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Earning AbroadWelcome to Earning Abroad! In this series I’ll introduce you to some inspiring and ambitious friends I’ve met on the road — friends who have found viable work away from their home countries. 

I met Freya Ashton when we we both living the sweet life of carefree expats in Koh Tao. Our friendship was on turbo-drive from the start, and today I can easily say she is one of the closest friends I’ve made in my many years of travel. We had innumerable adventures in Thailand, made our way through Cambodia, and even left Southeast Asia in tandem — her departure home prompted a party so grand it warranted a post of its own! I was thrilled to be able to visit her last summer in London, and thanks to the miracles of technology we still chat several times a week and have held each others’ hands through happy and hard times.

I could barely believe it when my super girly, pint-sized friend first told me that she had worked two seasons of agriculture work in Australia. Despite the harsh conditions and hands-on manual labor, due to Australia’s generous salaries and distribution of work permits this is an incredibly popular way for backpackers to earn abroad, so I couldn’t wait to pick her brain about picking vegetables. Over to Freya!

What it's Like to Pick Fruit in Australia

AB: Walk us through a typical day on the job.

FA: During my time fruit picking I held a number of different positions. I stayed at the Aussie Nomads Hostel in Bowen, North Queensland, which found jobs for guests with the local farms and provided transport to and from work. There was a pecking order to these positions — when you arrived you got the jobs with less hours and as you stayed longer and proved yourself to be a good worker you got better positions… a promotion as such!

My first job was on Todd’s Tomato Farm. Farms do not use backpackers to pick tomatoes as the work is too physical, so I was in the shed on the sorting table. This was a machine that brought all the tomatoes flying past on rotating tubes and we had to quickly pick out the rotten ones. I had been on the sorting table for approximately three minutes when I asked the rest of the group if they were feeling hot. No one else was, so I removed my hoodie… and then proceeded to pass out face first into the rotten tomatoes! That was my sorting career over as apparently I suffer from motion sickness.

Working Holiday Visa AustraliaI was then given an amazing job in the fields at Barbera Farm. The reason I loved this job is because the hours were set (6:30am to 4:30pm six days a week), it was outside, and it paid well. I was a general farmhand, so my duties during my three months working on this farm were hoeing the weeds on the tomatoes, weeding the capsicums (peppers), and planting new seeds.

That sounds deceptively easy – it wasn’t. I worked for 9.5 hours a day with only a half an hour break. This was my only time in the shade, and the rest of the time was in the boiling heat only stopping once an hour for water. We also had to wee in the fields, hiding behind a plant and hoping a tractor full of farmers wouldn’t drive past. The work was monotonous so we played games and sang songs and I got to know the girls I was working with better than you can imagine.

We also had to remove the tomato plants from the wires the vines had grown on, a process called “shaking”. This was by far the most disgusting job I had. There were wooden posts about a meter apart and wire between them with the vines hanging over. In pairs we had to walk along facing each other and grab the wire and shake and shake until the plants fell to the floor. Our hands were blistered and we were covered in dust but worst of all, the unpicked fruit, now rotten would fly off the vine and hit us — occasionally in the face! Black, rotten, fly infested fruit…. which would only attract more flies. Yum!

It may sound shocking but during my second year visa in Australia I actually chose to go back and do some more fruit picking. This time I worked at Brak Pak in the pumpkin fields. I started out as the only girl. As it’s a hard job it’s normally one for the boys, but because I was unable to work in the sheds I was given a chance. This was by far the most physical job I have ever worked.

Pumpkins were picked using a tractor. There would be one person driving, two people on the trailer sorting pumpkins and five people on the ground picking. Attached to the trailer was a long conveyor belt. As the tractor drove forwards we would have to run along behind it, pick the pumpkins and put them on the conveyor belt. This was hard — you had to pick all the pumpkins that were fully grown, put them on the conveyor belt, check for damaged/rotten ones and keep up with the tractor. Most of the time this did mean running and those pumpkins were huge.

