On Thursday the 18th of August 2016 the Study Sunshine Coast Student Ambassadors and myself got the opportunity to head down to the Mantra Mooloolaba Beach and have an overnight stay and well deserved break from our studies. We checked in around 6pm after we were finished at classes and went to explore our rooms and the facilities.
The rooms were absolutely stunning with views of the ocean and large spa baths. There is also an indoor pool and rooftop pool and hot tub area! We started the night off by taking a short stroll down the Mooloolaba Esplanade enjoying the ocean views. We then suffered the hard task of having to choose somewhere to eat from the many fantastic restaurants, cafe’s and bars that line Mooloolaba. We finally came to the conclusion to head to ‘Your Place’ on Brisbane Road, a restaurant that would satisfy any craving. It also turned out to be their Thursday night Parmy and Paddle night… winning! Only 10 minutes walk from Mantra Mooloolaba which was so convenient!
After we enjoyed our meal and had many laughs amongst our group we decided to head back to the hotel and keep the banter going. Once back at the hotel we continued to enjoy the night, listening to music, watching the Rio Olympics in the lounge, playing games and having a great laugh amongst ourselves enjoying the ocean views from our balcony. The night gradually came to an end and we headed off to bed to prepare ourselves for the following morning.
The next day the early birds of the group woke up to be met by amazing sunrise views off our balcony and went for an early morning workout in the Mantra at Mooloolaba Beach gym and walk along the beach. A few of us headed off to the supermarket that’s next door to the hotel to grab some supplies to make breakfast while the early birds treated themselves to breakfast at one of the local cafe`s. The location of Mantra Mooloolaba Beach really can’t be second guessed… so many options to suit everyone’s needs! I mean that morning ocean view just says it all really!
The rest of the day was filled with nerves and excitement as we were heading to Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium. Here, some of us would have the opportunity to swim with the sharks and the others would be swimming with the seals. I decided to be a bit of a daredevil that day and join Koen and Charlie with the shark swim. The day started with exploring Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium and getting to see lots of the amazing animals. Touching starfish, watching seal’s play around, watching jellyfish and so much more made the day extremely special. Before we knew it 11:30 came around and it was time to go swim with the sharks. We were filled with nerves and excitement as we were getting our induction and were finally ready to get into our wetsuits and take a swim with the sharks.
Putting our flippers and masks on my nerves were getting higher and higher. We were now ready to take the plunge. Once we were in the tank I took a look around me and was instantly ecstatic at the choice I had made. Fish, Stingrays and sharks swimming around and underneath me was something I would never forget. To be able to look around you and see sharks swimming next to you, stingrays skimming underneath you was absolutely incredible. Once we got out of the tank I was happy to hear that Koen and Charlie had enjoyed it just as much as I had.
Next up was the Seal swim. Elsie, Nadjia and Amanda headed around the back whilst the rest of us got to see the Seal’s getting ready for their play time. Once the girls were ready they came into the water and got to swim with the seals whilst they played around and chased after their toys. It was an incredible thing to watch and would have loved to been able to experience both the shark and seal swim.
We all agreed once the day was finished it had been an incredible experience. Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium is definitely an amazing place and everyone should have a chance to be able to experience it. I would recommend anyone to go and swim with either the sharks or seals and tell them to enjoy every minute of it. Check out the fun we had for yourself here!
by Aileen Moore – Study Sunshine Coast Student Ambassador