This last week has been filled with bittersweet goodbyes and checking off the last of items on my study abroad bucket list. Additionally, it was also finals week for Bond, at the end of which was move out.
A Last Weekend in Paradise
Last weekend all of my study abroad friends and I got together at one of our apartments, and had a goodbye dinner. People would be starting to leave throughout the next week, so we all decided to have one last cookout by the pool to wrap up the semester. The following day we went to Burleigh beach, and I finally got to explore the other side of Burleigh Heads National Park. A short walk around the edge of the park will take you to a beautiful lagoon area on the other side.
Southside of Burleigh Heads National Park
In the evening we all enjoyed Surfer’s Paradise one last time for our semester abroad. We attempted to stay out and watch the sunrise on the beach, although most people couldn’t quite make it and we headed in early. I also had quite the adventure losing my FitBit (again) that night, and over an hour later found it innocently lying unharmed on the ground. For someone who is addicted to their FitBit (and already had it replaced once), it was a not so good moment that ended well. However, it was a lovely way to spend our last full weekend in Gold Coast. It definitely proved how amazing my semester has been here, with the friends I’ve made, places I’ve been, and things that I’ve gotten to do.
The earlier part of last week was spent mostly in the library becoming an expert on all things class-related. Although I only missed one class (to make a flight) this semester, and did stay on top of all my academics, I still had quite the game of catch up to play before exams. After my Wednesday and Thursday 8am exams, to say I felt home free was an understatement. However, on Thursday it dawned on me that finishing my last exam (in my terms) meant that I am officially a senior. How this crazy thing happened, I’m not quite sure. Regardless, it also meant that the studious part of my travels had concluded and it was time to enjoy the rest!
After my Thursday exam, one of my local Australian friends was kind enough to drive a couple of my friends and I to Twin Falls in Springbrook National Park. This had been one of my bucket list items since the very beginning of the semester, and during the last week I was still determined to get there!
The circuit we walked lead down the Currumbin mountains to the base of Twin Falls, around and behind another waterfall, back up the mountain, then along the top ridge to the starting point. When we reached the top of the mountain, the first lookout had a view of the other side of cliff so that you could see Twin Falls from across the mountain gap. It was a great little circuit through the rainforest, and took about an hour, definitely recommend it! Unfortunately it was a little cold when we visited, but I’d imagine the best part would be swimming in the rock pools at the base of Twin Falls!
Walking behind the second waterfall
Top ridge lookout
Panorama of top ridge lookout
View of Twin Falls from across the mountain valley
Later that evening, I did one last run around Lake Orr, the lake surrounding my apartment complex and campus.
On my last day in Gold Coast, a few of my friends and I made the trip down to Burleigh, which had become somewhat of a tradition. We spent the better portion of the day on the beach, enjoying the beautiful weather. Saying goodbye to my friends was sad, but I was also exited for the travels ahead. While I do have to wave farewell to Gold Coast, luckily I still have two weeks of traveling in Australia before heading back to the states!
North side of Burleigh Heads
Enjoying an acai bowl on the beach
See Ya Later
As I finished packing up my apartment after returning from the beach, I couldn’t believe that it really was my last day of study abroad in Gold Coast. When originally coming, I was under the impression that because it is so far and I got to live here for a decent period of time, that I more than likely would not be back again. In reality, I know now that thinking like that was completely naive, and I will most definitely back again someday.
Despite all the incredible places I got to visit, interesting people I met, and amazing memories I’ve created, there are still so many items I didn’t get to do. I did a LOT while studying abroad, so that just goes to show how many places there are to explore and things there are to do over here. When saying goodbye here, to friends or someone you just met, a lot of people use the phrase ‘see you later,’ even if they are a complete stranger that most likely will never see you again. However, I like to think with the mentality that you might someday see them again, even if it’s 25 years from now. With that being said, it’s not goodbye, it’s ‘til I see you again, Gold Coast.