working holiday visa for backpackers

The Best Australian Job!

boating on a working holiday visaIt had been a month since the start of my working holiday visa and I had been traveling north from Brisbane all along the East Coast to Cairns. Once there it did not take long to find a job. We stopped in Serpent Backpacker, a very nice place with a swimming pool, a bar and many activities, located a bit out of the city centre. They needed people to work there in exchange for accommodation and a little pay. So I jumped on this opportunity thinking it was a safe option to assure me a job while I'd be looking to work on a sailing boat on the Great Barrier Reef.

I started my research right away. I went to the harbour and asked every skipper I met if they had some work available on a boat. But, Cairns is quite a busy city and there it wasn't working that way. They all sent me back to the agencies to put my name on the list and wait till a place was freed.

The first night, I was already working at the bar of my hostel, serving drinks to travelers. It was quite funny as I still didn't know most of the local beers and I had a hard time understanding what they wanted. It was even worse when they spoke with this strong Australian accent! What a terrible bartender I was!!! (Actually, I don't feel so bad about it any more; I had one of my American friends visiting me in Australia and he also could not understand the Queenslanders!).

I got to meet some people that night and they took me to a party in another hostel. There, I saw an ad saying “hostess wanted on sailing boat”. Great!!! I called them right away the next day and came to meet them on the “Santa Maria” boat. It is one of the most beautiful sailing boats in Cairns; ancient style, all in wood and very cosy. It could only take 10 guests and 3 crew members, which I really like because it is more intimate and friendly; it makes the trip look so much more romantic. I was very excited to work on it and the crew appreciated that I was French as most of their guests were also French and according to the rumours, most of them did not speak good English. They also had a good experience with French cooks, so I had a double advantage there 😉

However, they already had a French hostess working at that moment, so they were not hiring but just looking for someone to replace her later on. They asked me to come on the 3-day trip the following morning so I could be trained and to see how I work. This was supposed to be unpaid but luckily for me the hostess got sick that day and she could not come to work, so they asked me to replace her as the trip was already booked. I was given quick instructions, a recipe book and I improvised the work as the trip went on. That was an amazing trip! The crew helped me a little bit in the kitchen and knowing it was my first time, the guests were so friendly and understanding to me which created a great connection. I managed to serve all meals on time with a little French touch added to it and they all loved it. After that I was accepted on the team! The other hostess had to leave soon after, and I got to work on the Santa Maria boat right away for 2 months until I continued my journey around Australia. I got to see lots of beautiful things such as dolphins and other amazing marine animals, I learned to dive on the Great Barrier Reef, I met great people and heard a lot of crazy stories from other travelers... This was definitely the most beautiful job I had in Australia!

Laetitia T

Working Holiday Visa

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