By Abigail Roberts & Maddison Pauly
With the year nine’s recently returning from Far North Queensland, we were feeling a bit nostalgic and jealous. So, we decided to take a look back at our experience.
We asked a few girls, who were on outreach in 2017, a few questions relating to their time away:
(A very important question that may be useful for future years)
Which FNQ Location had the best food?
Of course answers were going to vary but our top contenders for best food were Undara (their garlic bread was mentioned quite a few times), Cape Tribulation and their apple pie, Cairns Colonial and their never ending breakfast buffet and last, but definitely not least, Genazzano and their pineapple (which some people were told they were eating too much of and got cut off from *cough* Abby Hartshorne *cough*).
Where was the best place that you stayed? During your time in FNQ, you are going to be travelling all around Cairns, therefore you’ll be staying all new and different types of places. Each group’s accommodation will vary, some groups may spend longer in different areas and some groups may go to places that others didn’t get a chance to go to. A very popular response from our year, was Cairns Colonial Hotel, however not everyone got to stay here. We both were very fortunate and got the chance to stay here. If you like swimming in pools and eating food from buffets, it’s definitely the place for you. But be warned, it is a hotel so you will be interacting with people from the public. So, you must be on your best behaviour. Another popular place was Undara. Undara is definitely the place for you if you like the outdoors and campfires.
“I loved glamping in Undara, it was so beautiful to be outside and we were all singing and dancing around the campfire which was really fun! Also, the food at Undara was good!” - Grace Napoli
What was your favourite/funniest memory?
Some girls preferred the moments that were scheduled into our timetable, other girls preferred the times that were unplanned.
When we asked the girls in our grade what their favourite/funniest memories were, they ranged from:
Playing volleyball at Genazzano and the bus rides through Cape Tribulation where you got to blast your music and sing aloud, and it was completely normal - Anon
When mascots fell into crevasses and they couldn’t get them out - Luka S
Undara campfires - Emma DGetting chased by wild pigs in the rainforest - Sabyn B
People ripping their pants when trying to take a photo - Julia B
Friends falling into lakes or dropping phones in rivers - Anon
Running to the bathroom in the dark at Undara - Anon
Turning sprinklers on whilst peers were sleeping on sun beds - Olivia C
The plane ride, crocodile cruise and great barrier reef because it was so beautiful - Sophia D
By far most enjoyable experience on FNQ was community service, during my service at the Yarrabah Primary School, I bonded with the other girls in this small group and got to know them better. Seeing the joy the kids had at school lifted my spirits and changed my outlook on many things by the end of my community service there. I looked after kids in year 1 and Kindy, helping them in the classroom, attending an assembly and playing tip with them at recess and lunch. - Anon
Playing sports in the afternoons - Bob
“My favourite memory was when we had breakfast in the bush, and we had tree stumps as our tables and logs as our seats. We woke up really early for breakfast and there was a buffet and heaps of fresh hot chocolate that was being made over a fire and heaps of egg, bacon, waffles and pancakes. It was by far one of the best places to have breakfast as you could see the sunrise and you were sitting with your friends.” - Isabella Taylor
Advice for Younger Students:
We also decided to ask the girls in our year any advice that they would give the younger girls, to make sure that everyone gets the most out of their time in Far North Queensland.
· “To branch out and talk to everyone!” - Sophia Dickinson
· “Try everything” - Bob
· “My advice to younger girls would be too fully immerse yourself in the community service aspect of FNQ, through connecting with other people you will learn much more about yourself and feel you are working towards a greater good.”
· “You can survive two weeks without your phone” - Anon
· “My top tip would be to have travel calm if you get motion sickness before going to the Great Barrier Reef. I thought I was very good when it came to boats, but as soon as I hopped on that boat I couldn’t stop being sick. Everyone had told me to take travel calm and by the time I did, it was too late because it kicks in 30 mins after taking it.” - Isabella Taylor
Looking back at our time on FNQ, filled with lots of laughs, immersing ourselves into different cultures and environments, learning through experiences and forming new friendships (with everyone, from students to teachers to bus drivers), we can easily say that FNQ is one of the best experiences we’ve had and we will forever be grateful to the school for allowing us the opportunity.