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Camping Trip with UTS Intents

When I came to Sydney, my goal was to get to know people as quickly as possible.

My plan was to sign up to as many societies as possible. Among other clubs, I signed up for UTS Intents, a club that organizes beach days, game nights and picnics, but most importantly a camping trip twice a year. On one of these camping trips to Bungarie Bay in Myall Lake National Park, I was able to join during the StuVac mid-session. After a first get-to-know-each-other evening, where it was clarified who would ride with whom in the car or who would sleep together in the tent, all people were divided into 4 teams. On the one hand, the teams were there to organize who had to prepare food and when, and on the other hand, the teams competed in various competitions throughout the trip. A week later, we set off. Equipped with a sleeping bag and sleeping mat, we drove via New Castle to the campsite, which was beautifully situated in the middle of the national park by a lake.

The first afternoon consisted mainly of setting up tents. In the evening, everyone got together around the campfire, we had a barbecue, and I had the opportunity to get to know everyone better. Of course, I was also warned about the dangerous dropbears that jump from trees onto people walking underneath. We then played a round of hide and seek in the dark and had our first tournament between the teams in rope pulling. The next morning, I had my first encounter with Australian wildlife when a goanna crossed my path on the way to the bathroom.

A day at the beach was on the agenda. We spent a lot of time swimming, sunbathing and playing cricket at the "Number One Beach". There was also a mermaid contest.

Each team had 10 minutes to transform a person in the sand into a mermaid. With a lot of creativity, we decorated our mermaid with seaweed as hair and shells as scales. The last evening was spent around the campfire. After all the tents had been taken down, it was time to say goodbye on day 3.

And all the cars set off again for Sydney. As I still had a little time left and wanted to explore Australia a little further, I left the group halfway and spent two more wonderful days in New Castle. The absolute highlight there was the sunset on the Newcastle Memorial Walk, which I watched on both evenings. I also fulfilled another item on my Australian bucket list and saw my first koala in the Blackbutt reserve. All in all, the trip was a wonderful first experience of getting to know Australia outside of Sydney. And I really hope to attend another UTS Intents camp during the summer break in December.

Valentin Gruetze

Spring 2023 Study Abroad student from Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany

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