USC Alumni Max Peters from Germany: Leading The Way Into A Corporate Position

Max Peters from Germany (Philipps-Universität, Marburg) studied a Graduate Diploma in Public Relations back in 2010-11 at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Since then, Max has gained a position as a Senior Manager overlooking the Corporate Responsibility at Cosnova who focuses on colour cosmetics, brands and essence, aiming to develop products more sustainably regarding health, the environment and social responsibility.

Why did you choose to study at USC?

I wanted to get another academic as well as social perspective of the world before I entered the work life and Australia was always high on my list. I have been there two times before and the friendly and outgoing attitude, the Aussie lifestyle and the overall atmosphere had gripped me ever since I first came to Sydney in 2000. Plus: I wanted to live right at a nice beach for once in my life.

What did you end up doing after graduating from USC?

Right after my return to Germany, I wrote my master thesis in the sustainability department of a well-known German fashion brand “s.Oliver”, examining the subject of crisis communication and communicative approaches to overcome social compliance issues in global supply chains. Since then, I was working in several roles in the field of sustainability and social compliance almost exclusively in the context of global supply chain management. From fashion at “s.Oliver” and “Zalando” to rotating specials at “ALDI stores” to colour cosmetics at my current employer “cosnova” and its well-known brands “essence” and “Catrice”, consumer goods stand in the focus of my career.

Apart from managing and conducting audits in places like Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China, managing the overall social compliance program and more and more also the defining issue of our time – reducing our corporate carbon footprint to fight climate change – I have always acted as the link between the sustainability department and Public Relations. The PR-relevant tools I got to know at USC come in very handy when working with specialized as well as consumer facing media outlets, influencers, and political stakeholders

What were some of the main things you learned from studying at USC and living on the Sunshine Coast?

From the many things I gained from studying at USC, the most important one would be confidence in myself for managing not only obtaining a degree from a foreign university but also to meet new people, network and establish friendships with mates from total different backgrounds culturally as well as geographically.


Also, I learned to approach internal as well as external audiences with transparency and an Aussie-style openness no matter who they are and what their role might be. This has not always paid off, especially in very traditional and hierarchical German corporate environments. But in the end, this gave me the opportunity to get to my current role at Cosnova, a company that is very modern in terms of management-style, transparency as well as taking sustainability seriously.

Do you have any advise to students who want to study at USC as well?

Do it! You will not regret any moment or dollar spent! It may sound cheesy, but once you are there, enjoy every moment! Go to the beach as much as you can. Spend as much time as possible outdoors and enjoy this beautiful country. Travel around, party hard but don’t let your mates down when it comes to group work for uni. Don’t hang around with just your peers. Get to know other cultures and backgrounds. These memories will shape you forever.

– Max Peters

Jesse Weippert from DHBW Mosbach studying a Diploma in Business at USC Sunshine Coast

a9862114-a0fe-4fe9-b9ab-e07947b2a827Cheers mates,

My name is Jesse Weippert, I am from Germany and I was studying a Diploma in Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) for one semester. Probably not the best time to come over to Australia due to COVID-19, nevertheless it was a great experience studying overseas and an enjoyable lock-down as well.

Back in Germany I am studying a dual system, which includes an iteration of studying three months and working three months. Within three years, I will finish my degree and will have a high chance of retaining at the company I am currently working for. Part of this dual system is a semester abroad, which was supported from my company. The decision-making process of applying at USC was easy, since Australia has always attracted me very much and I wanted to improve my English. The application process was easy doing as well. The biggest hurdle was the payment of the semester fees, which, however, were financially supported by my company and for which I received a discount from my university. So, I only had to fill out the application form, show my academic transcript and show my English B2 level. By completing these forms, I got a lot of support from my home university and USC. The last step was then to select my courses for the semester. In order to complete a diploma, four courses are required, which I have arranged in consultation with my course director at my home university. However, I have to note here that I would have had to take more courses during my regular semester at home, so I have to retake exams after my semester abroad.

img_7698I arrived in Australia end of January prior to governments restrictions. I started doing a road trip at the west coast of Australia for four weeks, which I can highly recommend. After my road trip I headed to the Sunshine Coast to start the semester. At the beginning of the semester I had many plans to use my long weekends every week, and I wanted to see as much of Australia as possible. Due to my choice of courses I had no lectures from Friday to Monday evening, which would have been perfect for weekend trips. So, the first weeks before the lock-down, I was in Noosa, Byron Bay and Sydney. In retrospect, it must be said that the time in the lock-down was probably nowhere in the world faster than in Australia on the Sunshine Coast. The beach in Mooloolaba was still passable despite the lock-down, so I used the free time for surfing. I learned to dive and the connection within the student accommodation in Varsity became stronger. You got to know many new people, even if a large part flew back to their home countries at the beginning of the crisis.