Picking Fruit in AustraliaWe used to rotate roles to give ourselves a break and sometimes we would be sent off to do “cutting.” Because the stalks on pumpkins are so thick we weren’t able to break them by hand, so we had air cutters. These were basically like wire cutters but they were attached to a machine so that the air pressure did all the work for you. I was told that these cutters could cut straight through a finger so I was very nervous at first. I got the hang of it but I was always terrified of loosing a body part!

I know that most people definitely don’t do as many different roles as I did! However, I really enjoyed being able to experience different parts of the farm. I planted, weeded, picked and cleared away the farm and in the process was able to see the whole season.

How long did you have this position? 

My first fruit picking season was almost five months. During my second year I returned for three months. It states on your visa that you must complete 88 days of farm work in order to receive a second year renewal. Some employees will sign you off for the days you are employed, some will sign you off for the days you work. So for example, if you work only 3 days in a week as the fruit is not ready to pick, this will only count as 3 days not 7.

How did you come to do farm work in Australia? What inspired you to find this job?

Farm Work in AustraliaOriginally, I left my job as a real estate agent to go travelling for 3-6 months in Thailand and the East Coast of Australia. A couple of weeks after I left the UK I already knew I had the travelling bug. So after a month in Thailand I flew to Australia to work at a farm. I met a guy in a hostel in Sydney who had heard about Aussie Nomads Hostel and was heading there to find work. I followed him a couple of weeks later.

I’m really glad that I decided to do my farm work at the start of my time in Australia. Firstly, because this meant it was done and out of the way, and also because I saved money to fund my travels. But mainly because I met so many amazing people, some of whom I spent the whole of my two years in Australia travelling the country with.

How did your family and friends react to your initial departure?

Luckily I am very close with my family and have amazing friends. I think because I initially planned on being away for only a few months they were more excited for me than anything. I had a lovely goodbye party and it was more of a “see you soon.” If they’d known I would actually be going away for just over three years I think the goodbyes may have been very different.

The longer I was away the more frequent the “When are you coming home?” emails became.

How much money did you make? Was it enough to live on?

I was paid 18.60AUD (about $17US) an hour, about 50 cents above Australian minimum wage. I was also taxed, but I was able to claim them back — after I returned from Australia I claimed all the taxes I had paid over two years. The employer also pays money into your Super Annuation fund, which is like a state pension. This can also be claimed back. 

Working in Bowen, AustraliaI paid $200 AUS (about $185US) a month to stay at the hostel. It was a clean and lovely hostel with six to a room, two kitchens, a tv room, a pool table area, a swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant. Transportation to and from work was provided and there was a bus going into town to the shops and supermarket. They also cleaned the rooms and changed your bed!

Due to the fact I was in rural Queensland there was nothing to spend my money on. All I bought were food and drinks and the food we cooked was basic and cheap. As everyone in the hostel worked on different farms and all worked different days there was a party most nights in the hostel. We often organised fancy dress parties and day trips to the beach for BBQ’s but my expenses were very minimal.

You could take it further. I met some people in camper vans who would drive around and work on the farms and live on the land in tents to save money on housing. My savings from my time on the farms paid for my six weeks of travel in New Zealand as well as weeks in Southeast Asia – basically until I started a new job in Thailand!

What kind of legal hoops do you have to jump through?

I entered Australia with a one year Working Holiday Visa. I applied for this online and paid around $350AUS in fees (amounts change frequently, but you can find them here.)  I had to confirm I wasn’t pregnant, and had no dependents nor a criminal record. You are only eligible for this visa up until your 31st birthday.

The date you arrive is the date your visa starts from. You are allowed to leave the country, however this is still counted within the time of your visa. If during this first year you complete 88 days of agriculture work in the certain areas, you can apply for a second visa. There are two ways to apply. Either you can apply for your second visa while you are still in the country, and you will be asked for details of the farm work you did, dates worked, etc. You are then NOT ALLOWED to leave the country until you have had been granted your second year visa. It will start from the day your first year visa expires. The other way is to leave the country and then apply for a second year, though in that case you cannot re-enter until it’s been approved.

