CAMPSITE # 135 - Lake Argyle. How to find work on the road.

We had rid ourselves of fresh Fruit & Vegies, and were packed and ready to make our way over the border from WA to the Northern Territory. We had mentally prepared ourselves to bid farewell to our home state for the previous 7 weeks and make entrance to NT. That was until just a few kilometres from the border of WA and NT where we made a very last minute decision to take the turn off signposted towards Lake Argyle.

When flooding, Lake Argyle holds up to 48 times more water than Sydney Harbour. Just one day of water let out of the spillway could supply the entire state of WA with water for an entire year.

We arrived at the only Caravan Park, the Lake Argyle Resort.

We had to roll our eyes and laugh at the whole check in process. The Caravan Park’s overflow’s overflow was overflowing, it was so ridiculously crowded that the poor staff members looked like they really were ready for a knock off drink even by our arrival time of 11am. We were rushed into the reception to check in and then hastily directed back out to our car to then be met by a rather exhausted but very friendly looking parking attendant who pointed out where we were to drive to and then he, on foot, sprinted to our designated campsite in a race to beat us there.

For two people who had been travelling at a very relaxed and calm pace for the last nine months, we experienced 9 months worth of stress in the space of 6 minutes. We needed to zone out, it was all just a little too fast paced for us. We needed to go for a stroll, have a look at the pool that we'd heard so much about and find some calm amongst the mayhem that was engulfing us.
That’s when we found the pool.

We instantly deleted from our memory vault the entire check in process as soon as we saw the pool. Aptly awarded, by me, the best pool we have seen in the whole of Australia – an infinity pool gazing straight over the lake with the Ranges as our backdrop... it was heavenly. Our blinkers were on, we no longer cared about the mass of people hovering around us, we were able to appreciate the beauty that surrounded us.

Once we had returned to the land of peace, it was time to seriously discuss the advertisement I had seen hanging on the Caravan Parks noticeboard. The funds were getting considerably low. Over the previous couple of weeks, we had began discussing various options available to us. Even though we still had options, we desperately didn't want to find ourselves digging into the backup savings. In a nutshell we were running out of cash.

Somehow though, we always seem to manage to land on our feet. Lake Argyle Cruises were looking for staff. Having not known anything about the cruises that ran on the lake, we were keen to check it out. After a rather impromptu and laid-back 'job interview' Tom and I had secured ourselves work.... 

I was working in the bookings office on the phones, selling cruises and taking bookings and Tom was the outdoors all-rounder prepping for cruises, cleaning the boats and he even built a chicken pen!

I put my painters hat on and got creative with making some new blackboard signs... 

I said I was creative... I never said I was artistic...

And my favourite...
Bada bum chi!

Staff night - Gourmet Pizzas in the homemade oven... yum yum!!

Not only were we living the dream working two of the coolest jobs ever, and not only did we make some great friends during our two weeks at Lake Argyle but we also got to score some seriously great perks. On our last day of work, after working 15 days straight, we got to have the afternoon off and jump on the Sunset Magic cruise. We all agreed that the sensible thing to do would have been for us to go on the cruise at the start of our employment but now, looking back, I'm really glad we didn't. Spending the last day of our work, finishing off our time at Lake Argyle cruising the Lake along with two of our new friends... was one of the most memorable experiences to date on our trip... it was absolutely 110% the best cruise we have EVER done (and I'm not just saying that because we worked there).  

Skipper Greg...

Croc infested waters!! And not just a few, there are 25,000+ crocodiles in Lake Argyle...

A one year old baby croc, about 30cm long...

Tom, me and Don

We had to do a drop off to the other Lake Argyle Cruises charter boat, 12 guys had been out on the water for 3 hours and were in need of their fifth carton of beer!

Jabiru nest...

The two rock nerds were just so perplexed by the local zebra rock. For once, I was not provided with a geological explanation. 

Feeding the Archer Fish & Catfish...

So that's where all the biscuits got to...

And for the best part... sunset swim with drinks and nibblies. 


Just call me Buddha. 

1800km from the QLD border and there were TOADS!!!! Urgh. Being a Queenslander, I just couldn't help myself. We took our shovel and plastic bag and went off in search of the disgusting little beasts. It became quite the tradition. Our record? 52 Toads beheaded in one night. Quite the achievement really!!
Mu ha ha ha!

Thank God we were there two weeks... that meant two doses of PANCAKE SUNDAY at the Caravan Park!! Yum Yum $6 for all you can eat!

