The Bunya Mountains

Sorry for not blogging sooner but I just had the most amazing birthday weekend in the mountains here in Queensland.

The lover whisked me away from dreary Dalby and our jobs here (hellhole) for 2 nights in the Bunya Mountains (heaven!)

They were only an hour drive from here and so beautiful!

The drive was pretty steep and scary and there were one or two moments where we were unsure if our little van would make it, but make it she did, and I cannot emphasise enough how incredible it was up there!

There were tracks and trails to follow through literally magical rainforest with cool (and massive) trees and so many birds chirping away. There were waterfalls and streams hidden away and every so often you would come to a break in the trees and get the most spectacular views from lookout points.

Here are just a few photos I took, literally could not put my phone away, every 2 minutes there was something I wanted to capture on camera!

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We stayed in a cabin called Renyar which we booked through the Bunya Mountains Accommodation site that you can find here.

At $170 a night it wasn’t cheap, but it was my birthday so we splurged!

It was in a brilliant location overlooking a valley and there were constantly wallabies and colourful birds on our doorstep 🙂

It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, lounge, fully equipped kitchen and laundry. There was a log fire and we prebooked to have chopped wood ready and waiting for us and it kept the cabin super toasty!

The ensuite had a spa bath with the jets and everything (this was very exciting for me after living in a van and using camp showers for what seems like a lifetime!)

It was cosy, peaceful and homely and we didn’t want to leave, could happily have stayed for another week or two!

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We saw loads of other cabins available to rent and there were campsites too so they have something to cater for all budgets.

I was completely spoilt, a weekend of gorgeous scenery, good food, great company and some pamper time was exactly what the doctor ordered. One very happy girly right here!

If you’re in Queensland I highly recommend a visit to the Bunyas, well worth it!

xo

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Jimbour Heritage House & Gardens

We made a break for freedom on our day off today and left the sounds of machinery and monotony behind us for a few hours!

I’m so glad we did because it has made such a massive improvement to both our moods and general attitudes towards our current situation.

I found Jimbour Station online after desperately googling to find anything interesting to do and/or see around the area we’re currently working in; Dalby, Queensland, if you were wondering!

It’s advertised as one of the nation’s most gracious historical homes, built in 1876 and 238 km northwest of Brisbane.

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The interior is only open for special events as it remains a private residence but you are welcome to tour the grounds and gardens.

There was nobody there at all when we arrived and for the whole time we were there apart from one guy driving around and tending to the gardens.

As you enter there is an honesty box asking for a $3 per person donation, of course we obliged, and there are also little maps to take that tell you what’s what around the grounds.

There is a sweet little Chapel (circa 1868) to take a look at as you walk to the actual house, and when you get there they have old stables and outhouses set up with old photos and facts and art on display, along with historical plaques and speakers that played animal noises in the barn and scared the crap out of us!

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The grounds were beautiful and even the vegetable patches were well laid out and pretty and filled with more butterflies than I have ever seen in my life!

It was like the secret garden, with huge trees, shrubbery, flowers and old statues and vintage machinery added amongst the greenery so there was always something to look at.

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The only downer for us was that we went in winter (still 24 degrees!) so the rose gardens weren’t in bloom, but from pictures I’ve seen they look mightily impressive in summer!

If you’re interested in finding out more I’m including the link through to their website here.

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We spent about 2 hours there in total, taking our time wandering around and inhaling the serenity.

If you’re in the area I’d definitely recommend a visit 🙂

xo

Making The Most Of It!

I’ve worked out that as of today we only have 58 days more to work at this place!

That takes us up to the amount of time you have to work in a certain industry to be signed off on your second year visa so we will have that in the bag!

We’ve decided to ‘make the most of it!’ and smile our way through the remaining days.

We’ve booked two days off next week to go to Brisbane, 3 days off at the beginning of September to go and stay in a cabin in the bunya mountains (for my birthday!) And we’ve also booked a day off at the end of September to go to the Toowoomba Flower Show which I found on a ‘must-do in Queensland’ list and it just happens to be local!

It may not be what we envisaged ourselves doing when we decided to spend a year or two in Australia but we’re earning and saving money, we’re getting fit and learning new skills in the process, and we have each other! *awww!*

So here we are ‘grinning and bearing it!’

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Ooo and I’ve just found out there is a big old homestead with pretty gardens nearby too! We’re going to go and check it out on our next day off.

We will fight the cabin fever!

xo

Stressed

Last night I had a run-in with our boss. It should have been nothing but she made me feel so small and uncomfortable that we are now seriously debating leaving here and moving on.

