Cairns Part 2

Work work work work work work…

28th October 2017 – 7th February 2018

We arrived in Cairns ready to start work but it was’t until the 14th November when we actually started. This is because of issues outside of our control and we were messed around A LOT by Nomads.

When work finally began our job roles were housekeeping and bus driving. We were also lucky enough to get jobs at the local tavern, The Cock N Bull. Both jobs were very active and meant we were on our feet all day, a drastic contrast to the rest of our travels so far. We didn’t mind this one bit, we were just excited to be earning some money! 

I don’t want to dwell on what happened in cairns though, as I don’t look at it with fond memories. When you’re working 2 jobs up to 50 hours a week it can start to bring you down. Instead I just want to note some of the fun things we did when our friend from home, Jared came for 3 weeks over Christmas and what we did on our days off.

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Christmas in Cairns, fun BBQ on the esplanade thanks to chef Jared. 

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Some pictures of what we got up to with Jared.

The beauty that is Fitzroy Island.

7th February was when we had finally had enough and decided it was time to go back down the east coast for some more adventures. We decided to take the Greyhound again and stop off at Airlie and Noosa.

1am bus journey to Airlie was first… 17 hours on a bus is nothing right? 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

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Brisbane

How to outstay your welcome…

3rd – 27th October 2017

Where do I start with Brisbane? What a place. The place we thought held all the answers to our job needs. As it turned out we just ended up spending 3 weeks wasting time, energy and most importantly, money. 

“It’s a city, they’ll be loads of jobs” we thought. Everyone had told us we’d find it easy getting a job because we had retail experience but no matter how many resumes we handed out or shop managers we asked to hire us, they just weren’t looking for back packers. 

We all printed out 50 copies of our resumes and handed out all 50 of them all over the city and got nothing back. That’s 150 resumes. 0 replies. 

Websites such as Seek, Indeed and Gumtree are the sites that advertise the most jobs so we would spend our days sat in the bar applying for job after job I couldn’t even tell you how many, only to hear nothing back.

After a while desperation set in and we decided to apply for a job as ‘fundraisers’ for a charity. Yes you’ve guessed it, we applied to be one of those people who stop you when you’re out doing your shopping and don’t want to be stopped. Off to the group interview we went and surprisingly we were all successful. We were told they were only hiring 10 and interviewing 50 so we were pretty chuffed with them odds. It was the boost we needed. 

Next it was up to us to learn the speech we would have to repeat at the training day to prove we were ready for ‘the field’. Cringe as it was, we made it through the day and were told where we would have to go the next day. Thankfully me and Jess were put at the same station and it was only a mile away but Alex’s was a train ride away. With it being our first day we only had to do half a day, me and Jess were in the morning but Alex was in the afternoon. 

Up early and not looking forward to it, Jess and myself set off ready to give it our best shot. We were designated an area and we had to stop as many people as we could and try to get them to sign up. I won’t sugar coat it, I didn’t even get through the first line of my speech. It was horrible, the most soul destroying job I have ever done. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I am a really sociable person and I don’t have issues talking to new people so constantly being rejected and being ignored was really tough. After about 2 hours of trying to get people to stop we got a 15 minute break in which me and Jess rang Alex and told her how it was going. Alex was an absolute star and talked us down and told us not to do it if we didn’t want to and that we could quit. She also told us that she had decided not to go that afternoon and we didn’t blame her one bit.

When the morning was finally over Jess had made the decision that she was going to call it quits. Why I didn’t do the same, I’ll never know but I thought I’d give it one more shot. I lasted one full day and that was it I couldn’t do it any longer. 

With us all once again jobless and out of ideas we decided to contact the people we met in Cairns to see if they could help us out. After calling on a few favours we had word that if we got ourselves to Cairns we had jobs as housekeepers in Nomads where we started our trip. This was the good news we had been waiting for even though it felt like a little step backwards. We were really lucky that Juicy had a relocation offer on a big condo van so it meant we only had to pay $1 a day to get it up to Cairns. Of course there were plenty of hidden charges but it was still cheaper than flying or getting the greyhound. 

