International · Travel Tips

Travel the World on a Budget with WorkAway

  • Comparing WorkAway to WWOOF and HelpX
  • Fees and Services
  • Personal Experiences and Plans
  • How to Travel on $1000 a Month or Less

Comparing WorkAway to WWOOF and HelpX

If you are familiar with the concept of working for your room and board while traveling, you might have heard of websites like WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and HelpX.

WWOOF, as the name implies, is for farm work whereas HelpX includes a broader base of volunteering opportunities such as backpacker hostels and B&Bs but still centers on farms, ranches, and homestays.

Both HelpX and WWOOF have been around for a long time and may have special sites for popular regions such as Australia, Europe, and the US. WWOOF, the oldest in the bunch, is celebrating its 37th year, whereas WorkAway was launched in 2002 (one year earlier than Couchsurfing).

Though there are plenty of hostel as well as farm opportunities on WorkAway, it is not limited to those categories. Because the platform includes a focus on language exchange, you can also find host families.

For example, if you have been learning Italian and/or want to visit Rome, you might find a couple there who would like someone to help improve their son’s English. In exchange for a few hours work (never more than five hours a day, five days a week and often less), you get a place to stay, the opportunity to practice the language you’ve been learning with native speakers on a daily basis, and in some cases meals included.

Additionally, there are lots of opportunities to volunteer for nonprofits who, for example, work with street kids in Manila or teach orphans in the mountains of Vietnam.

Fees and Services

You can become a premium member on HelpX (which is required if you want to be able to contact hosts) for just over $20 (USD) for two years. WWOOF typically costs $30 a year and WorkAway is the most expensive at $38 per year for an individual account and $48 for a couples account.

Besides offering a couples account, WorkAway includes the option to find traveling companions and join two accounts together.

Of course, the main function of the website, once you have set up your profile, is to help you find hosts and allow you to contact them. From there, you can exchange contact info and communicate through email or social media.

The website also allows you to list your destinations and travel dates so that hosts can initiate contact and invite you to volunteer with them. Finally, WorkAway has a blog with lots of helpful tips for first-timers.

Personal Experience & Plans

Personally, I haven’t used WWOOF or HelpX but I have heard quite a lot about them as both are quite popular here in Australia. However, I never had the intention to backpack from farm to farm across this vast continent so I didn’t take much personal interest.

I have, on the other hand, been a member of the Couchsurfing community since earlier this year and have already had some fun experiences, met great people, and made new friends through it.

One such friend talked about how he had recently traveled South-East Asia with WorkAway and immediately my interest piqued.

I had already been intending to leave Australia by the end of this year and look for opportunities in the Philippines and Taiwan instead,

I decided almost right away to join WorkAway and since then I have confirmed my first host in Palawan in January and have been invited to teach in the mountains of Vietnam in February and volunteer at a surf school in Taiwan thereafter. I have been able to find multiple potential hosts in Taipei, though not as many in Manila. In combination with Couchsurfing, however, there are plenty of opportunities.

How to Travel on $1000 a Month (or a Little as $750)

I book all of my flights out of Manila, as I have been when coming to Sydney, and I have a GetGo card and membership so I earn points every time I fly with Cebu Pacific. They have flights from Manila to just about anywhere in South East Asia (plus as far as Sydney and Los Angeles) are extremely affordable.

You can find flights on the Cebu Pacific website that almost always rival any deal you’ll find on Skyscanner and as a GetGo member, you can use the points you’ve earned to book exceptionally good deals through their website. For example, a Cebu Pacific flight from Sydney to Manila on December 31 through GetGo cost me $250 ($175 when redeeming points) instead of $320 via CebuPacific.com or $330 via Skyscanner.

Round-trip flights from Manila to other islands in the Philippines, such as Palawan, can be booked for as little as $75 and a round trip to Taiwan, Vietnam, or Malaysia might cost $100-150. Even if you are buying your own food, the cost of living in these countries is so low that in a place like the Philippines you can comfortably get by on spending $20 a day.

Coupled with the free accommodation provided WorkAway hosts and maybe a few friendly Couchsurfers, you can absolutely live on a thousand dollars a month or less. In fact, if you booked one $150 dollar round trip per month (countries like the Philippines give you a free 30-day visa upon arrival), and spent $20 a day you could travel, not necessarily the world, but definitely South-East Asia for $750 a month.

