If you’ve come to Australia on a working holiday visa, we’ve every confidence that you are going to fall in love and not want to leave … so, you’ll probably be wanting to do some farm work so that you qualify for a second year.
I know what you might be thinking (if you’re anything like I was)! Ugh … farm work! But it’s actually not as bad as it sounds, I promise!
Even though three months/88 days on a farm might sound like it is your worst nightmare, there are a lot of good reasons to get it done, the second year being only one of them!
A new experience!
A lot of people who I met doing my farm work had never even stepped on to a farm before they arrived! It’s something new and different that you’ll probably only get to do this once … you didn’t come all the way to Australia to only do what you would normally do at home! You came to try new things, go to new places, meet new people from different walks of life to yourself. Working on a farm is a great way to tick all those boxes!
Money, money, money!
Farming is a GREAT way to save for whatever new adventures you have planned. Most of the time, you are in a small town, or sometimes, the middle of nowhere, working most of the day and most of the week and you don’t really get the chance to spend what you are earning! When I did my farm work, all I had to pay was my rent and buy food/drink … I didn’t have much time for anything else. The money that I saved during my farm work funded the whole of my East Coast trip, including all my activities and meant that when I got to Sydney, I didn’t have to stress about finding work immediately, because I was still ok for a couple of weeks!
The second year visa!
It goes without saying that if you do fall in love with Australia and decide you want to stay longer or come back for another year at a later date, then you pretty much have no choice … regional/farm work is one of the only ways that can happen! Not all good things come for free eh!
The friends you make!
When I did my farm work, I lived in a working hostel with about 50 other people. We were a family! We worked, lived, ate together, we got each other through when farming got hard and we were exhausted, or when we were missing home, and we shared some very fun times! The friends I made while doing my farm work made the experience what it was and I’ll always remember them, whether we have kept in touch since or not! I now actually live with my best mate who is one of the girls I did my farm work with … we’ve known each other for nearly two years! But we never would have met if it wasn’t for our farm work!
I’m not going to lie, farm work was hard, a lot of the time. It was long hours and sometimes we went days without a day off (I think the most days we did in a row was 19! (And there were other farms that beat that!) But what I got from farming was well worth absolutely all of it! I got to stay in Australia (and went on to get sponsored,) I met some awesome people, and most importantly (or not) I now know just about everything there is to know about melons! Like, literally everything! Haha. At the end of the day, it is what you make it, so you may as well embrace it!
If you’re thinking of doing your farm work, it can be a bit daunting when you start to look for somewhere. I have a few tips for you:
• Try and get a job that offers an hourly rate rather than a piece rate – you’re more likely to earn more!
• Be wary of bogus job ads – If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
• Be open minded about what you do – you may not like cows but cattle mustering might turn out to be something really fun!
• Don’t give up! The first couple of weeks were really hard for me, and they probably will be for you too – stick with it, it gets easier!
If you are looking for farm work, contact the team in the office and they may be able to point you in the right direction of a few places! There’s also this really handy guide we made, about what is happening in each state depending on the seasons:
Any questions – give us a shout! We’re here to help!
Hi, where did you go do your 88days of picking ?
I did mine up in Ayr, which is about an hour’s drive from Townsville. It was hard work but fun … if you’re looking for work, I can give you the name of a few hostels? The season really starts to kick off around June so it’s good to get there by end of May so you have a good chance of getting on a good farm!
Just wondering if work on horse training farms would count as specified work? I’ve seen on a couple of websites it’s say it doesn’t count but others don’t mention it.
Hey James! Thanks for your message. If you’re in a regional postcode and doing the correct specified farm work it should be fine. It’s always best to double check with your employer and if you’re still unsure, immigration will be able to give you a definite answer. Check out this website ( https://www.taw.com.au/gap-year/second-year-visa/extension) for more info on regional work, a regional post code list and how to apply! Good luck with your regional work! Thanks!