“You are going to Canberra? Why? There’s nothing there!!”, I’ve heard that many times, and now I can say: WRONG. There’s stuff to do in the city and plenty of awesome stuff to do on the surroundings of the city!
As I was planning my trip to Australia, I decided to spend some time experiencing more than only the big touristic cities like Sydney and Melbourne, so I decided to get to know Canberra, the capital.
That decision would become a very amazing one, but I’ll tell about it later.
So, I found the Worldpackers opportunity to volunteer at a hostel named Dickson Central.
It is located in the north part, at Dickson area (the “China” Town, which I think should be called Asia Town but whatever).
There’s everything in Dickson, from supermarket to liquor store, from KFC to McDonalds, from cheap Chinese restaurant to expensive Japanese restaurant. All in a small walking distance!
The city is not so big and they are building the train now, but if you get a bike you can easily go everywhere with it.
On arrival I was greeted by nice people that showed me my room, allowing me to not volunteer and rest for the first day.
So on the next day I started doing what was agreed with the host.
The volunteering consists in helping on the hostel business: cleaning, ‘changing’ beds, setting up breakfast, doing laundry, night shift and maintenance.
All those activities are very easy to learn and perform, besides the fact that you can count on the help of the owners and the resident supervisors/managers there.
I tried volunteering on a little bit of everything, and it was awesome to learn more about how to run a business like that!
The hostel itself is pretty nice: rooms just had been under renovations, so they are very fresh and clean, all with ACs.
The kitchen is big and well equipped, the common area has a huge TV, games and books, Wi-Fi… everything needed on a hostel and more!
The group of volunteers are a very special part of the experience: people from all around the world, who I’ve really became friends with (shout out to Kylinho, Gabriellito de France, Eva the Belgium girl from Holland lol, Jonas/Yohanes, Gary-boy, Ben and last but definitely not least the God of Sexiness and Selfies Avinash).
Almost every week there was an event organized by the supervisor/managers, and financed by the owners, so all the volunteers would gather to have some food and drinks!
The owners are such amazing people! Very thoughtful and knowledgeable: Alan, Oanh and Joseph really are working towards creating a nice hostel with an amazing environment.
But wait, the best is yet to come!!!
The owners also have a Tour Company (Blue Skies Tours) which are specialized on Canberra and its surroundings… that was definitely the best part of the whole experience!!
They took us the volunteers to different free tours during our stay in Dickson Central: I went to mount Majura, Tidbinbilla area and Blue Waterholes region.
On this last on it was a 3 days and 2 nights camping trip, where we slept around wild kangaroos and wild horses, crossed a very hard cave, swam and bathed on amazing waterfalls… simply unforgettable!
Alan, Oanh and Gary: cannot thank you guys enough for all you have done!! I wish only the best for you.
I’m most certain to say this: it was definitely worth it to go to Canberra and staying in Dickson Central!!!