Working in hospitality means that the holidays are not your holidays. It gets busy. Very busy. Because everyone else is on holiday.

And after about a month (that felt like 4 months, honestly) of working in the middle of nowhere New South Wales, my boss suggested I go on a little trip and spend the night somewhere to get away before the rush.

I think they sensed my restlessness.


This is the middle of nowhere, with signs of civilization.

So a school bus then a train then rushing around in the heat trying to find the place the Greyhound bus stops in Taree, then a nice air-conditioned bus to Port Macquarie.

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Waiting for the train. So excited, I got to the station 2 hours early.


A kookaburra joined me at the train station. A laughing, meat-eating Australian icon.


And then waiting for the bus.

And then Port Macquarie. Buildings! People! Ice cream parlours! A gallery! Cutest hostel ever! Turns out I like some civilization and meeting people once in a while.

Hostel with a pool and pool table. Yes.

Hostel with a pool and pool table. And people. Yes.

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A walk along the harbour revealed the existence of a $10 sunset cruise into the National Park. Seeing dolphins and birds in a little boat was just what I needed. This is a white-bellied sea eagle, which I thought was pretty cool.


The sunset in said sunset cruise.

The next day, I explored the various beaches along Port Macquarie’s shoreline.


Thing with Australian beaches is that there are so many amazing ones that most aren’t that busy.


My view from the beach. I got freckles!

It was also really nice to make it there (even though the city itself isn’t actually anything special) because I’d seen a flyer for the koala hospital there. At the time, I’d dismissed it as something I wouldn’t see and was sad. But there you go- tell the universe you want to go to the koala hospital and it shall deliver.


This sign is not just for tourists looking for a photo opp.


SMALLDSC03386 Koala patient recovering at the hospital. Most koala injuries are caused by cars hitting them.


On my walk home from the hospital, I ran into Jamie who saved this koala from crossing a very busy street. You aren’t supposed to handle koalas (their claws are insane), but Jamie risked it and saved the day and this koala’s life.


After seeing so many cute and cuddly koalas with sad stories, I went back to the hostel and ate a kangaroo.

I was a bit afraid that a short break would only tease my travel bug and make is so alert and powerful that it would make another month of staying still and working frankly unbearable. But I think it just gave me some time to breathe and it reminded me that the road will still be there when I’m done and so will the beach.