It’s almost two weeks ago since I first arrived in Bundaberg. After replying to hundreds of ads on Gumtree (the Australian equivalent of Marktplaats) for Farmwork, I finally found a job and here I am!
The hostel from hell
I got in contact with a woman who could provide us with farmwork. She arranges the hostel, the transport and the farmwork for us. That’s how the deal works: we stay at their hostel, pay loads of money and they take care of the rest.
When I googled the hostel I was shocked by the reviews: a dirty, run down old place with no soul, filthy matrasses and frustrated people. You can imagine I was quite apprehensive to see what I would find once in Bundaberg. Luckily it turned out not to be so bad as what was written on the World Wide Web. The hostel is old indeed and I’ve seen much much better, but the matrasses are comfortable, there’s a big kitchen and the location of the hostel is right in the heart of, as the locals call it, Bundy.
No time to chill, off to work!
During my first night in the hostel I found out I was already working the next day. Every night after 7pm there’s a new schedule hanging in the hallway of the hostel stating who works when and where. I saw that I was working at a farm named Tinaberries and that I got picked up 5:40 the next day – early! I ran to the Coles to get food for lunch and went to bed early.
First time for everything: farming!
At Tinaberries I got to meet the lovely farmer Tina and her husband Bruce. Strawberry planting season had just begun and after two hours of training I was ready for the real stuff: let the planting commence!
That afternoon my friends from Wales arrived and they are working at the same farm. We work 5 hours a day, starting at 6am (which means watching the gorgeous sunrise everyday) and, when the sun comes out it gets too hot for the plants and for us, we finish around 11am. We work 6 days a week, from Monday to Saturday and get paid by the number of strawberries we plant (aka modern day slavery). We didn’t exactly hit the jackpot when it comes to the money, but the farmers are lovely people, we have great fun with the team and every day is another day signed off for our 88 days of farmwork (which you need to complete if you want to apply for second year visa) And if you finish around 11 you still got the whole day ahead of you to enjoy the pool or the beach.
Bundaberg isn’t as small as I thought it would be. It has quite a few shops, coffee bars and the beach is only a 20 minute bus ride away. When we’re not chilling at the hostel we go to the pool, grab a coffee, chill at the beach or just wander around town. Life is not too bad here in Bundy 🙂