After landing ourselves an orange picking job to help towards our second year visa and hopefully earn us some funds we suddenly realised we knew nothing about this small town we would be calling home.
Named after the aboriginal phrase for ‘anything that flies’ – and trust me there are a lot of species of birds living here. Situated on the Murray River and around two hours from the Victorian border and Adelaide (In the opposite direction), it is known for its Orange Picking – although aware of this fact, we were fascinated to see the information centre with a massive orange on top and then every bin in town in the shape of an Orange.
It is a small town – population around 4000. Equipped with the bare essentials and not much else all on one main street, it reminds me of my little town at home but this is much more in the ‘middle of nowhere’! Not far from the main street is the Lions Park where you can find the football pitch and more importantly the enclosure of Kangaroos! The nearest towns are Renmark and Luxton but both are over 50km away from here.
The best part about the town is the riverfront, every weekend and many evenings we see families or groups of friends who flock down to the river with their boats and jet skis, most with wakeboards, tubes, water-skis etc. With BBQ areas and a beautiful setting we spent the first week forgetting where we were – it really reminded us of the time we spent on lakes in Northern Michigan. The river is also home to many house boats including ours – the Murray River Queen. Moored up permanently, we have prime viewing spot of all the water fun going on around us. We are yet to befriend a local with a boat but it is on the ‘to do’ list. The most beautiful thing about being on the river for me is the amazing sunrises I have seen, they definitely make getting up at 5am worthwhile.
Although a small town, even after a month I feel like there is so much more to see. Every morning we are driven to and from work past beautiful scenery, lagoons and viewpoints. These are places that seem to be too far to walk and without a car I feel unable to really explore my surrounds like I want to. Still we have found a few walks close by and plan to explore them on our next day off.
If you’re looking for seasonal work Waikerie seems to be a great little place to be. The businesses here thrive off the backpackers living in the town. It is a beautiful and quiet little riverside town but there is no real reason to visit while travelling Oz unless you are looking for seasonal work or boating the Murray River – then it would be rude not to stop.