Ditching Melbourne for Cairns!

Submitted: Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 14:57
ThreadID: 103313 Views:1924 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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Hi all! Just posting to ask for a bit of advice! I currently live in Melbourne with my partner, and in about 6 or so months' time we are seriously looking at packing the tent and our swags onto the back of the cruiser and driving up to Cairns to live and work for 6 months. (maybe more-see how we go!) As we are only young and have nothing tying us down, I think its a bloody great idea! In terms of long-stay sites at caravan parks or share houses (I don't mind either) can anyone shed some light on the good/bad/ugly and perhaps price of things? Also, anyone who lives or has lived here before, how easy/hard is it to gain employment? My partner has his HR license and currently works in logistics. And I work in leisure retail (previously at BCF and now I'm at Ray's Outdoors), so I'm nifty with all things outdoors and anything customer service related. But I'm up for anything!
Thanks guys for your time!
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Reply By: Pradobob - Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 16:17

Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 16:17
Sounds like a good idea except for the timing. Check out the rainfall stats for the "wet" season, and maybe put your trip off until April/May?? Cyclone season is a bit scary as well.
Caravan parks vary in price from about $30 - 45 per night and some do deals for a week or more.
We have just come back to our van from Townsville this afternoon. That place is buzzing at the moment. They are picking pineapples near our CP. (Rollingstone Beach).
Wish I'd have done it when I was younger!! Good luck... stick your neck out and go!!!!
AnswerID: 515037

Follow Up By: EmmaC1 - Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:06

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:06
That's good to hear, I'm happy to do some fruit picking if it means I'm in the warmth!
Thanks so much for your advice! :)
FollowupID: 794239

Follow Up By: Member Ray M (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:10

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:10
Hi Bob
I live at Balgal Beach and the whole area is chockas with travellers at the moment, as usual this time of the year.
The pineapple picking you mention is at Pace Farming and they employ lots of young backpackers and pick at different times throughout the year and also grow melons and pumpkins, so some locals are employed there all year round
Hope you enjoyed our location
Cheers Ray
FollowupID: 794252

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 16:55

Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 16:55
Do it ..... you will never know unless you do, we did it 13 years ago, now have 3 kids and still doing "it" ............. we are in transit at the moment, from Perth to Cape York, for work, and will be working up the cape when we get there, we do have work to go to as you have to plan a bit harder when you have kids but if I could do it all over again I would have started MUCH younger and done exactly the same thing.............
One bit of advice, be very open minded for what you will do for work, you will be competeing against backpackers up there, zillions of them, and they work hard and for little so it may not easy.... but if you start at the bottom and show you are capable of better things you will very quickly get into a good paying job ...... and the fun you will have words cant explain it, take note of first post about seasons as it is extreamly damp and hot in the wet, better to start in may/june/july and the heat will "grow" on you and you will last it out...............
Do it, cumon what are you waiting for :-)
AnswerID: 515039

Follow Up By: EmmaC1 - Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:03

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:03
Jeez, thanks so much for the advice! This has only made me more excited and keen! :)
FollowupID: 794238

Reply By: Tim - Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 21:50

Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 21:50
Ok, I'm sorry that someone has to be a wet blanket but just a few things to consider about your selection of towns.
Cairns is very dependent on the tourism industry. I believe it is starting to come around again but they took an absolute thumping with the GFC and then the very strong Australian dollar. The tourist numbers dropped considerably and jobs disappeared as a result. Not long ago, Cairns was the welfare capital of Australia with more welfare dependent people per capita then any other place in Australia.
In saying all that, Cairns is an awsome place and I can imagine the lifestyle living there would be great too. Good on you for having the courage to take the risk. I think someone has it as there signature block here but I'll steal it anyway, "You can't find new oceans without first losing sight of the shore".
AnswerID: 515052

Follow Up By: EmmaC1 - Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:12

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:12
Don't be sorry! Its good to know! That welfare deal is pretty full on! But do all these people actually want to work? Or do they just want to chill out in the sunshine all day and basically get paid for it? Haha! (I know which one I'd choose ;))
I think we are just gunna stick it out and go for it-the trip itself will be unreal! Thanks for your advice-it has bought me back to reality a little bit! (But it hasn't put me off haha!)
FollowupID: 794240

Reply By: mountainman - Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 22:01

Friday, Jul 19, 2013 at 22:01
what the hell are youse doing....
im in mackay, in my shorts.... or even less..... ha ha.. all day or night..
id like to see you do that in Melbourne... this time of year..

there's a bit of a downturn at the minute, im in mackay.. soon to be Gladstone.. sadly.
coal dependant mining towns..

I wouldn't wait, go now and get the best of the better weather, then acclimatise for the summer, humidity and crap..

the economy here isn't too flash..
id be just bitting the bullet, and going..

id imagine cairns couldn't be worse than here..
im a qualified boily, and sending 40resumes out via email hasn't landed me work..
soo off to Gladstone I go..
mackay is awesome..

Townsville isn't going well either, and cairns is further up from memory... ??
basically the whole north qld is quite dead......

don't let that stop you..

in mackay you can get a cabin for 240.. a week, mind you its single mans accommodation....... ha ha..... if a girl can hack this out, she's definitely a keeper..
sink ensuite and bed......... that's pretty much it..
ideally youd be looking at the 270 to 300 cabin.. more room and a double bed !!

id definitely wing it and just go...
as long as some savings youll be right.
the weather at the minute is just unreal....
I don't miss albury at all...... ha ha
I miss the murray and the high country but........
AnswerID: 515054

Follow Up By: EmmaC1 - Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:02

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 at 22:02
Wait on..You're from Albury!? So are we!! We have only been in Melbourne for about a year but both my partner and I grew up there!! Small world isn't it?
Thanks for the advice by the way-I think despite what may or may not work out, we will be kicking ourselves if we don't go.
FollowupID: 794237

Follow Up By: mountainman - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 01:23

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 01:23
hmm I went to Xavier high school.. class of 2000 !

friggin Melbourne, hate the joint..
nothing better than the murray not even a km from the main street aye..
then you've got the high country only 2hrs and both falls creek and perisher within 2/3hr drive..
sydneys only 5.5 and melbournes about 3hrs drive...

ooh starting to miss the place already..

yup just seen a person die in front of me the other day.....
ambo's couldn't bring the fella back !!
sure as hell, changes your...... perception on things..

stuff what they say..
its an adventure after all...

psst..... get out of the bloody cold now !!

ha ha ha

life is what you make it !!!
FollowupID: 794244

Reply By: Lyn W3 - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 06:20

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 06:20

Here's an article which should give you some encouragement to make the move,

Better employment in Cairns

The shine has gone off the mining industry in Central Queensland so I would avoid that area.
AnswerID: 515100

Follow Up By: mountainman - Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 10:43

Monday, Jul 22, 2013 at 10:43
Gladstone is the go..

with all the LNG it will be screaming for labour..
and with money in the town, people shop.......

brings employment !

not as nice as mackay im guessing, or cairns for that matter....
but work is work.....
FollowupID: 794316

Reply By: Member Ray M (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:22

Sunday, Jul 21, 2013 at 11:22
Hi Emma
If you do happen to pick up some work at Pace Farming on the pineapples for a while, they have on-site donga style accommodation.
You can't miss the place as they are on both side of the highway on your way to Cairns about 50k north of Townsville just before you reach Rollingstone
Good luck and just go for it, weather is perfect here at the moment, just a bit too dry
Cheers Ray (Balgal Beach)
AnswerID: 515114

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