This morning was an early one! We had a Great Ocean Road Tour scheduled. I was a little skeptical at first because of the length of time we would spend in a van. HOWEVER, I was so surprised on how much fun this trip was!! We got to play in so much sand and water. I found beautiful shells and saw beautiful rock formations. I even saw the fifth deadliest snake in the world, the tiger snake!! I didn't know what kind of snake it was at first but I wasn't scared of it at all! The stories our bus driver Cam had to tell us made this experience even better. He told us interesting history facts about almost every stop we had. I can't even begin describing every amazing thing I saw because I would be here all day. I will tell you that this was one of the coolest excursions we have been on!!!
Senior Animal Science Major
Great Ocean Road Tour
G’day mate! Today started early as our group met at Muleta’s for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. We then gathered to board our tour bus for the Great Ocean Road Tour. This adventure consisted of an almost thirteen hour bus ride along the coast which included stops along scenic overlooks of the coast, a stop in a rainforest region, the twelve apostles, and much more.
One of our stops involved walking along paths to see wild koalas in the tree tops. This was particularly interesting since just yesterday we were able to pet a koala at the Moonlit Sanctuary. It was like an extra surprise to be able to see them in the wild as well. I was very surprised at how high they climbed into the tree tops as koalas are actually quite heavy. Students were also able to feed parrots at this stop (with purchased seed from the local shop). This was entertaining as the parrots would even land on students’ heads…no fear from these parrots! They were hungry and wanted attention!
I really enjoyed seeing the Twelve Apostles. From our tour guide, we learned that the reason for this landmark’s name is due to there being approximately twelve rock formations rather than any particular religious reference. We continued on to see more interesting rock formations including a Razorback!!!
Most of the students seemed particularly excited about the excursions to the beach. Anna Castleberry, a junior Animal Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine major, was ecstatic about the ocean…so much that she even dunked her head into the water! It was a perfect day for this journey. The sun was bright, but there was a breeze to prevent the heat from becoming too overwhelming. It was wonderful to walk barefoot in the sand and ocean. There’s just something special about the smell and sound of the ocean waves rising onto the sand.
This was our last full day of study abroad adventures. Tomorrow our group will be boarding a plane to return to our respective homes within the United States. I’m saddened for our journey to be coming to a close, but I’m excited about the opportunity to reflect upon these adventures. This was my first experience traveling internationally, and I feel truly blessed to have completed this milestone with the University of Arkansas. We’ve had an amazing group of students who have taken, quite literally, thousands of photographs. Souvenirs have been purchased, but the most meaningful gift is the memories we’ve accumulated. No purchased souvenir can compare with the friendships formed and experiences shared.
Rather than say “goodbye,” let me say “until next time” New Zealand and Australia! Thanks for a challenging and engaging two weeks abroad. Hello America, here we come!
Senior Poultry Science Major, Honors College