I heard a rumor that 1 in 10 visa applications are investigated. In this case immigration officials ask for pay slips and other information to validate that you did in fact do the work that you have claimed to have done – visa fraud is unfortunately not uncommon.

Working Abroad in AustraliaWhat skills did you need for this job?

The main skill you need for picking fruit in Australia is a desire to get it done. There’s nothing glamorous about early mornings, faces full of rotten fruit, sweat and achy muscles. There would be lots of days when we would all question why we were there, but for an extra 365 days in that country and a replenished bank account to travel it with, it was definitely worth it.

What were the best and worst things about farm work in Australia?

When I emailed everyone at home to tell them of my plans pick fruit the responses were of shock, horror and doubt… Would I be able to handle it? Yet to my surprise there were many things I loved about fruit picking.

I learnt about different cultures from my coworkers. Working holiday visas are available to a wide range of countries around the world. I made many European friends but also a lot of Taiwanese and a couple of Koreans as well. While fruit picking all the girls from Asia wore long trousers, sleeves, hats and head scarfs and did everything to avoid getting a suntan, where as the rest of us were doing all we could to avoid the tan lines by wearing as little clothes as possible. We had a lot of great cooking lessons in the kitchen in the hostels.

I saw a side to the country I wouldn’t have normally seen. The views from the fields were truly beautiful — I saw stunning sunsets, visited perfect beaches and witnessed animals in a natural environment. While in the fields I often saw kangaroos hopping past, and one day we had a couple of huge emus walking about with us.

Working in Bowen, AustraliaI saved money, which enabled me to travel.

On the downside, there were the snakes and spiders. I was told that snakes loved to live under the plastic where the fruit was planted and to be very careful.  “If you get bitten by a brown snake you have 10 minutes to get to a hospital before you die,” they laughed. “And we’re 30 minutes from the nearest hospital!” One of the boys in the hostel got bitten by a snake, and being a typical boy ignored it until a day later when his leg was swollen to double size. He had to be taken to the hospital in the middle of the night.

The good outweighed the bad. One of the main bonuses for this pasty Londoner was losing loads of weight and getting the best tan I’ve ever had!

What would your advice be to someone seeking to do the same?

The best piece of advice I have is to talk to others. Everyone backpacking generally does the same thing, takes the same route. So speak to people and find out where they did their fruit picking and their opinions.

On the Australian government website you can search for information on what fruits are picked where and information on what months they are in season. I would suggest arriving in an area at the start of a season or before to ensure you get a position. Also, find out as much information as you can before you go. I met people who went across the country for a job, spent days and plenty of money travelling, only to find it was nothing like they had been told. Often on the phone there would be the promise of a job and then a long waiting list upon arrival.

My last advice is if you are doing farm work in order to get a second year on your visa, ensure you do it early enough. Finding a job can take time, it can use up your funds, and as I said you may have to work a lot longer than 88 days in total.

What do you know about Australia that you wouldn’t have learned as a tourist? How did working in Australia change your experience there?

Farm Work in AustraliaI loved my time in Australia. Other than the time I spent fruit picking in Queensland the majority of my time was spent in Melbourne. Travelling and living in Australia really isn’t difficult — everyone speaks English, they have good transport systems, etc. Effectively for me it was like living at home — city life but warmer weather and friendlier people than London!

In Queensland I have experiences that were more out of my ordinary. One day, my boss on one of the farms took me and two other girls out on his boat to the Whitsundays, one of the most beautiful places in Australia. We visited remote islands, he taught us how to fish, and then we BBQ’d the fish for dinner.

Have you had other experience working abroad? Are there differences between working in your home country and in those places?

While I was in Melbourne I worked in a cafe in the city. This was one of my favourite jobs ever. I worked with a great team, made some super friends and the customers were all regulars and made my working day a joy. I do feel that people in Australia are friendlier, happier and have more time for each other that we tend to in England.

