Our very own Travel Expert Sarah loves sharing her amazing experience on her Work Australia adventure. She gives us the lowdown on WOOFing on Australian farms... don't know what WOOFing means? Keep reading and find out!
Why do farm work whilst on your working holiday in Australia?
There are several reasons to embark upon a farming adventure in Australia. The first reason and the one which draws hundreds of backpackers into the out back each year would have to be the ’88 day rule’ namely that if you complete the required 88 days of farm work during your working holiday then you would be eligible for another year partying Down Under. Despite this arbitrary and obvious reason to get your hands dirty there are definitely a fair few benefits to some good hard manual labour. Throughout my three months of farming I gained invaluable skills, realised I was stronger both physically and mentally then I ever imagined, I made lifelong friends and saw some incredible sights. It wasn’t always easy but it is still one of my fondest memories of Oz.
How should I go about looking for farm work?
Now this really can be the tricky bit, in all honesty the hunt for decent well paid farm work in Australia can feel a little like looking for a needle in haystack. I would recommend that any backpacker joins the WWOOFing programme (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) as it is so much more accessible then other channels. WWOOFers work between 4-6 hours a day and receive there food and accommodation in return. Once you have joined the scheme you get a handy guide to farms all across Oz who are members and all you need to do is give them a quick call and check if they are in need of any enthusiastic backpackers for a few weeks! You could be doing anything from picking grapes in the Barossa Valley to tending to livestock on the cattle farms of Queensland.
What will life on the farm be like?
Farm life can be tough, but it’s also pretty amazing especially if you are normally a city dweller like me. With a few days of embarking on a WWOOFing adventure I had already tackled a ewe, seen the birth of several lambs and nearly been trampled by a herd of cows. It definitely wasn’t the laid back experience I had envisioned both of the farms I worked on were fast paced and physically demanding. There definitely is something freeing about getting up before the sun has peaked over the horizon, you can find yourself running through a field with a hundred kangaroos, taking the quad bike across the potato fields or whipping a herd of sheep into a feeding frenzy. I met some incredible people out on the farms also, there were European back packers who were fun and friendly. There were true Aussies who moved from farm to farm wherever the work was and there were the farm owners themselves who really looked after us.
So now you've gathered some great tips from Sarah, check out our Work Australia programme and get the ball rolling with your next adventure! Give us a call on 033 3999 7516 if you'd like to talk through your options with one of the team.