I’ll keep you up to date on how this works out for me.

Make Memories and Share Experiences

As great as it is to see the world, it’s the people you share travel experiences with that make the places worth remembering.

And in that way, volunteering for your room and board or surfing couches is not just about traveling on a budget.

For one, your WorkAway host will likely be able to hook you up with great experiences during your time off and possibly get you some good deals too. Many hostels and such places will be geared toward travelers like yourself and odds are good that you’ll meet some interesting people with whom you can share your travel experiences.

I can wait to see what these next few months (or possibly years) of traveling will teach me. It will certainly be quite different from the past year I’ve spent in Sydney, working from home in a quiet and peaceful environment. Though, if there’s one thing we can always count on in life, it’s change.

Australia · Travel Reviews · Travel Tips

A Weekend in Shoal Bay, Port Stephens

Port Stephens is full of bays. Starting from Salamander, you can work around the clock: Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, Fingal Bay, and Anna Bay, and there’s plenty to do in each.

You can ride camels, go sandboarding, take a dune safari, or encounter sharks (this is a planned experience) near Anna Bay. Likely the most popular spot is Nelson Bay, where you can swim with dolphins, visit fish and marine life sanctuaries, and attempt to sight whales. Besides nature, there’s also go-karting, toboggan rides, “hot ice skating”, rock climbing and a slew of other active things to do.

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But what they don’t tell you is that you can also do nothing.

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Nothing but enjoy being here.

At first, I was considering an Airbnb in Anna Bay so we could be close to the action for sandboarding and camel rides. However, when we found this cozy and affordable spot in Shoal Bay–which drew us in with the beautiful environment, idyllic waterfront, national park, and of course beaches–our decision was made.

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As peaceful as this little haven may seem, we were pleasantly surprised to discover a bustling nightlife at the Shoal Bay Country Club (a five-minute walk from our Airbnb) when we went to explore the town after a late arrival from Sydney on Friday.

Right across the road from the Country Club, you’ll find a beach with a concrete wharf that juts out far enough for a casual 10-foot plummet into some piercingly cold water. If you’re hungover from the night before, this may help.

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After a lazy morning in bed with a gorgeous view of Tomaree Mountain from our quaint attic window, a salt-water dip, and cold drinks to sip on the beachfront, we made up a meal at our Airbnb kitchen and spent the night chatting with a pair of medical students from Europe who had booked the room next to us.

The next day, we packed up our things and–now that we were finally ready for action–made the trek up to the Observation Post on Tomaree Mountain. The hike is only about a half-hour to an hour from the Shoal Bay Wharf, very doable–even for small children–and absolutely worth it.

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After getting back on Shoal Bay Road, we still had time for a drink at the beach before catching a bus back to the Newcastle Interchange and another train-replacement bus from there to Sydney.

Typically, a single train and bus will get you from Central Station to any of the Port Stephens Bays in under five hours. Of course, you could rent a car using the Car Next Door app and get there in less, as our fellow Airbnbers did. However, there’s something quite enjoyable about heading out of the city without a car–I mean care.

And if one thing is cheap in Sydney, it’s the trains; gotta love ‘m!

Philippines · Travel Reviews · Travel Tips

6 Things to Love about Metropolitan Manila

Though I left life in Manila behind about a year ago now, I have spent many years in this behemoth of a city. Recently, I’ve been spending months at a time in Sydney, and what a contrast that is.

For quite some time, I’ve had a post bobbing in drafts titled “Things I Love About Sydney” but I still haven’t gotten around to writing it. Perhaps because it’s so obvious.

Yes, Sydney is a beautiful (and expensive) city, what with its beautiful parks and beaches and picturesque points, and it’s been a pleasure staying here.

However, re-experiencing life in Manila last month has inspired me to write about this swelling metropolis instead.

In the past, I wrote about the struggle to survive in Manila and revisited a few remarkable memories. Now, I’d like to write about things to love in Metropolitan Manila.

1. Warm Greetings

From the thick, warm blanket of air that wraps it’s welcoming arms around you when you first step out of the airport to the hospitable nature of its people, Manila sure knows how to give a warm welcome.

2. The Slow Life

Life meanders here at about the same pace as the traffic along EDSA and it’s certainly not a place for the impatient. However, there is something quite enjoyable about settling into the slow pace–certainly for awhile, at least.