All in all, I had a great time at the USC and I am proud to be a part of the USCi Brand Ambassador program.

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You Need To Check Out These Sunshine Coast Markets

We must say that the Sunshine Coast has some of the best markets, which are constantly becoming bigger and better. Experience local food, stalls, shops and artists – you’ll never have a dull weekend ever again!

Fisherman’s Road Markets 

  • Where: Fishermans Road / David Low Way, Maroochydore
  • When: Every Sunday from 6am to 12 (noon)
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The Fisherman’s market provides a really good Sunday-vibe with good food and lots to see! Fishermans Road Markets has been operated and managed for the past 20 years by the Lions Club of Mooloolaba and by shopping at this market, you are also supporting many community projects. There are up to 128 stalls offering a huge variety of items for sale including local and market fruit and Vegetables, Clothing (both new and pre-loved), pet treats, hand tools, books, popcorn, fresh seafood, 2nd hand items and so on. A cute market with it’s own charm!

Noosa Marina Markets 

  • Where: 2 Parkyn Court, Tewantin
  • When: Sundays 8am – 2pm
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After your leisurely Sunday breakfast or before a long Sunday lunch at Noosa Marina, take a stroll through our Sunday markets. Their art, craft and local produce market has an idyllic setting on the deck, overlooking the Noosa River. Take your time strolling around the many market stalls, where a variety of locally made craft items can be found along with the freshest of local produce. The atmosphere is alive with music and entertainment from local and interstate musicians. When it’s time to go home, let the Noosa Ferry take you on a relaxing ride from the markets to one of the stops along the river. (info)

Cotton Tree Markets 

  • Where: King Street, Cotton Tree, Maroochydore
  • When: Sunday 7am to noon
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The Cotton Tree Markets offer something for everyone. For 25 years the Cotton Tree Markets have featured local artisans, designers and inventors selling their own unique and creative works. This unique precinct is located near one of the Sunshine Coast’s most picturesque beaches. Enjoy a great day out exploring the market, shopping at the quality retailers, meeting friends for a coffee and bite to eat, followed by some time relaxing by the river. You will find a diverse and eclectic range of fashion such as jewellery, original artworks, sculptures, skincare, pottery, baking, homewares, plus so much more to suit all tastes and ages. Soak up the friendly market atmosphere and be entertained by local performers (info).

Marcoola Farmer’s Market 

  • Where: 10 Lorraine Avenue, Marcoola
  • When: Every Saturday Morning from 8am-12pm (noon)
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The Marcoola Market has something for everyone and provides you with a good vibe and great food! Enjoy organic produce, fresh fruit and veggies, meats, cheese, and other goodies. There are also plenty of sweet treats available, including raw and vegan options, which will keep you around for a while. Marcoola Market is also close to the beach, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy some good food with friends watching the ocean!

Eumundi Markets

  • Where: 80 Memorial Drive, Eumundi QLD 4562
  • When: Wednesdays 8am to 1.30pm and Saturdays 7am to 2pm
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Our favourite! The Original Eumundi Markets is the biggest and the best art and craft market in Australia. Meet the talented hands behind handcrafted furniture, homewares, artworks, ceramics, cutting-edge fashion and jewellery, and chat to the farmers and bakers selling fresh produce and gourmet delights. When you need a shopping break, rejuvenate with a massage, have your palm read or lose yourself in the stellar line-up of musicians and street performers. It’s an experience like no other (info).

 

Peregian Beach Markets

  • Where: Kingfisher Park. Peregian Beach QLD 4573
  • When: 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 7am – 12.30pm

The Peregian Beach Markets are held the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, 7am – 12.30pm, in the beautiful surroundings of Kingfisher Park on Kingfisher Drive at Peregian Beach.  If there are five Sundays in December or January an extra market will be held on that day. Well known for the variety of art, craft, up cycled, recycled, created, designed, manufactured, handmade, home grown, organic and fair trade.  This is a great place to pick up a gift or new outfit, enjoy a relaxing massage and stock your fridge and pantry. (info) Definitely check this market out, and this video:

Video retrieved from Dronehack Productions (link) (2019)

Featured Image: Eumundi Markets at Indulge Magazine

Visit Popular Local Spots Close To The USC Sunshine Coast Campus

There are many local, but also popular spots just a short bus ride or drive away from campus. Our USC Sunshine Coast (Sippy Downs) campus is lucky to have a bus stop right on campus, and only a 5 minute walk away from our student accommodation options UniCentral, Varsity and The Village.

