Testimonial Maggie

Maggie

Going to Australia was one of my best decisions

Hello to all backpackers or future backpackers,

I’m Maggie, 19 years old and I’ve been in Australia for almost four months. My trip started at the end of February 2024. I can hardly believe that so much time has already flown by and so much has happened in these few months. But it’s best to start at the beginning:

I already had the opportunity to meet some others from my group at the airport. I was very nervous, and getting to know my fellow travelers right from the start gave me a sense of security. We were taken by cab directly to the hostel, where we finally met with the whole group. Everything was organised and we were given a bit of help to get started. We also had the opportunity to explore Brisbane on our own.

Brisbane is a beautiful city with friendly, open people and the opportunity to do lots of things! In addition to the members of the group, you get to know an incredible number of people in the hostel. It’s fascinating how many different people from different countries come together and everyone has the same open manner!

I also had an incredible amount of fun at the training farm. Everyone is friendly and you can tell how much heart these people put into their work. Both Will in Brisbane and Clint at the training farm took the time to listen to my interests and give me advice when it came to choosing a job.

The job offers came in the first few days at the training farm and I quickly settled on a job at a spelling and pre-training stable for Thoroughbreds in New South Wales: Emeran Park.

After the training farm, I spent another day in the hostel in Brisbane before getting on the plane to Sydney. Again, I was totally nervous because I still had to travel two hours by train from the airport, but the person in charge at Emeran Park calmed me down and helped me on the phone when my train was canceled.

I had a whole house to myself at Emeran Park! The rent wasn’t high and they even gave me a car to go shopping.

One of my protégés …

My work at the stables consisted of leading horses to paddocks or bringing them down, feeding them, weighing them, mucking out boxes, brushing them, loading them and much more. Among other things, I learned a lot about wound care for horses. The staff, vets and farriers were always friendly and happy to answer any questions I had in detail. It was a great experience to see how the vets applied bandages or x-rayed a leg.

After a while I was given more responsibilities and Including looking out for swollen legs and new injuries during feeding. All in all, the work was fun and although I’ve been riding since I was four years old, I learned so much more about horses.

On my days off, I was either allowed to stay at home or go on trips in the car I mentioned earlier. One day I went to Sydney and met up with other backpackers there. I had a really good time and Sydney is a most beautiful city.

In Sydney in front of the Opera House

Unfortunately, after some time at Emeran Park, I realized that my work does not count towards the 88 days that allow me to get a second visa for another year of working holiday. This is because Emeran Park is relatively close to Sydney.

As I didn’t know at the time whether I would have to return to Germany in September for university, I wanted to work off the 88 days before September. I also wanted to experience a different kind of work again and get out of the horse racing industry. Even though the staff at Emeran Park were all very nice, you can still feel the pressure of perfection that comes with working in this industry.

So I started looking for a new job, this time at a cattle station. I could have asked Will (from the training farm), but I got it into my head to find my own job. It turned out not to be easy and after two weeks of searching I had almost given up and was about to write to Will.

Then suddenly something did come up: During the two weeks of searching, I called several people and one called me back and offered me a job. That’s the job I’m doing at the moment. Now I’m working for a man who does contract cattle mustering in Central Queensland. I had no previous experience working with cattle. I’ve never worked with cows in my life and, apart from the training farm, I’ve never been on a motorcycle. But he was willing to teach me everything.

I live in his house for free and he pays for all my food. I have no expenses – so I’m saving a lot for my trip, which is now planned for September, as the university has rejected me.

You can also learn to ride a motorcycle …

We wander back and forth between different cattle stations, mustering, drafting, branding, preg testing and everything that goes with it. I’ve been working for him for just over a month now, I’m learning a lot and I’m really enjoying it. Before I went to Australia, I never thought I would end up on a cattle station and I enjoy working with cows very much.

The working days are longer than at Emeran Park, but the pace of work is much slower. I have a lot more breaks and the atmosphere is much more relaxed. The only thing I miss is having more people around me. It can be a little quiet here from time to time and I enjoy having lots of people around me. But that will also come back very soon, because:

As I just mentioned, I have planned my trip in September. It will be a road trip up the east coast, starting in Sydney. I’m doing it with a buddy I met at the hostel in Brisbane during the first week.

I’m very excited to see what the rest of my time in Australia will bring, but I can already say that going to Australia was one of my best decisions. The adventures, memories and experiences I have created here are simply incredible and surreal. The trip is really worth it! I would advise anyone who is unsure to just go for it, even if it seems scary at first. I wish everyone who takes the trip lots of fun!

Maggie sent us this report in June 2024.

Here again all pictures (click to enlarge):