BUNAC caught up with Work Australia participant Charlotte to pick her brain about WWOOFing!
Q. How would you explain the WWOOF concept to first-time travellers who have never heard of it?
A. WWOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is a great way of saving money and having a great work experience. In exchange of 4-5 hours of work a day, you get all food and accommodation included. You can be working anywhere in Australia, and you choose where you want to work from your WWOOF guidebook or the WWOOF website. About half of the people on my BUNAC Group Flight did WWOOFing through BUNAC’s additional package, and stayed with lovely families and communities. Some even used the time to work towards their second Working Holiday Visa! In my personal experience, it was a great way of freezing my bank balance when I had spent nearly all my support funds partying in Sydney, and making sure my food and accommodation was covered while I thought about what my next step would be.
Q. What did your experience involve, and what did you make of it?
A. I spent 2 weeks working on a spiritual retreat in a small town about an hour outside of Sydney. The retreat had live-in staff, and held all sorts of retreats on the weekend, from cookery to yoga. My friend and I did kitchen work, cleaning and even painted murals for our working time, and in return, we were given 3 fresh, organic, nutritious meals per day and a shared room in the retreat. We also helped with the weekend retreats, and were able to join in on some of the classes. It was the perfect way to detox after our party time in Sydney! There were other international volunteers there, and the staff at the retreat were really welcoming and kind to us. We were sad to leave after 2 weeks and my friend ended up volunteering there again a few months later.
Q. What's the main thing you got out of it (and your gap year in general), and would you recommend it to others?
A. BUNAC recommended WWOOFing to me, as they offer it as an additional package on their Work Australia programme. It was a really popular experience with my fellow BUNACers, and I would definitely recommend it to others. It is a great way to save money and have an authentic Australian experience. You can mix with the locals and make great friends. It was a great way for me to save money and make sure I was taken care of while I figured out where I wanted to spend the rest of my year in Australia. It also gave me a chance to gain some work experience in Australia before I applied for jobs, as in-country work experience is something Australian employers love to see on your CV. I then moved to Melbourne to work and had a fantastic time. WWOOFing gives you a great way to travel around Australia, and gives you a chance to see the real Australia, getting yourself off the beaten track.
Want to find our more about WWOOFing or Work Australia? Give us a call on 033 3999 7516 or request a call back?
Have you had a WWOOFing experience you'd like to share? Why not write us a blog and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.