You should definitely look for HelpX and WWOOF jobs in Australia.
These services allow you to stay in an Australian home or accommodation and be provided with meals for free in exchange for a few hours of daily work. With HelpX, all kinds of jobs can be done. In most cases, it involves gardening (mowing, weeding, repairing fences, etc.) or construction (painting, masonry, etc.). You might also be asked to take care of the children of the family, like an au pair, or to keep the family pets (dogs, cats, sometimes kangaroos or crocodiles!). When you’re Wwoofing, you usually work in an organic farm, but sometimes you can also do other things. In both networks, hosts are generally not looking for qualified persons. Of course, it can be advantageous to be a skilled gardener, house painter or farmer, but HelpX and WWOOF are more about your personality and demeanor.
In exchange for a few hours of daily work, you will be housed and fed at your host’s home, accommodation or in an accommodation in a farm if you’re Wwoofing. Again, each situation is different!
For meals, your hosts will sometimes tell you to choose anything you want in the fridge. Or they will do the shopping for you and you’ll be able to cook for yourself. In lots of cases, you will be eating with the family, and maybe they’ll ask you to cook a specialty from your country one day to share it with them!
How Does HelpX Work?
The HelpX network is a website where hosts and helpers can communicate with each other. You will first have to register on helpx.net and create your profile.
How much does it cost ?
Registration is free, and you can then access the hosts’ profiles. To access their full contact details (essential to contact them) as well as the helpful comments of other helpers, you will have to subscribe to the Premium option. This one costs 20 euros, and is valid for 2 years for one or two people. It’s a good investment.
How long can you stay in an Australian home?
You don’t register to the HelpX network to stay in a home for one or two nights only. Your hosts will generally ask you to stay a minimum of 5 days to a week. And if you get along well, this adventure can last several months. Sometimes, you’ll never want to leave! Whatever happens, you are not bound by any contract.
A few tips
Create a profile that’s as detailed as possible, make yourself attractive, talk about your hobbies, your adventure in Australia, where you come from etc. And of course, try to write everything in good English if you’re not a native English speaker.
Contact multiple hosts at once to have a greater chance of receiving a positive answer. Customize your messages for each host, to show that you have read their profile. Hosts tend to answer all requests except the ones that are too generic and look like a template.
Contact hosts that you like in advance so that they can get organized. 2 to 3 weeks before you arrive is generally good. You can even contact your hosts before you come to Australia if you want.
Reviews provided by previous helpers can be very useful to get an idea of the work requested by the host as well as the quality of what they offer in exchange.
WWOOF means Willing Workers On Organic Farms, and it’s an alternative to HelpX.
After registering on the WWOOF website, you will receive a printed guide listing all the organic farms in the network. Remember to subscribe, preferably before you fly to Australia, so that you receive this guide by mail at your home address. A great way to find farming jobs in Australia !
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WWOOFING AND HELPX
WWOOF is more expensive than HelpX: $70 a year for one person (and there’s no more discount for 2 people.) But the WWOOF network is larger and it offers lots of farm jobs in Australia.
WWOOF is more oriented towards organic farming and outdoors work, although the jobs are starting to become more diverse, like with HelpX.
WWOOFERS generally work longer hours than people working with HelpX, between 4 and 6 hours a day usually. The minimum length of a stay is two days, but many hosts prefer you stay longer so that they don’t have to train new people.
FARM WORK: AUSTRALIA – CHOOSE YOUR WWOOF HOST WISELY
You should choose to volunteer in a farm well suited for your lifestyle. Check what type of accommodation the host is offering before you contact them. If it’s in a tent and you hate camping, don’t write to them! You won’t be happy at all, you’ll hate your experience and the host will resent you for that. Usually, living and working conditions are very clearly laid out in the hosts’ profiles.
Talk to other WWOOFers to know what they think about previous hosts they stayed with. Many people working as WWOOFers in Australia for the first time are a bit stressed at the beginning. They’re afraid to be taken advantage of. The vast majority of Wwoofing experiences are great, but some hosts do try to exploit foreigners in Australia, so check their credentials before you say yes to them!
WWOOFing in Australia can be a great way to experience the country in a way that you’ll never forget. It introduces you to a very different lifestyle, teaches you organic farming skills and gives you new ways to see the world and travelling in general. If you’re looking to fund your trip in Australia with a job that’s physical and outdoorsy, then you should register on WWOOF to start an amazing adventure and discover new things about Australia and about yourself.
GETTING A SECOND YEAR WORKING HOLIDAY VISA IN AUSTRALIA
The Australian government has decided to amend the law for the renewal of the WHV visa in Australia. In this new law, experiences with HelpX and Wwoofing can no longer be taken into account to renew your working holiday visa for a second year. That’s because you need to have earned the minimum wage, which rarely happens with HelpX and Wwoofing.
TO SUM THINGS UP
HelpX and WOOFING can be great experiences for working holiday makers and backpackers, because they allow you to meet the locals, learn more English if it’s not your first language, make new friends, obtain new skills, and to get a free roof on your head and free meals too!
For more information about how to find a working holiday job or backpacker job in Australia, check this article out.