I took the coach from Newcastle to Port Macquarie on Sunday 17th April and after having such a lovely time in the Airbnb I wasn’t too keen to go back to a hostel but it turned out to be amazing!
I stayed at Port Macquarie Backpackers which is an old house about 10 minutes from the town centre. It’s a really small hostel with a very social atmosphere so it was so easy to make friends with everyone. I would recommend it to everybody as I loved it!
Not long after arriving at the hostel, we headed to the Koala Hospital which, with the help of a great team of volunteers, takes in sick and injured koalas from around the area. Sadly some of them have been there for years, and others keep returning because of loss of habitat. But the work they do is amazing and many of the koalas are released back in to the wild. We were given a tour of the hospital and met some of the cute patients:
After the hospital we headed back to the hostel just before a huge downpour and thunderstorm, which was the perfect opportunity for everyone in the hostel to have a chilled night in getting to know each other.
More rain was forecast the next day but me and four other girls from the hostel decided to do a coastal walk; only it shouldn’t have been the rain we were worried about. Once we had eventually found the start of the track we had a nice walk through some rainforest and along by the coast with some great viewpoints:
Not long into the walk we came to a point where you could either continue up through the rainforest or walk down along the beach. We decided to go through the rainforest which turned out to be a bad decision!
The walk started off okay with a proper path but after a while we lost it and ended up trekking through the rainforest. We quickly realised this had been a bad choice when we almost ran head first into the biggest spider I have ever seen. Cue a lot of screaming and then the decision to turn back. However on the way back it got so much worse. When you come to Australia you worry about spiders and snakes, but we ended up being attacked by something we were totally unprepared for … leeches!!
It started with one of the girls having a leech on her leg, and then looking down to see them stuck to her flip flops (or thongs as the Aussies call them). Two of us were stood a bit further ahead and dared to issue the famous last words ‘it’s funny when it’s not happening to you’. After a lot more screaming we made it back onto a a main road, only to realise that we were all covered. I had one on my ankle and about ten crawling around my shoes (£70 Nike trainers which ended up being filled with salt once we got back to the hostel!). The shoes came off, only for me to find more stuck to my socks; they were soon thrown and left at the side of the road!
Luckily, once all of our legs were leech free, we managed to phone the hostel and they came and rescued us to take us back to safety for showers to get rid of the itchy feeling!
After such an ordeal, there was only one thing for it … drinks by the harbour to calm our nerves!
On my final day in Port Macquarie I made sure I stuck to the path as I wandered along from the harbour to the town beach after the realisation that although this country is beautiful, everything really is out to kill!