Extreme Travel | Adventure Sports

Backpacking Queensland

Higher UK tuition fees and a drop in university applications mean more people are slinging on a backpack and heading to Oz.

Queensland offers an amazing range of adventures from sailing the Whitsundays to diving the Great Barrier Reef. Here’s the pick of the best jobs for backpackers

Finding Nemo Coordinator, Great Barrier Reef

Skills gained: working with groups, teaching

Personality: fins instead of feet, unafraid of reef encounters

Discover the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef; one of the Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts and home to over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays. Diving in the World Heritage-listed reef is on every backpacker’s to-do list, and as a qualified Divemaster you will have the opportunity to teach new skills and gain an invaluable insight into a treasured ecosystem, while meeting like-minded people.

Courses start at £1400 to gain full qualifications. Go to www.prodivecairns.com or call + 617 4031 5255 for more information

Sweet Potato Sorter, Queensland wide

Skills gained: budgeting and working as a team

Personality: outdoorsy with high energy levels

With abundant work on farms and orchards, Queensland offers many places for fruit picking and harvesting of tropical fruit and vegetables. Work can be found in the hinterlands and farmland along Queensland, only 40 minutes from the coast line.

Bundaberg, four hours north of Brisbane, employs fruit-pickers between April and December. Travel north from May to November to Townsville to work as a mango-pickers. Advantages include the short-term contract, social nature of the work and the chance to extend your visa by a full 12 months by mucking in and filling the bins in rural Australia for a minimum of three months.

For information on harvesting and fruit-picking, go to www.goharvest.com or call +61 1300 080 545. For seasonal crop-picking calendar, visit www.fruitpicking.org

Yacht Hand, Whitsunday Islands

Skills gained: orienteering, organisation

Personality: can tie a good knot, believes in old-fashioned elbow grease

As Australia’s second leading tourism employer, the Whitsundays are a great place for backpackers to find work. The 74 islands of the Whitsundays are home to a vast array of marine life. Most jobs will be found in Airlie Beach, one of the liveliest spots on Queensland’s east coast and the gateway to the Islands. Spend your days working on the boats and your nights dancing in the bars. Find work as a paid deck-hand or exchange your hard work for the trip, accommodation and food.

Learn to sail before you start working. STA offers a 24-day course starting at £1743. For more information, visit www.statravel.co.uk or contact 0844 844 0228. Visit www.explorewhitsundays.com or call +617 4946 5782 for more information

Little Nippers Instructor, Surfers Paradise

Skills gained: working with children

Personality: patient, responsible

You will be the envy of your friends and family as you spend your working hours on the beautiful beaches of Queensland. Becoming a surf teacher for little nippers is a challenging but exciting time. Before hitting the surf, you will be required to undertake extensive training and recruitment set by the Australian Lifeguard Service (ALS).

Casual or contract lifeguards are employed during busier periods so Christmas holidays is an ideal time to find work. For further information on the ALS (Queensland) and international qualifications, including prices, visit www.lifesaving.com.au or call +617 3846 8000

Jillaroo or Jackaroo, Outback

Skills gained: experience caring for animals

Personality: calm under pressure, practical

Working as a Jillaroo or Jackaroo on a cattle station couldn’t be further from a nine-to-five city job. A typical day could include mustering cattle by either horse or motorbike, building or repairing fences, working cattle in yards including branding, earmarking and vaccinating, as well as maintenance work of odd jobs around the homestead, welding gates, driving trucks, checking on watering points or working on engines. A farm-stay at Wainui, a 3.5 hour drive from Brisbane near Toowoomba, employs approximately 16 staff, including feed millers, stock-people and farmers.

To find information and assistance on jobs available in the outback, visit www.visitoz.org or call +617 4168 6106. For more information on rural jobs, go to www.jobsearch.gov.au/HarvestTrail or call +61 1800 062 332

For general backpacker job recruitment information, visit www.backpackaround.com.au/jobs.html
For further information on working holidays in Queensland, visit http://www.experiencequeensland.com/iss/uk/travel-info/backpackers/backpackers_home.cfm
For information on Backpacking in Queensland, visit www.backpackingqueensland.com