This meant our time in Brisbane was over. I have only really moaned about the lack of jobs here but overall we did really like Brisbane as a city it just wasn’t meant to be. We were regulars at musical bingo on a Tuesday night and trivia Wednesdays were always a win (even if we did cheat)! I’ll insert some pictures below of what we got up to:

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Anyway, back up to Cairns we go…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

When The Plan Doesn’t Go To Plan

Moral of the story: trust your gut...

1st & 2nd October 2017

Travelling down the east coast was something I’ll never forget. From the people we met to the memories we made it was the best start to my working holiday. 

BUT 

And that is a very big but, it doesn’t always go to plan. 

We knew we couldn’t be ladies of leisure for the whole year and we definitely are not afraid of a bit of hard graft! It was just getting someone to employ us to do the hard graft that was the problem! 

Jess had heard of this website called work away, a site where you can organise homestays or cultural exchange. The idea is you can stay with a family and in exchange you work a few hours a day for them doing things such as; assisting with family life or working on their land. We had found a hostel in Hervey Bay which agreed to take all 3 of us in exchange for a few hours  work a day in the hostel. The plan was we were going to stay in the hostel for the month of October while we looked for jobs in Brisbane, chilled after a month on the move and potentially got a job in Hervey Bay to tide us over for food costs. Sounds great right?

Well, we arrived in Hervey Bay and from the get go, we knew it wasn’t for us. This is in absolutely no way the hostels fault! In fact, they were so lovely about the whole thing. Don’t worry though this isn’t one of them travelling horror stories! It’s just that Hervey Bay is very much a holiday/ weekend away spot and don’t get me wrong I love a small village or town but this was just too small.  There were limited shops/cafes – non of which were hiring – and the hostel was very quiet. It was a hostel people tended to stay in before their Fraser Island trip which we had just finished. 

We made the decision almost immediately after getting in our room that we weren’t going to stay there and a walk around the town just confirmed our initial thoughts. I think it’s important that you listen to your gut and my gut was telling me to get out. 

Cut to the next day and after a lot of group discussion and a chat with a random lad from Preston (shout out to you, your the real MVP), we planned how we were going to tell the hostel that we weren’t going to stay. We may have exaggerated the truth in that we said we had jobs lined up in Brisbane but we were just hopeful that Brisbane had the answers.

So there you have it, after two nights we were back on the good old Greyhound CV’s in hand heading to Brisbane to get a job… stay tuned to see how that worked out!

Speak Soon,

Hannah x

Fraser Island

4×4 driving on sand…

28th, 29th& 30th September 2017

Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island spreading 120km, with panoramic view points where you can take in the beauty of the island and witness stunning sites like Lake McKenzie, Lake Wabby and the Maheno shipwreck. 

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We were on the Nomads tour which was a guided 4×4 driving experience with a lead car driven by our tour guide Tim and 3 other cars that were driven by people on the tour. You were put into groups for your car and it was up to you to decide who was driving when. I was part of car 4, the absolute dream team. 

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The dream team was made up of: Alex, Jess and myself, Costas, Kike, Luca, Lorenzo and Lisa, covering all nationalities from British, Greek, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. 

We were on the island for 2 nights and 3 days, staying in the hostel resort on the island. It had an entrance to the beach where we would spend the evening (with Dingo sticks, just in case). We saw so many different things and the trip was so jam packed, a little too jam packed for me as I would have of liked to spend more at some of the sites like Lake McKenzie and Lake Wabby, but such is the nature of the tour. 

My favourite spot was Lake McKenzie, a perched lake, meaning it is filled by rainwater only. The blue and green colours of the lake are breathtaking and to swim in it is something else. It was so refreshing and clear, something I will remember for a long, long time. The sand is white silica and is so soft to walk on, like nothing I’ve experienced before. 

Whilst driving along the sand (an experience in itself) we spotted wild Dingo’s roaming and a group of dolphins swimming. When at the look out points we even saw a whale!

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Lake Wabby was another stand out moment for me not only for the reward of the beautiful water but because of the 2km forest walk to get to it! It was during this walk where I encountered my first slice of death with an Australian animal. Okay, I might be being a little dramatic with the whole death thing but I did look one of the most deadliest snakes in the eye and froze and screamed and had to shout the girls to coach me through walking around it without aggravating it or dying lol @ me and my life. 

Similarly to the Whitsundays, a lot of the time I didn’t take my phone to the sites because I didn’t want to damage it or loose it so the pictures I have a limited but as always the memories made will last forever and car 4 will always hold a special place in my heart.

