My farm experience

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.

RoadTrip

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.

RedBack

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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First days in Sydney

travel has been good except a truck that was in my lane and wanted to bring me back in Mildura. Luckily the driver realised that bring me back wasn’t a good idea and swerved back in his lane!

hume-hwy
Since Canberra was on the way back, I decided to visit it. The city is very small and very “precise”. Visiting it become clear that it has been built to be the perfect capital. The buildings are squared and give you an impression of seriousness. The Parliament House is incredible, built on a hill like a castle and with the view on the city. Just below there is the old Parliament House, which is now the museum of democracy. Interesting to learn something about the history of Australian government.

Parliament House Canberra
When I arrived in Sydney I realised that the car was not an advantage anymore. In Sydney all the parkings are with fee and limit of time. I have been changing place for all the afternoon and driving for an hour in the between to find a new parking spot. With a friend’s help I found the next morning a super secret free and unlimited spot! The car is going to stay there forever. At least till I’ll sell it. (:
After I’ve solved the first glitch, I focused my attention on the second big problem: to buy Nutella that had finished during the travel! 🙂
Everything is now along the right lines, Italy have won the first match of football world championship (my english flatmates of my new shared-apartment are not happy 🙂 ) and I’m ready to start the IELTS preparation!

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Back in Sydney

o back in Sydney. (:
After my last 3 months in Mildura and around, I’ve finally got my days of farmjob and all what it takes to stay for a second year in Australia.LRGMelbourneFriendsMilduraFriends After the grapes season I’ve had to struggle a bit to find others jobs but now I can leave the rural life and keep going toward my goals.
I’ll miss this place. The farmwork is hard but useful against stress.
I’ve known a lot of people in this adventure and I hope to meet everybody again !! (: I’ll miss you!

The next step when I’ll be in Sydney? To reap the fruits (or rather the rewards, I don’t want to pick fruit anymore) of my trip in Australia.
The Australian government require the IELTS certification for most of the cases if you are immigrant and you want a professional job. That is one of the biggest obstacle that who want a career in Australia have to deal with. I’ll leave Mildura in the next days to start a course of IELTS preparation next week. I’m looking forward to see my friends in Sydney and to start a new school!
Now I’ll start to put together my stuff and plan my return. (:

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Melbourne & Great Ocean Road

here are so many emotions when making the choice to leave your country. One of these is to see places you’ve seen just on pictures. The first time was when I’ve seen the view of the opera house and harbour bridge in Sydney. I was with a good friend and, like a picture in my mind, I realized that I achieved what I wanted. (:
I met more amazing views months later when I was at the White Night in Melbourne and along the Great Ocean Road.
I haven’t much to say about it because I only stopped for 10 days.
These are some pictures taken during my trip from Sydney to Mildura:

Sydney, NSW Cobram, Victoria Great Alpine Road, Victoria Philip Island, Victoria Melbourne, Victoria Twelve Apostoles, Victoria
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Great Alpine Road, Victoria
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Give me back The Mona Lisa

tory of one of the most famous painting in the world?

GiocondaInSydney

A month ago I was talking with a friend of mine and telling him about the many French I’ve met when I was working in Cobram. His response was “tell them to give you back the Mona Lisa :-)”.
Intrigued, I did some research on the web to read the history of the painting and I realized that it is a very interesting story. Furthermore, the story of the theft in 1911 looks fun!
If one day I’ll definitely want to see the painting with my eyes. The picture on the right is a montage made by me of the Mona Lisa in Sydney. 🙂
🙂 This is its story:
The Mona Lisa was painted by Leonardo da Vinci in Florence in 1503 and it represent Francesco del Giocondo’s wife. The painting was carried by Leonardo in France in 1516. It was mentioned for the first time in 1525 and was purchased by Francis I. X-rays views have shown that there are 3 versions of the painting, retouched by Leonardo during these 20 years.
In 1625 a portrait called “La Gioconda” was described in the list of French royal collections that was probably in the castle of Fontanbleau since 1542.
Around 1684 Louis XIV ordered to transfer the picture to Versailles after the French Revolution was moved to the Louvre.
Napoleon Bonaparte took possession of it for a short time (and then it was returned to the Louvre) and put it in his bedroom.
In 1870-1871, during the Franco-Prussian War, the Mona Lisa was moved to a safe place and controlled by reliable people.
The theft of the famous painting took place on the night of 20 to 21 August 1911 , a day before the closing of the museum. The police couldn’t find the painting that remained in the dark. It turned out after about a year that Vincenzo Peruggia, a former employee of the Museum, a native of Dumenza had stolen it holding it under his coat. A plumber also opened him the door. Vincenzo was convinced that the painting, made by an Italian painter, was a exclusive property of Italy and in 1913 took him to Florence with the intent to make a gift to Italy but he was arrested. He said he’ve spent two “romantic” years with the Mona Lisa on the wall in his kitchen.
With the climate of friendship that prevailed in the relations between the two nations, the Mona Lisa remained in Italy for a while, following a ‘tour’ of the most famous town: the Uffizi in Florence, French Embassy of Palazzo Farnese in Rome, Galleria Borghese. Finally, finally returned to the Louvre in Paris.

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