Okay, so you’re not ready to go home. However, it’s not as if you want to move Down Under for the rest of your life or chain yourself to a desk just to buy another year or so in the sun. Sure you’ve got to do some work every now and again (bags of goon don’t grow on trees after all), but let’s face it, a year’s flown by and there’s still so much you want to see. Sound familiar? Then harvest work is probably the answer. The cash to be earned in the country may not match the city, but there’s a bigger bonus on offer – a year’s Working Holiday visa extension after three months work. Also, you get the chance to work in the glorious outdoors. Positions are generally easy to find and the working days, while tiring, are often short. But perhaps most appealing is the chance to spend a few months really getting to know a part of Australia that most travellers simply wouldn’t see. The crops you get to work with vary massively, depending where you are and what time of year it is. But the jobs coming up in September include mangoes, melons and bananas (visit http://jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail for the full list). And the beauty of it is, as Gary Locke from Work in South Australia explains, “as long as you’ve got two arms and legs, you’re good for fruit-picking work”. While some aspects of the trade, he adds, do need some level of training, most of the jobs available require no qualifications or experience. Plus, if you pick the right farm you can rack up enough seasonal work to get your visa extension in one foul swoop. “When it comes to apple and citrus farms, the work can easily go on for three months,” says Gary. Harvest work varies wildly in pay. Labourers should expect to earn anything from $60 to $150 a day. “Fruit picking is very easy, but not for everyone. Packing is popular with girls”. Admittedly the harvest industry has not always enjoyed the greatest of reputations amongst travellers, but that should not put people off, insists Gary. “We listen to backpackers – if we get bad feedback about a farm we don’t send people there again,” he says. Indeed, the Aussie government have a Workplace Ombudsman that inspects farms to ensure workers are not being exploited.
About The Author
TNT Magazine has been guiding independent travellers around the world for 35 years. Originally founded in 1983, TNT Magazine has been regarded by many as the youth travellers bible, offering a mix of inspiring travel content, news, lifestyle, fashion, jobs and accommodation. Our mantra is live life & travel which encompasses what we are all about. To live life to the full, and help young adults navigate the tribulations of working, living and experiencing adventure through travel. We have developed a great reputation throughout the world as an independent and trusted source of quality content and advice.
January 16, 2012
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