Back on the mainland, we piled into the Contiki bus and continued our journey down along the eastern coast of Australia. We drove past the huge sugar plantations of Mackay, nicknamed the “sugar capital of Australia” due to the fact the city produces over a third of the country’s cane sugar. We then traded sugar cane for beef as we reached the city of Rockhampton, the self-proclaimed “beef capital of Australia.” Here, we took a brief stop at the Tropic of Capricorn, one of the five major circles of latitude. Trivia time: the Tropic of Capricorn lies approximately 23°26′ south of the equator, and continues to drift north at a rate of 15m per yer.
We headed inland from the Capricorn Coast to our destination for the night: the Country Homestead – a real, working cattle station. The property stretches over 12,000 hectares of land and has about 6,000 head of cattle.
The farm had set up a barn exclusively for Contiki’s partying pleasure. We all put on cowboy hats, ate some Aussie beef for dinner, shotgunned beers, and learned how to crack whips – because that is what you do in the country.