It seems like a lifetime ago now when I was camping in Australia. It all happened so quick. It was a magical time of my life that began 10 years ago this month. In fact, it was the 23rd October 2009 when I first landed in Australia, the land down under. I had arrived on a one way ticket (from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia) and had secured a one year Working Holiday Visa. I dreamed of working in a bar somewhere, and doing some farming work.
Within two weeks, I had my first dream secured as I landed a fantastic job as a barman in PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub in Parramatta. After three months in that job, I soon realised that in order to extend my Working Holiday Visa for a second year, I’d need to do 88 days / 3 months of farming or rural work. A few beers later and Daniel, Neil and I decided to head to Tasmania in search of work, probably in Apple picking.
We had been in Tasmania for one day when Dan and Neil dropped the bombshell (along with Paul who had now joined our group) that they wouldn’t be extending their time in Tasmania and were booking a flight to leave asap. I would be alone. But never fear.
Within 24 hours of being alone in the city of Devonport, I secured a job as a broccoli harvester. It would be work based on demand, and luckily I arrived at just the right time. The broccoli season had just begun and I would be guaranteed about 3 months work if I worked hard. After initially staying in the Tasman Backpacker’s Hostel, it was time to buy a car and a tent and camp out in the wilderness of lonely Poatina!
Camping out and living this kind of lifestyle was something new for me, but thanks to companies like CampSmart, it is made easy and cheap. When you are earning a lot of money from 7 am – 7 pm in broccoli fields, you can save a lot of money sleeping in a tent. That’s exactly what I did. I worked hard on the broccoli farms and lived in my small but cosy tent.
I stayed in the mountain village of Poatina and for $5 AUD a week, I could camp here. I mean, it was a bargain as I had full access to their showers and bathrooms, the kitchen and even on cold nights, we could stay in the lounge and watch TV. There was no internet or Wi-Fi back in those days in that place, but it was a super memory.
I ended up staying for about 6 weeks in Poatina, working almost exclusively on broccoli farms – we worked in places like Cressy, Launceston, Formosa and Walabadah. When that job ended, it was time to move north again and work on cauliflower farms, again camping out was a great alternative to the hostel or flat sharing lifestyle. The entire period of my life was memorable and it helped me earn enough money to later go backpacking in Antarctica, living the dream.
Here are some videos from my time camping in Poatina, Tasmania:
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