We have listed some of the most popular spots below that our students often visit when living close to campus:

1. Mooloolaba Beach

If you want to hit the beach, you can take the 615 bus from USC which will take you approx 15 minutes to Mooloolaba. This is a popular spot for students who wants to soak up some sun on the beach but also for students who like to go for walks along the promenade and even do some shopping. Mooloolaba has some great local shops, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention, if you walk towards the Mooloolaba Spit in the arvo, you might be able to see an amazing sunset.

2. Cotton Tree Beach & Holiday Park

If you prefer to avoid some of the more popular, busy beaches, you may want to stay on the bus a bit longer after Mooloolaba and jump off at Cotton Tree, just 5 minutes down the road from Mooloolaba. Cotton Tree Beach is located just to the left of Alexandra Headland, a popular surf spot for many students and not to mention locals. Cotton tree is the perfect spot if you would like to try out Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Kayaking. There are also heaps of cosy local shops along the promenade and we can recommend checking out Cafe Envy that offers locally sourced dishes, in addition to organic coffee and smoothies. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to spot a couple of pelicans who like to enjoy their time down at the beach.

3. The Glasshouse Mountains

We of course won’t forget to mention the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains, located a short 25 minute drive from campus with a car. You will have a lot of mountains tracks to choose from including some of the more popular ones such as Mt Beerwah, Mt Ngungun and Mt Tibrogargan. The Glasshouse Mountains have a lot of history behind them, and we would definitly recommend booking a tour with some local aboriginals, also known as storytelling, as they have a lot of interesting stories to tell which you can read more about here.

4. Noosa National Park + Champagne Pools

Photo: Ali Hannah

A bit further away from USC but also only a short 40 minute drive you’ll find the beautifucl Noosa National Park. This National Park is a favourite amongst the locals mostly due to the prime surf that it provides, especially in the mornings and afternoons. If you’re lucky you might spot a koala on your way to Champagne Pools, an absolute must go-to if visiting the park for the first time. The whole walk around Noosa National park is approx. 5.4 km and you can choose to start at Sunshine Beach and walk all the way to the main street in Noosa, Hasting. We recommend checking out Betty’s Burgers and some of the local Noosa shops while you’re there.

5. Mt Coolum

On the way back from Noosa and approx. 30 minutes from campus you’ll find the popular mountain Coolum. While most people will choose to follow the public walking track that has been set out and recently refurbished, there are a couple of additional but rarely used tracks that are for the more adventurous and experienced climbers. Interestingly, one of these tracks will lead you to two of Coolum’s caves. The trip to the caves starts at he same main track however if you wear off to the left it will take you to the first larger cave which is more of an overhang and is regularly used by rock climbers. This makes for a spectacular waterfall in the wet seasons and well worth a visit.

6. Double Island / Fraser Island

If you have the option to rent a 4WD while you’re here we would definitely recommend you to put some time and money aside to explore Double Island, just a short 5 minute ferry ride from Noosa North Shore. Double Island stretches all the way up to Double Island Point (well known spot for prime surfing) and Rainbow Beach, where you can further (if you’re an adventurous type) take the Mantra Bay ferry over to Fraser Island. Double Island is perfect for a short day trip however we recommend to spend at least 2 nights (camping or housing accommodation) at Fraser to experience most of what the island has to offer. Recommended spots to visit is Lake McKenzie, Eli Creek, Maheno Wreck and Champagne pools. You may also want to drive further north to Sandy Cape if you have some spare time.

We hope you enjoyed reading about some of the more popular places visited by locals and students, and don’t forget to tag us using @USC.International and #USCInternational.

Niklaus Hess from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) in Switzerland studying at USC Sunshine Coast

PortraitHi there, I’m Nik from Switzerland. I study Business Engineering | Innovation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). Here at the USC, I did the Diploma in Business within one semester as part of my bachelor’s degree in Switzerland.

 

The USC is a partner university of the HSLU in Switzerland. Due to the popularity of the USC, students must come as a “freemover”, despite the partnership. Although, in my case, I could profit from a 15% partnership discount. I regret no dollar I paid because it was worth it in any case. Fortunately, the international office of my university in Switzerland gave me great support regarding the application process which made it quite easy for me to apply. Nevertheless, you should plan more than enough time to organize your exchange semester. The earlier you begin, the easier will the process be.

