RECENT GRADS: Bethany Shepard and Jack Walker are touring Australia's east coast for five weeks.
RECENT GRADS: Bethany Shepard and Jack Walker are touring Australia's east coast for five weeks. Jessica Lamb

The engineering of backpacking

PACKIN' TALES: Backpacker chats

NAME: Bethany Shepard

AGE: 22

HOME: London, UK

NAME: Jack Walker

AGE: 23

HOME: London, UK

THESE two English love birds are taking five weeks to themselves to explore Australia after graduating from their masters degrees in mechanical engineering.

Putting down the study books after five years, the pair have planned a trip down Australia's east coast which landed them in Airlie Beach for the annual Whitsunday Reef Festival events.

The Whitsunday Times caught up with Bethany and Jack on their first day in the Whitsundays while they were wandering the main street looking at Revving The Reef on the way to their hostel.

What are your travel plans?

We started in Cairns and travelled down to Townsville and Magnetic Island.

After Airlie we will go to 1770, Fraser Island, Noosa and then Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Byron. We will finish up in Sydney before flying home.

We are staying in hostels all the way.

What are you doing in Airlie Beach?

We are going on a two-night sailing adventure with Explore to see the reef.

Why travel to Australia?

We really wanted to travel before we started our full-time graduate jobs back home. Bethany has always wanted to come to Australia and see the koalas.

What has been your favourite part of Australia?

Magnetic Island for sure. Everything from the landscape to the animals was so beautiful.

What are some weird things Australians do compared to back home?

The drinking culture, I don't think I've ever seen people in pubs as early in the day on weekends as I have seen here.

How is it travelling as a couple?

It's been great actually. We have been together for three years now and this new experience is simply awesome.