Around Aus­tralia in six months

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS WELCOME - Back­packer chats

NAME: Maria Maluk AGE: 26

HOME: Chile, South Amer­ica

SOUTH Amer­i­can trav­eller Maria was work­ing as a civil en­gi­neer in Chile six months ago. But when her boyfriend got a work­ing visa in Aus­tralia, she quit her job and left her mo­not­o­nous rou­tine in Chile to pur­sue her dreams of travel down un­der.

Maria be­gan her jour­ney in the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula in Vic­to­ria, trekked around Tas­ma­nia, stopped in Mel­bourne then drove along the coast to the ul­ti­mate hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion – the Whit­sun­days.

What have you been do­ing in Aus­tralia?

We like to do trekking so in Tas­ma­nia we did a lot of treks. Here, we went to White­haven Beach and did some snorkelling in the Great Bar­rier Reef. We re­ally liked it.

Where to next?

From here we will go to Cairns.

What are your plans while in the Whit­sun­days?

I just wanted to see White­haven Beach and the look­out. I didn’t know you have this place (the la­goon) and I re­ally like it. We’d like to do the board­walk around the beach.

Best place to hang out?

I think the la­goon is awe­some. I’m stay­ing at Mag­nums and it’s a re­ally good place to stay. There are a lot of bars around but I don’t know which one is the best one.

What is your top Aus­tralian travel tip?

I like that you have Wi­ki­camps a lot. I was trav­el­ling in the car so I think it is awe­some to have that be­cause you can find re­ally good spots to stay.

What is the weird­est thing about Aus­tralian cul­ture?

I don’t know if it’s weird but I like that I see a lot of old peo­ple surf­ing here. I think it’s amaz­ing be­cause in Tas­ma­nia I saw a guy who was 60 years old and he had three surf­boards on his car. In Chile, you don’t find that.

How has travel changed you?

In Chile, the cul­ture is dif­fer­ent. It’s more com­mon that the peo­ple go to school, then the univer­sity and then work, but here I see dur­ing the week there are so many peo­ple hanging out. In Chile, you’re work­ing. That changed me be­cause the peo­ple here re­ally en­joy life and have fun.

PHOTO: CLAUDIA ALP

LIK­ING IT: Maria Maluk is stop­ping by the Whit­sun­days as she comes to the end of a six-month tour.

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