 

The campus of the USC in Sippy Downs is stunning: Trees, plants and colourful birds everywhere, several coffee shops and kangaroos jumping around the place. Also, the buildings and classrooms were very stimulating. For me, studying at USC campus was like studying with a lifestyle. The biggest difference from USC to the HSLU is the examination system. At HSLU, you have no exams during the semester, but big final exams at the end. So, you can relax during semester if you want, however, in most cases you then will have a quite stressful exam preparation period. Here at the USC, you normally have two or three tasks throughout the semester and sometimes a final exam at the end. Thus, if you invest in learning already in the beginning of the semester, you will probably have no stress at the final exam.

 

USC has an own student association which organize many events and trips, especially during the first few weeks. For international students, it is the best opportunity to connect with the other internationals. For example, I attended a day-trip to the rainforest, a market, and a famous beach. So, you could visit the Sunshine Coast and connect with other students at the same time which was fabulous. If you plan to come to USC for an exchange semester, you absolutely must arrive before the orientation week, because in this week there are a lot of social events and parties, so this is also one of the best ways to meet and do cool things with other students.

 

Due to the virus, this time was very special for me, but in a positive sense. Because of the restrictions, I had a lot of time for being with myself and thinking about life and the future. I spent every early morning at the beach for enjoying the sunrise, sipping coffee, walking along the Pacific Ocean, reading inspiring books, thinking about new ideas and so on. This gave me some very valuable personal insights which literally have been changing my life right now. Doesn’t matter if there is a virus or not – spending time in Australia is priceless, as long as you make the best out of it!

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5 Hidden Gems on the Sunshine Coast

We have gathered a couple of hidden gems here on the coast, ranging from cafes to beautiful, hidden locations. Some of these places might be familiar to a Sunshine Coast local, but if you’re new to the Sunshine Coast you should definitely make some time on your schedule to visit these places!

Front page photo: Traveller photo submitted by Darren (Jun. 2017)

1. Kenilworth Bakery

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Opening hours: Everyday From 6am Until SELL OUT.

Address: 8 Elizabeth St, Kenilworth QLD 4574

You might be disappointed in yourself that you haven’t heard about this before now, but for all doughnut fans: look no further. The famous bakery in Kenilworth offers a bakery experience of it’s own, with amazing doughnuts in every possible flavour you can imagine. Considering they are so popular and people often travel to Kenilworth just to get a taste of what the bakery has to offer, you’ll need to be there early in the morning to secure yourself one of these tasty doughnuts. Ranging from the apple crumble, golden gay-time, oreo and world’s first coffee in a doughnut, why not go all out and challenge yourself with the 1 kg doughnut challenge. Check them out on Instagram here!

2. Ewen Maddock Dam

Depending on where you live, you might not have heard of this place. Located in Mooloolah Valley, this dam is a place where you can have nice picnics while enjoying the silence. The Ewen Maddock Dam is perfect for a swim or kayaking, and it has the most amazing view over the huge watery expanse. It has seats, bbq’s and a sandy shore to enjoy. You can even walk through the forest path next to the water and enjoy the bird life. There are also some great mountain bike tracks nearby if you’re up fore some action. Bring your friends and check it out! Read more here.

 

3. The Strawberry Fields

Pick your own strawberries! Strawberry Fields is a Pick Your Own Farm and the season is from May to October (not too far away!) where you get to go out on the field and pick your very own strawberries. They also have a shop, a Cafe, a playground and a gift shop. We already know this has been a popular thing to do amongst students, bu it normally takes a while before someone brings it to your attention, especially when you’re new to the coast. It’s located only 10 minutes away from the University (opposite to Aussie Worlds), so there’s no excuse not to go if you’re a strawberry lover! Check them out here.

 

 

4. THE BIRDS & THE BEANS ESPRESSO BAR

Image may contain: indoorOpening hours: Monday-Saturday 6 – 11.30am 

Address: The old Vandy’s Garage, 114 Burnett St, Buderim QLD

This gem is situated in an old service station from 1918 and is well-known amongst Buderim locals. They make some really awesome coffee with Kai Specialty roast, and not to mention, their delicious NYC Bagels with cream cheese. Another amazing thing about this gem is that they currently donate one dollar for every kilo of coffee they sell to rescue children in developing nations. You can find them on Facebook here.

