I am on the 417 working holiday visa, meaning I can travel Australia and work to fund it. Extending for a second year is possible, if you are willing to do the dreaded 88 days of farmwork the government has required backpackers to do to be granted it.
The surrounding hills and landscapes were often beautiful. Which is a shame as there aren’t too many people around to view it, but if anything means we could enjoy it for ourselves. There is an increased feeling of freedom here, despite the work that were forced to do for the second year. The endless fields to roam on the quad bikes, the relaxed workplace rules too. There was more breathing space in this sense, despite being a much, much more tiring job.
And with the endless nature surrounding us, we would encounter a few interesting creatures day to day.
Every day would be an eye opener for one reason or another. Sometimes with animals I have never seen before, like the frilled neck lizard above. Or the caterpillar looking thing below, acting like it was from some alien planet. Australia is full of these things and I love it.
I was lucky, I had a series of great farmers that paid fairly and treated us well. Some people in my working hostel weren’t so fortunate. Horrible hours on low pay, mean or just downright pervy farmers, it really is the luck of the draw. One thing I would recommend however is going to a working hostel. I felt much safer in numbers, and there were hundreds of backpackers in my hostel alone. The town of Ayr has four or five of these, meaning the town was overrun with us. It certainly made the farmwork more bearable.
This post is a reminder of the good farmers out there!
I didn’t have one post from here, but a bunch. I think it would be good to link a few, as I posted them each for different reasons.
The view from my new office was my first impressions of the area, and I had 72 days to go in this post. I was brand new, and very soon started to count down the days in desperation to leave. The smoko’s as we call it (our lunch breaks) in the middle of nowhere often provided time for reflection, and closer to the end of my journey I realised the simple life had it’s perks.
There was a lot to miss from my farmwork, pretty much everything around the farmwork itself.
The unspoiled sunrises.
The chubby farm dogs.
And the friends for life. Farmwork was the most sociable time for me, it was easy to make friends and close bonds were made very fast. We had to get along being so close for such an amount of time, and in the middle of nowhere. But these are friends that are from all over the world, and ones I will keep in contact with for a very long time.
It is great to look back and remember this time… despite not wanting to do it again I wouldn’t have changed a thing!!
This period of my travels opened the door to a second year, which meant a very fun trip down the east coast. More to come soon!
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