After great five month in Breda, all of us were excited to start our field research in Melbourne, Myanmar and Bali. Our first destination was Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city. For almost all of the class it was the first time in Australia. After a 26 hour flight all of us were excited to get out of the plane and experience Down Under. Coming back to Australia after three years felt very familiar, but at the same time I was looking forward to it as I love the country. In addition there were so many things I haven’t seen in Melbourne, as I have been only very shortly here and many things changed. Moreover, coming for field research, was a completely different perspective.

One the first day we had a guided city tour by the “Greeters”, where we had the chance to discover the hidden spots of Melbourne and of course also the typical tourist places, including the graffiti art streets. We also had the opportunity to try the famous Melbourne coffee. Another thing that makes Melbourne to a unique place are its plenty street musicians and artists. Besides the nice little hidden streets that are great to have dinner at, a place worth visiting is the Wednesday Queen Victoria Night Market, a vibrant place with food from all over the world and life music.

The first two weeks we had several lectures with tourism experts, managers and representatives of our stakeholders groups. After several group meetings and meetings with the teachers, our research project started rolling. Our group was divided into five groups, each one with a different area and stakeholder perspective: Micro and Small Enterprises, Medium and Large Enterprises and Public Organizations. After coming up with a research plan and several group meetings, we started with the primary research. For example, one day we went out to conduct surveys: we approached the visitors along our area which was kind of fun. Furthermore, we conducted several interviews with the lectures and our stakeholder groups, etc.

The first weekend came up and as we already missed cycling from our time in Breda, some of us went on a cycling tour along the Yarra River and Port Philipp area, which were both our research areas. The same weekend the most famous music festival of Melbourne took place – the St. Kilda Festival – which is a free music and dance festival. Some of us tried various dance styles, such as Bollywood dancing or Zumba and listened to the various Aussie bands. The other weekends some of us went to Mornington peninsula, to the Great Ocean Road, the Yarra Valley or Sydney, all great places to visit for a weekend.

One of my personal highlights was Tasmania. Nine of our TDM group went for a longer weekend. It was always my dream to go there since I’ve been to Australia, and finally a dream came true. We rented a car, drove along the east coast from Hobart to Launceston, the Cradle Mountain and back to Hobart, including the marvellous Wineglass Bay and waterfalls. Tasmania reminded me a lot of New Zealand; however, it is a unique place on its own with its different landscape and wildlife. One of the things to be considered going there – either take enough food with you or go for dinner before 9:00 p.m., otherwise you might encounter the same problem as we did. Also be anytime prepared for rain and bring a jumper as it gets quite chilly. And be aware of driving not too fast in the night as they are many possums or wallabies on the road. It was a really great break in between the research.

The last week started and all of us where busy with finishing the report and the presentations. Altogether, Melbourne was a great experience. Melbourne had a lot to offer, from festivals to very friendly and welcoming people. It is a great place to be, definitely worth staying for one month.

This blogpost is written by TDM student – Marlies Haider.