It’s an odd name - Yorkeys Knob - but a very pleasant place to live. It’s the third beach north of Cairns city, past Machans Beach and Holloways Beach. Besides having a long, clean, sandy beach, Yorkeys also has a comfortable community feel to it. Like most of the Northern Beaches, Yorkeys Knob has an active and enthusiastic residents’ association. Yesterday, the local Yorkeys Knob Residents’ Association just happened to be holding their Christmas barbecue at the beach, a few blocks from our home. Not to be left out when there’s sausages sizzling and new people to meet, Maria and I joined the festivities.
We go for a walk along this beach every morning, and every now and again go for a swim. This morning was one of those mornings, and believe it or not, we met the local Yorkeys Knob dolphins. Well, ‘met’ could be a strong word, since I doubt they really even noticed us as they swam past in the early hours of the morning. Of course, at this time of year, its normally TOO RISKY to swim in the ocean, but the local council installs stinger resistant nets, forming a safe swimming area. For a city girl like Maria, our new lifestyle is dramatically different to anything she is used to. The tract of bushland near our townhouse is home to at least a couple of kangaroos, and most days we catch a glimpse of them bounding past our front garden.
Our normally routine weekend was punctuated by the visit of a German, a friend of an old mate of mine. Stephan was in Cairns for a few days, and asked us to help him organize a DIVING TRIP, a trip to KURANDA and a visit to TJAPUKAI ABORIGINAL CULTURAL PARK. We met us with Stephan for dinner at our favourite BACKPACKERS HOSTEL, and in the end, he also ended up staying with us for a night. Stephan, tell Ryan to get his ass over to Australia soon!
Now, the big news of late is that Australia and the USA signed a reciprocal WORKING HOLIDAY VISA agreement (although for some reason they insist on calling it a ‘Work and Holiday’ Visa) That means Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 – inclusive – can apply to spend twelve months travelling and working in the great Land Down Under! There are no restrictions on the number of visas to be handed out, and it is anticipated that we will welcome upwards of 30,000 young American working holiday makers each year. And when it comes time to choose whereabouts in Australia they would like to spend their time (it’s a big country!!) there’s nowhere better than Tropical North Queensland.
The major urban centres of Tropical North Queensland - TOWNSVILLE and CAIRNS - offer a wealth of casual employment opportunities in a range of industries, not the least of which is our booming tourism industry.
Great numbers of working holiday makers find a job in the local agricultural industry. The towns of BOWEN, TULLY, and INNISFAIL rely on working holiday makers for their harvest. The work may be tough, but if you work hard there is good money to be earned, and the camaraderie among workers will likely result in some great friendships, and lifelong memories.
But the best thing about spending your working holiday in Tropical North Queensland is that when you’re not working, there is no end of things to see and do. The GREAT BARRIER REEF stretches 1200 miles along our coastline, and in many places the World Heritage listed WET TROPICS RAINFOREST spills right down to the beach. And the famed Australian OUTBACK is only a couple of hours away!
Spend your spare time soaking up the sun on our beautiful palm fringed beaches, diving and snorkelling on the reef, trekking in the tropical rainforest, exploring the Northern Outback, or join in some of the myriad activities that this part of Australia has become famous for: white water rafting, hot air ballooning, hang gliding, skydiving, bungy jumping, jungle surfing, jet skiing, kayaking, kite surfing, horse riding, quad biking, fishing, golfing, birdwatching, crocodile spotting, sailing, fossicking, water skiing, wakeboarding, and four wheel driving. This really is an ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND.
In Cairns alone, there are over thirty BACKPACKERS HOSTELS, and the city receives two million visitors each year. That many people can’t be wrong. And you can find everything you need to know about Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, and Tropical North Queensland on Cairns Unlimited