Friday, 25 October 2013

TRAVEL: Mission Beach

TRAVEL POST: Mission Beach!

I went and stayed with my mum for a while after I came back from Thailand, then I went to Trent's sister's wedding. And the itch came back. I needed to leave, explore, travel.... GO!
I found a job on Gumtree - 3 hours work a day at a hostel in Mission Beach in exchange for free accommodation, laundry, internet and weekend BBQ.
Okay, sweet!

I caught a flight from the Gold Coast to Cairns, then my first ever Greyhound (there were many more to come!) down to Mission Beach, to Absolute Backpackers :)

Above: Absolute Backpackers is WITHOUT DOUBT the best backpackers I have ever stayed at and I am not just saying that because I worked there. It is a beautiful building, the staff are always cleaning and the management are lovely (especially Peta!). It is located near to Woolworths and the beach... what more could you ask for?

Click Read More below!

Mission Beach is a collection of beaches spread down the Cassowary coast. Most backpackers that came to stay with us were in Mission Beach for the sole purpose of Skydiving- at 14,000ft Mission Beach offers the highest skydive with beach landing in Australia.
I feel that MB has more going for it than skydiving - the beaches are gorgeous! Proper holiday brochure style; with blue skies, palm trees and hardly any people around!

Above: I took these photos myself along Mission Beach - my camera is just a standard, cheap digital camera with no special effects or anything... see, Mission Beach is gorgeous!


Skydiving: Most of Mission Beach's tourism was backpackers there to do a dive, or backpackers there for a long-term farm job. The skydive is the highest in Australia at 14,000 ft. Most of the other staff at AB did a dive but I was too scared and I was trying to save money. The dive itself isn't too badly priced- what makes it expensive is getting a video and photos (I wouldn't do a dive unless I had video proof cos no one would believe me otherwise!). Everyone who did it loved it and would recommend it.

Tropical Fruit tasting: At North Mission Beach, about a 15 min drive from our hostel, is a community hall that offers Tropical Fruit tasting a couple of times a week. It is $5 per person and you get to listen to some experts talking about each fruit & of course afterwards you get to taste them! I was surprised at how many of these fruit I had never heard of before - I LOVED the mangosteen!
Above: my plate of testes (after I had eaten them, what is left are the skins/seeds)

Tanya's Wildlife rescue talk: Tanya is an awesome lady. She looks after animals, particularly wallabies, that have been injured/abandoned/orphaned. We drove groups of backpackers to her house a couple of times per week, its a $5 donation each which helps to feed the rescued animals. Her talk lasts about an hour and are always informative and fun - she has a lot of cool stories to tell! The best part is getting to cuddle baby wallabies wrapped up in blankets... so cute! She has a snake and a lizard too, I was lucky enough to hold and have photos with both of these - others weren't so brave ;)
Above: me and two of Tanya's baby wallabies... I honestly could have sat there all day but I had a mini-bus of backpackers to drive around & a Greyhound to meet!
Above: there were wallabies everywhere, they were in people's front gardens, on the beach...!

Dunk Island: I cannot believe it - I never made it to Dunk Island for a day trip!! About half of the other staff went, on various days, and unfortunately not many of the backpackers went over. Half-day trips were priced quite well (food not included) and the trip mostly involved taking a boat over to the island and then doing some snorkeling.

What else did we do?
Went to the beach, sunbathed by the Absolute Backpackers pool, watched DVD in the Absolute lounge, made use of our free internet, went for walks, went to the Mission Beach markets, had a beach bonfire, went out into the main beach for a night out (it wasn't that great..) and EVERY day (seriously) we went to Woolworths (usually towards the end of the day as this was when they made reductions. Yes, this is true. Don't judge us, we were poor backpackers!)
 Above: Sometimes we didn't have to go far to spot wildlife- these cassowaries were in the backpacker backyard!
 Above: beach bonfire, courtesy of Joe
 Above: We somehow always seemed to be drinking champagne!
 Above: The sad day Laura left; me, Joe, Laura and Terri in the kitchen
 Above: Myself, Laura and Janina were lucky enough to get some paid work in town, cleaning a super-rich guy's beach house! We found a dead {something} on the floor and grew quite attached it him. We named him Skel and when we finished the house we gave him a burial (sort of..)
 Above: Me and the lovely Laura went for a beach walk, found a coconut and spent the next hour (yes. An hour!) trying to open it. Once we did, we both discovered we don't actually like coconut XD
 Above: we had a night out in the main bit of Mission Beach. It had a couple of bars, it was so so quiet. It was an ok night but not that great ... and I was missing my boyfriend :(
 Above: We ate. A lot. Like, so much. We were always eating and it was always junk. I don't know how I managed to stay in my usual shape.
Above: we survived a Huntsman spider! Unfortunately, it didn't survive us. Sorry Mr Huntsman, we didn't realise you were harmless :-(

I had an amazing time in Mission Beach, it lasted less than a month but I met the most amazing group of people EVER. I loved all of the other staff and was so sad to leave but when its time to go, its time to go. xoxox

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