"What is Dubbo?" That was the first question 24-year-old Maria Goltermann had when she found out she would be visiting Australia from Denmark. Maria has 12 weeks to learn all she can about Dubbo, its visitor offerings and the Australian lifestyle.



Wow! Where did time go? 2 more days in Dubbo and I’m off to Sydney and then flying back to Denmark. I can’t believe this is it... 
I’ve had the best time in Dubbo and Australia, I don’t even know where to start! I’ve been working full time but I’ve still had the opportunity to see what the area has to bring.
I want to tell you guys what my favourite things have been in Australia and in Dubbo, but I figured it would be too much for just one post so I’ll do my top 5 in Australia and I hope you guys will stick around for my top 5 in Dubbo later on this week. 

My ultimate favourite experience in Australia has been going on Destination Outback! To those of you who haven’t heard of Destination Outback. It is a rally around the outback organized by The Rotary Club of Dubbo South. Just about 150 people did the rally and the whole point of the trip is for people to have fun and at the same time raise money to communities in the outback. 
I will never forget that trip, and I would love to come back for the next one in 2018. Not just the purpose of the trip, but seeing places that not many visitors, or even Australians, have seen before was just amazing. The Outback was beautiful – and I secretly miss waking up to 145 happy faces every morning and driving around the dirt in the sun. How much better does it get? 



From one part of Australia to another. Second place on my list is Sydney. Before coming here I’d heard so many opinions on which city is better, Sydney or Melbourne. Well, I haven’t been to Melbourne but I definitely know I love Sydney. It’s a beautiful city, and I’m really excited to go back this weekend, even though that means I’m not coming back to Dubbo. 
I loved just walking around the harbour, shopping, not to speak of my breakfast at Bondi Beach. 
I haven’t seen all there is to see in Sydney as I don’t like rushing around + I was really captivated by the places I saw. But that just means I have to come back.  



Third on the list is a drive I went on during a trip to Tamworth from Uralla to Armidale. There were beautiful things to see but what made this one of my favourite things was the Dangar waterfalls. Of all the travels I have done in my life, I have never seen a waterfall, so this was a very unique experience for me. I read about the waterfalls near Armidale when I first came here and when I was given the opportunity to see them I was really excited. 
I really love Australian nature, it varies so much and the trip to Tamworth and Armidale was no exception. 




Talking about nature, my trip to Capertee was really exceptional too. I had only been here for a couple of weeks when I went on this trip, so seeing the mountains and the small villages was all new to me. No we don’t have mountains in Denmark, yes I have seen mountains before. But nothing like the Australian mountains. I remember that was the first thing my grandfather told me to do “Go see the Blue Mountains Maria!”. And of course the Canyon at the Capertee Valley which was also my first time seeing a canyon. Lots of 1sts here. Which makes it so much more memorable.  


   

Last but not least is Wagga Wagga, which was very special to me, this was my first “longer” trip (which I know of course is no distance for people in Dubbo), and although I did not see much of the city, I still got to see the Uni-life in Australia, which was a good experience for a uni-girl like myself. I enjoy seeing how University differs around the world, which I wrote more about in my previous blog post “…From Wagga with love”. I wish I had time to go back again, but I’ll save that for next time. 

   


 I feel blessed to have seen all these different parts of NSW and Queensland (Destination Outback) I can’t wait to go home and tell my friends and family and I certainly can’t wait to come back an experience even more of Australia! 
Next up I’ll tell you guys about my favorites in Dubbo – Have a great sunny week :)  


So… the other day, I thought I was just going to go with Lana to the radio station 2DU, to watch  her do her usual Friday “What’s On in Dubbo” feature. Buut, Lana and Richard, had other plans and suddenly Richard was asking ME questions on air! So, on what I thought was a usual Friday morning, my radio virginity was taken! I’m telling you guys, these council people sure are making sure I get the full experience here!


But how great is that!! I’m really thrilled that they engage me in so many projects, so I get as much out of my internship as possible.

Another big experience for me last week, was my visit to the Royal Flying Doctors Service. I know this is something that is really special to Australia, and it does put things into perspective, when we in Denmark complain about the hospital being a 1.5 hour drive away.

It was really fascination to hear about the Flying doctors, nurses, dentists and so forward that fly out each day to assist people in the rural areas of the outback. Can you believe the crew only has 45 minutes to plan the flight, assess the patient and be up in the air again??

