Working on a Cattle Station in Outback Australia

It happens to the best of us. Part way through your Australia Working Holiday Visa, not missing home and pretty tempted by the idea of staying here another year. That’s three hundred and sixty five extra days of beautiful beaches, epic surf and shrimps on the Barbie. You’d pretty much do anything, right?

Well, you have to earn the right for a second year here in Australia. You need to complete 89 laborious days of work in an agricultural community where you’ll most likely do some tasks you could never have imagined.

THIS IS A GUEST POST WRITTEN BY KATRINA LUDER, TRAVEL BLOGGER AT AQUA & INK.

I’m a girl. Not just any girl, but a fashion conscious city girl. That’s not to say I don’t love an adventure and I sure as hell don’t mind breaking a nail, but spending my days working on a farm had never been number one on my bucket list.

But something really strange happened. I worked on a cattle station in the dry outback, I chased cows, I learnt to drive a bulldozer, I sheared sheep… and I actually enjoyed it! 

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Bush Lifestyle

For me, picking fruit was never an option. I hate Spiders (and heard I’d see tonnes whilst picking). I get bored of a routine too quickly and I really wanted ongoing, reliable work so I could save all my pennies for an epic road trip.

Time spent on the 50,000 acres of farmland was like featuring in my own wildlife documentary. With access to a vehicle at all times, my jobs included water runs, dam checks and feeding the animals. Each day I’d turn into David Attenborough whilst spotting kangaroos, emus, eagles and pelicans in their natural habitat.

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Big Toys

If you’re a petrol head then the Bush definitely satisfies your adrenaline. Pick from a motorbike, buggy, quad bike – or in some cases a horse - to muster the cows. Wind down dirt tracks and learn to work with Gyrocopters above you to bring all the cattle into one paddock. Even the seven and five year old kids on the farm can drive motorbikes! 

 

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On The Job

I worked four solid months with around 6 days off. My former self would have tutted in reaction to such an absurd schedule. Yet on the farm, you’re part of a family, you are contributing to the daily running of the farm. The animals always need feeding, the work always needs to be done and the kids always need to be looked after. There’s plenty of down time, plenty of fun and if, like me, you are there with your partner/friend, there’s so much room for fun to be had on the farm together even if you are supposed to be working!

 

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Why the outback needs YOU

My time spent on the farm was tainted by the drought that left no water in the dams, no grass for the animals to eat and no income for the farmer’s communities. Of course, this has a knock on effect on the rest of the farming towns, as people aren’t able to spend money to support local businesses.

These farmers need your help to go over and above to provide for these animals.

The farming communities contribute so much to Australia, yet their positioning in the outback often leads them to be forgotten. In exchange for an authentic Aussie experience, you can get the chance to help farmers that are actually in need.

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Picking Farm Work

Picking the right farm work for you isn’t always such a choice – it’s dependent on seasons, opportunities, skill levels and weather. But if you know you want an authentic experience in the outback and to learn a different side of Australia that you never would have previously seen, then cattle work with a local farming family is absolutely the way to go.

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Guest Blog Post

This is a guest post by Katrina Luder of travel blog Aqua & Ink. I’ve been chasing the sun for almost two years now and currently calling Melbourne my home.  My blog is centered on comfortable, frugal travel for backpackers.

If you are coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa look into our arrival packages:

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