88 Days and counting: 11 days down


If someone had told me a year ago, I’d be working on a strawberry farm in order to get a second-year visa, I’d have thought they were joking. Only intending to stay in the country a year, I had no desire to put myself through hard labour in the middle of nowhere for 88 days. Unfortunately, as soon as I moved, fell in love with the country and ran out of visa options, I realised farm work was the only way forward.

Strawberry Picking

We are now on day 11 and I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have clean hands. I am currently working on a strawberry farm, planting roots and slowly killing my back in the process. A typical day involves a 6am start, us piling into a van in our muddied uniforms and trying not to think about the day ahead. The length of the work is varied, with some shifts lasting an hour and others lasting eight. It’s also ambiguous, with the farmers often shrugging their shoulders and waiting for the plants to get delivered. Overall though, it’s good fun. The comradery of the other backpackers is strong, with complaints of pain usually turning into fits of laughter and the day usually ending in a mug of goon.

In terms of location, there are definitely worse places to be stuck, with the hostel being a five-minute walk from the beach and a short drive from the mountains. It’s a place I’ve started to feel incredibly relaxed and incredibly at home. I had absolutely no idea what to expect moving to the sunshine coast. Other than the beach, I knew nothing about the location or surrounding area. It’s always a risk when you move places based on recommendations, but so far, so good. I haven’t worn open toes shoes in a week and I’ve eaten ice-cream every day.

Beach Sunsets In Mooloolaba

Unfortunately, strawberry planting is supposed to finish this Saturday and Strawberry picking isn’t supposed to start for a good month or two. This means, I’ll have to choose between sticking around in a place with no work or risk moving again. Luckily, I have a trip to Vietnam booked soon to keep my mind distracted. Only 77 days left to go!


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