My First Week on a Working Holiday in Australia
This special edition features Global Traveller Rebecca as she takes us through the first few days on the sunny shores of Australia on her Working Holiday trip with The Global Work & Travel Co.
This week has been an absolute blast. My first experience staying in a hostel couldn’t have been better. I’ve met so many interesting people from all over the world and made amazing friends. Surfer’s Paradise is a beautiful city, the Gold Coast, in general, is such a beautiful area. I’m definitely going to be missing this when I’m 7 hours from the beach in a couple of days.
Kicking off my trip on the Gold Coast
Starting off the week, I arrived on Thursday morning and got the whole day to whatever I wanted. I walked around town, went to the beach, hung out by the pool and made some friends. I must have been more jet-lagged than I thought I was because I went to bed around 4 pm and slept all the way till the next morning!
Friday I had an orientation with The Global Work and Travel Co. and got all my vouchers for free activities including surfing, a pub crawl and a day pass to the wildlife sanctuary. I didn’t use all of them this week; the ocean was way too rough and windy for a first-time surfer to tackle. Most days there were ten-metre waves. None of the vouchers ever expire though so I can always use them later if I’m back in the area.
Koala-Ty time spent in Currumbin
One activity I did use was the pass to the wildlife sanctuary, and I absolutely loved it! I went with another girl from Canada I’ve been hanging out with all week and had a blast. We actually got to go right into the kangaroo enclosure to feed them. I ran out of food, and one little guy decided my map looked yummy & took a bite right out of it! I played tug of war with him for a bit before the volunteers came to help me. Apparently paper is not typically part of a kangaroos diet, and they didn’t want him to eat any more of it.
We also held koalas, got very close to the ring-tailed lemurs, and saw lots of reptiles. We even sat in on a snake safety lesson for a bit, so no one has to worry about me getting bit in the outback! I will admit, we were at the bar the night before and a little hungover, but we still forced ourselves to get up at 6:30 am and have breakfast so we could spend the whole day there when it opened at 8.
I’m glad we did that because we ended up being there until almost 3 pm so if we went any later we wouldn’t have had all the time we needed to see everything.
Weekend adventures in Surfers Paradise
The rest of the weekend was also spent making friends, at the pool or exploring around town. Irish pubs are big here, and a place called Waxy’s became our favourite lunch spot if we were eating out, but more often than not I just had a sandwich and some fresh fruit at the hostel. I got quite the sunburn on my arms, back and chest, and of course two days later when that just started turning from red to brown I burnt my legs even worse.
It turns out the lack of ozone layer actually does make a huge difference, even if it’s only 24 degrees, and I have definitely learned that the hard way!
Orientation at Global HQ
Monday I spent the whole day in Global’s office doing my Responsible Service of Alcohol course, which I need as I’ll be working in a bar. New South Wales (where I’m going) has their own course specific to that state though which is unfortunate for me, because now if I get a bar job in another state I’ll have to redo the course and do the version that is standard for every state in Australia except NSW and Victoria.
It does have good information in it for people who are new to the industry which is more than I can say about ProServe in Alberta, but to me, it was all regurgitated information I already know and was incredibly boring to sit through for hours.
View from Global HQ office
Tuesday was my last full day on Surfer’s and staying in a hostel, at least for now… I hung around the hostel in the morning and afternoon and then in the evening I went with two other girls to get a box of wine (which Australians call “goonie sacks”) and went down to the beach. We used empty water bottles to drink wine out of, watched the waves roll in and looked at constellations, sang Piano Man and a few other classics and just had a good time.
I’m sure it’s probably illegal to drink on the beach here too, but we were the only ones out there, so no one bothered us.
Gone like the Goondi(wind)i
It’s now Wednesday morning, and I’ve got to check out of my room and catch a bus to Brisbane this afternoon. I’m spending the night there in an Airbnb and then taking another bus to Goondiwindi Thursday morning, where one of my new coworkers will pick me up, and we’ll drive from there to Boomi.
I’ve had so much fun on the coast all week but my little vacation is coming to an end and the work is starting! I’m excited to continue the journey and see more new places.
You can follow Rebecca’s blog Any Way the Wind Blows to keep up with her inspirational journey, OR you can get going on your very own Working Holiday adventure just by clicking that little green button.