While in Thailand I worked in two bars [Editor’s Note: One of them being Brian’s bar!] and briefly worked as an office administrator for a dive school. This enabled me to get my diving qualifications, yet another thing I wouldn’t have achieved if I hadn’t worked abroad!

Was it difficult to transition home and re-enter the mainstream work force?

Working Holiday Visa AustraliaMy life during my three years away was nothing like it was at home. I went from being an real estate agent for five years and owning my own property in London to fruit picking and living in a hostel. Then I went from to making coffee and living in a shared studio flat with five others in the city to driving around the coast in a car with four other people and sleeping in a tent. Finally, in Thailand I spent my time working in bars and living in a hut. I could never have imagined all my differing abodes before I left but I loved all of them equally.

So coming home was very hard, and I struggled for some time to get back into full time work. While I was away I decided to return to school and have just completed my studies in Beauty Therapy. One of my main motivations was that to get permanent residency in countries abroad, such as Australia, you often require a skill. I wanted a qualification that might be able to aid me in living abroad again. It turns out now I’m back I actually really like being home, but you never know what might happen in the future.

…I’ll let you know what it’s like to have a London career again soon, as I’m starting a job with a world wide skin care brand in one of London’s most famous department stores this month!

What are you doing now? What are your plans for the future?

One of the main reasons I chose to come home when I did was to meet my nephew. He was almost two when I returned and met him for the first time. I love him so much and spend so much of my time with him now that I’m not sure I could leave him again!

Yet I haven’t lost my desire to explore more of the world. I already have my next holiday booked and have my wish list of counties just waiting to be ticked off.

What it's Like to Pick Fruit in Australia

Many thanks to Freya for sharing her story with us! Let’s leave her some serious kudos in the comments! Who would you like me to interview next?

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70 Comments...
  • Sally
    January 3 2014

    I love this series, particularly as I’m planning an indefinite life away from the UK. I was wondering if you still wanted contributions for these guest posts?
    x
    Sally recently posted..2014 Hopes

    • Alex
      January 4 2014

      Hey Sally, I’m definitely continuing this series indefinitely! I have about six months of interviews lined up but am always taking more! What kind of work did you do abroad?

      • Sally
        January 4 2014

        That’s awesome!
        I spent 2 months working in the USA in housekeeping (I’m originally from the UK), 3 months teaching in Thailand, 12 months in Oz and 12 months in NZ working on a exciting project that led me to my current career change. Next month I’m hoping to go back to NZ to continue work out there and pursue skilled migration 🙂
        Sally recently posted..2014 Hopes

        • Alex
          January 5 2014

          Wow, sounds like some awesome opportunities! You’re a work abroad veteran, Sally 😉

  • Love that you started this series! Very interested to read about people’s experiences earning abroad. We are heading to Australia in a couple weeks and I always wondered how the farm stays worked there.
    Vicky from acoupletravelers recently posted..Collecting Sea Glass in Seaham

    • Alex
      January 4 2014

      Thanks Vicky! I’m loving this series too… it’s fun showing off all my super cool travel friends 🙂 Enjoy Australia!

  • Kathryn
    January 3 2014

    Freya, I so admire your adventurous spirit and your openness to other cultures. You also have the gift of seeing a situation realistically, then focusing on the positive aspects of it. I wish you the best of luck at…. Harrods? I love London, have been several times, but not for a loooong time.

    • Alex
      January 4 2014

      No mention of your own checkered past working on the farm?!

    • Freya
      January 8 2014

      Hi Kathryn,
      Thank you ! That’s such a lovely comment to read from you.
      I’m actually starting at Liberty on Monday. Did you go there ? I think you and Alex should pop over for a shopping trip sometime soon.
      X

  • Amanda
    January 3 2014

    I love this series Alex! I am interested in doing the Australian work holiday visa so this was fun to read. Although the manual labor sounds a little intense for me, ha! 🙂 You should interview some dive instructors!
    Amanda recently posted..Dealing with guilt in Africa

    • Alex
      January 4 2014

      I definitely have a lot of dive instructors in my address list! Actually, funny enough, a few of the interviewees I have lined up are dive instructors but preferred to be interviewed about another career (like Brian, the bar owner!)

