While Australia is renowned for its high-quality education system, it’s life outside the classroom that is often the main attraction for international students. Whether you’re excitedly preparing for your time in Australia, or scrambling to make the most of your final months, it’s time to think about your ‘must-do’ experiences. To help, we’ve come up with our top five things to do before you finish your studies in Australia.
See the wildlife
While snakes and spiders won’t appeal to most, a close encounter with one of Australia’s cuddlier native creatures is probably high up on your list. There are many wildlife sanctuaries across Australia that allow you to meet the local wildlife. You may find yourself petting kangaroos, cuddling a koala or feeding a flock of brightly coloured lorikeets. For those looking to see some of Australia’s larger species, whale-watching tours, shark dives and crocodile feeding shows provide plenty of entertainment.
Sample the local cuisine
Australia’s multicultural heritage means that you will be able to find food from all corners of the world; however, there are a few favourite items that Aussies have fondly adopted as their own. Tim Tams, meat pies, damper, pavlova, lamingtons, a sausage in bread and ANZAC biscuits are all on the list of things to try (and, if you’re brave, Vegemite!). During your stay, you should also sample some of Australia’s renowned fresh produce, including seafood, fruit and vegetables, cheese and wine. A visit to the local farmers’ markets or one of the many winery regions provides a great opportunity to sample some of the best produce on offer.
Visit the beach
As an island, Australia has no shortage of coastline and beaches — in fact it would take 27 years to visit every beach in Australia if you went to one each day! Apart from the sheer number of beaches, Australia is also home to some of the best in the world — so they’re well worth a visit. Check out Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, head west to Perth’s Cottesloe Beach or enjoy the sparkling waters and soft sand of Queensland’s Whitehaven Beach. Just make sure you swim between the flags and wear plenty of sunscreen.
Go to a footy game
Australians are big sports fans, with the football or ‘footy’ codes securing plenty of attention during the winter months. Those in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western Australia will likely be surrounded by passionate AFL fans, while students in New South Wales, the ACT and Queensland can expect rugby league to be the sport of choice. There are games in most states each week from March to October, with a select number of regional AFL games scheduled in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, North Queensland and Canberra throughout the year.
Australia’s landscape is large and incredibly varied — meaning there are travel opportunities for all interests. You can choose from one of the capital cities, the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, sunny beach towns, winery regions, rainforests, even the snow! If you’re on a budget, or don’t have a lot of time to spare, a short road trip within your state is also an option. It’s also a good idea to get tips from the student services office or chat to local classmates for ideas.