Since leaving the dairy in August I’d been having fun and not thinking ahead too much. But all of a sudden I realised time was running out, and if I wanted to earn some more money before leaving Australia in March, I’d better get a job.
So while I was in Tamborine Mountain I went to the library one day and half-heartedly looked for work. There wasn’t much about in the area I wanted work in, except for one job in Bundaberg, posted a good few days before.
I tried ringing anyway and a guy called Ian answered the phone. I could barely understand a word he was saying in his thick Queensland accent, and getting information out of him about the work was hard, but he promised a job each for Chris and me at $21/hour.
Chris would be working on a sweet potato farm, and me, in a tomato packing shed. The snag? Accommodation was at the Workers and Divers Hostel and cost $235 a week, each. I really didn’t fancy sleeping in a shared dorm room so asked Ian if we could sleep in our van. He was kind enough to say yes and even gave a discount… the rent would now be $200 per week, each.
As we were pretty desperate to get a job quick I agreed and told Ian we had plans in Brisbane that weekend but could come on the Sunday night. He sounded unsure and said to call Sunday morning to confirm there were still jobs.
Hung over but enjoying our Sunday morning in the hotel, I called Ian, expecting all the jobs to be gone. “What are you doing, aren’t you on your way to Bundaberg yet?” he said. He’d clearly forgotten I’d say I’d call first! I explained we’d be there later that night, no way was I rushing out of the hotel! Part of me had wished the jobs would be taken, but maybe it was just meant to be. Continue reading →
We left Brisbane and went back to the Gold Coast once again, but this time, to go to Wet ‘n’ Wild.
Wet ‘n’ Wild
Part of me didn’t want to spent $64 on a ticket for a water park, but we’d been doing so well living on a budget I suppose you have to let loose sometimes. We arrived at opening time and already the car park was packed and there was a crazy queue. So first bit of advice for anyone going to Wet ‘n’ Wild is to arrive early (although this is kind of obvious…)
After what felt like a lifetime we got in and stuck our stuff in a locker. Second bit of advice for Wet ‘n’ Wild… wear your flip flops. Again, this is kind of obvious, but Chris and I decided to go bare foot not realising how hot the ground would get. We spent the day running from shade to shade prancing around like idiots. After a couple of hours I had blisters starting on my feet from the friction.
The water park itself was good but the queues were pretty bad, I’d hate to see it on the weekend! You spend all that time queuing for a slide only for it all to be over in a matter of seconds. In the 5 hours we spent there we just about managed to try every slide. Which is a bit ridiculous.
After Wet ‘n’ Wild we headed to Tamborine Mountain, a small 525 metre plateau about 1 hour away from the Gold Coast. There was a nice small town here and the whole area was very peaceful and pretty.
We spent a couple of days driving around the plateau and doing different rainforest walks.
After all the peace and quiet it was time to do something a bit more exciting again, and spend more money. So we drove back towards Brisbane to Cable Ski Logan. I love snowboarding and have always wondered what wakeboarding is like. So when I read up about this place and saw you could just turn up and give it a go I really wanted to work it into our trip! Continue reading →
Chris and I arrived in Brisbane and drove through the city to Fortitude Valley. This is where a lot of the bars and clubs are in Brisbane. We were heading for a Sunday session at the bar, Alfred & Constance, where Seth Troxler would be playing.
Seth Troxler is a big House DJ who was doing his Australian tour at the time. I’d seen him once before a few years ago at a festival back home, but seeing a DJ like this in an intimate bar setting would be a completely different experience. And even better, it was free entry. It all felt too good to be true!
We went to the bar late afternoon and it was a pretty cool place. An outdoor terrace with a DJ booth set up, retro decoration, fairy lights, comfy leather couches you sunk right into. The only downside was the food and drink prices, maybe not too backpacker friendly.
Our flight got into Brisbane pretty late so we spent the night freedom camping on a residential street near the airport and then got up early the next day and drove straight to Tweed Heads, which is more or less the start of the Gold Coast. This is where the first lifeguard hut is (I think there’s 39 up the coast)!
My first impressions of Tweed were good. The high rises hadn’t quite started yet, it wasn’t busy at all, and there were great views of the Gold Coast skyline across the water. It was also pretty random how the boarder between NSW and Queensland runs straight through Tweed. I didn’t know which time to go by!
Once there, Chris and I went straight to Snapper Rocks, which is apparently an epic point break for surfing. Although not on this day it wasn’t…. With the waves looking tiny and mushy we gave surfing a pass and instead, went for nice walk around the point, taking in the views.
We said goodbye to our HelpX family and drove to Brisbane airport to catch a flight to Adelaide. We were going to see Nick, our Aussie friend, to celebrate his 30th birthday with him.
We’d just left Little Pocket and got on the motorway when we felt a bump every second or so on the right side of our van. ‘Is that the road?’ Chris asked. No, the road was pretty new and smooth looking. We pulled over on the busy motorway to see a massive bulge on the side of our right rear tyre.
I felt pretty confident though! Thankfully the guy who sold our van included all the tools needed to change a tyre. Plus our spare tyre was a full sized one. So we got to work, putting the wrench under the van and hoisting it up (even though you’re meant to loosen the tyre nuts first) and then tried to get the nuts off.
But they wouldn’t budge… I started googling tips and realised the van shouldn’t be lifted up at this stage, so we tried to get it lowered again, even that took a while to work out. Finally we got it lowered and tried again to turn the nuts with the cross bar spanner we had. We tried everything! Chris was putting all his body weight into turning the spanner until he was red in the face, when that didn’t work, I jumped up and down on the end of the spanner while Chris held it in place, but the nuts wouldn’t budge. And yes, we were definitely turning them the right way!