3. The Cheerful Optimism of the Happy-Go-Lucky

Years ago I did some work as a language assessor for BPO companies and every other Filipino candidate I interviewed described themselves, word for word, as “happy-go-lucky”.

I found it quite amusing at the time but, truthfully, the easygoing nature of Manila locals is quite a pleasant contrast compared to how people can be in other parts of the world.

One of my favorite Tagalog expressions is bahala na si Batman or “leave it up to Batman”. Indeed, Filipinos are so relaxed and optimistic about the future that they don’t even need to leave it in God’s hands: Batman will do.

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3. The Abundantly Friendly (and Surprisingly Ever Unserious) Nature

A former manager and fellow foreigner once told the story of being mugged in Paranaque–one of Metropolitan Manila’s seventeen cities, located just south of the CBD.

It was late and he was on his way home from work when two young men approached with what I believe was a knife and asked for his money. He was tired after a long day and told them woefully that he had nothing on him. The muggers showed such pity that they apologized for the disturbance before going on their way.

Honestly, when people ask me if Manila is dangerous, stories like this often come to mind. That’s not to say you can’t get in trouble–certainly, you must be vigilant–but more often than not I have found the nature of Filipinos too innately friendly and accommodating to warrant fear of confrontation.

If you asked me who the most serious people in the world are, I’d probably say airport security. Yet, in the Philippines, they’re still friendly enough to comment “Nice hair!” during a pat down.

In truth, Filipinos can make light of just about anything, from airport security checks to devastating typhoons.

4. The Spirit of Bayanihan

Bayanihan

No, it’s not a ghost. Bayanihan would more or less translate to the value of extending a helping hand without expecting anything in return. It is best embodied in the picture of a whole house carried on the shoulders of a group of neighbors.

I’ve never seen my neighbors carry a house but I have had a total stranger pick up my motorcycle and carry it to a mechanic for me when it broke down on me. In fact, I’ve never needed more roadside assistance in the Philippines than the Filipinos on the roadside.

On another occasion, trying to find the way back to Manila on dark and unmarked roads after a trip out of town, the car ended up in a ditch. Stranded and hours from home with a baby in the car and little else, my companion and I had all of two minutes to worry about what we were going to do before people starting crawling out of the woodworks, so to speak, and lifting our car out of the hole.

They were gone as quickly as they had appeared. Bayanihan, indeed.

5. The Vegetarian Challenge

Nowhere in the world has the struggle to be vegetarian (for the past six months or so) been as real as in Manila.

The local diet is built on pork and seafood, with a side of chicken and beef, and lots of rice. When I asked for vegetarian dishes on the menu at one Filipino restaurant, I was pointed to one small plate vegetables.

Though, in the spirit of optimism, the quest for vegetarian food in Manila makes for quite a fun challenge.

I became vegetarian earlier this year before going back to Europe. In Holland, it was easy; in Luxembourg, doable; back in Australia, fantastic. (It’s almost like meat doesn’t exist in Newtown anymore.) In Manila, on the other hand, it’s been quite the opposite.

Still, it has drawn me out of a comfort zone and into new experiences. I’ve even discovered a couple of great all-vegetarian/vegan restaurants that serve plant-based versions of Filipino favorites such as sisig and adobo.

Indeed, if you’re a vegetarian in Manila and you haven’t been to these places yet, check out Corner Tree Cafe in Makai and the Vegetarian Kitchen or Greens in Quezon City.

6. The Pleasure of a Cold Beer at a Low Price

Last but not least, there is nothing quite like an icy cold San Mig on a hot Manila day. This local beer will cost you a dollar at many establishments and set you back no more than three bucks at even the swankiest venues.

It’s an easygoing beer and surprisingly good for the price. In addition to the light and pale Pilsen, you can find the far less easygoing Red Horse (read: crazy beer) at about the same price. Only for the brave (read: crazy).

Europe · Travel Reviews · Travel Tips

Three Days in Malta

Malta is an amazing country and was it not for a wedding, I could have easily gone my entire life without setting foot on its islands.

Dividing vacation time between Manila and Malta almost seems like a mistake: a typo when booking, perhaps. One is a metropolitan city on a tropical island in South-East Asia and the other an ancient Mediterranean archipelago now popular among European tourists.

Regardless, it was the itinerary of the month.

