1-year working holiday in Australia, I never leave Western Australia. First in Perth, then Gingin and Donnybrook. I tried not to move too much to save money for travel and for my course fee. Life goes ups and downs when to start over in another country, a real-life experience that I will never forget.
This is my third working holiday, I compared everything like lifestyle, work, prices… with the other countries that I stayed before. Australia is different, it is a mix cultural country and the living lifestyle is very comfortable and relax. Many natural reserves and wonders in this land, you can experience more than you expect!
However, something makes me realized this is not my place…
Working Experience in Australia
My first job as a process worker in a food processing factory, then I got the second and third job through an agent (RLH) in Gingin in a citrus farm and a packing company. All the works were good especially the citrus farm in Gingin, we were working like a small family and I love that.
The job hunting experience was unexpected. Many employers offer the job without file the tax with lower pay even though you have a valid visa to work. ‘That’s fine if you’re not ok with this because there’s still many people want this job’. This happened to many backpackers. Australia working holiday visa is open to many countries and there is no limit of visa given to some countries. I am wondering if the worker supply is over the job demand in Australia because of this?
Also, racism seems very serious in Australia. As an Asian, I felt it personally. People being rude or even ignore me some time. My housemate from Spain once told me some people think that Asians are working machine, so they always ask only Asians to work faster and harder. WHAT?! ‘Working machine’! Actually, I understand why somehow. Two of my jobs was working with many backpackers from Taiwan and Hong Kong, they always rushing and pushing themselves so hard, they even mad at you if you could not catch up with their speed or they think you can do faster and you should even though the work is on schedule… This happened to me, no joke 😐 I do my part, that is it.
Try to avoid the job from an agent. We had really bad experience with RLH in Gingin… We stayed in the sharehouse arranged by the company, 16 people when full. If their place is not full, they will ask you to stay, no job if you say no. Almost everyone has conflicts with the agent but they got no choice to continue to work because of the 2nd year visa. So, if you want to work with them, you cannot raise any questions and problem faced and count on their help. Complaint will make you in trouble such as no bond return, no 2nd-year visa form signed, lose your job and they never keep their promise to us. They always say something good at first and promise on ‘something’ but they change their attitude when the ‘something’ we talked before really happens. Even though they did not break the law, what they had done were unethical. Do not mess with them!
Life in Australia
I tried to have plan during weekend and off day to balance the life and enjoy what the working holiday means to me. Good thing was I met friends from around the world, they brought laugh and love into my life. ‘People are the best part of the journey’ and I totally agree with this! We worked hard together, traveled fun together and party crazy together! I will definitely miss everyone and those memorable moments 😍 And I want to say ITALIANS are enthusiastic!!
Purpose of Working Holiday
Everyone came with a different purpose. There are some people just follow friends or just try to work for money here. Most people want to widen their view and learn new things. Many people that I met tend to stay in Australia with student visa after the WH visa end because Australia can make really good money and better life quality, they said. I agree that WH visa is a great chance for the young to realize a dream to see the world. However, it’s now like overflow in Australia. To be honest, the feeling of ‘working holiday’ in Australia is totally different from what I had before. I enjoyed the work (with good people) and travel in New Zealand and the United States but not in here. 80% of my work part was suck.
Despite the unpleasant experience in Australia, all the hard work paid off eventually and traveling beat everything. Me and my boyfriend spend 1 month to do the big circle roadtrip in Western Australia, it was not enough though. We did a little bit makeover to the car, so we can sleep in the car during the trip. With the app Campermate (free), you can easily find campgrounds all around Australia. Camping is budget and fun, there is only few things to keep in mind,
- Water is very important on the road to drink and to cook. Some places use water from lake and sea without filter, it tastes salty and you can only use to wash things.
- Do not expect to have shower everyday, some campgrounds offer shower but not in most of the free campgrounds. Good thing is you can find shower in some public toilets in the town for free. There is also coin inserted shower room or pay to use the shower in the roadhouses but they are expensive.
- Prepare small amount of cash to pay for the campground into the honest box. Please do it because the money is to help to maintain the campground.
- Keep your rubbish and dump it to where it suppose to be. It is not only to keep the environment clean but also to keep the wildlife safe.
- Some campgrounds can only access by 4X4 vehicles, check before you go.
There are few places where I found really awesome in my trip, snorkeling in Coral Bay, amazing gorges in Karijini National Park, visiting SuperPit in Kalgoorlie, kangaroos on the beach in Lucky Bay and the hidden gems Margaret River! There is so many wonderful places and pictures to share and I will try to list all down in my blog in Australia. Try not to squeeze all the attractions in your traveling list and make the schedule tight end up you will spend a lot of time in driving.
National parks are the places you do not want to miss out, get an annual WA national park pass (half price for AA member) before you go and it can save you a lot of money! The drive was long and you need to be extra caution of the animals anytime, anywhere. I love the view along the way, South with beautiful sea view, North with nothing, empty and open view, outback with cow bodies and flooding signs. Every part of Australia is unique, this land will never bored you!
Discover more about Australia.