Run out of money after travelling the east coast? Not ready to go home yet? Then why not head for the white stuff this winter.
Due to the fact that the work is incredibly sociable and you can ski during your free time, ski seasons are becoming increasingly popular amongst travellers.
Whether it’s in a ski store, bar or restaurant there are plenty of jobs available for travellers.
However, If a ski season sounds like an attractive option, don’t wait around, because the slopes are open from the middle of June.
“Get online asap. Make sure that you apply for a job that allows plenty of time on the slopes, such as a bar job where you work late or cleaning roles where you work early,“ says Amber Gardner from Mt Buller Resort in Victoria.
In addition to time on the slopes there are other advantages to working a ski season says
Sarah Choe from Ascendia Retail. “You get staff discounts for ski hire purchase, a great working environment and the opportunity to meet great new people.”
As a traveller you may like the idea of just rocking up somewhere and then finding work. However, this is not an advisable strategy for ski work, as there aren’t usually enough jobs for all the people who arrive at the start of the season.
Try to organise work before you arrive to avoid the dog fight.
What about the pay? “The amount will depend on what is included in their position package such as a lift pass, accommodation and meals. However, most people don’t come here for the pay but for the lifestyle,” says Amber.
An interview with… A ski rental manager
What is your current job?
A ski rental manager.
What does it entail?
Running a ski and snowboard rental shop.
Where do you work?
Jindabyne in New South Wales.
How exactly did you get your current job?
I was head hunted from Perisher Blue.
What’s the pay like?
Tell us about the best thing that’s happened to you on the job?
The people you meet every year from all walks of life and forming life long friendship.
What’s the social scene like?
It can be a little bit hectic.
What’s the best and worst thing about working a ski season?
Snow, snow and no snow.
What advice would you give to travellers keen to work a ski season?
Go for it. Most resorts love internationals in the mix of staff so if you are a traveller you should be able to find work.
New Zealand /b>
While trying to drive across the Simpson Desert, LIZZIE JOYCE and her partner were forced to hitch a ride with some dodgy truckers.
Early one January morning my boyfriend Dan and I set off on our trip across three states, covering 3,000 miles on what would turn out to be the best trip I have ever done, not to mention the most dangerous. We were attempting to cross the Simpson Desert on our way to Alice Springs from Sydney. We were fully prepared and set off in our 4WD loaded with equipment, including 60 litres of water, a double swag, a laser beam,
and an Epirb signal.
After 10 hours of driving, watching the landscape turn from highways and tall buildings to red earth and eternal horizons we glided past an old mining town called Cobar, stopped for a wee and drove on through, thankful that this ‘Hicksville’ town was not our destination. But while driving at an average speed of 120km per hour, the trusty car (which I was assured had “just had a full service and was made for driving across such terrain”) was disintegrating and the entire wheel was about to fall off.
Suddenly, the brakes started to fail and smoke started pouring out the front passenger tyre. We were 120km from the last town and with at least 100km to the next, Dan decided we should drive on (without brakes) and see if we could make it to our destination. Luckily it didn’t last long anyway as the car stopped in defiance and we were forced to pull off the road in the middle of nowhere. Within minutes two semi-trailers driving in convoy by brothers, pulled up to offer us help and I’ve never been so glad to see two spectacularly ugly truckers before in my life. Freaky Brother One then began to undress me, with his eyes, almost frothing at the mouth at coming in such close proximity to someone of the opposite sex, while Freaky Brother Two was pretending to be a mechanic and baffling Dan with his bullshit. It was turning into Wolf Creek.
Nothing could be done with the car, and we had no choice but to accept a lift from Freaky Brother One to the nearest roadhouse 13km up the road. But then he said there wouldn’t be enough room in the cab so Dan should travel with his brother and I should hop into his cab by myself. By this point I was close to hysteria and there was no way I would be getting in that lorry by myself.
So we both hopped in with Brother Number Two. Dan settled in the middle of the very spacious cab which had enough room to house a small Albanian family! Relieved to be on our way to a phone box and in relative safety, (even if we were in being driven by an axe wielding maniac I had enough faith that Dan could knock him out if it came to it) I thought it would be plain sailing from here. After a couple of minutes on the road Brother Number One starts becoming agitated – he thinks he has lost his keys as he can’t use the radio to contact his brother. He pulls into the side of the road and asks me to hop out to see if he had left them in the door lock. This forced me into ungraceful acrobatic maneuvers in order to hang myself out the door and reach round to grab the keys, with freaky brother one more than enjoying the view of my ass in the air. The keys were there, so off we set again in stilted silence.
Finally we caught sight of the roadhouse and saw our escape was only minutes away and we made a sharp exit from the freaky brothers. Good riddance!
The roadhouse turned out to be a petrol pump and a shop that was about to close. They had a phone though and we arranged for a tow truck to pick us up and take us back to the nearest town… Cobar (the Hicksville town we drove through scorning) where we would have to wait for the next three days for the car to be repaired. How ironic that the town we were laughing at turned out to be our refuge.
So we skipped the Simpson Desert and took another route to Alice Springs where we arrived two weeks later with the biggest smiles and the best memories!
Send us a travel tale (preferably about Oz) and if it’s published you’ll win a $300 travel voucher redeemable on Oz Experience Passes and ATA NT camping trips (www.adventuretours.com.au). Email your tales (700 words max), with a picture of yourself, to firstname.lastname@example.org