|Sunset at Myella|
After break (spring according to L&C, but it’s fall here) we attended a farm stay at a place called Myella. It was fantastic. There was plenty of good food, we learned to milk cows, bottle fed calves, rode horses, watched the sunset over the pasture, and played with the orphaned animals they were taking care of. I absolutely fell in love with the baby brushtail possum, Pefer (Pronounced P-fur, as in “P for Possum”). He was adorable and loved to scramble around on people. They also had a kangaroo joey, Princess Karen. Everyone wanted to stay there longer. It was so much fun.
Next we went to Carnarvon Gorge. The pockets of the gorge shelter rainforest plants that have managed to survive in the small, cool niches while the land around them dried out. We went on some really lovely hikes (including a kinda crazy one up a slot canyon) and hung out in the campground where the kangaroos and kookaburras were frequent visitors. We had an unplanned extension to our stay there. Tropical cyclone Iris (category II) decided to interfere with our plans to head to Mackay and then Brampton Island so we wound up spending an extra two days at Carnarvon and then heading to Great Keppel Island.
|One of a family of kookaburras that lived near our site|
Keppel was a paradise. The seas were rough from the hurricane so the ferry ride over there was like a rollercoaster, but the island was covered in white, sandy beaches and palm trees. Because the ocean was so stirred up we couldn’t do most of the activities we had scheduled so most of our time was spent relaxing or playing in the ocean.
|Sunset over Australia (view from Great Keppel Island)|
After Keppel, we took an overnight train and then a short flight to Lady Elliot Island. I cannot give enough praise to Lady Elliot Island, step off the beach and you’re snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. There are octopuses, all kinds of rays, three species of sea turtle, eels, parrotfish, Christmas tree worms, pufferfish, clownfish and anemones, sharks, cone snails, and tons of other cool reef critters. The sea turtles there have learned to use humans to clean their shell so occasionally one will swim up to you and start rubbing itself on your legs. The place is practically magical. I got to watch baby sea turtles crawl into the ocean at night while dime-sized bioluminescent jellyfish crashed in the waves. If you ever get the chance to study abroad, take it. Who knows what you will see?
|Lady Elliot Island from the air|
Alas, it is study abroad and so we did still have to take finals. The difference is that instead of studying in the library with tons of other students, we studied in cabins up in the Bunya Mountains surrounded by wallabies, parrots, and the huge Bunya pines. Our finals were held outside on picnic benches in perfect weather. It’s definitely the best way to take tests. Our program ended with a farewell dinner and a packed slideshow in Brisbane. It feels so weird that it’s over. Especially since three of our group were seniors and we won’t be seeing them in classes again. The group has really bonded and we all have plans to meet up some time or another. This trip has been the best experience I have had at L&C and I fully recommend everyone study abroad if they get the chance.
|The wallabies in the Bunya Mountains|
Any questions about L&C or study abroad here? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.