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10 WWOOFing Opportunities in Australia

Australia Travel
by Rebecca Kinsella May 11, 2010
While traveling and WWOOFing throughout Europe, I’ve met many veteran WWOOFers who recommend my home country, Australia, as one of their favorite places to work.

WWOOFing opportunities here include gardening in suburban backyards, mustering cattle on outback stations, feeding and caring for wildlife, and other experiences that will challenge your idea of what is “typically Australian.”

To access the full contact details for hosts, you will need to become a member of WWOOF Australia.

1. Producing Olive Leaf Tea near Bundaberg, Queensland

This B & B farm-stay welcomes WWOOFers year-round, especially those with previous experience. Expect to assist in all aspects of work, from managing the property to picking and processing olive leaves.

Accommodation is provided in guest bedrooms. The owners understand that many WWOOFers travel to practice their English, so join them for a chat in the spa after a hard day’s work.

2. Welcoming Family Farm on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

The alternative lifestyle on this family-run farm is reflected in the host’s profile, where she describes herself as a “homebirthing, extended breast-feeding, unschooling mamma… and permaculture gardener.”

Opportunities for both a cultural exchange and a positive influence on their children motivated this family to host WWOOFers. Work includes preserving produce, planting, gardening, and maintenance.

Four hours work per day are expected and meals are vegetarian. In your time off, enjoy hinterland walks, swimming, rock climbing, and abseiling.

Insider Tip: Although Australia experiences distinct seasons, the climate varies between regions and WWOOFers may experience long-term droughts and water restrictions in the east, to hot, wet and humid conditions in the tropical north. Research the seasonal climate of the area you plan on WWOOFing in and pack accordingly.
3. Butterfly Retreat in Batchelor, Northern Territory

This butterfly farm is a retreat of gardens, bird ponds, and waterfalls, where butterflies “dance in the canopies and feed from the fruits and flowers.” WWOOFers work maintaining the grounds, weeding, mulching, and harvesting.

Accommodation is in a separate sleeping area and meals are shared with hosts. The farm is within short driving distance to Litchfield National Park’s waterfalls and swimming holes.

4. WWOOFing and Wine near Albany, Western Australia

Situated in the south-western corner of Australia, wine production here is driven by a sustainably-managed three-hectare vineyard. This winery has hosted WWOOFers from all over the world to assist with fencing, pruning, gardening, and tending the 10-year old vines.

Meals are communal and include freshly made pizzas from their own pizza oven. Check out the local farmer’s market, regional food and wine trails, or explore Albany by bike.

5. A Bush Retreat on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Visit this costal property in August and February to learn the horticultural techniques of budding and grafting. WWOOFers have busy mornings with afternoons free to read, bushwalk, relax in the wood-fired sauna, or swim at the private beach.

Meals are mainly vegetarian; seafood is eaten occasionally. Long stays can be arranged but “no junk fooders or fashionistas, please”; only those genuinely interested in approaches to healthy living are encouraged to apply.

6. Working with Alpacas in the Mary Valley, New South Wales

This 27-acre property is shared with a herd of alpacas, two dogs, a horse, a cat, and some chickens. Work here includes alpaca husbandry chores, gardening, general farming, and household duties. Seasonal work involves picking and processing mangos.

Accommodation is in the family home, with use of the family pool. WWOOFers can negotiate the length of their stay during their visit.

7. Growing Organic Vegetables in Tweed, New South Wales

The idea for this family-run business transpired from their interest in providing nutritional, organic food for their family. Specializing in Spanish garlic, snow peas, and organic, open-range eggs, the family also grow a range of veggies.

These ex-backpackers now welcome other travellers to help achieve their goal of supplying high quality organic produce to regional markets, locals, and tourists.

Getting registered: Check visa and entry requirements and specific information on WWOOFing on a tourist visa.
Apply online at WWOOF Australia to receive your membership book with full contact details.
Getting insurance: Membership includes a basic insurance plan covering volunteers to work on the property of a registered Australian WWOOF host.
Getting around: Consider the environmental impact of your travel and avoid internal flights. Plan an accessible and eco-friendly route via public transport or check out Internet forums for car pooling options.
8. Creative and Organic Projects in Hobart, Tasmania

The fruit and veggie garden on this Tassie property is “rambling and wildish.” Between making scarecrows and preserving fruit, volunteers help with weeding, watering, mulching, composting, ecological foot printing, and creating prayer flags and patchwork.

Meals are vegetarian and accommodation is in the house or garden cottage. WWOOFers can stay over Christmas and “spring pilgrims” are particularly welcome.

9. Urban Backyard Farming in Melbourne, Victoria

This family home in suburban Melbourne has been transformed into an urban farm. Work includes gardening, cooking, and cleaning, with opportunities for local volunteering at schools and community gardens.

Accommodation is provided in the spare room, with a double futon and bedding supplied. The diet here includes meat and is gluten free. Finish your working week with a trip into the city, or explore the local park and walking tracks along the creek.

10. Alternative Australian Living in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria

Tasks on this 27-acre property include composting, fencing, building projects, and preparations for bush fire season. Volunteers work for four to six hours per day. Meals are mostly meat based, but vegetarians can be catered for.

Registered WWOOFers may apply at short notice, but the hosts advise against turning up unannounced as “this is considered rude in WWOOFing-land”. Spend your free time swimming in the dam or watch out for echidnas and wombats after dark.

Community Connection:

WWOOF your way around the world! Learn more about WWOOFing on our Volunteering Abroad Focus Page.

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