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It looked straight out of a major Hollywood movie, and I was walking the set. As the years passed, the wonder that came with exploring the campus never faded. How could it when it feels like the very ground beneath me was puzzled together from all my favourite movies. There is movie magic all over the campus and I’m about to give you the Fast and Furious tour.
When it comes to location, there are a few aspects of the UOW Wollongong campus similar to the settings of The Hobbit of the Lord of the Rings. These films boast beautiful landscapes, wide open spaces with fresh air, and interesting wildlife, and so does Wollongong campus. It’s true that students don’t have to deal with orcs bubbling out of the duckponds and wielding otherworldly weapons for an epic battle, but there is an epic battle of sorts going on when it comes to keeping ducks in their place and out of eateries. But what about adventure, you say, where’s the adventure in an immaculate lawn? Beyond the lawn, treasure awaits.
Treasure? On campus? There sure is. Its scattered all over the place, hidden in various buildings looking like the artefacts Indiana Jones searches for. There is one in Building 41, where the rocks which were previously privately owned now join up with their UOW friends to create a vast geological collection. Other finds include a timeline type display of computers and similar technology in Building 3, and a race car display in Building 8. There is treasure in every building because the buildings are important too. They have their own personal charm, each one built in their own way with a set of unique abilities.
If we are talking about special buildings, then the library should get a special mention. It’s filled with movie magic that reminds me of the Ironman movies. Why? Because in the films, there is so much information and knowledge right at Tony Stark’s fingertips, and the same can be said for the students who hang around the physical library on campus and the virtual library during online learning. Admittedly, we don’t have the holograms just yet - you have to go old school with a computer monitor. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other cool toys lingering around the ground floor, including 3D printers and a VR installed in the Makerspace. We might not have a Jarvis, but who knows what the future will hold?
Don’t sigh, you knew it was coming. Harry Potter is everywhere and there is no better way to describe getting lost in Building 19 than with the iconic Hogwarts staircases. Can’t be that confusing to navigate a building, right? Well, meet Building 19. Some staircases are open on one level but closed as fire doors on others, and some staircases only go up or down one flight. Some classrooms have two doors and some classrooms can only be accessed by going their own personal interior/exterior door tucked away behind the landscaping. Anyone who has spent time attempting to navigate these halls wouldn’t be surprised to discover a three headed dog tucked away somewhere. Not super user friendly when you’re late to class, but it has a good atmosphere. And speaking of atmosphere…
There is so much in this movie that reminded me of Wollongong campus Unibar. First of all, like District 12, it is perched on the edge of one of UOW’s beautiful natural spots and because its mostly deserted through the day until the evening pulls up. After twilight, Unibar hosts parties that rival even the brilliance of The Capitol with bright colours, snacks and incredible music.