Side Trips are optional trips that you can choose to take if you wish. The cost of these side trips are not included in the program. All the costs for these trips are yours alone. Hereunder are a few I suggest you consider:
You will see in the itinerary that you have the option of either returning to Brisbane by UQ provided bus or staying overnight on Stradbroke Island at your own cost. In previous years, all the students choose to stay overnight on Stradbroke and they had a wonderful time and recommended that option be provided again for 2011. We usually stay at The Islander Resort The cost is about $42 per night. Here's the link for some general Stradbroke information.
Endless other options:
Australia is an enormous country, the same size as continental USA, and it is impossible to see it all in our 4 week stay. I encourage students to either arrive early or leave later, or both, so you can see a little more of this amazing country. Hereunder are a few other suggestions from the endless options:
In 2007, many students went
diving on the Barrier
Reef. Here are one's comments:
" Hey, just wanted to let you know that we all survived the scuba diving trip in Cairns. We had a great time and got to see some amazing things, including a few sharks. In case anyone is interested in the future, we dove with Deep Sea Diver's Den and stayed at Bohemia Central Cairns. Bohemia picked us up from the airport and Diver's Den picked us up from the hostel and dropped us back off there. Both places well worth the extra money. I would highly recommend it if someone is thinking about diving."
If you are traveling either before or after the Study Abroad program you should consider extending your health insurance to cover that extra time.
If you are looking for accommodation in Brisbane, either before or after our program, you should consider Palace Backpackers Brisbane, Corner Ann & Edward Streets, Brisbane QLD 4000. Telephone: 07 3211 2433Fax: 07 3211 24 66 International Telephone: + 61 7 3211 2433. International Fax: + 61 7 3211 2466. My students have stayed there in the past and recommend it.
The ever popular Sydney option:
Many of my students choose to visit Sydney. In 2010, Taylor Aubrey (yes, Taylor welcomes your enquiries) took the opportunity and spent a week in Sydney before flying back to the US. Here's her advice:
Nomad's Westend Backpackers - extremely close to Central Station, approx. 5 minute walk (where the buses, train from Brisbane, and 'underground' train have stops at). We stayed in a 6 person ensuite for $21/night, now being advertised at $19/night - basic hostel with a bathroom and bed provided, GREAT location as far as being near most of the 'tourist locations' and walk to the harbours. Other hostels that looked of interest included WakeUp! and Base Sydney.
Things to do:
-We spent a day exploring the city by foot, as that was our preferred way of seeing things such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Hyde Park, and the ANZAC War Memorial. Also stopping by the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Cove area.
-We also ventured over to Darling Harbour where we purchased 'The Explore 4 Pass' for $50/person. This allowed us a one time admittance into the Sydney Tower & Oz Trek, Sydney WildlifeWorld, Sydney Aquarium, and Oceanworld Manly. This I highly recommend for anyone who wants to see even one of these facilities, as the tickets don't expire for months later and give you a great deal on some of the main attractions.
-Blue Mountains Special Day Tour: this was $68/person and was the best deal out of all the tours that we had looked it. It included a complimentary hotel pick up, light refreshments and amazing lookouts of the Blue Mountains. It also gave you the choice of taking a cable car or scenic railway (at your own cost) or taking a bushwalk. However, lunch was not provided so you either needed to bring a bagged lunch or money. This tour also included a river cruise along the Parramatta River beginning at Olympic Park, ending at Circular Quay. I highly recommend this tour.
-Sydney Olympic Park: since this was not in walking distance, we took a train (about $5.40/person total) to this facility which was interesting to walk around and see the buildings where the "Greatest Olympic Games" were held - very surreal.
-Taronga Zoo: yes, yet another zoo but this was one interesting as they offered a look at African wildlife such as elephants, zebras, etc. We managed to get in for free due to a connection that Anna's uncle had with a zoo keeper who works there. Tickets are usually $43/adult and $30/student. We had to take a ferry there and back in order to get there.
-This was probably the most expensive thing of the trip as far as food and alcohol goes, but that was to be expected. There are many tourist shops like there was for the majority of our trip. We found a restaurant called 'Cheers' on George Street, that is similar to the one here in the States that offered filling $10 dinners.
-Kings Cross: this is one place that we didn't make it to that I wish we had, nightlife is supposed to be vibrant and quite an experience.
-Bondi Beach and Manly Beach: we also didn't make it to these places, but they could also be of interest to others.