and Singapore. Billie Eilish delivered a mind blowing concert this year, so there’s no reason to believe it won’t be any less next year.
Hi! My name is Jenna Dean and I am studying abroad here at USC through Rider University, New Jersey. I am studying to become an Elementary School teacher! Since I’m only here for one semester, I have hit the ground running trying to see everything Australia has to offer. My favourite place to explore around the Sunshine Coast is the Australia Zoo! I love being able to pet and feed the kangaroos up close. I also signed up to hold a koala and it was the best experience of my life! I’m also hoping that I will run into the Irwin’s during one of my visits.
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I’ve also seen the sights in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. While in Sydney, I loved being able to see the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Although it was very touristy, it was super worth it! For study break, I went to Melbourne. So far, it was my favourite trip. The best part was seeing Hosier Lane which has amazing street art that is constantly changing. Melbourne was the perfect city to walk around in and experience the culture of Australia. By the end of my stay at USC, I also hope to visit New Zealand and possibly the Great Barrier Reef!
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Being at USC and in the Sippy Downs area has been amazing because it has so much to offer. The bus system is amazing compared to back home, so I love hopping on the bus and go on a trip. One of my favourite places to go is the Sunshine Plaza. It’s a great place to grab lunch, shop around and even pick up groceries. Another great thing is how close we are to the beach! Mooloolaba beach is right around the corner, but my favourite is hiking around at Noosa and then relaxing at the beach. I’m hoping to learn how to surf by the end of my trip!! The area is so beautiful, and I love to just hop on the bus and explore new places around me, such as the town of Buderim or taking a hike around Kondalilla falls and then hanging out in the waterfall! The highlight of my stay so far has been skydiving! Thanks to Adventure Dudes and Skydive Noosa I had the free fall of a lifetime! Skydiving was something I never thought I would do before, but it was truly amazing, plus I got to land on a dog beach!
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So far, study abroad has really taught me how to appreciate other cultures and to be open to change. I’ve met so many people from a range of countries and getting to hear their stories is eye opening and exciting. I cannot wait to take everything I’ve learned and share it with my friends and family back home. To anyone who wants to study abroad in Australia or anywhere, I say, TAKE THE LEAP! It is totally worth it and will give you the adventure of a lifetime! Study abroad is what YOU make of it and is your chance to explore our beautiful world!