2016-01-23 / The Bullhorn

RCS alum visits Australia

By Delaney Sullivan
Bullhorn Editor

Caroline Strickland, a 2012 Roxboro Community School (RCS) graduate, visited Australia last summer with a college friend, Haley Back.

Months before, the two decided to plan a trip to celebrate their college graduation.

On July 7, 2015, Strickland took a five-hour flight from Raleigh to Los Angeles, where she stayed overnight with Back.

The next morning, the two took a 14-hour flight to Sydney, Australia.

They first visited Brisbane, the capital of Queensland.

While there, they went whale watching during the early winter, which is migration season for whales, making for a successful time spotting whales at sea.

The duo also visited Sea World. They traveled on the City Cat (a water taxi) and took in the sights.

At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the ladies had their first experience with Australian animals.

Strickland explained, “Here, not only did we get to hold a koala, but we also bought kangaroo food and entered this field where there were probably about 50 kangaroos and wombats hopping around. They were so friendly and hopped right up to you. You could pet them, they would eat the food right out of your hands, and you could even take a selfie with them.”

After Brisbane, the friends visited Cairns, and went white water rafting, saw alligators, took a train ride to the top of a mountain in the Daintree Rainforest, and went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.

“What a cool thing to be able to say I swam in one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The natural beauty of the reef is really so incredible,” Strickland said.

The last week and a half of Strickland’s and Back’s trip was spent in Sydney.

“We stayed right outside of the city, so every morning we had to walk by Woolloomooloo Bay, through the Sydney Botanic Gardens, and around the Sydney Opera House to get to the public transport ferry system on the Sydney Harbor. That was definitely a scenic route,” Strickland said.

The friends climbed the Sydney bridge and took a VIP tour of the Taronga Zoo, also known as “the zoo with a view.” They went into the koala cages to see the newborns. Strickland described them as “so adorable.

“Although we visited a zoo in every city, we learned new information and saw different animals at each zoo. One animal that comes to mind when reminiscing about my day at the Taronga Zoo is the bilby. The bilby is similar to our rabbit; they even have chocolate bilbies in Australia for Easter,” said Strickland.

She described the people of Australia as hospitable and kind.

Strickland just finished her first semester of graduate school. “I am working on a Master’s of Psychology at North Carolina Central University. I am living at home with my parents, saving my money, mainly so that I can do more traveling,” said Strickland.

She is an assistant to the chair of the Public Health Education Department at NCCU and works as a therapy technician as well.

When asked if she had any advice about traveling, Strickland said, “Visiting other countries is a oncein a-lifetime opportunity. It is such a great learning opportunity getting to experience different cultures first hand.”

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