What I love the most about the Working Holiday Program is that you can end up in any number of completely different scenarios and work in as many different jobs as you wish. Employers know you may only be there for a few months or even a few days and they use that to their advantage.
It was a beautiful late summer day in Adelaide, and we had 3 weeks to burn before beginning our job in the outback. Not wanting to spend much money on living in a city and having just finished the Rock Tour, we wanted work. What should present itself but a job working with concrete in Jamestown, Australia. Where exactly is it? I still have no clue, but I will say small town hospitality is thriving there.
We ended up working for a concrete factory, helping pour cement into molds. As they had other work backed up and this job required a 5th grade education and opposable thumbs, we were a perfect fit.
All we really did was prepare molds for cement to be poured. It was easy. Incredibly easy. It also paid better than picking strawberries. Who knew?
I didn't really get a chance to take many photos of the exciting things Jamestown has to offer, so you will have to settle for the photos I took on my walk into work or while being shown around the area by our gracious host.
Walking only 5 minutes each day into the concrete factory presented great views of the countryside of the South Flinders Ranges. Sheep seem to be the main livestock around. Actually, we learned that Jamestown has the biggest sheep auction in South Australia, moving upwards of 30,000 sheep each week during the high season.
I think it was kind of novel for the town to have a couple backpackers coming through as they don't seem to get many visitors besides the occasional relatives or lost tourists. That said, Jamestown does have an amazing air show every three years at their local airport. Actually, airplanes and hobby flying are quite popular in Jamestown.
The plane we were invited out on was the Jabiru.
From the air we could see all the way to the Ocean. A bit closer however you can see one reason why their economy is keeping steady, the wind farms. This is big business in these parts with constant wind and available land. They've put up about 75 to date, and plans to build more are in the works.
Apparently for each windmill, the land owner gets about $10,000 per year depending on how much electricity the mill generates. Considering some land owners have several windmills, with one in particular having about 50 windmills on his property, times the $10,000 per year that is a nice little retirement plan.
Looking back, I only spent 9 days in Jamestown, but they were 9 of the more memorable days I have had thus far. We went the whole time not meeting any backpackers, just locals. We'd go to either the Commercial or the Railway Hotel for drinks after work and talk about normal things that people talk about after work. There weren't any backpackers to chat with about where they'd been or what they'd seen somewhere else.
That brings us to the question I ask myself while traveling throughout Australia: how can I have these normal life experiences with Australians and experience the people and places that I can here for? Visiting Jamestown answered that question for 9 days.
If you ever get the opportunity to work in a small Australian town that you've never heard of, take it.
Jamestown was a defining experience on this trip.
First Impressions of Melbourne