So a LOT has happened since I last updated! Since my last post on photography assignments I have finished all my exams and assignments, spent my final days in Australia with friends and family, and travelled the gruelling journey back to Norway. When I wasn’t studying and doing hardcore revision (and being shocked about Britain leaving the EU), I managed to squeeze in a couple of get togethers with friends, including one evening out with Ami and Liz where we went for an indulgent evening of Thai at a restaurant, followed by a hot chocolate at Max Brenner. However, I will continue with my posts from my final couple of days in Australia with Carolyn and Mum! They arrived on Sunday afternoon, but I didn’t actually spend much time with them until after my final exam on Tuesday morning (although I hung out with them on the evenings after revision). On Tuesday after my exam I showed them around the main campus where I posed for photos in front the university signs and wallabies. We then took a trip to the botanical gardens next to the campus, and were lucky to see the satin bowerbird’s nest with collected blue pieces, a green catbird, and lots of great flora. Afterwards we met Hannicke for a lovely lunch and coffee. Lastly, after lunch, Mum and Carolyn helped me pack my slides down for my travels before we returned back to the apartment for dinner.
The following day (which counted as my first day of freedom) we decided on going to the Royal National Park to visit the lovely little seaside town of Bundeena and Jibbon Beach. On route we stopped at Stanwell tops at the entrance to the Royal National park to admire the view of the coast towards Wollongong. From the viewpoint we spotted a small pod of dolphins swimming close to the shore, not far along from a group of surfers sitting patiently out in the open waters waiting for the next wave to come along. At Bundeena we set off on a little coastal walk along Jibbon beach to Jibbon head. The beach was clearly still affected by the great storm we had had a couple of weeks earlier, but beautiful as ever. I still can’t fathom how blue and clear waters in Australia are. It’s wonderful. On the walk we saw the thousands of year old aboriginal rock carvings, admired the sandstone cliffs, picked out interesting plants and flowers and even spotted north-bound migrating humpback whales and hunting seals off the coast. The seals were very busy feeding and at times they were so still that I was worried that they were dead. On occasion though they bopped their heads up for air before sticking it down again to continue searching for food, and I could breath a sigh of relief. The rest of the walk in the coastal shrub vegetation was fairly muddy, but we eventually made it back to Bundeena and had lunch at a quaint cafe on the main street. As we were eating a cheeky cockatoo lurked close by the tables, waiting for scraps of food.
On the way back we stopped by a favourite place in the Royal National Park called Audley. I hadn’t been there since my dad took me there when I had broken my leg and it was lovely to return to the same place again, now in full health. Audley didn’t disappoint in terms of birding, as we were greeted by the sound of squawks and screeches and the sight of soaring cockatoos among the tall eucalyptus trees. We pottered around the small lake and crossed over a bridge, where we stood for a while and enjoyed the cockatoos soaring over our heads as they dived down from the high up branches on a tree nearby. We watched the cockatoos and kookaburras get fed by a family having a late afternoon picnic, and watched the swamp ,more-hens ducks and corellas walk around nearby.