Welcome to what I hope is the start of a wonderful adventure in Australia.
I’m currently sat typing this in a backpackers hostel called the Parrotfish in Port Douglas, North Queensland. Let’s backtrack a few weeks and I’ll explain how I got here!
Ok, so, about 2 weeks ago, early one Thursday morning, I made my way bleary eyed to Heathrow Airport. I wasn’t scared about the journey I was about to make, having “done” BUNAC before (Work America 2004!). I also felt like I already knew the people I’d be travelling with because I’d received contact details of other BUNAC travellers a few weeks beforehand and looked them up on Facebook! However, when I arrived at Terminal 3, I have to admit I was a little bit nervous!
I needn’t have been though. I managed to find the BUNAC group, introduce myself and within about 10 minutes we were all chatting as if we’d been friends for years. There were about 30 of us in total, half going to Australia and half to New Zealand. First stop for all of us though, was Hong Kong…
The 3 day stopover passed most of us by in a haze of jetlag, but nevertheless it was a lot of fun! We were met at the airport on arrival by Lyon, our crazy tour guide. She took us by bus to our (pretty swanky!) hotel out on Hong Kong island and left us to ourselves that day. Some of us took the ferry over to Kowloon and got completely soaked in a thunderstorm (the Kag in a Bag I had bought from Primark turned out to be nowhere near waterproof).
The next 2 days we had guided tours - the first one around Hong Kong island (Stanley Market, Aberdeen Fishing Village and Victoria Peak, followed by a Chinese meal). On our last day we had a different tour guide, Kennis, who was even crazier than the last one. We spent most of the day laughing at her. She took us on a tour of Kowloon, including a visit to a Buddhist temple and a jade market. That evening we were taken to the airport - the New Zealand people went off to Auckland and the Australia people to SYDNEY!
We were met at Sydney airport by Pete from IEP (BUNAC’s office down under) who took us to Sydney Central YHA (a really nice hostel with a rooftop pool!) We had the orientation the next day, which was a lot of information to take in but useful stuff like how to get a job, a tax number, bank account etc etc.
Of the 14 of us who came to Australia, 10 decided to stay in Sydney for the time being – they’re renting a house on Bondi beach. 4 of us (me and 3 other girls) decided we wanted some sunshine so we booked a flight to Cairns, and after a week of getting everything sorted in Sydney, (plus doing all the usual touristy stuff like looking at bridges and Opera Houses) off we went to the tropics!
So that pretty much brings me up to date, just up in Port Douglas for a few days to gawp at the rainforests, gorgeous beaches, and get started on the tan! At the end of this week we should hopefully be going to the Atherton Tablelands. We’ve signed up for WWOOFing (volunteering on a farm in exchange for board and food) and a farmer down there is interested in having us to stay – so that should be fun! After that we’re going to start looking for some paid work. Apparently there’s quite a lot of fruit picking to be had at this time of year in North Queensland, so we’ll look into doing that!
Bye for now!
Find out more about Work Australia and the group flights