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Working in Tropical Cairns

After working in Melbourne for two years, I decided to see what it would be like to work in a different part of Australia.

Working for a national company means there are lots of opportunities to move interstate. I asked to see what my options were and I was offered a role in Cairns with free accommodation to start in 4 weeks’ time.

There are so many great options in Australia, but I was really happy with this as I wanted to experience something different, tropical Cairns would be the complete opposite of my city life in Melbourne.

Interstate travel is so easy in Australia, you don’t need a passport and everything is very quick – although I always forget how big Australia is, the flight from Melbourne to Cairns is over four hours! The first thing I noticed when I got off the plane in Cairns is how much warmer it was – Melbourne offers so much in terms of culture, great restaurants/bars, and a lively social scene but the weather isn’t always perfect in the South. Basically, the more North you live in Australia the warmer it is.

I ordered an Uber and set off to the staff (PT/OT) share house where I was welcomed by three lovely team members. It was a good size house and it was definitely a bonus to have a garden. They also showed me the two cars which we could use to get to work and also for after-work activities/weekend trips. I thought it was really generous that the company provided us with two work cars between four of us and it worked really well if we wanted to do different things!

WOW, what a commute to work, every day I woke up to blue skies (granted this was the dry season) a mountain/tropical backdrop and some good tunes with my colleagues. The beautiful drive really did put everyone in a great mood for the day and it was such a difference to my usual tram ride in Melbourne!

There weren’t any differences in the actual work but a big difference I did find was the community feeling of the PT/OT team. Lots of the team had come up for six months so there was this real feeling of togetherness, the team members made such good bonds that everyone extended the length of their contract.

We lived at Trinity beach which was a 30-minute drive to Cairns city center, so I only went a few times. The city is not your usual concrete jungle, it's more of a street with restaurants and bars although we did get involved with water aerobics on the esplanade which was good fun! I think some go to Cairns, stay in the city and think that’s all Cairns has to offer but what made Cairns such a good experience was not the city life; it was the incredible weekend trips we did!

Every weekend the team invited me to join them and experience what this tropical paradise had to offer. My highlights were visiting Port Douglas, which is a famous white sand beach, hiking in the rainforest to waterfalls, heading to different beaches and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. There was a mix of all ages involved and everyone was invited. We also went to the brewery after work and the beach for BBQs. It was a quieter life and would really suit those that love exploring and outdoor activities.

The team had other exciting plans including going to Townsville, festivals, Magnetic Island and even getting their scuba diving license (imagine doing that on The Great Barrier Reef!) which I would have loved to have done if I had a little longer.

I know I am not the only one guilty of wanting to stay in a big city such as Melbourne/Sydney but since going to Cairns, it's really made me realize how working outside the city can offer such a unique experience and I wish I had done it sooner!

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