If you had asked me at the time I probably would have said I hated Tully, actually scrap that detested the place! I would have said I was literally counting the days until I could leave and that it was by far the worst place I have ever had to stay. I really did think that at the time and there were so many points where I thought I would just up and go, but now looking back on my time there Tully has its own place in my heart and actually holds a lot of good memories. Sure as hell it tested me and was one of the most difficult experiences I’ve had travelling, but at the same time it was also one of the greatest.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m assuming very few people will, Tully is a small town a couple of hours away from Cairns. When I say small, I mean small! There is roughly around 2,500 people that live there and the only reason backpackers, like myself, venture out there is to complete their farm work. There are only two hostels, three pubs and one caravan park so it’s one of those ‘everyone knows everyone’ kind of towns. I myself stayed in the Hotel Tully hostel and a share house, so I had two different experiences all rolled into one.
For some doing their farm work is a time to crack down, work hard and save as much money as you can. Two of my roommates really got themselves into a routine, even taking the time to eat better and start a proper exercise regime. For others though, farm work is another excuse to party and go hard on the weekends. I guess I kind of did a bit of both. I moved into my share house pretty early on after first arriving in Tully so I guess at first I was a lot more settled and just wanted to keep my head down and save. Eventually though most of the friends I had made were staying at the hostel where I had started out, so I ended up hanging around there all of the time and moving back in. This ultimately meant I was partying and drinking a lot more than I planned on, but hell its what kept me sane and what made my time there so fun.
I really did knuckle down and I did pretty good with my saving while I was there, but I didn’t refuse any offers to go out drinking or to go on fun trips on the weekend. There aren’t many that would in that position, after busting your ass on a farm all week the least you deserve is a good drink on a Friday! I won’t go into the work all that much in this post as I will write an entire post regarding regional work in Australia and getting a second year visa next week. I will try and include as much information as I can as I know how frustrating it can be trying to get work and choosing the right place to go.
I met a lot of amazing people during my time in Tully and made some really good friends. I was fortunate enough to be able to hang around with an amazing group of people and its my times with them that make up my awesome memories of the place. I’m not saying Tully itself is amazing and I’m definitely not recommending a visit unless you are there to work, but I just wanted to document my experience of it.
As it is such a small town and work is very competitive it can be hell for some people. For me it was, especially when I first arrived! I was so miserable to have had to move somewhere so small and isolated and then to have to go and work on a farm with snakes and spiders, all just so I could stay another year. Obviously this was my choice to do this I’m not trying to get sympathy here or anything, but you can imagine it was a bit of a culture shock from partying in Cairns. I was also one of the unlucky ones that got fired for no apparent reason so that was another point where I was really low. Doing your regional work really can be tough and soul destroying, but I soon realised it was what you made of it and if you really want that visa you just have to find a way to cope.
Anyway, I want to keep this post light and happy like my memories of Tully so I will leave the negativity at that. I’m not surprised that I didn’t actually take any pictures of the town itself (if you ever do visit you’ll see why!) so instead I’ve included some of my favourite photos from the nights out and other antics I got up to with the Top Pub wanker cunts. We would definitely make the most of our weekends and go on trips to Mission Beach, Cairns, Tully’s public pool, waterfalls, our hectic Friday nights in Tully and even just having movie nights with everyone squished in the hostel’s living room. I had some of the best times I’ve had travelling with those guys and who would have thought bananas would have brought us together!