When you ask backpackers about their experience working on a farm, they usually give you a positive response. But when you have a bunch of Europeans – who have red deers as their wildlife but will only come across squirrels during their everyday lives – in the middle of the Australian outback surrounded by nothing but snakes and spiders for miles and miles, comical / horrific / awkward situations are bound to happen. Luckily, we are here to record them.
Here are some of the best stories I’ve heard so far:
The other girls and I were in the banana paddock and the next minute the farm dog was barking at something. We wondered what he was barking at when we rose up, looked over and thought he was barking at nothing.
Then I saw it and said: “Oh my God, it’s a snake!”
We ran over to have a closer look and realised it wasn’t just any snake but a Taipan, one of the deadliest snakes in the world, and it was only two metres away from us. The next minute the snake attacked, the dog attacked back, and they had a full-blown fight in the middle of the paddock.
I started screaming: “Get away from it, get away!”
Eventually the dog won and it didn’t die. The snake, however, was bit in half. The dog sat next to it looking very happy.
(You can see the picture of the dog here. Unaware of how close it was to meeting its death, the dog looks like it wants more. Where’s the next snake?)
I was in a place called (code name: Hellville). We rocked up in a farm where the boss was known from the news as the state’s worst boss. He was an absolute monster. He abused the girls verbally.
He also abused his power and asked for $450 upon arrival just to stay at his house. He said it was for rent so you have to give him that money because you are in the middle of nowhere. He received 24 backpackers in one night so just imagine how much money he put in his pocket at once. So we moved into sheds.
On my first day I got paid $7 for 7 hours of work, so $1 an hour. He paid per bucket of grapes.
20 of us went out that night for a few drinks and we came back about 2am. He said something to one of the girls because she called him pervert and then he kicked her out in the middle of the night and in the middle of nowhere. So the rest of us reacted and 12 of us got kicked out that night, all of us half way into our farm works (to get the second-year visa) and nothing was signed. He took all our money and didn’t let us finish our work. He was an absolute twat.
I think the place might be closed now. We went to the police and they told us: “If you want to, burn his house down. As long as you are out of the state before we get to you, you won’t get arrested.”
He is known as an absolute gangster. His sister is an attorney, so he knows all the loopholes. When we were on our way out, we met a few more people on the bus stop. There were like 8 Italian guys and girls who only stayed at the farm one night. They said they had a horrible experience, complained and got kicked out straight away after paying the $450 bond. The boss kept all that money. He is making a hell of a profit out of backpackers.
(But Stephen said despite this bad experience, he had the most amazing time at a farm near a surf camp)
After doing farm work all day, we would go to the beach and surf. There was a huge taipan snake but it was like the surf camp’s pet. It was always there.
We were playing goon pong at the farm. There was this one guy we all loved but he liked to play jokes on everybody else. So we waited till he went outside and one guy pissed on one of the cups. Obviously, goon tastes like wee anyway. When he came in, we started playing again and our team got the ball in the cup, so he ended up the piss.
He put it in his mouth, kept it in his mouth for a few seconds and then swallowed. Then he said: “I don’t know what that was, but wow!”
We couldn’t believe he drank it because the cup was almost full and it was obviously warm. We eventually told him and he said: “Oh well!” in a nonchalant manner.
I stayed at a farm with a lot of sheep, about 5,000, so the only thing we ate was sheep, day in, day out – sheep, sheep, sheep. That’s all that was on the menu.
I remember I really liked it in the beginning until one day we were herding the sheep and then there was this cute little sheep that jumped, hit the fence really hard and then just died. That evening day we ate sheep and he said said: “It’s the sheep that died this morning.”
There were children right there. I thought: “That’s so rude.” (She probably bonded with the sheep.)
Something else that happened to me was this. We had to shoot kangaroos, take the skin off and inject them with poison. Then we had to cut kangaroos in pieces and scatter them around so dingoes would eat them and die. I mean, that is what I had to do as a girl. According to him, that was a girl’s job.
And what about you? Have you done any rural work? Do you have any experience you’d like to share? Please message me if you do.