We went to cook our dinner in the kitchen block like we always do but when we tried to get back into our room it had locked itself?
Our room is a shipping container FYI, so not the nicest anyway.
The key was inside, there is nobody on site apart from us and one other English guy at night so we just leave it unlocked whilst showering or cooking ect.
We couldn’t understand what had happened and tried everything to get back in before we decided we’d have to call her and ask for a spare.
It was 8pm and she lives up a dirt track literally 1 minute away.
She answered the phone straight away and just went mental. Telling us she has enough kids at home she doesn’t need ‘effing kids at the depot too. And maybe she should come and wake us up at 2am and see how we like it.

I think I was more shocked than anything, I tried to explain how the door had never locked itself before and we couldn’t have known but she didn’t want to hear it. She came down to get the spare out of the office and just continued her ranting.

I just burst into tears as soon as she left. Bailey was a total sweetie and said we could leave then and there if I wanted. I don’t think he’s over enamoured with this whole experience so far either.

Now it’s the day after and I’m just pissed off. We are working on minimum wage of $15 an hour ($5 less than everyone else because we get the luxury of living on site, I personally think we should be charged a set rent because it doesn’t seem fair that the more we work the more we lose.) Our storage container room is constantly overrun with ants, we are clean and tidy and hard workers. She has told us horror stories of the people they’ve had live on-site before and we are angels in comparison. And I still am not getting the hours we were promised when we took the job, despite my 2 shifts at the depot last week.
It’s our day off today and I feel really uncomfortable, like I don’t know what to do with myself, I don’t know what mood she’ll be in the next time I see her.
We didn’t come to Australia to get spoken to like that, it was completely uncalled for.

But on the other hand we’ve been here 5 weeks now, we only have to stay 8 more weeks and we can get signed off on our second year visas. And if we do leave now, what if we can’t find another job? The money we’ve managed to save so far won’t last long if we’re all spend, no earn.

Basically, I don’t know what to do and right now I’m thoroughly miserable.

Any advice?

xo

Nanny Diaries

The best part of my job so far has definitely been looking after the kids during their 2 week school holiday. They’re absolutely crazy but they’re kinda cute too!

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We spent a whole afternoon building fairy houses in the garden, complete with tiny fairy beds! (I multitasked like a true woman and managed to weed several flower beds aswell!)

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I’m learning how to cook too! I mean, I had basic cooking skills but now (with the help of google) I’ve cooked a roast dinner, made a lasagne from scratch, made a cheesecake and cooked pancakes to look like a mouse!

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And in the mornings when it was freezing cold we made hot chocolate with cream and toppings and they sat infront of the fire.

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xo

My wish is granted!

So after being seriously down in the dumps about my hours getting cut at our first Australian job, it seems someone, somewhere heard me!

There isn’t as much to do up at the house now the kids are at school and I’m pretty much on top of all the cleaning/gardening so after a measly 3 hour shift I was told to finish for the day.

However 2 hours later I get a text telling me to get some wet gear on and come to the depot. (Yay!)

My first mistake was not asking where to find the wet gear, instead I wore jeans, gumboots (wellies to us British!) and a work-provided shirt, non of which provided much protection…

I was handed a pressure washing gun and pointed in the direction of an excavator and told to clean it.

An excavators job is to get muddy!
The thing was huge, and filthy, and within an hour I was soaked and the glasses they’d given me were so covered in dirt splatters that I couldn’t see.

An hour later the sun started to go down, which just made me cold as well as wet.

I took this picture before jumping in the shower and I was thoroughly knackered.

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My arms and wrists hurt and I’m going to admit I had a little tantrum, tears and stomping feet, that kinda thing.

But now it’s the day after and I’m feeling a little more positive!
So I ache all over, that basically means I’ve had a good work out; and I’m exhausted, that just means I worked more hours, which is what I wanted!

I’m going to try and take these positives and crack on with the next 2 months, at least I’ll have some stories to tell the grand-kids!

xo

New Job Blues…

Time for a moan.
After tax we actually only earn $12.15 an hour.
I’m getting more like 30 hours a week instead of the 60/70 I was going for.
I just wanted to come here and work my ass off for a few months and earn money.
What is the point of me getting half days if bailey is working full days? I just sit in our room with nothing to do. It’s not what I came to Australia for. I’m a good hard worker and I just feel useless…
On top of that I don’t seem to be getting paid quite right, I’ve worked out that so far I’m owed $500 more than what I’ve been paid… I’ve spoken to the girls in the office and they’ve assured me it’s all getting sorted but I’m so irritated.
The only redeeming factor is that it goes towards our second year visas, if it didn’t I would leave tomorrow.
Not what I wanted to spend 3 months of my travelling doing.