liday Visa” target=”_blank”>Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is definitely the most applied visa from people who want to try a complete Australian experience, working and studying in the country. In Italy, and in many other countries, you can apply for a WHV and live and work in Australia for a whole year. Unfortunately people cannot be older than 31 and the visa can be apply only once for lifetime.
Work in an Australian farm for 88 days is the most common option the Australian Government give to people who want to apply for this visa once again. The farm job and the outback adventure is often mysterious for who never left a big city like Sydney or Melbourne.
I’ve decided to write my experience and my advices to help people who want to leave the city and get the 88 days required for the second WHV. The first thing to do before to start planning is to have a look at the National Harvest Guide that the government update every year. The farm works are not available all the time in every region because they are driven by the fruit season. In the guide is easy to understand where is more likely to find a job and where not, as well as the best month to leave.
I personally worked in Cobram and Mildura, both in Victoria (close to the border with NSW) but picking jobs are not very different in other region of Australia. The main advice I use to give is to buy a car and leave. To find a job on Gumtree from Sydney or Melbourne or another city is possible but very hard. Moreover, is unlikely to find a job that will be long enough to complete your days and with a car it will be easy to find a new job straight away. Most of the employer and contractor are looking indeed for people keen and ready to work for the day after and don’t have transport or accommodations. Leaving a city without the certainty of a job can be discouraging but I’ve been working for about 10 different farms and every time I’ve found the job in no more than 3 days.
Another important thing is the payment. I’ve been disappointed with the payment for every job. Employers know very well how many backpackers are looking for a farm job to get a second visa or just to same money and travel. Australia is one of the most targeted country for road trips. For this reason the payment are very low and almost always based on how much fruit can you pick and how fast you are. Luckily in the outback life is easy and you cannot spend money if not for food and petrol. I never had problems to save money.
One thing might scare a few people is the presence of dangerous animals. Australia, as you know, is full of them but they are not as dangerous as people think. Every animal is scared of us and with a few attention it become very hard to be bitten from a snake or a spider. While I was in Cobram I was walking on the high grass in a national park with my thongs (or flipflops). As soon as I’ve seen a Red Belly snake one meter away from my feet I realised that walking there has not been a very good idea. The snake though, escaped under the grass after a few seconds. Secondly, when I was working with grapes I’ve had the occasion to see a lot of Redback spiders. They are very common in NSW and Victoria and dangerous, but not as dangerous as people believe. Not only is very unusual to be bitten from a spider but often the bite don’t even need the anti-poison. Of course, it’s better to remember the Australian emergency number (000).
The farm work is very hard but there are also advantages. Australia is full of travellers, the small towns are more relaxed than big cities and people are often very nice and available. I’ve had the possibility to meet a lot of people and make new friends from all over the world.
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