WWOOFing in Australia
Sharing my experience with the world about WWOOFing in Australia. By Célia
My name is Célia, I’m from France, I decided to go WWOOFing about 3 years ago but life kept getting in the way, with my workload, my number one priority.
One day driving home from work, late 2018 I knew I wasn’t really achieving in life what I had anticipated for myself growing up, I didn’t feel like I was being true to myself, it kept nagging at me, month after month, hence on this particular night I decided to make a change and look up the WWOOF website and just do it…JOIN!
Moving forward to14th January 2019 I was on my way.
After joining WWOOF Australia I received a Welcome email, within the email I received instructions on how to build my Profile which was very straight forward. This is compulsory for all WWOOFers and Hosts, it enables both parties to have a slight bond prior to actually meeting each other.
So I planned and planned, Mr Googled became my best friend. I decided my travel path based on airports I would fly into and then looked up Hosts of the interests within that area by using the Map Search and List Search within my Profile (it was awesome) I wanted to see the REAL Australian outback, I had seen lots of things on the internet but now I wanted to live it with a real family/families. I ended up staying at 5 different Hosts over 6 months then did some other travel and freelanced a bit then 8 weeks before coming home I stayed with another 2 WWOOF Hosts.
Each experience was different (I will write about these another time, but I just wanted share the following:
What made my WWOOFing in Australia an incredible experience would definately have to be PLAN, PLAN, did I mention plan?
As soon as you become a WWOOFer start to research the country, every province (State) has different weather, so its really import to make sure you have correct clothing and shoes. They do have a lot of Op shops in Australia so you can always pick up clothing etc in every town. The country ones are awesome and you look like a local in no time.
I always kept in contact with my Hosts even the ones I wasn’t expected to be at for a few months so they always knew I was serious and wouldn’t let them down as some of them live so remote it can be a 4 hour trip just to get food (true).
Be respectful, there is that old saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do” I took the attitude I was there to have the experience so I threw myself in wholeheartedly and felt I was true to myself with no regrets when I got home.
I did takeout travel insurance (lucky) I cut my foot on a sharp rock swimming and had to go to the doctors (I needed stitching) this would have been very expensive had I not taken insurance out, Australia’s medical system is very expensive.
Most of the Hosts I stayed with do not appreciate mobile phones at the dinner table, which didn’t worry me I wanted to learn about Australia and I had many memorable conversations and as I travelled I felt like I could contribute to these with more confidence as I grew as a person…I was changing!
Ah yes water, Australia is experiencing drought which means water is so precious, what does this mean?
- 2-3 min Showers
- Never accidentally leave a tap running
- At some Hosts we collected every bit of water we used in buckets and then water the garden with this. (including having a bucket in the shower to catch any water).
- Always make sure you understand what these Hosts are dealing with, I have never thought about not ever having water!
I always tried to roll with the daily activities as every day was different to the one before, this is very important, don’t get your hopes up doing one thing and then things are changed because a fence needed repairing quickly etc.
The one thing that I really took away with me is just because I do something one way doesn’t always mean it’s the only way…. (yep I grew up). I have taken with me memories for a lifetime, I have met friends that will travel through the years with me and hopefully come and visit me in France one day.
Would I recommend this to anyone?
Absolutely, I travelled by myself but travelling with a friend would have made it even more fun, WWOOF has a Dual membership you don’t need to be partners if there are two of you then you save money with the Dual.
I felt safe at all times, I always let my family know where I was I left them with all the details of WWOOF Australia and the Hosts names and Address I stayed at in case of emergency. When you arrive at a Hosts house you need to show your Passport details and WWOOF ID and the Host writes all this down in case there’s a problem so that made me feel good.
I spoke to the office twice because I got lost somehow no major but I was good to hear a voice on the phone when I panicked.
So yes absolutely I would recommend WWOOFing in Australia to anyone.