England has long history with Australia. 200 years ago, as a colony, we were sending our prisoners there. It’s where the nickname POM came from, they were despatched from Millbank Pier and were referred to as Prisoners of Millbank – or POMs for short. These days there’s nothing we like more than a big sporting clash between nations. But Oceana is not just about Australia, also consider New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Cook Islands.
Our mutual history, overlapping cultures and the absence of a language barrier make Australia and Oceana a great destination for a Gap year. Although you won’t find masses in the way of human history (beyond the reach of the colonial There’s more Natural History – on land and at Sea – than you can shake a eucalyptus stick at. So here then is part 5 in our Gap Year Guides. Say G’Day to our picks of Australia and Oceania…
As ever, we’ll stick to our tried and tested Job or Jolly formula – with Job being for those of you that want (or need) to earn some pennies to finance your trip, or Jolly being for you lucky souls to whom money is no object. We’re also going to mostly focus on the major countries within the ‘Oceania’ region – Australia and New Zealand – because that’s where the majority of opportunities are.
Having spent years honing your southern-hemisphere english through the medium of Neighbours and Home and Away, Australia is one of the few places you can spend time and work during a gap year where language will be no object. Get yourself a WHV (Working Holiday Visa) and you’ll be good to work for up to a year too.
Good Turn – Intern
If you’re viewing taking a Gap year as an essential part of your personal development – then finding a role that will gain you valuable experience can be a smart move – so an internship (or experience) is a great way to add to the quality of your CV. Whilst they are usually unpaid (so you’ll have to find the finances to support yourself) it can pay dividends in later years. Your College or University may even be able to help with contacts in a particular field, but if not then the Australian Internships website is the perfect place to start.
Fruit Picking Australia
If you’re looking to see the countryside, whilst enjoying that clean, unpolluted Southern Hemisphere air then Fruit Picking might be what you’re after. It’s employment that has flexibility in spades (well, maybe pruners or fruit boxes). As the work is seasonal (and there are lots of different fruits in season at different times across Australia) you should be able to work your way round the continent. The hours, weeks and months that you need to work are usually flexible too – so you can earn some pennies – yet have the freedom to go and explore when you want to.
Farming in New Zealand
Famous as middle earth in the Lord of the Rings movies, New Zealand is about as unspoiled as countries come. So finding a way to visit and pay your way is a great way of seeing this Oceania gem. New Zealand is also famous for its lamb – and with so much back country it’s no surprise that much of it is farmed. Gap 360 have some useful advice on farm work in New Zealand, so take look if you fancy the rural life on the other side of the world.
When it comes to jollies, the southern hemisphere has lots to offer – here are two high adrenaline picks…
Grand Prix Weekend – Melbourne
If budget is no option – then head to Melbourne for the first weekend in April. The Formula 1 circus rolls into town for the opening race of the 2016 campaign. It’s about as glamorous as sports gets – and the host city is renowned for providing a warm welcome and great atmosphere.
Ski New Zealand
If you thought New Zealand was all about sheep and surfing, think again. As a volcanic archipelago, it has some pretty big hills (they’re volcanoes actually) and there’s snow on the slopes. Little wonder then that they’re making the most of it. The season runs from June to October – so it’s winding up for this year – but June’s not that far away. Check out Gap Year for more ski New Zealand info.
And, as with every Gap year destination we’ve mentioned – if you’re off overseas and need somewhere to store your stuff while you are gone – then a storage unit here at ABC Selfstore is a flexible and convenient way to keep your things safe and sound.