When we had our backpacker hostel in Townsville, North Queensland,
we got to hear about lots of different ways to earn money on holiday .
Most were ordinary but others were extraordinary. There are some
unusual and exciting jobs for those who are prepared to find them . The
pay is not always the greatest but they can lead to some interesting
experiences and take you to places you wouldn't otherwise see.
Geologist's assistant: Over the years, we had a dozen or so guests who
managed to land this one . They stayed at our hostel when they were on
leave. I don't know what they were paid but they always booked into private
rooms. Some had qualifications in geology. Most didn't. All were physically
fit, outward-going and (with one memorable exception) male. They were
flown all over northern Australia. A typical assignment would be a helicopter-
drop in a creek bed. There, they collected samples and waited to be picked
up. Jobs like this come and go. My contacts tell me they still exist. If you
think you can find one, devote the time and energy to hunt around. Explore
the web pages of Australian exploration and mining companies. Think about
what you have to offer and present yourself clearly when you contact them.
Don't lie: the mining and exploration people have an eagle eye for crap
Marine scientist's dive buddy: Divers need buddies for safety reasons.
Marine scientists are no exception and volunteers sometimes provide that
service. I know nothing about pay. I do know that a dedicated diver will have
opportunities that money can't buy. There was a time when all you needed
was an Open Water Diving Licence . Those days have gone in Australia and
you will require higher qualifications now.
Biologist's assistant: Biologists go on field trips and need company for
various reasons. One is security. It's not always safe to wander around the
Australian bush by yourself, particularly if you are female. There is safety in
numbers. We had frequent requests from universities for suitable people to
accompany research staff on expeditions. Students usually perform that
function but are not available during term time. That provides opportunities
for those of you who live in the Northern Hemisphere. Your academic year is
out of phase with ours. If you want to be a biologist's assistant (or