7 Things I Learned When Working on Farms in Australia

7 Things I Learned When Working on Farms in Australia

I have spent a fair bit of my Australia time working on farms (6 months so far) and during this time I have gained some awesome and not so awesome experiences. Nevertheless, my career as a farm worker may have taught me a thing or two about life in rural Australia – here are 7 things I learned when doing my farm work!


Working on a farm in Australia

1. You can hate plants

After spending 8 hours a day 5 days a week pulling weeds out from the ground I seriously started to hate those evil plants. And the worst thing was that just when I thought I got rid of them, on the next day they had come back! So I had to start all over again… Not the best time of my life have to say.


Working for a second year visa in Australia

2. You will get used to it

After the first day of doing farm work (weeding as explained above), every muscle in my body was aching and I was pretty sure I’m going to die. People said it will get easier but that was quite hard to believe when even getting out of bed was a struggle. To my big surprise after few days it did get a lot easier. Well, physically at least.


 Doing farm work in Australia for the second year visa

3. Australian sun is brutal

Note to self: always wear a thick layer of sunscreen and a big hat when going to the field. Aside from getting unflattering tan lines for wearing t-shirt and shorts, I have managed to get sunburnt even though my shirt!


Friendly lizard on a farm in Australia

4. You are never alone

In addition to your co-workers, there is a whole abundance of other creatures you are sharing the field with. If you are arachnophobic, brace yourself…


redback spider on a farm in Australia

5. Everything is trying to kill you

Everyone knows Australia is home to many venomous and dangerous animals, but why nobody warned me about ants! Spiders and snakes I have seen just run away from you but those small sneaky bastards come out of the blue and attack you on purpose. And their bite hurts like hell!

I’m also pretty sure there is something wrong with the flies in Australia. Those nerve-racking creatures have weird habit trying to get into your eyes, ears and mouth driving you crazy. Investing in a fly net have been the best 7$ spent ever.


Farm life in Australia

6. Farm life can be fun

Well, this depends on quite a lot of the farm where you are working. I have been working on good and bad farms (more info from this post) and for me, the time spent on the good farms have been the greatest time I’ve had in Australia. I met so many cool people and had so much fun that I actually decided to come back to one farm I worked last year. And, if you learn to pick fast you can actually make good money!


7. Goon is actually drinkable if you make sangria of it

Do I need to say more?


Have you done any farm work in Australia? Please share your experiences in the comments 🙂


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13 thoughts on “7 Things I Learned When Working on Farms in Australia”

  • Hey!
    How long did it take you to get up to average picker’s speed and earn minimum wage? My friend and I (2 girls) have been picking mandarins for 7 weeks and can’t seem to get our speed past $10-$15/hour. All of the men on our farm earn $25ish/hour easy. Looking for some motivation from another girl picker that it can get better. 🙂
    Cheers!

    • Hi Paige,

      Sad to hear you have not been able to get up to good earnings in picking. For me, it took about two to three weeks to start earning at least the minimum wage or more. However, I was doing berry picking which is not physically hard and it is more about the technique and small things you do that counts. Getting fast in mandarin picking I suppose requires more physical strength and that is probably why men at your farm are faster. The trick how I got to be a fast picker was actually monitoring what fast people were doing and trying to do the same. That actually worked pretty well and later of course I was polishing my technique and got even faster. At least in berry picking the small things counted surprisingly much – for example how full you picked your buckets and how much you use time in sorting, getting a new row, lunch break etc. Hope these tips will help you even a little. 🙂

  • HI Helena,

    I’ve just moved to Australia and am already looking to do my agricultural work to apply for the 2nd year. Where did you do you farm work that you enjoyed? I’m conscious of finding the right place and would love to know where you did yours.

    Thank you!

    A

    • Hi Alicia,

      I worked on a few different farms but the place I liked the most was a blueberry farm in northern NSW. The season is not on at the moment. It starts slowly around August–September and lasts approximately until Christmas. If you want to get over with the farm work as soon as possible, I suggest checking the harvest guide to get an idea about the seasons. This and other tips can be found from the post How to Find Farm Work in Australia

  • Aaaa h each time I read about farmwork it gets me back to my Australian year! I never worked ad a weeder/picker tho, I got to use machinery so even if it was driving me crazy it wasn’t so physically demanding!

  • Those spiders though! AH! Did you at least have gloves? I’m not particularly afraid of spiders but I’d have peed my pants if I turned over a leaf and found that staring at me!

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