After countless assignments and assessments in weeks 6 and 7, It is finally mid-semester break! For break, I flew over to Sydney in New South Wales to visit my friend from home who is also studying abroad in Australia.
Sydney is about 545 miles from Melbourne. It takes about 9 hours to drive from city to city and apparently is a beautiful coastal drive. However, the idea of driving on the other side of the road is truly terrifying for me, so I decided to take a plane instead. Also, the plane ride is just over an hour in duration—a huge contrast to a 9-hour car ride. It is really difficult getting to the airport from Swinburne University, so unless you have a car or a friend who is willing to take you to the airport, I would recommend booking a Sky Bus ticket. They cost 35 dollars round trip and the service takes you from Southern Cross Station—which is easily accessible from Glenferrie Station on campus—to the airport. Getting from Glenferrie Station to Southern Cross takes about 20-25 minutes and getting from Southern Cross to the airport takes about 30 minutes. So, in all, it takes a little under an hour to get to the airport.
Taking the bus is another option too. However, it takes about 11 hours to get from Melbourne to Sydney via bus. It also costs about $70 each way. So, sometimes buying a plane ticket is cheaper—and way faster. You can buy plane tickets for as low as $50 each way if you plan ahead. It is all dependent on when and how early you decide to buy your tickets. So, it is worthwhile to explore all the options if you decide to make a trip over. Popular budget plane services are Jetstar Airways and Tigerair. I would look into those airlines if you are looking for a cheap deal. Bus wise, you could look into Greyhound and/or Firefly Fleet Transportation.
If possible, I would really encourage travelling during mid-semester break to fully take advantage of your study abroad experience. Some of my other friends are going to Tasmania—or “Tassie” or “Tas” as Australians like to call it—and New Zealand. Tasmania is an island state of Australia and is about an hour away by plane. New Zealand is one of the last places to be settled by humans and is about a 3.5 to 4-hour plane trip away. However, you could also take this time to explore more of Melbourne, the state of Victoria, or the other states in Australia. The great thing is that there are endless opportunities to consider. Unfortunately, there is just not enough time in the world to do so.