 

5. GURU Life

Image may contain: people sitting, plant, tree, table and outdoorOpening hours: Every day 6am-3pm

Address: 522A Petrie Creek Rd, Rosemount QLD 4560

GURU Life Restaurant & Garden will bring happiness and enlightenment to your day through a delicious menu, served up in a relaxed garden setting. This is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch or a simple cup of coffee, roasted on site. The Soloman Chicken is a favourite on the lunch menu, and the relaxing vibes make this a destination a popular spot you definitely want to check out. You can check them out here!

 

 

Nathalie Bergstrom from Kilroy Sweden studying abroad at USC Sunshine Coast

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Hi!! My name is Nathalie, I’m from Sweden and I am doing my exchange semester here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). I study Intro to Film and TV studies, Creative Advertising, New Venture Growth, and Learning in Australian Landscapes. Kilroy Sweden was a great help for me when applying to USC, they answered all the questions I had at the time of applying.

I love the Sunshine Coast, it is just an amazing place to live and I am so happy I chose this school. The school is nice and is located around beautiful nature where you can find kangaroos jumping around which is just amazing to see every time. I enjoy my accommodation, it is just 5 minutes walk to school which is great if you’re running a bit late to class. I have my own bedroom and bathroom which I love so I can have my stuff where I want and clean myself.

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With the course Learning in Australian Landscapes, we go on four field trips during the semester which is just amazing. First trip was paddling at Noosa, it was so beautiful and a fun day trip. Next up was abseiling and climbing at Mount Ngungun which I was a bit nervous about, mainly because I had never climbed before and I am scared of heights. However, I was proud of myself that I did it. The third trip was an overnight trip to Cooloola National Park. The fourth and last trip was to Fraser Island which is about two hours from here. When we came to the island my group started biking on the sand and it was great and so much fun biking on the beach looking at the waves. After that, we changed groups and we got to pick up trash on the beach!

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The next day we went to the rainforest on the island and walked for a bit which was so beautiful! We also learned more about the vegetation on the island. Later on, we went to Lake McKenzie which had the clearest water I’ve seen, it was so beautiful. On the third day we did some stops and then went back home to the coast. I was so tired the days after the trip but it was so worth it!

I have also been to Brisbane and the Gold Coast which are both great places to visit for a more ‘big city’ feeling. Before I go home, I have planned to go to Cairns, Whitsundays, and Sydney. During my time here, I have seen so much already and I have some trips still coming after school. I really think it is worth coming here to study if you’re considering it, as it is just amazing and there’s so much to do and see. I really recommend studying at USC and experience the Sunshine Coast.

– Nathalie Bergstrom @nattisbergstrom

Exploring Double Island with Thomas & Auriane from The School of Industrial Biotechnology (EBI) in France

Forecast announced a sunny weekend, as usual for more than 300 days a year on the sunshine coast. We decide, after 3 weeks in Australia, to organize our first “true” adventure. A few researches quickly led us toward the Great Sandy National Park, 150km North of our position.

This 200 000 km2, including the famous Fraser Island and Rainbow beach, seems to have the features that appeals to us: adventure and discovery.

Order of operations is as follow: departure at dawn on Sunday, followed by a visit of Rainbow Beach (1) before exploring the northern part of the park for the rest of the day. We would return on Monday morning, after a night at Teewah Beach (3).

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A map of the park. In green, our planned trip.

I) Rainbow Beach.

After two hours on the road, we finally arrived at our first checkpoint: Rainbow Beach. Named this way due to its coloured sand dunes, holding various minerals, the city has only been accessible by road since 1969, allowing the tourism market to develop.

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A view on the peninsula from Carlo Sandblow.

After a small stop at the main beach, we head out South-West towards Carlo Sandblow. From there, we went on a small hike in the rainforest. The forest came to an end. Before us, a breathtaking view. Hidden in the centre of the forest was an enormous sand expanse, stretching across hundreds of meters, reaching to the sea.

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Carlo Sandblow, a sea of sand overlooking the ocean.

From this point of view, we see our next destination: the lighthouse on the northern peninsula of the park.

Back at Rainbow Beach and after a quick fill up of the gas tank, we drive to Freshwater Road, our entrance point in the Park.

II) Access to the beach and the lighthouse.

We enter Freshwater Road, an asphalt road relatively wide to our surprise. However, after only a few hundreds of meters, we end up on a three meters wide gravel road, still two-way.

We make halt, deflate the tires and go into 4WD mode. Relatively easy at first, the road was changing in front of our eyes to a path across the rainforest. The nature taking back what was hers as we advanced, we discover with apprehension and excitation an Australian speciality: off-road driving.