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A Bit of Maltese History

From Saint Paul’s shipwrecking to Cersei’s naked walk of shame, the small island of Malta has hosted many significant events.

Malta has been occupied by the Romans, Arabs, and a horde of others. The famous Maltese knights arrived in the sixteenth century and the stage was set for the Great Siege of Malta–a tale that quite frankly puts the Battle of Blackwater to shame.

Eventually, it was Napoleon who took Malta from the knights at the end of the eighteenth century. It took the French only two petite years to surrender, leaving the Islanders in the hands of the British Commonwealth and forever fated to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Malta also played a role in the Second World War. With so much historical bloodshed, the islands of Malta have offered an excellent setting for blockbusters such as Troy, Gladiator, and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Curiously, for all the testaments to Malta’s rich history, the most renowned monument appears to be King’s Landing.

Things to do in Malta

A: Visit historical sights
B: Go to the beach

At least, that was the debate for my partner and me as we only had three days on the island–one of which was fully occupied by the wedding.

Upon arrival at the airport, we met up with a few family members and were spirited to Qawra Point in St. Paul’s Bay.

We stayed at Seashells Resort (great place, very friendly and accommodating staff) and enjoyed the nearby Qawra Point Beach as well as a sunset swim in the infinity pool, followed by dinner, at Café Del Mar.

Also in St. Paul’s Bay: the National Aquarium. Which is where you go if you haven’t been able to find any fish in the ocean.

The following day was spent at the wedding venue. Popeye Village, named after the spinach eater and apparently the only film set still standing in Europe, is now functioning as a small amusement park. This charming film-set-turned-theme-park located along the beautiful cliffs of Anchor Bay becomes quite magical when the sun begins to set.

On the third and final day before departure, we decided to explore one of the other islands.

The largest island of Malta is (you guessed it) Malta. Next comes Gozo and in between the two lies the smallest of the three and home of the Blue Lagoon: Comino.

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From Marfa in Mellieha, which lies in the north Malta, you can catch a ferry straight to the Blue Lagoon.

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Getting Around the Main Island

1. Public Busses
They have routes and schedules but also, apparently, a mind of their own.

2. Taxis
There is no Uber in Malta but you can use an app called eCabs to book taxis from your phone. Most trips ranged from €18 to €25.

3. Car Rentals
Cars can be rented at the airport for anywhere between €16 and €28 per day. Keep in mind that the Maltese don’t drive on the right side of the road.

The turquoise bay was awfully crowded when we arrived, so we trekked to another point on the island and found a quieter spot to enjoy the Mediterranean sun and sea.

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We ended the day with dinner at Ocean Basket back in St. Paul’s Bay and for the first time in my five months of vegetarianism I felt sincerely envious as lavish platters of seafood were brought to the table.

That being said, I did enjoy their vegetable dishes and a plate of tasty vegetarian sushi.

We saw castles and fortresses all along the landscape but didn’t visit any of them. Among other interesting places which I didn’t get to see but heard good things about are the walled city of Mdina–which embodied King’s Landing–and the Dingli Cliffs. You can also find St. Paul’s Catacombs more or less in between those two locations.

Malta was entirely a delight, though I must say I was a little disappointed that they had knights in all the souvenir shops but Maltesers were nowhere to be found.

Here a few aerial views of almost the entire island on the way out:

And thus the end of this staccato account.

Australia · International

When It’s Time to Travel

I’ve spent a relaxing day at home, enjoying the Sydney sun as it shines through the windows. The howling wind outside is nothing to me but a soundtrack–and a no-frills way to speed up the laundry drying process.

I’ve got the rest of the clothes that need to go in my bag out on the drying rack and by the end of today everything but the last-minute items will be packed and ready to go. That gives me one more day to enjoy a chilly Sydney because by the time I return summer will be well on its way.

It’s been almost three full months of winter in Sydney now and my first season of its kind. In truth, I have been actively avoiding winters and hadn’t experienced one in nearly a decade. Really, it hasn’t been so bad–this is Australia after all.

I’ve had plenty to keep me busy, from boxing at the gym and hanging out with Couchsurfers to practicing my Mandarin with language exchange buddies and of course keeping up with my online teaching and writing work.

That being said, Sydney Spring is being quite a tease and I’m so eager to have warm weather again that I’ll be flying off to find it.