  • TammyOnTheMove
    January 3 2014

    I think I would enjoy farm work actually. I used to grow vegetables back in the UK (showing my age here) and found it surprisingly rewarding!
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..A journey back in time – and a circle line I don’t hate

    • Alex
      January 4 2014

      I can imagine it would be amazingly rewarding to eat something you had grown with your own hands! I have a bit of a black thumb though so I don’t know if I’ll ever know that joy…

  • becky hutner
    January 4 2014

    what a great interview! i couldn’t help but think of unbrave girl’s experience in the rice paddies of malaysia (alex, i know you’re a fan). i’ve often thought flippantly about doing a farm stint but both gals are proof this kind of work is not to be taken lately (esp the snakes part, oh dear god.)

    love this series so much x
    becky hutner recently posted..Myanmar in 3 Anecdotes: “Missed Connections.”

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Yes! I do remember that. If I ever start interviewing fellow bloggers (I wanted to start out with “real folks,” because there are SO many blogger interviews on the blogosphere, ya know?) I will have to ask her to contribute. She’s hysterical!

  • Stef
    January 4 2014

    Great post. I really enjoy reading your new category Alex. I’ve got one question which is more Thailand related than fruitpicking in Australia (that’s out of my league, I’ve already used my working holiday visa). Is it easy to get a work permit in Thailand? How does that work with the visa? You get into the country with a tourist visa and are able to change that? Is that possible? Cheers!
    Stef recently posted..Roadtrip Itinerary for Portugal

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Hey Stef, check out Brian the Bar Owner’s interview in this series for more information on working in Thailand. However, the short answer is no 🙂 The vast majority of my friends who have worked in Thailand (myself included) did so under the table sans work permit.

  • Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    January 4 2014

    I was reading this and thinking, “wow, I’d never be able to handle that kind of backbreaking work in the sun”. Then I realized I hauled close to 60 tanks today in the sun. So maybe I could 🙂
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..‘Home Alone’ and Coconut Rum: An Expat Christmas

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Ugh, tank hauling. I was so proud when I learned how to carry them over my shoulder! Felt like a true badass!

  • Jessie
    January 4 2014

    Thanks for the insight!!! 🙂
    Jessie recently posted..Waking Rhymes

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Thanks for enjoying this series, Jessie! 🙂

  • Caty
    January 5 2014

    Perfect timing. I’m leaving for Australia next month, for the first six month I’m working as an au pair again but after I definitely want to go fruit picking to safe money for traveling around. But Freya you have my full respect, don’t know if I could do it for more than a month.

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Good luck in Oz, Caty! You go girl 🙂

    • Hillary
      April 6 2017

      I have just loved the story!! I would like to work on a farm too can anyone give me the right procedures am to undertake!!

      • Alex
        April 8 2017

        Hey Hillary! I recommend following the steps Freya recommended in this post 🙂 Good luck!

  • Jo Fraser
    January 5 2014

    I worked in a packing shed in Australia for two months and it was AWFUL. I think the difference was that there were no backpackers or travellers at the shed, just out of work, older Australians. They were big bullies! Never again, so my advice is to choose wisely where you go because it does vary. 🙂 Also, total respect for sticking with the work because I know just how hard it is! Also for all those heading to Australia I just posted an article about Australia. See below!
    Jo Fraser recently posted..7 Things to Know Before You Go: Australia Edition

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Yeah, I can definitely see how that would make a difference, Jo. Camaraderie can make the toughest assignments bearable!

  • Annette Innis
    January 5 2014

    “I do feel that people in Australia are friendlier, happier and have more time for each other that we tend to in England.”

    Thanks Freya and Alex, as an Aussie I have always been curious about the backpackers fruit picking life!

