After finishing in Sydney as an au pair my plan had been to fly to Alice Springs, see the Australian outback and take a tour of Ayers Rock. Had. In the weeks leading up to my departure I became more and more hesitant – flying to Alice Springs from Sydney was expensive, accommodation wasn’t cheap either and an Ayers Rock tour was going to empty my pockets and leave me with very little to live off afterwards!
With about a month left in Sydney I received a phone call from some of my nearest and dearest fellow travellers. I’d met them in Coffs Harbour and had then stayed with them after they found an apartment in Melbourne. They were now undertaking a road trip with the intention of ending up in Queensland somewhere. They weren’t sure where, yet.
And this got me thinking – it was getting colder and colder in Sydney, but Queensland was warm! It would be nice to meet up with my mates again if possible, and if nothing else I deserved a little break after working and before heading off to whatever was next in store for me. (Side note: I can justify just about anything!) So I started looking at potentially heading to the backpacker haven that is Cairns. Backpackers flock there. Before I knew what I was doing I’d booked my flights for Saturday 13 June and the reality of leaving my fabulous au pair family became very real, but the reality of going somewhere new was incredibly exciting!
I arrived in Cairns mid-June and have been staying at Globetrotters International Backpackers for no other reason apart from the fact my friends were staying here too. What can I say, I’m a sheep! It’s been so great to see them again, plus I’ve met so many new people at this hostel and it definitely felt like another little hostel community within a few days of my arrival.
As a fair few people have their own transport we’ve spent our days exploring nearby rainforests, waterfalls and lakes. My favourite trip was to the nearby Palm Cove which was absolutely beautiful. Very different to the Sydney beaches that seem to epitomise Australia, but nevertheless the views we were blessed with were the stuff dreams are made of and enough to make everyone at home jealous!
I’ve already posted about the two ‘big’ adventures I’ve been on in Cairns – my skydive and my trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Other days have been filled with chilling at the lagoon Cairns is famed for, sunbathing by the pool at the hostel or recovering from alcohol-fuelled antics the previous night. There are a fair few places to head to for a night out in Cairns, and I definitely don’t feel as if I have seen all that Cairns nightlife has to offer. More often than not our nights have ended up in Woolshed, which isn’t that great but we always have more than a few stories to tell the next day! Along with quite a few dodgy photos…
So pretty I think you’ll agree!
The one thing that has concerned me during my time in Cairns is other people’s effortless ability to get stuck here. The amount of people I have met who’ve been around for a good few months job hunting is crazy, and something I was adamant wouldn’t happen to me! Pre-Cairns my plan had been to find a working hostel along the East Coast – maybe Bowen – and to fruit pick for three months in order to obtain this silly second year working holiday visa. After a few phone calls to said working hostels on a rainy day it became fairly obvious that wasn’t going to happen as there was barely any work in the places I was looking, so going to one of them would be a big risk!
I could already see myself getting sucked into getting stuck. I extended my stay at the hostel, put my name down on the work for accommodation waiting list and began panic applying for any job within walking distance. All the while I was still googling the term ‘second year visa’ and searching Gumtree endlessly for something that I could do. And as luck would have it the perfect job reared its head the other morning!
I am so so SO happy to say that I have been offered a job in Tullamore, NSW. Population: 210. I’m for real – this place sounds tiny! This job will qualify me for my second year visa, but more than that this job will hopefully show me a completely different side to Australia that I haven’t yet experienced. I will arrive on Monday 29 June, so I have about a day and a half to prepare, pack and purchase some more practical clothes! It’s a real leap of faith and I’m pretty nervous, but once again I have the feeling in my gut that this is the right thing to do and what I’m meant to be doing next.
So keep an eye out for how things end up – I’ll be sure to blog about it all should I get the chance!
Cairns – you’ve been great, and I will for sure be back to visit soon! On to the next adventure, where it’ll be 20 degrees cooler and I can almost guarantee it won’t look like this in the mornings…