HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation. HelpX is provided primarily as a cultural exchange for working holiday makers who would like the opportunity during their travels abroad, to stay with local people and gain practical experience.
That was taken from the site. It's been an absolute blessing!
We decided that we would drive from Cairns to Cooroy and spend some time there before making our way back North to spend a month in Mossman (where we are now). Before hitting the road south, we visited an animal shelter where we volunteered to take two dogs out for a walk.
After a couple days at Dougies, we hit the road and made our way South. We turned the drive into 4 days and made stops in Townsville, Mackay and Bundaburg.
Townsville was a nice stop as it was the biggest city we had been too since leaving Adelaide. It was nice to see high rise buildings and people walking around again. In the morning we grabbed a coffee and had a walk around their boardwalk and beach where we saw a few impressive sand castles. Mackay was a pleasant surprise. It was meant to be just a pit stop where we camped but the site was incredible. Warm, right on the beach and probably the best caravan park we stayed in so far. The showers were incredibly clean, the people were all friendly "Grey Nomads" and the beach was yet another amazing spot. The drive to Bundaberg was long. Our asses definitely felt it. Because Bundy was so close to our destination, we had a little more time to explore. We visited the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and had a great brekkie at one of our favorite cafes since coming to Australia.
The entire drive we came across a few BIG statues. Australia is know for having big statues for things that represent the area. We stopped for photo ops and stretched our legs at a couple.
It was a fun 3 weeks with the family. The work was easy enough and the best part really was the time we spent with the family. We had dinners with them every night, which they provided for us. We will never forget the times around the fire and sharing stories about Zimbabwe, California, and Mexico. Our conversations on health, the stupid people in the world, wildlife, the universe, business, etc were all inspiring. And let's not forget the funny YouTube videos we all watched together around the dinner table! We honestly felt like family. We met some of their very good friends one night and shared a dinner with them. We had a Sunday lunch with the grandparents, which was "jolly good!" We had dinner out one night where their daughter Sara works; just all incredibly kind, motivating, inspiring and easy going people. We miss them and hope to see them again before returning to CA. We regret not taking a photo with them but have a look at some of pics below of the other family members and some of the animals we came across.
The 5 days after leaving their home, we made our way back north to Mossman where we are now. Along the way, we had some great adventures in the Whitsundays, snorkeling, kayaking and swimming under the biggest single drop waterfall in Oz. I'll have a post on the highlights in the next few days!