With only five months left on our visa, we made the same decision most backpackers do at this point – to go and do farm work. For those unaware, backpackers aren’t genuinely interest in picking fruit, but it is the easiest way to get an extra year on your visa. After extensive research we chose to head to a town called Kununurra. Supposedly at that time of year (May) this small town in the north of the country had heaps of work, so we made the long journey to the middle of nowhere ready to pick fruit in 35 degree heat. That’s the dream right?! Well whether it was a blessing in disguise, turns out that wasn’t what Australia had in store for us. We arrived to find that there wasn’t much work and a queue of 100 or so backpackers ahead of us waiting for work. We were basically told that unless we were Korean men we had little hope of getting a job for several weeks yet, by which point even if we worked back to back days, we wouldn’t work enough days to qualify for a second year visa. With our bank accounts empty and the only way out of this town coting several hundred dollars, we were at a bit of a loss! While we sat there googling which organs to sell, the local job shop rang to offer us a job in the Bungle Bungle range as a camp host. There was only one job going but it was $220 a day with free food and accommodation so being the crazy people we are, we offered to both do the job for one wage – no one is splitting us two up!
With hardly any knowledge of what we were doing, we were picked up in a truck and driven three hours into the Purnululu National Park. Turns out ‘camp host’ was them over glamourising the job – we were cleaners. For two months we worked two weeks on, four days off and spent our time living in a basic cabin, cleaning rooms and dishes for 12 hours a day. It was a true Aussie outback experience, living in the bush with the wildlife and no phone signal. The work wasn’t the best and the situation was very repetitive and frustrating at times but the money we were saving was amazing, we made some great friends in our colleagues and had such a unique experience that we will never get again. Working in this beautiful national park was an incredible experience, we were even flown back to Kununurra on tiny scenic aeroplanes whenever we had time off – something we would never be able to afford normally.
The day we left was one of mixed emotions, I was so excited to get back to civilastion and never clean another toilet again but we have some great memories of our time working for East Kimberley Tours and everyone that worked there.