If you’d told me a year ago that I would spend three months of my precious 12 month visa picking pineapples in Bundaberg, I’m pretty sure I would have laughed in your face.
Unfortunately for me, not long after arriving Down Under I realised a year simply isn’t enough to see this ridiculously large country.
So I left the city comforts of Melbourne behind and reluctantly jetted off to Brisbane to do my time. Most people looking for seasonal work in Bundaberg stay in one of the many hostels in the town, most of which organise work for you and ferry you to and from the farms. It makes life relatively easy.
I ventured down to the hostel bar on my first night and realised why people subject themselves to this craziness; people from all over the world were chatting to me like I’d known them all my life and I made instant friends. Without them, I’d have gone insane within a week.
After a few days packing tomatoes, I was given a “permanent” job on a pineapple farm, which I took with slight reluctance.
My ridiculous fear of snakes meant wading through plants up to my waste didn’t have much appeal, but after an hour or so of picking I found myself saying to the farmer “this is kind of fun!”
I didn’t say it much more after that, but there was something quite satisfying about doing physical work and going home at the end of the day feeling like I’d really earned my dinner.