19.07.2014 - 22.07.2014
Well on Saturday the day finally came for me to move out of Sydney and The Jolly Swagman, and head upto Cairns in the pursuit of much craved (got to do) farm work to secure a second working holiday visa. I've got to say I really enjoyed my time in Sydney and loved meeting such an interesting group of people to call friends, and so when the time came to move on this was no easy decision. The swagman is so close knit, and its small nature makes it feel more like a family than anything else. So I am already starting to appreciate how much I will miss the guys there! Also some of the experiences that I have had while in Sydney certainly will live with me forever, and I'm sure I will be back!
So, what of my new destination? Cairns is a complete polar opposite of Sydney. Moving from the hustle and bustle of Sydney's Kings Cross it has quickly become apparant that Cairns is a quiet town, with in comparison not that much going on in all fairness. The buildings are not so high rise, the streets are quieter and there are a lot less attractions. This is not to say that Cairns is a bad place, rather the opposite. With its more leisurely pace of life and smaller nature comes its own charm. I suppose it is only natural that I would compare it to Sydney, as that has been my only previous experience of Australia and for that reason possibly anything would have suffered in comparison. But anyway whilst my sightseeing over the first few days here may not have been as awinspiring as the world renowned ones of Sydney, Cairns has its very own beauty with the rolling rainforests that cover the mountains that overlook the harbour and the esplanade, both of which I have walked round in the glorious sun that has definitely come as a benefit of the move. The lagoon swimming pool that is just off the promenade and oversees the ocean as it slowly drifts in throughout the day is another nice touch. I have also been treated to the spectacle of fly boarding in the harbour and a constant stream of helicopters coming and going from the reef and over the rainforest to land just next to the promenade. If I had to sum up Cairns, I would probably describe it as feeling a little bit more like a resort that you would be likely to visit on travels to Spanish islands.
Something which I am noticing however is that if you want to do more exciting stuff than strolling round the streets of Cairns, you really need to head out of Cairns at every available chance to see the reef and the rainforest up close. These are two delights which I am still to experience for myself, but cannot wait!
One final thought brings me back to the issue of hostels, and again the one I moved to up here is worlds apart from the small family feel of the Swagman. It is much more like a hotel/ resort than anything else, with its onsite bar/ club, swimming pool and en suite showers, and for this reason almost doesn't seem like the place you are inclined to make groups of friends to travel with and much more somewhere that you would stay for a couple of nights while passing through. Not really sure how long I will be here as it all centres around the farm work, which I am trying all different routes to obtain! Hopefully will have some better news of this in my next update.