That concludes the east coast part of my trip and what a trip it was! I absolutely loved every part of it, I tapped into a part of me I’ve never seen in myself before, I always knew I was a confident person, so the meeting new people part of traveling never scared me, but I never new I could fully immerse myself into letting go and trying new things such as, snorkelling, sliding down waterfalls, driving a 4×4 on sand, driving a scooter and being out in the wild, 10 points to me and my pals for throwing ourselves into our travels.

I’ll be back soon to fill in the details of what’s been going on from October to now.

Speak soon,

Hannah x 

The Town of 1770, Agnes Waters

Sons of Anarchy, hit me up…

24th, 25th & 26th September 2017

Prior to coming out here, I hadn’t heard of Agnes Waters but we were advised by Dan (the guy who helped book our trip) that everyone who had done the Scooteroo tour, said it was the best thing about their trip so we though we would give it a go and here’s how it went!

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The trip starts with a welcome from the team, you get your jacket and helmet and have  opportunity to take pictures on the ‘show bike’, the photos came out fab and I want them all framed when I get home.

Next you are taken over to the ‘test track’ which is just a circle track that you have to ride around until the team agree you are ready to go on the road. 

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Out on the road was a LOT easier than the track, but I understand it is important you can master the track first. We saw some beautiful sites whilst riding, watched the sunset over the harbour and walked through a slice of a beautiful local forest. 

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As you can see from the pictures I was definitely feeling myself on that bike but it was fun while it lasted I don’t think I want one full time (so you can stop panicking mum). 

I want to be honest about my travels, so I want to state that although the pictures are fab and overall I did have a good day, it was ruined slightly due to issues out of our control. The company, due to its increased popularity was being filmed by ‘Good Morning Australia’ and because of this we spent the majority of the day waiting around for them and consequently we missed a lot of the stops that the tour promises. If I have the chance and we are passing through Agnes Waters again I think I would do the tour to experience it fully, but for $80 it didn’t live up to our expectations on that day. 

The hostel we stayed at felt very middle of nowhere and the rooms were in cabins. It was very nice for the 2 nights we stayed there and the hostel was nice but its not somewhere I could stay for longer than 2 nights because there is nothing in walking distance and little to do outside of playing pool and the Scooteroo tour so for now, I think i’ll put my bike career on hold.

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Next stop, Noosa for a trip to Fraser Island…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

The Whitsunday Islands

Ahoy captain…

20th, 21st & 22nd September 2017

I’ve had a bit of experience being on a boat in England but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to beat the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands.

We were on the boat, named Broomstick for 3 days and 2 nights, soaked up the sun, snorkelled with the fishes and turtles, watched the sunset and gazed at the stars. It was honestly the best few days spent with some new friends. There were 19 of us on the boat not including the captain, Rob, and 2 crew, Saskia and Mertha who were so great, they had so much knowledge and had the answers to all our questions. The group of people we were on the boat with were good fun too, it was always going to be a risk throwing a bunch of people together on a boat, but because of the boat we had picked luckily it was all similarly minded people. You’re never going to get on with everyone but we found our kind of people and bonded. 

I’m going to let the pictures do the talking with this post so get ready for the stunning views!

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Side note… I saw so many more views, like Whitehaven beach, but a lot of the time I didn’t take my phone as I didn’t want to take it off the boat to the beaches! I’m hoping that my mind keeps it in my memory for ever! (if not google will help trigger them).

Final note… we had nachos on an island and it was the best thing I have ever eaten/experienced in my life. 

After we got off the boat we headed back to Airlie beach for a night and I really liked it and would like to go back and explore some more if we have the opportunity. 

Next stop, The Town of 1770, Agnes Waters for Scooteroo…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

 

Waterfall Wanderers

Mysterious girl on repeat

Thursday 14th September 2017


Today we headed to the Atherton Tablelands and went waterfall spotting. 

We were picked up at 7am by the most cheerful bus driver I have ever met! His name was Jim and he honestly made the trip. Jim is the king of dad jokes and has the best timed music playlist I have ever heard, from waterfalls by TLC as the waterfall came into view to blasting the YMCA on the way home. 

We went to 8 different spots throughout the day, the first being about an hour and half north of Cairns but the journey didn’t feel bad at all because Jim had so many facts about the rain forest and the views kept you occupied.

