After five months, I have finally completed my rural work in Tully, Australia and will now be eligible for a second year working holiday visa. YES!! This tiny town hidden away in tropical Queensland is a place like no other and the memories I gathered during my time there will stay with me forever. Find out below why you should do your Australian farmwork in Tully – the place where you will work hard, play hard, and make friends for life.
When I first arrived in Tully, my mood instantly dropped like a bag of bricks thrown into a river. Myself and my travel buddy, Egle got dropped off at the Greyhound bus station at 2pm on a Sunday and as we walked up to the hostel we nearly started crying. Every single shop along the main road was closed and there were no cars, people or life to be seen. We were experiencing a major culture shock after having just completed our backpacking East Coast trip where there was life, people and a buzz everywhere we went. How was I going to last in a ghost town like this??
I quickly realised the excitement I was looking for was not out on the streets of Tully but in Banana Barracks, my new home for the next five months. As of now, I have been a part of three groups of people who have stayed in the bungalows section of the Barracks which holds about 40 people. Each of those crews have been like one big family to me and the people I have met have been exceptional. That’s no surprise though. To finish your farm days in Tully and stick it out until the end requires mental strength, a positive outlook and an acceptance/love for the simple things in life.
I peeled 70,000 bananas over 567 hours during my time in Tully. Sound fun? Not exactly, but I made a decision very early on to look past any negatives and make the most of my experience. Two big positives I’m taking away are that I can say I’ve had a very unique job and I am a pro at handling bananas! 😉 Now, I can say I really enjoyed working as a banana peeler and will be sad to leave it. And although I had to deal with a lot of cockroaches and rhino beetles being thrown at me by my supervisor – she was an amazing boss and I’m thankful for that.
A few pieces of advice I would give to anyone not sure about farm work in Australia… go for it. Don’t be turned off by the fact you will be holed into the one hostel for at least three months or the rural work you do will be hard and sometimes boring or treacherous. Do it not only for yourself but for others. You might not think it or believe it, but everyone is interesting and unique. Everyone has a story, an idea and a perspective and you just being you, can make another backpackers day much, much brighter. Take the leap of faith and head into the world of the unknown, the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable. You never know, you might just love it.