Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
07.12.2009 - 01.01.2010 25 °C
We arrived in Port Macquarie on the 7th December, after an amazing few days in Coffs Harbour. When we arrived at the hostel, we instantly fell in love with the place. The hostel building is a converted house, with its own living room, and open plan kitchen area. Its only a small place, but it felt like a home away from home immediately, and we got on well with the manager Heather, and night manager Martin. The town is only small, but very quaint, and a stone's throw away from an amazing beach.
On day 2, we loved the place so much we asked if there were any jobs available at the hostel for free accomodation or a wage. There was nothing immediately available for us, but Heather said she'd see what she could do for us. On the next day, we decided to take the hostel's 'Moke' out for a spin (small buggy/go-cart thing) and took a drive south of Port along an ocean road and saw some of the area's other spectacular beaches. We met some lovely people at the hostel, and we spent a lot of time together, sitting around playing cards, or going out for meals and playing drinking games in the evening. We also went on a sunset cruise around the Port, and saw wild dolphins swimming a few metres away from our boat!! There is also a Koala hospital just up the road from our hostel, so we went there for a visit, and did lts of walks and sight seeing.
A few days later, Heather and Martin told us that they had figured out a way to get us work at the hostel. The current cleaner of the hostel was looking to move on, and there was another lady working at the hostel on reception that wasnt doing too well and was thinking of leaving for another job, so things were looking promising. Our major decision now was whether to stay in Port Macquarie and work for a few months, which would mean not being in Sydney for Xmas and Nye. We mulled it over for a few days and decided that the only reason we wanted to be in Sydney for that time was to see the Sydney Harbour Fireworks. The deciding factor was that we could either spend xmas and NY in Sydney, or spend it here in Port Macquarie with our friends, and earn money, so we decided to cancel Sydney. It would mean us both cleaning in the morning for free accomodation, and me working an evening shift 4 days a week on reception for a wage. It would also mean moving into a seperate unit of the hostel and having our own flat, so it was a pretty good deal.
We have met so many amazing people since working here, some that only stayed a couple of days, and others who were long termers, who have become good friends. Matt, a French guy who was here for over a month, became a close friend to us during his stay, and we spent many a night playing cards or Xbox, him teaching us various swear words in French. There was a great group of people in the hostel around on Xmas day, and we all had a massive BBQ and spent the day drinking wine and playing games in the sunshine, which was fantastic. On Ryan's birthday, Heather cooked us all a meal in the unit, and we played a few card games in the evening. Its been so amazing meeting so many cool people, although its always sad saying goodbye to them as they continue on their travels. We'll definitely stay in touch though, and we've already been thinking about who we want to go and visit when we get back to the UK
For New Year Eve, a few of us from the hostel took a walk to the port and watched the firework display that was on at 10pm, then we took a slow wander back and a group of us sat in our little flat in time for the Sydney fireworks to be shown on tv live. The Sydney fireworks looked spectacular on tv and apparently Australia spends something like 5 million $AU on the display each year. Unfortunately, they only lasted 10 minutes, so we think we made the right choice by staying here and making a bit of money instead. Its been a lovely Christmas and New Year in Port Macquarie, not quite as flash as Sydney, but spending the holidays with friends has made it a memorable experience.