Stop number 1: Babinda Boulders.
Filled with aboriginal history of a tragic love story which you can read about here

Stop number 2: Josephine Falls.
The first swim stop of the day was the beautiful Josephine Falls which has a natural water slide which was amazing, it was so fun! You have to be careful though because the rocks are so slippery! I slipped and fell down the rocks more times than I like to admit but so did everyone so I wasn’t alone, and Jim was always on hand to help you back up! Just another reason Jim was so good he was the first in the water and last out! He took some fab pictures for us all. The water was so clear, with little to no current and it was so refreshing to jump into after being in the heat, a welcome break after being in the salty sea!


Stop number 3: Millaa Millaa Falls
Que the music. Yes you heard correct, this is the scene of the iconic Peter Andre music video for Mysterious girl. It’s famous for a few other adverts such as herbal essence shampoo hair flips and and an advert for Quantas, but who cares when you can transport back to the nineties and pretend you are shooting your own version of the song? Of course Jim was an expert at getting the perfect shot for all our Instagram needs, I will say that the longer the hair, the better. 


Stop number 4: Malanda Pub
Time for lunch! Here we stopped at the Malinda pub that is over 100 years old and is like an old tavern for some pub grub which was well needed after a morning of adventure! The pub had some great trinkets and posters on the wall showing it’s history. 

Stop number 5: Mount Hypipamee
This was a nice bush walk up to an 85 metre deep volcanic crater. It was a really nice walk but I’m not going to lie, I was on edge thinking about what was hiding in the trees and bushes! 


Stop number 6: Curtain Fig Tree
This was a really interesting looking tree and that has 15 metre high tree roots that have engrossed another tree. 


Stop number 7: Platypus Viewing
Just before the last stop we went to a little creek to go and look for some platypus. Unfortunately we didn’t see any but Jim did say it was mating season so I think they were a little busy! 

Stop number 8: Lake Eacham
The final stop was the breathtaking Lake Eacham. This dormant volcanic crater is filled with turtles and supposedly a crocodile! The water is a warm 23 degrees day and night and it was so lovely to sit and watch the sunset to end a fantastic day.

Overall the waterfall wanderers trip was honesty so worth it. We were dropped of by Jim at about 6pm after having a good old sing a long on the journey home! Not only did we stop at 8 different viewing spots we were well fed andal kept entertained in between stops not just by Jim but the stunning views of the Atherton Tablelands, I would 100% recommend.

Next stop Magnetic Island…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

P.S. Shout out to Jess and Alex for sticking by me when I wasn’t feeling my inner wanderer and was struggling with the bugs and stuff. I am and will always be a big city girl at heart. 

The Great Barrier Reef

Real life finding Nemo

Wednesday 13th September 2017

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I found paradise.

We booked a boat trip to the reef and it was everything I wanted it to be. We left at 9am and didn’t get back until 5pm. I’m not going to lie the first part of the journey on the boat to the reef was a bit hit and miss. I’ve been out on a boat plenty of times in Wales where the water is about 50 shades darker and the sea a lot choppier, but for some reason my stomach was not loving the Australian waters! Thankfully it calmed down once we stopped and I managed to pull myself together enough to snorkel.

The view on the way out was stunning, I’ve never seen anything like it. The only way I can describe it is that it was like a green screen, it didn’t look real. There are lots of islands surrounding Cairns and each one is slightly different, making it unique.

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It was cloudy in the morning but the sky cleared as the morning went on, leaving blue skies and clear sea for miles. It really put things into perspective as to how big the world is, it is 70% water after all.

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We went to two spots of the reef, the names however I cannot remember! The first was filled with fish and coral, it was insane how close you were to everything. It was my first time snorkelling and it didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately for me, due to my asthma I wasn’t able to do a dive, but Jess and Alex both did it and I am so proud of them! They said it was incredible to go deeper and see more kinds of fish and they even had some great pictures with a real life Nemo! There was a clown fish family and luckily the photographer got some great shots.

After that we had lunch and soaked up the sun on the top deck of the boat.

