For the past 4 months I’ve taken a break from travelling to work on a dairy farm. I’m not going to lie, when I first started the job it all seemed a bit overwhelming. Waking up at 3am was tough, I’d never worked with animals before, and I’ll never forget how disgusted and horrified I was during my first few shifts when I saw first hand just how much these cows shit! I would come home every day absolutely filthy! After my first week I was telling people that it was an interesting experience but that I would never work on a dairy farm again.
But of course things change and now I actually enjoy going to work. I have a laugh with my colleagues, really like working with the cows (even when they don’t behave), and believe it or not the shit’s not that bad, it’s just chewed up grass really… So I’m now writing a blog encouraging backpackers to work on dairies! And here’s why: Continue reading →
Before I went travelling I had a plan, and that plan started with New Zealand. There was just something about the country that attracted me to it, the natural beauty of the place, the mountains, the unique landscape, the people, I couldn’t wait to get over there and see it for myself. I also thought New Zealand would be a good starting point for someone like myself who had never travelled before. The culture wouldn’t be much different and there wouldn’t be a language problem.
From here the plan was to step it up a bit and go to Asia, do some ‘real’ travelling as I thought of it. I thought that after 2 years travelling around New Zealand I would be craving something a bit more adventurous, I would want that extreme culture shock, to be put out of my comfort zone and experience crazy things. And this is exactly how I feel! But I didn’t follow the original plan and instead, I went to Australia. Continue reading →
If you’ve been in New Zealand for a working holiday, and only worked for parts of the year, you can be pretty sure you’ll be due some tax back. And when it comes to claiming that tax back, it’s really not that hard. You don’t need to have a degree in accounting, there’s no secret password, really anyone can do it! That’s why it frustrates me so much to see all these tax back companies targeting backpackers, and charging a fee for their services. Continue reading →
Last year the Australian Government granted over 200,000 working holiday visas. It seems us backpackers are literally flocking to the country, lured by the prospect of adventure and high wages. And once we’re here we don’t want to leave. Therefore, high on the priority list is completing 88 days of specified work in a regional area that allows us to apply for a 2nd year visa. This usually means working in a rural area doing fruit picking, farming, construction work etc.
I feel that this condition for a visa extension is both a blessing and a curse. It’s good because it helps regional employers, who often struggle to get Australian workers, by encouraging backpackers to go out to these rural areas and work on their farms to extend their stay. But on the other hand, it leaves backpackers open to exploitation, as many are willing to do just about anything to tick off those 88 days.
The Job Hunt
A few months ago I was in the vulnerable position of looking for a job. I’d pushed things as far as they could go financially but now funds were at an all time low. I thought I might as well get a job that would allow me to apply for a 2nd year visa, kill 2 birds with one stone and all that. Continue reading →