We decided that we would like to get a taste of the real Australia, living out of the normal tourist traps and amongst some of the smaller communities in more rural areas. We thought we would have a go at wwoofing, which is where you work on an organic farm in exchange for food and board. Having never done any farm work before, it appealed to us both as it would be a new and very different experience.
We were quickly approached by a few farms interested in taking us on, and chose the one that sounded the most suitable. The farm was in a town called Gin Gin, about 45 minutes away from the city of Bundaberg.
The farm was small compared to others around it, covering about 19 acres, and it had a variety of things that interested us such as tending to animals and growing vegetables.
On our first day at the farm we were thrown straight into working. The clutch on the minivan was completely burnt out and needed changing. Sophie and I had the task of dismantling this in order to change it. We were given a little bit of guidance and a rough guide to what we had to remove. The rest was pretty much up to us!
When we weren’t fixing engines our other duties included doing the morning feeding of the animals. We would wake up around six in the morning to fill wheelbarrows full of sweet potato, giving some to the pigs, cows and sheep. We also chopped up some of it very fine to throw into the chicken coup.
We spent four weeks working on the farm and we experienced a lot of things. I am now able to drive a tractor and a dumper truck and can also use a rotary hoe and drive with a trailer. Sophie can now bake bread.
The farm was at times very hard though. We were sleeping in a cramped room with two other people and on a sofa bed which was killing our backs. Days could be long and the temperature could get to the high thirties! Some days were even spent picking rocks out of a field which, although necessary for the development of the farm, wasn’t much fun.
The farm work was definitely an experience and I’m glad we gave it a go. I would recommend that other travellers give wwoofing a go as a way of trying new things. Four weeks, however, was more than enough!