The next spot we went to was a small cay, which is a small island of sand in the middle of the sea, or as you can see from the pictures, paradise. We got to swim and snorkel over to it and it was just stunning. I know I keep saying it but it just doesn’t seem real, the most memorable sighting of the trip was a royal blue starfish that looked like it had a velvet texture. It was so bright and beautiful it really reminds you how important it is to protect the reef and the life in it. We spent about an hour on the cay, just letting the waves take us in and out, counting the fish go by, it is a moment I will cherish forever.

Next stop, the rainforest…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

I’M HERE!

Can you believe it? I can’t

The past week has been a whirlwind and a half! I left Manchester a week a go and have been in Cairns for 5 nights now. I’m not going to lie to you the journey was tough! I haven’t done a long haul flight in over 10 years so the first flight to Hong Kong was a lot. 11 hours on a plane is a long time, I managed to get though 2 films and a whole TV series! We had a 14 hour stop in Hong Kong and went to Hong Kong Disney land which although was fun, I was really struggling with jet lag and the humidity was too much to handle! The next flight was 7 hours so felt small in comparison to the first. I won’t dwell on the journey as it wasn’t exactly the most enjoyable experience! 

Now for the good bit…

I have one word for this place and that is BEAUTIFUL! Cairns its self is quite a small city by the sea, you can’t swim in the sea though because it’s full of things that want to eat us! Instead of risking a dip in the dangerous waters it has an esplanade alongside the sea, leading to a stunning man made lagoon.

 

We have spent most of our time by the lagoon and the rest of the time sorting out all the life admin that comes with going travelling! I finally have an Australian sim card now and have set up an account with job search which will help with finding a job when funds get low!

I am keen not to let my fitness slip whilst over here and how can you say no to a run when you have these views? The esplanade is perfect for running but speaking from experience it is 100% best to go either early morning before 9am or late afternoon, after 4pm. Foolishly, I though it was a good idea to go at 2 in the afternoon yesterday and the heat was horrible! 

 

We have 4 nights left here in Cairns and then we are beginning our trip down the east coast making 4 stops en route to Brisbane. But before we go we can’t leave without going snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef and taking a trip to Daintree rainforest! So expect some more spam from that in the next few days! 

I have been collecting some things for my scrapbook so I will update that shortly but as always I’m making no promises!

Speak soon,

Hannah x

Last Day In Work

Day 1 of unemployment…

Friday 11th August 2017 will forever now be known as the day I finally left my job. What started as a 6 week summer temp job when I was fresh out of uni turned into a pretty busy 2 years. 

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I got lots of lovely cards and gifts in my last few weeks and they were really unexpected so shout out the teaching staff that bought me the flowers and the goodies you really made me feel appreciated. The things that people wrote in the cards really mean a lot and I will miss the people at work very much, but I’m not going to lie I am glad to leave! 

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From the office, the people I work with the most got me a bag full of treats and I am all about the puns. The bag included:

Even good girls get their hands dirty
Cucumber & mint cleansing hand gel 

These lips were made for kissing (and eating cake)
Peppermint lip balm

SMILE
Handy compact mirror

Ah..aah…aaah A-TISHOOS!
10 pocket tissues

You’re mucky but I love you
10 handy little wet wipes

All of these items are travel size and will come in so handy for the flight as during my 36 hours travel time I’m going to need to do some freshening up! 

Another present in my gift bag was some DKNY Women limited edition perfume which smells AMAZING it is so fresh and light just what I’m going to want to smell like in Aus. Unfortunately it’s a little big for my rucksack so it will going the case but it will 100% coming with!

The person I work most closely with is Chloe and like the little gem she is, she got me a lovely bracelet to match the one she got me at Christmas. They are from a brand called JOMA Jewellery and they come with a little message, this one says:

This little bracelet reminds us to see adventure awaits, life’s full of possibilities!

The message really hits home and just adds to the already brimming excitement that I am feeling!

FullSizeRender (12)The bracelet on the left with the envelope attached is the one Chloe gifted me on Friday and the one on the right with the flowers is the one she got me at Christmas. 

Leaving work felt really surreal, as I was walking down the stairs leaving it just didn’t feel like that was the last time. I think for the first week it will just feel like I am on holiday, it will definitely be a while before it sinks in that I have left and that I am unemployed… hopefully not for too long! 

Either way I plan to enjoy my time off making sure I get to see my family and friends before I go.

Speak soon,

Hannah x

P.S 3 WEEKS