One thing that’s on every backpackers mind who’s wanting to do a second year in Australia is the farm work. In order to be eligible for an extension to your visa you must complete 88 days in a regional postcode. For me, it’s in Bundaberg, a small city in Queensland about a 4 hour drive from Brisbane.
As soon as I landed I instantly had a feeling that these three months were going to be the longest of my life, and in some ways I still feel this but in others I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
I’d heard horror stories about the work – the long hot back breaking days with little to no rest are tough but it’s the people that make it bearable, we’re all in this together – working towards a second year in a country we’ve all dreamed about living in.
The day after I arrived at my working hostel just a 10 minute walk from the city centre I was thrown into sweet potato picking. After a quick look online and talking to a few people I learnt that this is one of the hardest jobs – especially if it’s done manually. Just to my luck – it was.
Nearly 9 hours later we’d picked over 24 bins and packed them all into boxes to be sent of to Flemington Markets in Sydney – oh the irony!
The next day my farm wasn’t working so I was sent to a Pineapple farm, the work was a LOT easier but weirdly I was eager to get back to the spuds. It was something about being able to push my self a lot more at the farm the day before.
To my delight I was sent back there on Friday morning and again on Saturday – me and a guy from Germany being the only ones from the original bunch to be asked back.
In just two days I already noticed a massive difference in my fitness and my speed. To a plus we started to joke around with the Aussie couple that ran the farm – joking around with your bosses really makes the day easier (but make sure you test the waters first).
After 7 days of work my back is killing, I feel filthy but I can now sort-of see light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is a long way away.