Come here fishy, fishy, fishy... for once I was chief fish catcher. While Tom and Don were busy untangling lines and snagging pieces of carpet, I reeled in FIVE fish and even found time for a little snooze. I won't tell you that they were Mongrel Catfish that are terrible eating, nope, I'll just leave that part out. 

Boy this fish catching thing can get really exhausting...

Thankfully, not only were we blessed with a great working environment but we were also lucky enough to have a campsite perched right next to two of the best neighbours you could ever hope for. Fina and Don have been on the road for 3.5 years.. and there we were thinking 9 months was long! After about day two or three, all four of us had formed a great friendship and had some really great laughs. They too have a blog address, feel free to check out their happenings at 

While living the dream is all well and good in theory, unfortunately in today’s day and age we need to finance that dream somehow. Tom and I had roughly $24,000 in our bank account before when we left on the trip. At the start of the trip, we predicted that we would only be on the road for ten months so we had therefore budgeted for ten months. We quickly realised however that the whole of Australia was far too big to squeeze into a ten month timeframe so we stretched it out as much as we could. This in turn also meant stretching the budget.
We didn’t mind the thought of having to work during the trip. We’ve certainly learnt a thing or two about the best ways to find work when living on the road...

·         Try to be as flexible as possible. Don’t leave it until you’re down to your final dollars to look for work. This would leave you in a very compromising position, you’re not able to negotiate the terms of your employment to work in your favour and you’d probably be working somewhere that you wouldn’t enjoy as much.

·         Think of the experience. What could you learn from working at a particular place? Find somewhere that interests you and that you genuinely think you would enjoy working with. If you couldn’t think of anything worse than getting on your hands and knees in the stinking hot sun to pull dirty old potatoes out of the ground for $12 an hour... then don’t. While you may be working primarily for the money, ideally you’d want to be working for the experience as well.

·         Keep an eye out all of the time. Job vacancy signs on community noticeboards are always a winner. They’ll generally be found at Caravan Parks, outside Post Offices / Grocery Stores or Newsagencies.

·         Consider where you would be staying. What’s the town like? Would you feel comfortable staying in that town for 5 days / 2 weeks / 3 months? And, are you paying for accommodation or would it be included in your pay? Accommodation costs could possibly mean $200 +/- per week.

·         And the one that has worked for me with any job I have ever had... did you get a good feeling about the person who you initially spoke to? If it was a receptionist did he/she seem happy in their job? If it was your potential boss, did he/she strike you as being a genuinely nice person? First impressions last. Follow you gut.

Another thing to consider is how can you use your skills as an advantage? Maybe you don’t need to work for somebody else, maybe you can work for yourself. We’ve seen Masseuses, Hair Dressers, Dog Groomers, Beauticians, Car Washers, Coffee Vans, Singers / Performers, Candle Makers, Hat Makers – you name it they’re out there with a sign on the back of their rig earning cash in hand jobs on the road.
And of course, there’s plenty upon plenty of work in rural areas for tradesman. If only I knew how to build a house, fix a loo or paint a door frame... we’d be laughing!

My point is there are a lot of jobs out there. Sometimes, you just have to get a little creative and not be afraid to put it out there.

Tom and I have been extremely lucky. We’ve only had to work twice on the trip and both times we have been so incredibly well looked after. We thought we had a once in a blue moon experience when Pam and Phil at Mungerannie took us in like we were family and looked after us so amazingly well. But lucky for us, we were blessed with once again being spoiled rotten. Greg and Anne were two of the happiest, cruisiest people we had met during our travels. We loved working with them everyday so much that we almost felt guilty taking any money from them at all. (Which of course we still did and didn’t dare repeat that line to them J) Both of us are so grateful for feeling so comfortable and accepted, after travelling without a home for so many months it was a pleasant change to feel so welcomed.

Leaving Lake Argyle left us with mixed emotions. It was the same feeling we felt as we drove away from Pam and Phil at Mungerannie. We were of course excited to tackle the road ahead but we couldn't help but think about what and who we were leaving behind. There was a humbling feeling of belongingness regardless of how short lived it was. We also felt emptiness as we drove further and further away and began to recap the previous two weeks that just flew right by.
To think we almost continued past the turn off to Lake Argyle and sky rocketed our way to the Northern Territory. But fate stepped in and pointed us in the right direction, to a place where we left our mark and handed us memories that we will continue to reflect upon for years to come.

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