The first stop will be Manila, where I know that burst of hot air awaits as soon as I step out of the airport. Then immediately on to Malta, with a connecting flight in Dubai. That will be nearly two days of travel, followed by four days on a beautiful Mediterranean island in Autumn.

After that, back to the Philippines for a long weekend at the beach and a few weeks in the city. Fingers crossed the monsoon will have bid the islands farewell by then so we can be soaking in the pool and not on the streets.

To everyone who has made these arctic months an enjoyable and challenging learning experience, especially the coaches and training partners at Darkside, my very patient mentors in Mandarin, the lovely folks from Couchsurfing, and our friendly new housemates, thank you! I’ll be back and eager for beach volleyball and surfing when your city gets a little warmer.

Australia · My MMA Journey

My Amateur MMA Journey, Part 18: Why I Box

Recently, in my journey of exploring mixed-martial arts, I’ve switched from doing a bit of everything to going back to where I started and focusing on boxing.

I’ve done so for a few reasons. For one, because I’m still jet-setting and haven’t yet put down roots anywhere, I don’t want to buy gear that won’t fit in my travel bag–like shin pads or a gi. Of course, I could rent or borrow these training necessities, but I have got another reason to stick with boxing for now.

When I was doing a combination of boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA at Darkside Gym, I had to learn a lot of techniques from scratch and most importantly find my footing in order to hold my own when sparring.

When it comes to footwork, though, trying to learn the boxing, Muay Thai, and various MMA stances all at once was pretty confusing. Back to the basics, then: I’ve been keeping my focus on boxing and there’s still quite a bit of work to be done.

Last week, I met a traveler who turned out to be a veritable martial arts encyclopedia. I brought him along to the gym, where he observed that my stance was “a bit stiff”.

He noted that the weakness of a boxer is the legs and even recommended dancing as a way to loosen up the feet, improve balance, and get into the punching rhythm. Who knows, I might take that advice seriously.

For now, though, I’ve taken the time to list up seven solid reasons to box.

Taking up boxing can mean all sorts of things. It may be as simple as finding a gym where a trainer or partner holds up focus pads and you learn how to hit them in a number of different ways while toning up your arms and abs.

It could represent a fun new way for you to stay fit or it might lead you to challenge yourself by putting in that mouth guard, donning the headgear, and braving the ring. However far you go, from boxercise to amateur competitions, there are plenty of reasons to get up and do it.

1. Getting Out

As soon as I started working entirely from home back in the Philippines, I knew I needed to take exercise out of the house. At the time, all I had to do was walk around the block to get to an Elorde Gym. Now it’s a ten-minute jog to Darkside, which takes me away from my computer, gets me some fresh air, and puts me in a social environment where I’m learning from the trainers, practicing with partners, and getting a solid workout.

2. Burning Calories

I dislike calorie talk, honestly. When I think of health and fitness, I think of quality food and active living. Both eating and exercising should be enjoyable experiences so turning either into calorie calculations tends to spoil the fun a bit.

That being said, restricting and burning calories is a self-evident way to lose weight and it has its time and place. In fact, I did a little bit of it last year when I was casually cutting weight for a jiu-jitsu competition.

If you care for the numbers, the average person burns over 300 calories per hour on the punching bag and 600 to 800 in the ring while sparring, which brings it right up to the top of the sports-that-burn-the-most-calories list.

3. Releasing Stress

While any form of exercise will release endorphins, there’s a special kind of pleasure that comes from punching things really hard. So often in life, it’s hard to find a truly good reason to hit anything or anyone. On the contrary, it’s typically quite ill-advised–and rightly so.

But in a boxing class, when you’re told to go all out, you do. And you have a reason now: you’re burning those calories and honing a new skill. Whether or not you’re mentally taking out that pent-up frustration on your boss as a bonus feature is totally up to you. When you’re sparring and you punch someone else, it’s because they want you to. You’re helping them and they’re helping you: that’s how you learn.

4. Gaining Confidence

While boxing doesn’t really apply as self-defense training, it certainly does the job of giving you the confidence you need to handle yourself in a confrontation. Along with better body image and posture, boxing redefines what you are physically and mentally capable of and will help you carry yourself more confidently through every part of life.

5. Learning a New Skill

Learning is fun. Starting off with zero knowledge of something–be it a language, a sport, or any other skill–and getting the hang of it through practice and training is one of the most satisfying feats of life. It’s an excellent social experience as well: you connect to the people around you because everyone has something to share or learn.

