I am planning for a 6-week holiday from early Dec to mid Jan. I wish to join some 1-2 weeks jackaroo course like the one organized by leconfield school. Unfortunately, all course in Dec have been fully booked. Anyone knows any similar school and courses available for overseas travellers in Queensland, New South Wales or near Adelaide?
Also, I have joint the WWOOF and obtained a host list from the organization, is there any forum or web site having some comments from the ex-WWOOFer?
Yes, the above visitoz site is a pretty good one that I used to work with (read 'sell'). I believe their course is only for five days or so.
The 'best' forum for wwoofers is http://www.wwoof.com.au/forums/index.php
It is run/hosted by the WWOOF organization in Australia so is pretty informative.
The problem with jackaroo/jillaroo schools has lately been the rising of insurance costs for horseback riding farms like these. Because of that a lot have gone out of business, or priced themselves out of the market. The 'problem' with the leconfield school is it is sold via at least one major working holiday organization overseas which operates in 8+ countries. So, these courses are pre-sold months in advance and especially in the high season for backpackers arriving in NSW (december to february) they are very often sold out. I would think that venturing further away from NSW/Vic might give you more opportunities at that time of the year.
To be quite honest I have heard quite a bit of negative feedback on the longer (10+ day) courses.... the first 4-5 days there is no riding, a lot of cleaning up around the farm instead and a lot of the 'cowboys' are quite 'unprofessional' with the females (if you know what I mean...). And considering the price being paid, that's might be a bum deal, depending on what you are after. Go for a 5 day one instead and ask around about opportunities to work on horse farms throughout australia. Some even offer guaranteed jobs after you have been on their course!
Thanks for watters and Sam's advice. I am travelling in Adeliade right now and cos I failed to get a place in any jackaroo course, I have contact a wwoof host in a small town Adeliade. I am going to meet them today afternoon. A bit nervous now. But after travelling from Sydney to Melbourne and then to Adeliade for about 2 weeks, I found Aussie is really a nice place with helpful people and traveller friendly facilities like information centre and city loop buses. I had a great time.
That's great to hear and good that you are loving it. I found the same in Australia, friendly people that make it easy to travel there... guess that is why it is such a popular destination in part!
Enjoy the WWOOF-ing; one of these days I will really have to do it!