Turns become hairpins, slopes become steeper and steeper and the track, first made of dirt and rocks, turns into loose sand. Over weighed by our gear, Jerry (our Nissan X-Trail) does not yield and takes on every obstacle with success.

After roughly 10 km and half an hour in this jungle, we finally arrive at the Day Recreation Area, where we stop to deflate the tires even more.

At a few dozens of meters lied the much-wanted beach. Getting back on board, we head up towards the beach.

What a feeling. Stretching as far as the eye can see, the sandy expanse offered a breathtaking view, without anything to spoil this instant. To our left, the sand dune. To our right, the turquoise water of the Pacific Ocean. The hard sand was holding the car’s weight, providing an unmatched feeling of softness (it feels like we are in a softener ad).

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Auriane & Jerry at Teewah beach.

A few kilometres brought us to the northern end of the beach, at the foot of the lighthouse. The incoming tide leads us to park as far as possible of the ocean, in a soft sand. After nearly getting stuck in the sand, we notice immediately that our Nissan X-Trail is the smallest vehicle on the beach, pale in comparison of the Jeep and Land Rovers.

After a quick lunch, we put on our backpacks on and follow the track leading to the lighthouse. The open view offered us the best sight of the day when whales appeared, blowing and jumping out of the water for several minutes.

Coming back down on the beach, we encountered a turtle which was diving under the incessant waves to feed.

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A turtle under the waves.

Leaving this idyllic place, when now head out south, along the never-ending beach. After roughly fifteen kilometres, we catch sight of the entrance of Teewah Beach, where you can camp for the night. More than ten kilometres in length, the area shall be our anchor point for the night. After exploring the beach in all its length, we decide to stop under the trees lining the beach.

We are alone. The sound of the waves and wind for only company, we admire the sunset feet in water.

The night falling quickly, we prepare Jerry for the night. The bed is already set, we only need to install makeshift curtains to the windows and a mosquito net to the sunroof.

Then came the time to prepare dinner. The gas cooker boils a pot of water for our three-stars meal. Nothing innovative: a bag of pasta and a pot of bolognese sauce do the job.

The day was long, Auriane went to bed, but it is out of the question for me to sleep. The Great sandy National Park enjoys near-total darkness, with very few light pollution, allowing me to capture the totality of the night sky. My schedule for the night is tightly packed: five different targets will demand a constant work from 6pm to 3am, leaving me about two and a half hours of sleep.

The gear up and running, I start to image nights capes in the hope to pay homage to the beauty of the place.

Thus, I decide to target a part of the Milky Way, which is invisible from the northern hemisphere, rising above the forest. Later, I would target for a few dozen minutes the Eta Carinae Nebula Complex along with the Southern Cross constellation.

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11pm. The moonless night should be inscrutable to the eye. In reality I can see pretty well. The Milky Way along with bio luminescent algae in the ocean gives of enough light for the human eye to see, allowing for movements without headlamp.

It is in this kind of environment that visual observation makes perfect sense. Once my eyes accustomed, I can resolve the gas clouds in our galactic core, various star clusters and even some nebulae.

Then came the moment I was waiting for. The most important target of the night was here: a conjunction between Jupiter and the Scorpius constellation. The camera is configured to automatically take sixty exposures, totalling roughly one hour of data integration. I take advantage of this time to sleep for a while.

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Jupiter and the Scorpius constellation.

I go on the other targets with the same scheme, in the company of the crabs that live on the beach, before finally going to sleep at 3am.

5:30am. The alarm clock goes off. We get up with difficulty in order to witness the sunrise. The scene is breathtaking. The few clouds on the ocean multiply the beauty of the dawn. We are still alone, and the view induce our minds into thinking we are alone on a desert island.

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7am. After the breakfast, we tidy up our gear and prepare for the return to Sunshine Coast.

This time, Auriane drives on the forest track. Once on the rainbow beach road, I nickname her Sébastien Loeb (in reference of the nine-time French rally world champion) for her driving style and quality as well as her precision in difficult parts of the track.

Once the tank filled all the way up and the tires inflated, we leave the park, happy to have lived such an adventure.

Thomas.

Check out Thomas’ full travel blog HERE

15 Australian Music Festivals You Need To Experience At Least Once

Featured image: Bianca Holderness

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!

1. The Big Pineapple FestivalSunshine Coast, QLD

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Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple Music Festival is held every year in May and 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.