Coming to the Education Centre, we were greeted by some of the volunteers that showed us around and told us the story behind the Royal Flying Doctors and the aircrafts. E.g. that these mini intensive care units are actually purchased from the U.S., brought back and painted in Australia and are now worth about $9M. Another thing I found out, from watching the video at the education centre, is that people in the outback actually would do their own treatment, if it wasn’t for the Flying Doctors…
I believe it’s better they let the doctors do their job and they stick to their farming instead.

Anyway this experience was a real eye-opener, of how important the RFDS is to these communities.

 

 Radios that have been used for communication between the RFDS and the remote areas and medicine.

One of the first thing I learned when I came to Dubbo, was the RFDS $20 bill and how it features the founder of RFDS John Flynn and that the body with numbers on the different body parts would, and still is, helping doctors for remote consultations to identify where the patient is injured.

Additionally, School of the Air, is where children in remote areas are schooled via the RFDS radio service and is also a big part of RFDS and something I had not heard or thought of before I visited the education centre.

The real-life stories behind RFDS as well as School of the Air is what made this a really fascinating experience for me.

As I thought the tour was over, we were invited out to see the hangar, where an aircraft had just come in, and I got to see what one of the real planes looks like inside and had a chat about the equipment they use when going out with one of the nurses at RFDS.

 

Inside and outside one of the aircrafts that are used today

You gotta admire what these nurses, doctors and dentist are doing! It mustn’t always be an easy job.

This was another awesome place that is definitely worth a visit when in Dubbo! You are sure to have an interesting time, and the people working there are just great!

Back to work, hope you all have a great week :)

 

Me as a pilot - probably the reason for the incident on the right!?

 

   

 


The Local Life

So… I’ve been so lucky to be able to stay with a local family here in Dubbo. As a part of my NGSE rotary exchange program, I am staying with a Rotarian family.

Although this is not my first time staying with a host family, I was still nervous. I mean, Australians and Danes don’t seem that different, but there will still be cultural differences that I may not have been aware of, and families always have a different way of doing things.

However, my host family has been the kindest! I’ve been staying with them for a week, but I feel like I’ve known them for years. They have let me borrow a car from them whilst I’m here, so that I have the freedom to go wherever I like.

Staying with them has already given me a taste of what Life in Dubbo can be like. Kangaroos on the lawn, dinner at pubs, driving in the left side of the road and rugby on weekends. Does it get any more Australian? I know there is a lot more to the lifestyle, but these are things that you don’t see in most European countries.

Another thing my host family has introduced me to is, Vege-mite, Tim Tam and lamb. Some better than others I must say, and lamb is a whole different story.

So, of course people in Denmark eat lamb, however, my family doesn’t! I kind of figured that, that wouldn’t fit in well in Australia. Well, the family is giving me a hard time about it and maybe one day they will convince me, but I think, just for now I’ll stick to Tim Tams. And Vege-Mite……. Let me put it this way, I won’t be the first in line for that again.  

Anyway… Although I may find it hard to get use to some of the food (most of it is really good!), Australia has only been great to me! Every day I get amazed about how friendly and helpful Australians are. Everything is still very new to me, but people around me just make me feel so comfortable and welcomed. I must say, you Aussies keep impressing me!

Rotary has already done so much for me, not only have they given me the opportunity to experience the Australian culture and helped me with my internship at the council, but all the Rotarians that I have been in contact with, are always looking out for me, both back in Denmark and here in Australia, which I believe is very important in the process of trying to fit in in a new place. 


Experiencing the countryside

As I have only been here for a little over a week, I haven’t had much time to experience what the countryside is like, outside of Dubbo, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing that.

However, I did go to watch the Cockatoos play against the Brumbies in Bathurst this past weekend and later Australia vs. England (which we of course is not going to talk about). Rugby is really becoming on of my favourite sports, I’m starting to know the rules and I’m really enjoying watching it!

The trip to Bathurst also gave me a little bit of an idea of how different distances are here compared to Denmark. Driving for 2.5 hours on way is not a problem for me, as I like driving. But you guys call that within your region! – If I drive for 2.5 hours from my city back home I would be way past the German border. And for people living in the country here, that’s nothing!

Yesterday I was so lucky to come along to a meeting in Warren, which allowed me to experience the Wetla

nds, this somehow reminded me of my trips to the Everglades in Florida. It was amazing! I’m happy there aren’t any snakes this time of the year though, as I’m not sure I would have been ready to meet them all by myself out there. Usually I’m not a bird watcher, but I really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful birds they had in the Wetlands on the other hand.

Well well, I need to get back to work - looking forward to the weekend here in Dubbo – I hope the sun will be shining J (apology to any who may like the rain!)  

New Wallabies fan 

Meeting in Warren 

The wetlands were beautiful


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