Two and a half years later, I’m still here and madly in love with this country! I’d like to share my experience with you and a few options available to make sure your time here isn’t cut short… So you’ve come to Australia on a working holiday visa, and quickly you’ve realized how much you love this place. You have a year to explore, but one year just isn’t long enough!! Now what? You can extend your time down under with a second working holiday visa.
HOW CAN I GET A SECOND WHV?
To be granted a second year in this beautiful country, you need to complete three months (or 88 days) of specified work in a regional area of Australia. The specified work industries include:
- Plant and animal cultivation
- Fishing and Pearling
- Felling trees in a plantation or forest
Often the easiest work for backpackers to find will be farm work, fruit picking, and horticultural work. Personally, I did a few jobs. I worked on three farms; picking strawberries, and blueberries and working as a farmhand; picking and packing tomatoes and planting new crops.
WAYS TO FIND WORK…
The earlier you start looking for farm work in Australia, the better. The worst thing would be to run out of time or start panicking and end up stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. So, if you know you want to stay, don’t delay! There are plenty of ways to find farm work…
- Talk to people: This is your best chance to find out what a farm is really like. The good, the bad and the ugly!
- Online sites: Just search ‘Farm work’ on Google and you will be inundated with options.
- Facebook groups: There are plenty of Facebook groups which post daily; set up for Australia backpackers or people looking for farm work. Make sure you join them!
- Ring working hostels: Keep ringing, they might have no spaces one day but if you ring the next day, they do. Be sure to leave a name and a number, ask them to call you if a spot becomes available (there is often a waiting list).
- Ring farms: The same with hostels; keep ringing!
Be aware, that you need to be ready to go as soon as you are offered a position. A lot of backpackers are looking for farm work and the jobs are in high demand. If you can’t get there for when they need you, then someone else will.
EVERYONE’S EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT!
Completing my farm work was one of the best and the worst times of my life! You laugh, you cry, you laugh again, at times you feel broken – it’s a whole mix of emotions. But at the end of it all, you feel stronger! You realize strength and determination you never knew you had. You’ll feel relief, partly that you never have to work on a farm again, also relief that you made it all the way!
One of the best things about farm life is the people you will meet from all over the world. You spend so much time together; you become a family, all in it together!
It’s a great opportunity to learn about other cultures and languages and get a genuine taste of Australian life, free of responsibility.
Yes, there are creepy crawlies, you’ll probably get sunburned and every muscle in your body will be telling you not to get out of bed in the morning.
But the experience you gain, the friends you make and the things you learn will stay with you for the rest of your life. So, you’ve had a chance to think about it, or even try it, and it’s just not for you? This doesn’t mean your time in Australia needs to come to an end.
THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO STAY – GO FOR A STUDENT VISA!
Although I enjoyed my farming experience, not everyone does. I wish I had known that it was possible to continue my adventure without the backbreaking work and a bit more stability, had I known I would have jumped at the chance. A student visa is a popular option; it doesn’t involve getting your hands dirty and allows you to choose the skills you learn and the area you want to stay in.
Hundreds of thousands of people opt for a student visa every year, and they can still work while studying and experiencing Australia. If you would like more information about your options and the best route to take, fill out the form below.
Written by Catherine McPherson