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      Hey Annette! Glad you enjoyed. I need to make it to this mythical Australia someday 🙂

  • Rachel of Hippie in Heels
    January 5 2014

    i love this series you’re doing! so many english backpackers i meet go to AUS to work, and i’ve thought about doing some nursing there (i used to be a cardiac RN) so it’s great to have more info abut visas
    Rachel of Hippie in Heels recently posted..7 Travel Tips for Dublin Ireland

    • Alex
      January 5 2014

      You just gave me a great idea of someone else to interview! One of my dear friends is a L&D nurse and has worked all over the Caribbean 🙂

  • Nadja
    January 5 2014

    Wow, thank you for this post! I’m currently looking for farm work in Australia! 🙂
    Nadja recently posted..Als Krankenschwester nach Australien

    • Alex
      January 6 2014

      Good luck, Nadja! Enjoy Oz!

  • Ayngelina
    January 6 2014

    I love this series. It looks like a tough job but so rewarding.
    Ayngelina recently posted..11 Instagrams to Celebrate 2013

    • Alex
      January 6 2014

      Thanks Ayngelina, I appreciate that! I have some really fun interviews coming up.

  • Chanelle Boshuizen
    January 8 2014

    I have a Korean friend who works at a farm in when she had her Holiday Visa in Australia. Kinda great experience and fun too! Your such a tough girl! 🙂

  • Freya
    January 8 2014

    So glad everyone enjoying reading this post. I do hope it will come in useful to you fellow travellers out there. If I can do it, you definitely can 🙂

  • Giselle and Cody
    January 8 2014

    Wow, that looks and sounds like hard hot work, but very rewarding. Wer’e sure you really get a feel and appreciation for all of the farm workers who bring food to our tables. We have thought about working on a produce farm a few times in Australia, but haven’t made our way out there yet. Perhaps one day!

  • Abby
    January 8 2014

    Freya, you sound like a ball of energy. Wow! And yes, it’s amazing how much the concept of money changes when you have nothing to spend it on. I went through something similar in that regard — I was able to fix my debt, and it changed my spending habits for life (I hope!)
    Abby recently posted..Daydream of the Week: Big Buddha

  • Jessica Wray
    January 14 2014

    I´ve heard of a lot of people doing this and getting the Oz work holiday visa sounds like an awesome experience. I must say though, her cafe job in Melbourne sounds more like my cup of tea 😉

    If you are ever in need for more people to interview, even though we haven´t met, I´d be willing to share about teaching in spain anytime!
    Jessica Wray recently posted..How To Know If Teaching in Spain is Right for You

    • Alex
      January 15 2014

      Thanks Jessica! I’m definitely planning to open this series to submissions once I exhaust my own well. Its been so popular so far and I’m glad… I have them lined up for months!

  • Jenny G
    March 27 2014

    Thank you for this great interview, I am planning on doing some kind of work like this when I go to Australia this year.

    love!

    • Alex
      March 28 2014

      So glad this was helpful, Jenny! Best of luck in Oz 🙂

  • Liza
    November 19 2014

    Hi Freya, so cool to hear this. I especially like the plus side of gettin fit and gettin a tan! Exactly what a girl needs once she breaks off from this rotten desk job. One question though, you say the place you stayed at was about 200Aus a *Month*. I looked on their website and it says $232 a *Week*. I was just wondering if I don’t understand how AUS prices things, or if they’ve upped their prices?

  • Kendal
    November 28 2014

    Hi Freya and Alex! I loved the post, especially since I’m considering a work travel permit in Australia for a year. I was wondering if there are any websites, blogs, books, references, or advice you could share that would help plan before the trip and keep funding myself while in Australia. I do have 2 more specific questions:
    1. Did Freya mean $200 a month or $200 a week at the hostel? I’m not familiar with how Australia pricing, but the website states per week.
    2. Do you recommend paid tours or making friends, renting a caravan, and making your own plans in order to see more of Australia?
    Thanks again for the wonderful and inspirational post!
    Kendal recently posted..Für die Deutscher

    • Alex
      November 28 2014

      Hey Kendal, I’ll let Freya know there are a few more questions here for her, and hopefully she’ll get back to us 🙂 Glad this was helpful!

