To continue the theme of working your way across Australia using working hostels, here is information on the beautiful states of Victoria and New South Wales. For more information on pro’s, con’s and general tips of working hostels in the world, see my previous post. Victoria is one of the smaller counties and not quite as touched by tourists as other parts of the country. The spots to stay and pick, prune or pack are all relatively close together here which can be a great help because if you are having any trouble finding work or with the work you do find, you can guarantee there will be some down the road. New South Wales is a haven of surf, stunning mountains, white sanded beaches and sunshine. Seasonal work is not as easy to come by here but with Sydney at the heart of NSW, there are thousands of jobs here to choose from. It is known as the capital for backpackers holding Working Holiday Visas due to its vast array of short and long-term opportunities, not to mention its vibrant and laid back beach-city vibe.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Griffith International Hostel
These guys have links like no other hostel, with a support team including the local council, businesses and almost all of the surrounding farms. See their website for information on the specific crops being picked, but with the exception of the months of May and June, there is work year-round. Griffith is known as Australia’s ‘Wine & Food Country’, being as it is one of the most productive and bustling agricultural regions. This place would provide more of a social scene and its prime location in-between Sydney and Canberra means there is a steady flow of both travellers and locals.
Cronulla Beach YHA
Sydney’s southside surfing capital and hub of all things beach-life, Cronulla Beach YHA is the perfect ingredient to an amazing stay in this area. There is an abundance of work to come from staying at this place. Most of it is city-based stuff but there is also seasonal and laboring work in the surrounding area. Often travellers pass on their job to newbies staying there once they leave, and another great plus to this place is there are pick-ups and drop-offs by many of the employers. They are also the only backpackers hostel in the beach area so this immediately reduces competition with other backpackers looking for work.
This town is a little piece of Australian paradise. It is also a perfect place to learn scuba diving alongside your work, for one of the cheapest rates in the country and on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. AussiTel offer support in finding work with the local farms picking mainly blueberries. The season begins in August, and varies in the length. Any queries be in touch with them and get there as soon to the start of the season as possible to ensure you get a spot in the fields. The hostel always gets great reviews and many stay throughout the season, as many find it becomes a home away from home.
This place is a gem in the working hostel world, largely due to its locality but also its vast contacts with the farms in the region. It is a quieter spot where they are, being far north of Victoria and on the border of New South Wales. However, with the Murray River just five minutes away, it provides the perfect post-farm spot to soak in the river and watch the sunset.
No website is available but give these guys a bell on the following and they’ll be able to help you out.
Address: 78-80 Seventh Street, Mildura, Victoria
Tel: +61 (3) 5023-0671
These folk are experts when it comes to organising work for backpackers. If staying long-term, Echuca offer your seventh night in the week, free, which is rare to find. The only downfall, is they don’t provide transport to the farms. However, they do have contacts that can organise you cheap car rental, which can also work as a bonus as it allows you to adventure off into this stunning region. Located in a similar to the hostel above, right on the Murray River, and in the centre of the town so plenty of things to do.
A hostel with raving reviews on every website or blog you can find, they are known as a home away from home. You can guarantee you will leave this historic little town having made a family, as the locals love spending time with any travellers passing through. Please note though that the hostel is only open for backpackers and seasonal work from October until April.
Email: cambrai (at) netspace.net.au
There are many hostels that are off the worldwide web grid based both in New South Wales and in Victoria. A good site for some more information about these hostels in Victoria, see here: http://www.backpacking-aus.com/fruit-picking-victoria.html