Australia – 6 weeks in

I have been in Australia now for just over 6 weeks, not very long but long enough to get a introduction into the Ozzy lifestyle.

What I have done so far;

  • Arrival; The first two weeks were spent with my Grandad, Auntie and Uncle in Sydney where I glimpsed the blue mountains and visited a multitude of zoo’s. Sydney was a pretty cool place with huge parks backing onto the harbour with iconic views of the bridge and opera house. A trip to manly on the ferry was a definite highlight. I hope to return and hike the blue mountains with my Ozzie friend.
  • Train; On the 1st of April, perhaps as a April’s fools, I hopped on a train from Sydney to Brisbane, this entire journey took about 15 hours none stop. The highlights were seeing the blue mountains and some gorgeous scenery as the train left Sydney, unfortunately most of the journey was through the night so we didn’t see much after the first few hours on the train. Flying may have taken a lot less time but nothing says epic journey like a mega train ride, slow traveling and experiencing the journey just as they used to back in the olden days. It was epic but I won’t be rushing back on that train haha, especially as I arrived at 4am and literally no coffee shops were open to feed/water us; coming from England this is odd as in the major cities there is always at least one Maccy d’s that is open all night long to feed the wary traveler.
    • My first sight of the city, that I intended to spend the next 6 months in, was just as the sun was freshly up at 6am shining between the high rise buildings and making the South Bank look gorgeous. The only people around at this time were cyclists and runners making the most of the quiet cycle track which follows the river.

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  • Work; I had chosen Brisbane as my base for 6 months because I had been given a job at Oz’s biggest bicycle retailer in order to draw on my previous experience in the cycling industry. One thing that I didn’t properly appreciate when I took the role was how badly this company is run, I thought that I would be appreciated for my skills and experience rather than being let go after a month just because they were going into a ‘slow season’ and I was easy prey because I am on a working holiday visa.
    • It has opened to my eyes truly to the prejudice and cruelty that visa holders face, a lot of jobs are only asking for Australian citizens and turn me away even though I have great skills and experience to offer them.
  • Lifestyle; I do adore the Australian lifestyle, everyone is so laid back and lovely, I am yet to meet a bad Australian! The sunshine everyday offers up a lot of time for outdoor activities such as running, cycling and hiking. I am renting a room from a lovely family who I get on really well with, they have been nice enough to take me on day trips to the mountains and have invited me and my house mates up for bbq’s a couple of times. They also have a gorgeous Alsatian doggy called Nacho who is beyond adorable. We live in a old Queenslander house just a short walk from long cycle routes and a multitude of parks.

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  • Cycling; I am of course going to mention cycling, as cycling is my best mode of transport. Upon starting my job I was allowed to purchase a bicycle, yay, I opted for a cheapo shopper type bike that would be practical for carting around my food shopping and luggage. It is not the best bicycle for all the hills in Brisbane, but it only cost $160 hehe. The best cycle route I have found heads East along the Kedroon Brook towards Shorncliffe which is on the coast, the whole route is segregated away from the road and heads past Nudgee beach through wetlands, it is gorgeous.

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In summary;

  • Australia is great, the landscape is gorgeous but to really enjoy it you do need to be able to drive (I can’t).
  • The people are lovely and the many English people I have met have said that they would never want to go back to the UK.
  • The wages are really high, even just for shop workers!
  • The sun shines literally everyday.
  • It is winter and still about 20 degrees every day, so no coat or hoodie is needed, maybe just a cardi for the cool evenings
  • You don’t need many clothes as everything drys so quickly in the hot sun
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