Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Melbourne’s Most Memorable Part 1

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My Melbourne blog post is being split into two parts because it was so fabulous it can’t be explained with just one.

Melbourne is known for the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park and the Great Ocean Road along it’s coast, both of which I visited this past weekend. After arriving at the airport my friend Allison and I jumped in her family friend’s car and took a five-hour journey to the two beautiful sights. We drove through the countryside of Melbourne and it’s the rolling grassy hills scattered with cows and sheep made me automatically think of the Windows screensaver; you know the one. As we neared the coastline, I was astonished at the speed in which the scenery changed. The picturesque screensaver of the farmlands merged into small bushes and shrubs, which then almost immediately opened up to a jagged mountainside. I had my face pressed against the window not wanting to miss a thing and listened excitedly to the sounds of the churning ocean echoing in the caverns of the cliff side below.

I could tell we were nearing the Twelve Apostles by the astonishing number of selfie sticks I spotted along the road. The only hesitation I have with relaying this experience to all of you is that, although lovely, the tourist industry took the authenticity out of the landmark for me. It was hard to appreciate the beauty of these freestanding stones while masses of people took pictures and yelled across boardwalks to each other. Luckily, we continued our journey towards the less populated areas along the Great Ocean Road and with each and every curve of the road that authentic feeling slowly came back. Content in the car, I watched the ocean disappear behind me as we passed coves with surfers lolling in the water and roads that led deep into the thicket of trees on the mountainside. In one of which we spotted a wild koala!

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Although the people at the twelve apostles overwhelmed me, it was still a beautiful sight and experiencing it and the Great Ocean Road made me appreciate the time I spent as a “local” with Allison and her family friends, or as close to one as I could hope to get.

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