As one of two northern hemisphere folks and the only person in this years class who has not been to Australia before, I’ve decided that my primary area of extracuricular activity should focus on travelling around and seeing Australia (hope John approves). But seriously, as much as politicians are entertaining (I can say that, I worked for them), the day-to-day life that so many australians take for granted is equally fascinating to me.

I met a friend’s parents today, old hippies who live in the outback. They reminded me of family friends from home and it made me smile. A touch of normal even if everyone down here is standing on their heads.

So far, I recommend any new commers spend a day visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane–its a fabulous way to meet the local wildlife and even hold a koala, very cool–and for those that have a bit more time, Lamington National Park. I went there this weekend with a friend. They have a great selection of walking trails which take you to lookouts, past waterfalls and through old trees. You can feed the rosettas and parrots or defend you campsite from brush turkeys. Be careful no to trip over the pademelons (affectionately known as little hoppers).

I still haven’t checked out the beaches, but I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes. The great barrier reef is on my list of priorities, right after learning to surf over easter–John, I’m sure there will be some great stories coming out of that one. 🙂