Agriculture is a backbone industry in Australia, and there are thousands of livestock farms dotted across the country. Helping on one of these farms, which include dairy farms, sheep farms, beef farms, and mixed cattle farms, offers travellers a unique opportunity to experience a key Australian industry and live the farming life.
Farm-related tasks you may be involved with include: milking cows, feeding animals, cleaning and moving animals, making hay, spraying weeds, water-blasting, gardening, mending fences, docking, and collecting eggs. In spring, you may also have to help with lambing and calving.
During your placement, you’ll also be expected to help out around the house, participate in family social events, and help look after the animals. You’ll spend time on food prep, cleaning, grocery shopping, helping in the vegetable garden, and playing with the children. (If you’re not interested in living with children, please let us know and we’ll find a family without children).
Tasks are usually varied and change from week to week and season to season. However, typical tasks include;
Using tractors and motorbikes (license required)
Cleaning and filling water troughs
Looking after family pets
Maintaining vegetable gardens
Other general farm duties
Helping with children and around the farmhouse
While living on the property you’re also required to help with domestic duties which are not considered work. For example; preparing and cooking meals, cleaning and washing your clothes, vacuuming, keeping your bedroom and living areas tidy, going grocery shopping and feeding the pets etc.
You’ll have a private bedroom in the main family home, or in a sleep out / cottage / detached room on the family property.
Most meals will be with your host family. If you’re travelling with friends or living with other volunteers, you may have some meals in your own cottage, but the food will be supplied. In general, you’re expected to help in the kitchen. If you’d like additional snacks, you’ll need to buy these yourself – and with regard to alcoholic drinks, you must get permission from your host family to bring this to the farm, and do so at your own expense. You are also responsible for buying any food that meets specific dietary requirements, such as vegan milks, gluten-free bread etc.
Most families have WIFI that you can use for basic purposes, such as contacting your family, checking your emails, and occasional Skype calls. Please ask your host family before using the WIFI, as some locations have very limited reception and high usage charges. You’ll be able to buy data for your own mobile phone or personal device when you arrive in Australia.