'There's nothing like the native bush and animals, and the friendly people in Canberra. I love Australia! There's nothing in the bloody world like it!'
Genevieve gained a new appreciation for nature during her three years as student in Canberra, Australia’s bush-fringed capital. After the city bustle of Singapore, Genevieve grew to love Australia’s outdoor adventures, from walking and biking to snowboarding.
She took this photo on one of her “most memorable trips” - a hike to the tranquil village of Tharwa with her best friends Katherine and Mei. The trio had set out beneath an overcast sky and were battling hail by the time they reached Corin Forest.
“Undeterred by the weather, and armed with our raincoats and umbrella, the three of us hiked up the square rock. That trip really showed me how sporting my friends were, with everyone looking after each other on the way up. We didn’t get to enjoy the view that day because of the clouds, but the hail eventually stopped, and we could enjoy a nice picnic at the top, really enjoying each other’s company,” Genevieve said.
“My friend took a picture of me breathing in the ‘clouds’ because it was like breathing in the fresh air. Even though it was just a short day trip, being surrounded by native bush and Aussie friends made it a truly Australian holiday.”
Their journey wound through sections of Namadgi National Park, which sits in the Australian Alps, a 45 minute drive from Canberra. The park is a popular spot for bushwalking, mountain biking and rock-climbing, with lots of granite rock outcrops to clamber over. Along with neighbouring Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Namadgi is also home to rich, surviving traces of the Ngunnawal Aboriginal people who lived here more than 20,000 years ago.
Along with these natural havens, Canberra itself is cloaked in the bushland, with 27 separate reserves making up Canberra Nature Park. Genevieve has fond memories of seeing kangaroos hop past while hiking up Mt Ainslie, one of many popular destinations within the park.
Genevieve also explored other parts of Australia from Canberra. She took the train to Brisbane and drove to the Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne. With a group of friends, Genevieve went snowboarding in Mt Kosciuszko and wine tasting in South Australia.
“Being based in Canberra I was also able to dine in wonderful restaurants, in Canberra, Melbourne and
Sydney,” said Genevieve, who has been gradually readjusting to Singapore’s fast-paced life after graduating.
These days, she enjoys outdoor activities such as golfing and bike riding “much more than before” and is planning for her next Australian holiday.
“I would love to travel to the Northern Territory, as I have not been there before. I’d like to appreciate the well-preserved Aboriginal sites and Dreaming stories. I’d also like to drive across the desert from Perth to Canberra, for a unique Australian experience and to see my Canberra friends at the end,” Genevieve said.