19 Mar 2008

Where Am I?

Prepare to be educated about the geography of Australia...

World Map
Note: Flight plan not shown accurately in above map.

Australia is composed of six states and two territories. The states are named New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, and South Australia and the territories are Australian Capital Territory, or ACT, and Northern Territory. Australia's national capital is Canberra which is located in ACT. Each state and territory also has its own capital, and these are present on the map below, which was shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia. Sydney is Australia's most populous city, but Melbourne comes in a close second.

Australia Map

Sydney is a very spread-out city, covering a huge area along the New South Wales Coastline. My school, the University of New South Wales, is located in the suburb of Kensington, near the bottom of the map. Nearby attractions include the very large Royal Randwick racecourse, located in Randwick, of course. Coogee is where I stayed during orientation, and Bondi Beach, which is 1km long, is the most popular tourist beach in Sydney. Centennial Park is a great park to run, bike, play footy, or just hang out and have a picnic. There is a loop road around the outside which is about 4km. The main part of the city is located south of the Harbor Bridge, around the area that says "Sydney" (shocking, I know). The opera house, everyone's favorite landmark, is located on the first of the points to the right of the southern end of the Harbor Bridge, near the "D" in "Bradfield Hwy."

Sydney Map

The University of New South Wales is a large school of over 40,000 students, and the campus is sized accordingly. However, very few students actually live on campus. There are only a few residential colleges, and they house mostly students that come from rural New South Wales. The rest of the students either live in apartments in the city or live at home. It is very different from the typical American college. During the day, the campus is packed with people, but at night there is almost no one around, and everything closes up by 10pm except when there is something going on at the UniBar.

I live in Basser College, one of the three Kensington Colleges. Basser is located near the top of campus (so many stairs!) The rooms are laid out around two enclosed quads which are only accessible by card access, and each room opens up directly to the outside. THis is a nice change from the typical U of R dormitory. Some of the senior rooms have private balconies on the back which look out to a gorgeous view of downtown Sydney. Basser has a game room, a projector room for watching tv and playing PS2, and lots of random couches scattered around.

Follow the link for an aerial view of campus. Can you spot Basser College? (Hint: look for a building enclosing two quads with a bright red roof). The tall building with UNSW around the top is the campus library. Here's a campus map (large pdf) if you get stuck.