Yes, I know many of us just try our hand at fruit picking here in Australia in order to get a precious second year working holiday visa, but really there is a lot more that you can get out of the experience than just crossing off those magical 88 days. To make sure you enjoy picking that fruit as much you enjoy another year Down Under, here are 9 secrets to getting the best from your Australian farm work.
1. Don’t Leave It Until the Last Minute
If you think you’re going to want to stay another year in Australia, then start looking at farm jobs as soon as possible. Your 88 days don’t have to be undertaken in one continuous block, so starting it early and then spreading it out over year the course of a year will allow you the freedom to be a bit pickier of what exactly you farm and where. This is a surefire way to make sure you enjoy and get the best from the experience.
2. Research Where You’re Going
Likewise, make sure you do a little bit of research about the region you are going to do your farm work in. Get on Google maps and check out where it is. Learning a bit about the sort of climate you can expect, the terrain you will encounter and how remote or not a place is will give you a better idea of what to expect. It will give you a sense of what life might be like there, managing your expectations and making sure you have the best possible time.
3. Be Prepared
Never will you hate your farm work in Australia more than if you are ill-prepared. Researching where you are going is a large part of this, but so too is learning from other people more about what the particular type of farm work you’ll be doing involves exactly. What are the potential hazards or worst bits? Knowing this will help you be prepared. For a start, it will mean that you turn up with the right kit, such as gloves, hats and boots, perhaps long sleeves or thick sleeping bags if it gets cold at night there. It will also mean you can bring things to help you enjoy the experience more such as a good collection of books, a snorkel and mask, or some drawing pencils. All of this will certainly help you enjoy the experience more.
4. See It As a Great Opportunity
Farm work is perhaps something you would never normally consider doing at home, but make sure to see it as an opportunity during your travels in Australia. No doubt it will give you the chance to learn, experience and do lots of different things and in order to get the best from these, it will definitely help if you view even the challenges that may come with it as opportunities rather than negatives.
5. Make some Great Friends
One such great opportunity is the chance to make friends with some of the awesome people you might meet during your farm work. There’s nothing quite like picking apples with someone for hours in order to get to know them quickly and undertaking your farm work in Australia is a great way to meet travel buddies and make sure you have a good laugh at the same time!
6. Get Yourself Plenty of Fresh Air
I’m not joking! If you’re not used to being outside for some many hours a day – perhaps because you work inside normally – then doing your farm work out in the open, under the great Australian sky, day after day, will certainly invigorate you. There’s nothing like a good daily dose of fresh air to make you feel alive and relishing this will certainly help you get the best from your farm work!
7. Use It as an Opportunity to Get Fit
I totally got the best from my farm work in Australia by using it as an opportunity to go on a bit of a health kick. I know this isn’t for everyone, but you can definitely get a lot more out of your fruit picking gig, for example, by harnessing the physical work involved to increase your level of fitness. This is a great positive swing to put on the situation and should give you goals to help increase your enjoyment of the whole experience. After all, who doesn’t want bigger guns?!
8. Make Sure you Save Some Cash
Now that you must legally be paid a fair wage for your 88 days of regional work in Australia, fruit picking can be a lucrative pursuit. Not only are the wages decent for the work you’re doing, but often being situated in regional areas means there isn’t a lot of opportunity to spend your pay cheque once you’ve earned it. Make sure you get the best from your Australian farm work by using it as an opportunity to save some cash – that way you’ll have more funds for fun when you start travelling again.
9. Experience a Different Side of Oz
Undertaking your Australian farm work in a regional area is likely to get you seeing and living in parts of the country you would never normally experience. See this as an adventure, one that gets you away from the cities and into a different pace of life and among different surroundings. Use your days off from farm work to explore the surrounding area and experience a different side of this vast country so that you can say you’ve really travelled here!
So those are my 9 secrets to getting the best from your Australian farm work – good luck and enjoy!