Last week while job hunting in Sydney we came across some farmwork at a working hostel in Tasmania. We had received no responses from anything related to fruit picking so after calling the hostel and finding they had 2 beds and work to begin straight away, we jumped.
We’ve just spent a week in Devonport, Tasmania, not the most… anything of places. The town centre looks a bit like Corby. The countryside looks a bit like England. The work was awful.
We spent a day at an orchard, picking apples, before we decided this was not the life for us. They paid by the bin. You fill it with apples and get $38. We filled 4 bins between us in 8 hours. That works out at $66 (£34) each for one day’s work. And it was hard. We slept for 12 hours when we got home on Friday. Maybe it’s a lifetime of work mostly on our arses, but £34 a day is not what I’m after. We booked flights to Melbourne and are in Launceston now waiting around for that flight.
In the meantime we worked 2 more days picking apples and applying for jobs. If the work wasn’t enough to prompt us to leave, there was the hostel… I’ve taken some pictures so you can appreciate the ‘abandoned uni halls chic’ this place was going for:
We paid to rent a duvet for the week. One mattress had no springs. The room smelled worse than the bathroom. And there was no wifi.
At least in the city there are hourly rates for work, a little more sunshine and an internet connection. We have gained a week in Tasmania, a little experience fruit picking and and an assurance that I can’t hack physical labour. No surprise.