Thursday, November 28, 2013

Into the Outback

I've always associated Australia with its renown notion of 'the outback': vast, empty and dry spaces of land. However, having spent almost all of my four-ish months here in cities I've yet to experience anything resembling the wild and rugged outback, until now that is! Allow me to explain...

See, if you're from a Commonwealth country (ie. Canada or the UK) an Australian working holiday visa is as easy to get as candy on Halloween. You fill out an online application, fork over a few hundred dollars and within a few hours you're legally entitled to work in the country for one year. Staying longer, however, is a bit more tricky.

In order to extend your visa and work in Australia for a second year, you need to complete three months of a specific type of work in areas deemed to be part of "regional Australia". This could mean picking fruit, milking cows or diving for pearls (the latter sounds absolutely amazing, though I've yet to hear of any backpacker who has managed to land a job as sweet as that).

So back to my original point: In order to extend our visas, Ben and I are heading to a farm just outside Narrabri, a small town in New South Wales. We'll spend three months working at Yera Farm Stay, a working organic beef farm that also serves as a rural getaway for tourists. From the sounds of it we'll be doing a bit of everything: herding cattle, helping with the horses and taking care of the farm owner's six children! We're not entirely sure what to expect but we're both looking forward to trying something completely new and different to anything we've ever done before.

One thing we know for sure... life in the outback will require some serious fashion adjustments!

Yes, we will actually be wearing these.

P.S. There is no Wi-Fi on the farm and the internet they do have sounds less than reliable, so I'm not sure how often (if at all) I'll be updating my blog over the next three months. Rest assured I will be keeping notes, taking lots of photos and will be posting things as soon as I'm able. Wish me luck!

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