Australian Wildlife Road Sign on the Nullarbor tour from Adelaide to Perth

Working Holiday Love Story

My Real Aussie Adventure – Travelling Oz & WWOOFING at Coodlie Park on South Australia’s amazing Eyre Peninsula

Hi, my name is Sam and back in 2015 I decided it was time to get myself a Working Holiday Visa and head to Australia. I left the UK with no real plan except just wanting to have my own version of a real Aussie adventure.

Like everyone else I did all the usual Aussie highlights on the East Coast and Red Centre. Then when I was in Melbourne a travel agent recommended the Nullarbor Traveller 10 day Adelaide to Perth tour. And swag camping my way across two thirds of Australia sounded pretty cool! So off to Adelaide I headed where I embarked on the road trip of a lifetime, getting off the beaten track, discovering the incredible places and experiences that so many other travellers miss. I loved it so much, I jumped back on and did the return 9 Day Perth to Adelaide tour!

Except this time, I got off 800km before Adelaide at Coodlie Park Farm Retreat, the home base of the Nullarbor Traveller, where I worked as a volunteer WWOOFER (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) for 3 months. How on earth did I end up here? Well on the way back from Perth I came across Hassie who asked me where I was from and what my plans were. He offered me the chance to earn my second year visa and told me a bit about Coodlie Park. The chance to work and live on a real Aussie farm was too good to resist so I accepted his offer straight away.

Nullarbor Traveller tours all stop off at Hassie & Jo’s place Coodlie Park on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Coodlie Park is a 3000 acre outback farm with some really unique accommodation options, tours and its own private beach, where I watched many magnificent sunsets.

After settling in and getting acquainted to Hassie and Jo, I was tasked to work on various building and maintenance projects around the property. There was work around the house, accommodation buildings and shared facilities. I was lucky enough to help construct some of the new camp ground affectionately known as Camp Coodlie. We also spent days cleaning old oyster covered wood for making recycled doors and tables, constructing swag huts and building fire pits and natural rock seating and grass cutting.

Hassie and Jo are very passionate about environmental sustainability and this comes through in everything they do. From tree planting to recycling and solar power. I was impressed that they are the only company in Australia to offset their own carbon internally by planting trees on the property and to be a part of that as a volunteer offsetting my own travel footprint was fantastic!

Along with the tourism placement interns from the Netherlands (Dutchies) who help with running the business there was another WWOOFER there called Ross. We had a fantastic time working and drinking together. Thursday and Friday nights were usually spent down the camp ground cooking up a feast for the Nullarbor Traveller tours, followed by a camp fire with plenty of drinks and stories. It was always fantastic catching up with the guides as well each time they would pass through. They have some new amazing stories to tell!

 

For a week in May we hosted and catered for an Aboriginal mentoring camp with 50+ elders and youngsters. This gave me a rare opportunity to learn about indigenous culture and it is always interesting to see and experience new and different things.

See Where Your Aussie Adventure Can Take You and Check Out Out New  Margaret River Tours; 3 Day Margaret River Tours & our Margaret River Tours from Perth.

 

Swag Camping tours Australia

Through the autumn and winter the local footy club (that’s AFL or Aussie Rules) was recruiting for new players, so it was the talk of the town when a Dutchie, a Scotsman and an Englishman tried out for Elliston B Grade! I for one had no idea how the game was played but gave it a good go. I ended up playing around 7 games for the club. We were welcomed into the club and the local community by all and they were always keen to hear where we were from and what our plans were.

Hassie and Jo are fantastic people and very welcoming, they open their home, (with its private beach) and their family to everyone. I started as a stranger and now Hassie and Jo feel like family. Brilliant food, great times with lots of laughs. I will always remember the table tennis competitions and the games of Sequence which is best played while drinking bourbon! Most evenings we watched films, one film we watched several times and you can’t go through Coodlie Park without watching was The Castle. An iconic Aussie classic!

All in all, my time at Coodlie Park on South Australia’s rugged and beautiful Eyre Peninsula was an incredible experience and something I will remember for the rest of my life. I am so pleased I had the opportunity to go to that special part of the world. I will go back and spend more time there again one day and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Did I forget to mention that while on the Adelaide to Perth tour I met a lovely German girl, fell in love, moved to Germany and now we are expecting our first child? I have a lot of things to thank the Nullarbor Traveller for! The trip of a lifetime indeed!

NOTE FROM NULLARBOR TRAVELLER
If you are interested in doing volunteer work in Australia and offsetting your own travel carbon footprint at Coodlie Park just like Sam, we’d love to hear from you. Jump on over to our WWOOFING page for more information.