  • Esme
    March 11 2015

    Hey Freya and Alex. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this interview. Having only recently decided to stay and do my farming – after months of saying I wouldn’t – it was great to read such a positive account of what to expect.
    It was also reassuring to read that whilst you were away you decided to go back into education Freya – this is something I have been considering too!
    Thrilled to have stumbled across this website by chance, and looking forward to keeping updated and working my way through previous posts.
    Thanks again,
    Esme 🙂

    • Alex
      March 11 2015

      Hey Esme! Welcome to Wanderland! Good luck with your farming stint, and I hope it is as rewarding for you as Freya’s was for her. Happy travels, and reading 🙂

  • agwel
    May 6 2015

    I want to know do you all provide visa for people in Haiti to come work in a farm

    • Alex
      May 7 2015

      Hi Agwel, unfortunately this is just a blog post of one British girl’s experience finding work on an Australian farm — we don’t have information about other countries or current visa restrictions. Good luck!

  • Josh
    September 9 2015

    I love this entry, I’m starting to look for farm work and it’s been daunting because I’m like a rake and I know I’ll probably be put in doing some super manual labour haha.

    I dont suppose you know the name of the hostel she worked at, near Whitsundays?

    • Alex
      September 10 2015

      Everything I know and according to the author, everything she remembers, is right here in this post 🙂 Good luck!

  • Halim
    November 5 2015

    hi there, would it possible to work for a month?

    • Alex
      November 8 2015

      Sorry Halim, you’ll have to contact employers directly with questions. Good luck!

  • Matt
    November 13 2015

    Hi Alex,

    Would you mind if I used your write up from Freya on my website as an example of what farm life in Oz is like?

    • Alex
      November 15 2015

      Hey Matt, feel free to publish an excerpt (100 or 200 words) and a link back to my site. Thanks!

      • SRIDHARAN
        December 28 2015

        how i can contact directly the fruit picker employer

        • Alex
          January 2 2016

          I’m sorry, I don’t have any information on that.

  • Lianna
    July 2 2016

    I am glad to find your writing and actually I am in two minds between being an au pair or working in a farm as I have just got my WHV granted (Yeeaaaah!^^)
    Now I am pretty sure to make my hands (and body) dirty. Love to know more people tell good stories than bad ones. I believe I could enjoy as much as you (or more ^^) later.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Alex
      July 7 2016

      Love your attitude Lianna! Enjoy your time in the dirt 🙂

  • Kabir
    January 5 2017

    Can anyone please tell me which part of Australia has more opportunities for fruit picking and how to get a working visa for Canadians.

    • Alex
      January 12 2017

      Hey Kabir! Unfortunately I don’t know much more than what’s included in this post 🙂 Good luck!

  • Hayley
    January 6 2017

    I can’t believe how many people end up being unhappy with their regional work, a friend of mine recently contacted me asking if I would share the news about her bad experiences with a guy called Dom in Mildura, if you’re looking for regional work watch out for people like him!!! Be careful about where you choose to work because some backpackers have been scammed! http://lifeasabutterfly.com/searching-regional-work-australia-good-bad-ugly/

    • Alex
      January 12 2017

      Thanks for the warning, Hayley. Hope for most it is a positive experience, like it was for Freya.

  • Venla
    June 17 2017

    Hi! I’m planning to travel to Australia with my friend and we’re wondering which farms are good and reliable. Can you recommend some places to us?

    • Alex
      June 17 2017

      Hey Venla! Freya was there so long ago, I’m not sure she’d have any current insight to share. Best of luck though!

  • bittu paul
    June 22 2017

    looking for job in farms

    • Alex
      June 23 2017

      Sorry Bittu, this isn’t a job posting site — but you can find tons of advice in this post.

  • khan
    July 12 2017

    Hope for most it is a positive experience, like it was for Freya.

    • Alex
      July 17 2017

      I hope so as well, Khan! Happy farming 🙂

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