Travelling with Libraries

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Old book open with dog, birds, road and girl with red umbrella on pages.  Coffee cup, pen and balloon in the background
Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

When our local library was being rebuilt there was a suggestion that the new version need not contain actual books. This suggestion was howled down by those who prefer their books in a more substantial form than the electronic version and so it came to be that printed books were reinstated. While you’re travelling of course ebooks are the easiest to come by and weigh nothing. If you prefer the solid version however here’s where you can go to resupply.

De Facto Libraries

Usually found in the laundry, bbq or other communal area in caravan parks and other accommodation providers. A great place to unload the books you’ve read and pick up some new ones.

Street Libraries

While not yet on every street corner, Street Libraries are proliferating around Australia. Here’s one I found conveniently located at the bus stop in Tunbridge, Tasmania.

Street Library with books at the Bus Stop in Tunbridge, Tasmania
Finding a library wherever you roam

Anyone can start a street library and I think it’s a great idea.

Opportunity Shops

Ok so these are not an actual library but I tend to use them as one except of course you need to pay for the book originally. Then I give it back when I’m finished.

Library Membership

I have asked at many libraries along the way while travelling whether I can use my library card from my local library. While there are some libraries that are connected, sadly you cannot run around Australia and borrow and return wherever you like. Tasmania however has a wondrously friendly idea: visitors can apply for a three month membership. Hopefully the rest of Australia will realise just how many people there are working/living/travelling away from home who would love greater access to libraries wherever they may be staying.

National and State Libraries

It’s worth noting that you can join the National Library if you live in Australia and have an Australian residential address. This gives you access to a range of electronic resources in addition to the freely available ones. Similarly each State Library has a membership program which extends the usually available resources and services, see the State Library of Victoria for an example of the advantages of membership.

Finally, there are always ebooks (as long as you have internet access or have already downloaded them)

Smart phone with picture of library books held by a human hand with a hardcover book in the background
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For the frugal reader there are quite a few free sites for ebooks. Then of course there is Amazon, Google Play, Kobo ebooks, Barnes and Noble, ebooks.com and many more where you can purchase ebooks of all varieties.

Where to Find Farm Work in Australia

Want or need to do some farm work? Here we look at options for finding agricultural work for backpackers, travellers, nomads of all ages, working holidaymakers and anyone really who wants to experience life on the land.

Multi coloured cows in a paddock with sea and mountain in the background

We’ve been on the road for a few years now and one of the most common questions we get asked is how we find work along the way. The places we’ve worked have been totally memorable for the experiences, the scenery and the people we’ve met, so there’s far more benefit to working around the country than just the $ – though of course $ are most useful. So here’s a list of some helpful resources. Of course some jobs, and some farms/employers, are better than others. Do your research before you go to make sure you have an awesome experience and not an awesomely bad one.

Note that while the following list covers a wide range of options for farm work, there are some sites/pages/groups that specialise in work particularly for backpackers, some for grey nomads and some who are glad to see any jobseeker who’ll turn up (straight,sober and cheerful) and be capable of and willing to do the work that needs to be done.

So if a job interests you, why not make an enquiry about it? Here’s a few places to start your search.

Agricultural Work Resources – Australia

Ag Workforce

Agricultural recruitment agency offering Australia-wide rural employment opportunities across a range of sectors. Also on FB.

Agri Labour Australia

An agricultural labour hire company. Usually has jobs around many of the states mostly in regional and remote areas. Also on FB.

Backpacker Job Board

A listing of all kinds of jobs for backpackers including a specific section on farm work. Particularly worth noting is their advice for staying safe when applying for jobs online. Also on FB.

Fruit Picking Jobs

Extensive listings of fruit picking, harvest and other rural jobs.  Need to sign up but there is a free subscription option. Has useful guides on what’s involved when working with various different crops information guides for backpackers. Also on FB.

Grey Nomads Jobs

All kinds of jobs listed here from caretaking to mystery shopping.  Many of the jobs are rural/remote – though not all – and you can find some of the most unusual work here.  My favourite: “parrot scaring technician”.  Some jobs are paid, some are exchange and some a combination of both. Also on FB.

Gumtree

If you haven’t discovered Gumtree, well it is a treat and one of my favourite goto’s for a great many useful things in life. Here you can find listings of all kinds of jobs including a Farming and Veterinary section. I have also seen people put up their own ads in jobs wanted. A lot of employers like Gumtree because it is popular and also free to advertise but you need to be aware there is no verification or review process on the site so use caution when advertising and/or responding to advertisements

Harvest Trail

Australian Government site providing information for jobseekers about various crops, locations and seasons (the Harvest Trail). You can download the National Harvest Guide from this site and/or call the National Harvest Information Service on 1800 062 332 to find out about harvest trail jobs.

Indeed

Just put in what and where and Indeed will provide a good long list of available job opportunities.

Jobaroo

Jobsearch facility and detailed information on working in Australia including farm work. Also on FB

Madec

Servicing Victoria/NSW/SA, Madec is a community based non-profit organisation which amongst its other roles provides an employment service for people looking for harvest jobs. Also on FB.

Rural Enterprises

A recruitment agency focussed on rural work with clients mainly in Western Australia.  They encourage applications from Australians and overseas visitors, particularly looking for people with skills in driving tractors, trucks, headers, combine harvesters and similar. Also on FB.

Seek

On Seek you can search for any kind of job by keyword/classification/location or any combination. So with agricultural work it’s easy to set your search for the type of work and location you want. Also on FB.

The Job Shop

Regional recruitment agency (WA and NT) with listings in agriculture, hospitality, trades and labour recruitment and more.

Travellers At Work

Dedicated recruitment service for travellers. There is a membership fee. Also on FB.

The Grey Nomads

Focussed on the Grey Nomad Lifestyle, this site has a classified section including help wanted

Found a useful place or link for finding work? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.