Helpers stories of HelpXing...
Melissa's story... part 2
Since writing my article on my helpXperiences in New Zealand and after completing my 23 month Working Holiday visa I arrived in Australia 9 months ago also on a Working Holiday Visa.
I had already advertised myself by updating my profile saying I was heading over to Australia before I arrived and had received lots of emails. I wanted to see the real Australia and get off the tourist trail so the obvious answer was to go straight to the Back O’Bourke which has a reputation for being the true outback and completely off the beaten track! (the farm I was on was 100km from a shop!), I then headed to the Blue Mountains, Sydney, Canberra down through the coastal towns to Melbourne, then inland from Melbourne, then over to Tasmania, to King Island, back to Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, Adelaide and now back in Tasmania.. so still a lot more to see.. its taken me 9 months and I have barely seen a quarter of Australia! But I have loved it!!
I now appreciate how huge Australia is and how much time you need and how much it costs to travel it. As much as I enjoy backpacking I don’t want to be in a backpackers hostel full of people from my own country.. I came to Australia to meet the locals!! HelpX provided me the opportunities to live in the homes of locals and experience life as they do becoming part of the local community.
If it hadn’t been for helpx I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have had to:
Hand feed pet kangaroos and emus
Horse ride (unfortunately broke my arm but all these things are life experiences!!)
Round up goats/cows/sheep on a quad bike
Go hunting for ‘roos and emus
Learn how to kill and prepare meat
Feed and collect the eggs of the chooks/turkeys/geese
Milk cows and goats (by hand and machine)
Bottle feed lambs and kids (baby goats and for that matter human babies too!)
See animals be born
Have New Year in a bush pub and be the only non local!
Have a true aussie Christmas in 40 degrees heat and a bbq for brekkie!
Clean lots of houses and dog kennels, parrots, chook houses.. well and clean pretty much everything really
Do a lot of laundry
A lot of weeding
Getting picked up in small plane for a helpxchange!
Cook for people or at least help..
Lots of childcare
Work in the shearing sheds, and milking sheds (ever milked 900 cows?!)
Build a shed
Rear calves (working in the sheds with a 100 or so of them!)
See some amazing wildlife I didn’t even know existed.. get up close and personal with snakes and spiders, stroke an echidna (maybe wont do that again!) trip over bandicoots, wallabies and kangaroos..
Get taken on holidays, out for dinner, round to friends, to the pub, to parties, for drives to see the country, to family occasions.. and a chance to be part of a family.
I wouldn’t swap helpxing for the world.. its been an amazing experience.. a different way to travel, a chance to see and experience something different.
I have also become good friends with many of the people I have helpx’d for, been back to see them, and keep in touch with them!
In order to get a second year working holiday visa you need to do at least 3 months seasonal work in specific post code areas.. helpx work can qualify you for this! So I have completed my 3 months and can apply for mine!