6. Pushing Your Resilience

Boxing is tough on quite a few levels. For one, it’s a very complex sport and when you start out you’ll find the number of things you have to pay attention to a bit flooring. There’s footwork, body positioning, rotation, and of course proper punch throwing, and training your body to bring each of these elements together naturally takes time.

Once you move on to sparring, you’ll have to add in reading your partner so you can block, slip, or eat their punches while setting yourself up to break their defense–and do all of that under the tension of being in a fight.

Initially, you’ll have to train yourself to simply keep your eyes open when a glove is coming at your face. From there, you’ll learn to watch, preempt, and counter a strike. Your body will toughen to the blows–as will your mind to the struggle–and you’ll walk away with more resilient and capable of handling what life throws your way.

7. Getting Competitive

Besides enjoying the challenge of learning a new skill, and whether or not you ever sign up to compete in an amateur boxing ring, your competitive side is likely what will push you through much of the training. At least that’s how it is for me.

I’m still not sure if or when I’ll compete. There are many things to factor in, one being that boxing–as much as I love it–is not my main priority. For all the physical and mental benefits that carry over into the rest of my life, boxing and martial arts have been more of a means to an end than the end itself.

That being said, I am curious to give it a try. Since I have, at the end of the day, been putting quite a lot of time and effort into boxing, it’s only natural to want to test what I’ve learned. For now, I have one more week at Darkside before a bit of globetrotting to Malta and Manila. We’ll see what comes next when I get back in October.

Australia · Day Trips

Kangaroo Picnic in Morisset

I want to say that there were kangaroos at Taronga but I don’t recall any memorable encounters with them.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago: when a friend I met through Couchsurfing invited me to join in on a day trip and see these quintessential Australian creatures, I knew the moment had come.

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G’day mate! (nobody actually says that but this guy surely would)

Let’s backtrack a little more. I wrote of things to know about Couchsurfing after I joined the website/app earlier this year and had my first experience being hosted in Manila. However, it wasn’t until recently here in Sydney that I first used the “Hangouts” feature.

It was a Thursday afternoon and my schedule was open until later in the evening. With quite a few hours to kill, I thought I’d seek out something interesting.

Since I work from home, I have to find ways to get out and interact with people in my downtime; for example, by going to the gym. Granted, most of my interactions there involve punching people, but it still counts.

With the Couchsurfing app, you can set yourself available to hang out and find people–travelers, locals, and everyone in between–near you who want to do the same. And they won’t even try to punch you.

Instead of spending that Thursday evening at the gym, I ended up getting together with a group of Couchsurfers in Darling Harbour. Where I normally feel the odd one out, what with my multiple nationalities and mixed cultural identity, quite literally everyone in this group had a similar story to tell. Some were living in Sydney; some had arrived that day and were only passing through, and others were here for a year on exchange.

One of them, a new arrival to Australia, was responsible for organizing this fantastic day trip and hats off to her because it was a clever feat and lots of good fun.

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A unique blend of tame day-trippers and friendly kangaroos set against the backdrop of a quaint psychiatric hospital

Everyone got together at Central Station just after 8 AM to catch the train at 16 minutes past and it wasn’t until all the clusters got off the train in Morisset that we realized how large the group of mostly Couchsurfers had grown: I’m pretty sure there were about twenty of us.

I was almost unsure I’d want to give up my Saturday morning sleep in but I’m certainly glad I did. The trip was loads of fun and it was great to meet new people, and kangaroos too.

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There is at least one picnic table by the lake and it’s a beautiful spot for a picnic at a safe distance from the marsupial hubs (but maybe don’t bring kangaroo jerky anyway)

Day Trip Timeline

Here’s a rough time frame of the trip. This is with a fairly large group so it’s counting on things moving a bit slowly. It’s still an adventurous way to spend the day, and with a little nap on the train heading back you’ll still have the entire evening to enjoy in Sydney CBD.

08:16 Catch the train from Central
10:10 Get off at Morisset
10:30 Hike to Morisset Hospital (not Morisset Park)
11:30 See kangaroos; have a picnic (not in the same place)
13:00 Start heading back to the station
14:32 Catch the train to Sydney
16:29 Arrive at Central

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Walk around and not through the hospital grounds when heading to the picnic area