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Old 07-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #1
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Default Australia Adventure - Help

Okay....so I got approved for a 1 year working holida visa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going solo so I'm a bit nervous!!!

I want to do farm work (3 months so I can get my second working holiday visa)

Does anyone now of any programs that set you up with work even before you land?

I thinking of landing in Brisbane or Cairns, as there seems to be all year round season opportunities.

Has anyone done this before? Any tips?

Thanks!

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Old 07-25-2007, 10:02 AM   #2
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Default Forgot to mention

I'll be arriving last week of August 2007!!!!
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:51 PM   #3
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If you want to do farm work then it is SOOOOO easy to get. No need to set it up before hand. Just go to any hostel wall bulletin board and you will find lots of numbers that you can call. I worked in Innisfail (1 hour south of cairns) working in the banana sheds. It's shitty mundane working but hey it pays the bills and I met some awesome people. I'm not sure what the banana situation is like since there was ahuge cyclone there last year but check it out. And if you stay there then stay at the Codge Lodge hostel!
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:20 PM   #4
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yeah farm work is everywhere. i wouldnt say it's super, super easy to find... i knew some people who had a bit of a hard time finding fruit picking jobs. try Bundaberg, theres a lot of farm work out there. a warning tho...it is HARD work and little pay.

yes fruit picking and farm work seems to be apart of the great oz experience but if you're looking to make more money i suggest you try working in a resturant or cafe.

one of my travel buddies from oz worked in a town called Bordertown...on the border of SA and victoria. he worked on a sheep farm and lived with a host family.....said it was a great experience.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:37 AM   #5
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i have no experience in it myself, but I personally don't see why ANYONE would want to come here and spend all their time in a fruit picking job. If you really are desperate to work on a farm, I would try to find a homestay/host family arrangement on a sheep or cattle farm like LaurieL mentioned - the work would be just as hard, but more varied and interesting, and it could be an enjoyable experience. I think this kind of thing would be fairly hard to find though, with the drought thats been going on for the last 5-6 years not many farmers can afford to employ farmhands from outside.. I know I live in sydney now but I grew up in various farming districts and most farmers I know just use their family members for help, and hire shearers when they need them. The other thing is that if they are going to hire someone, they will first look to neighbours and local kids that are experienced and don't need accommodation. However, I know their must be some huge, prosperous farms that could hire you, it just wouldnt be a cosy family place. The other thing to consider is that there has been a lot of rain this winter so arriving at the end of august could work in your favour, its a busy time for farmers and after this rain they might be feeling rich. I know it sounds like I'm just killing all your ideas here but that's really not what I'm trying to do, I just wanted to share some thoughts (the whole idea of people coming from overseas to work on a farm is still REALLY weird to me). When you think about it, if you end up on a farm where you hate what you're doing, there are way less options available to you than if you were in a job in a city or town. If you don't want to live in the city, there are plenty of country towns where you could get work.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Diorama View Post
If you want to do farm work then it is SOOOOO easy to get. No need to set it up before hand. Just go to any hostel wall bulletin board and you will find lots of numbers that you can call. I worked in Innisfail (1 hour south of cairns) working in the banana sheds. It's shitty mundane working but hey it pays the bills and I met some awesome people. I'm not sure what the banana situation is like since there was ahuge cyclone there last year but check it out. And if you stay there then stay at the Codge Lodge hostel!
Thanks, I will do some reasearch on that location and hostel!!!
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LaurieL622 View Post
yeah farm work is everywhere. i wouldnt say it's super, super easy to find... i knew some people who had a bit of a hard time finding fruit picking jobs. try Bundaberg, theres a lot of farm work out there. a warning tho...it is HARD work and little pay.

yes fruit picking and farm work seems to be apart of the great oz experience but if you're looking to make more money i suggest you try working in a resturant or cafe.

one of my travel buddies from oz worked in a town called Bordertown...on the border of NSW and victoria. he worked on a sheep farm and lived with a host family.....said it was a great experience.
Thanks for your input! I'll look up Bundaberg!
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:19 PM   #8
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The key to to fruit picking is making sure that you get a job that has an hourly wage. If you are picking for weight/or buckets (contract work) then your probably going to make very little. I was paid $12.50 per hour for bananas. i thought t hat was pretty good. Also I work in a vineyard too ( in margaret river) . i got paid $12 and it was super chill work. For both jobs I just walked in and asked for a job and got one the next day. So for me it was super easy. You just have to make sure your in a region at the right time for picking etc..

Both jobs were mind numbing. However I lived in hostels so I got to meet so many of the other farm workers. Good times.

FYI- Don't do mangoes. You get burns on your skin from the acidic juices.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:25 PM   #9
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i have no experience in it myself, but I personally don't see why ANYONE would want to come here and spend all their time in a fruit picking job. If you really are desperate to work on a farm, I would try to find a homestay/host family arrangement on a sheep or cattle farm like LaurieL mentioned - the work would be just as hard, but more varied and interesting, and it could be an enjoyable experience. I think this kind of thing would be fairly hard to find though, with the drought thats been going on for the last 5-6 years not many farmers can afford to employ farmhands from outside.. I know I live in sydney now but I grew up in various farming districts and most farmers I know just use their family members for help, and hire shearers when they need them. The other thing is that if they are going to hire someone, they will first look to neighbours and local kids that are experienced and don't need accommodation. However, I know their must be some huge, prosperous farms that could hire you, it just wouldnt be a cosy family place. The other thing to consider is that there has been a lot of rain this winter so arriving at the end of august could work in your favour, its a busy time for farmers and after this rain they might be feeling rich. I know it sounds like I'm just killing all your ideas here but that's really not what I'm trying to do, I just wanted to share some thoughts (the whole idea of people coming from overseas to work on a farm is still REALLY weird to me). When you think about it, if you end up on a farm where you hate what you're doing, there are way less options available to you than if you were in a job in a city or town. If you don't want to live in the city, there are plenty of country towns where you could get work.
Ali! I appreciate your thoughts!! I don't plan on spending all my time doing farm work. I'm doing it for the experience and also in hopes that I can get another 1 year visa, so I can spend more time in Australia! The Australia High Commission's rule is that if a person on there first visa does 3 months of farm work they can apply for a second visa! Yes I'm being greedy! Thanks for you input!
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:01 PM   #10
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wow, what a strange rule about the second visa thing... well it would be worth sticking it out for three months for that! let us all know how you get on
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:37 AM   #11
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I think it's because the farm/fruit picking industry is always in need of workers. The farms rely so heavily on backpackers wanting jobs. So basically if you give them three months of your life then they will give you another year...It's a tit for a tat! :D
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:37 PM   #12
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Yes, fruit picking can be bloody hard work, but during the peak of the fruit picking season (January - May) there are HEAPS of jobs around, so you should have no trouble at all finding work. Another benefit to fruit picking is that a lot of the jobs are located in the tropical coastal regions, so you can always get a job near the beach. Also, keep in mind that January to May is the hottest part of the year for us so pack plenty of water and sunscreen.

However, in my opinion, fruit picking is not the classic Aussie farming experience. To get a real feel for what rural farming Autralia is all about would require heading inland and finding work on a cattle farm or something like that. I'm sure you could score work on one of these places if you just ventured inland and travelled around the country towns staying at pubs and letting the publican know that you're interested in farm work. It looks like being a good year this year, so I'm sure you'd find some work sooner or later. This approach would be a little more risky (adventurous ), but it would certainly provide you with the rural Aussie experience that I think you're after.
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