The reason we came back to Australia this time round was to try to get a job at one of the ski resorts. We had been unsuccessful with our online applications earlier in the year due to visa issues, so we thought the next best thing would be to turn up and find work the old fashion way, face to face. In order to do this we needed to get to a town called Jindabyne, which is at the bottom of the Snowy Mountains and the closest town to the three Ski resorts, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. Once we had bought our car in Sydney it was late in the day so we decided to only drive to Canberra as this is only two hours away. We also realised it was the weekend and heading to the ski resorts to hand out CV’s might not be the best idea, so we hung out in Canberra for a few days. We explored the area, which included the shopping centres as it was only getting colder and our clothes we had been wearing in the Philippines weren’t going to cut it. Whilst exploring we went to the parliament building which is located on a huge roundabout and witnessed an aboriginal protest.
The next day we headed to Jindabyne not knowing what to expect. There is only one hostel in Jindabyne so when we checked in and found out we were pretty much the only guests.. we were a little surprised. We started printing Cv’s off, walking around this tiny town to get more of a feel for the area. As I (Milly) have never skied before I have no idea how anything works or where you stay when you ski, this is all a learning experience for me! It became quickly apparent that the two weeks before the ski season starts the whole town seems to go on holiday, a kind of calm before the snowy storm. This wasn’t helpful as our face to face approach for job hunting went straight out the window.
We drove to Thredbo which is one of the most popular ski resort and started to ask around about jobs. As it is located in a national park we have to pay $17 a day to enter to hand out CV’s or talk to people, which started to add up as most of the locals were also on holiday before the season kicks off, so we were told to come back in a few days. Not only were most of the shops closed, but the locals who had already started work were complaining to us how hard it is for them to find accommodation on the resort. They explained they were living in Jindabyne which is a half an hour drive in good conditions. Not ideal for a daily commute through the snow. We were only trying to buy coffee and we got a ‘you should have applied earlier’ from a barista…thanks HUN but I wasn’t about to bother you with our visa sob story…We suddenly realised that if they couldn’t find accommodation on the resort then neither could we and the hour drive to and from work in snow looked like it might be our only option. We also learnt that most of the work was housekeeping which didn’t offer accommodation so we started to let go of the dream of working and living at Thredbo. Some lovely locals told us about a Facebook page which most of the town of Jindabyne use to find staff for the winter season, so we went back to the hostel to check it out. This page proved extremely useful as we emailed every single person advertising work on there with lots of responses. We actually got offered 6 jobs, unfortunately none came with accommodation.
We had spent a few days in the hostel in Jindabyne, mainly because I had the flu, sending emails etc and finally we received an email for a joint Skype interview with a couple from a lodge in Charlottes Pass. The WiFi wasn’t great but we managed to have our first joint interview for the roles of live-in help at a private members lodge. Having an interview with my boyfriend is probably one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had. We have never had to sell ourselves as a couple before and I felt like it was an intense version of meet the parents. This particular job advertised for a couple, so we were pretty lucky to have seen this kind of job. It came with living quarters for me and Olly and it was helping out around the lodge with the couple that are running it this year. It seemed perfect! We knew there were others interviewing for this role but we fell in love with the idea of it. We were offered a chance to go and have a look around as Charlottes Pass is the most remote of the ski resorts, once it snows and shuts the roads you are stuck there…or you have to pay $$$$ to use the snow overground to the next ski resort. Over the next few days we went to see the lodge and meet Jules and Stephan. As soon as we left we both looked at each other knowing we both really loved it and really hope we were successful with the job. Being in the area helped us massively as the next day we received the call we had got the jobs!!!! We were so bloody excited we went out for a celebratory pizza..which is a luxury as eating out is so expensive here.
We traveled back to Canberra to get some bits for the car and stock up on toiletries for the next few months and then headed back to Jindabyne. We stuck around for the ski sale which a few locals told us about and managed to get all our ski and snowboard gear for extremely cheap prices. The only thing we bought brand new were our boots as apparently that is the most important part. Safe to say my new boots are so much more comfortable than the rentals I’m used to! We stayed in a different location in Jindabyne which was essentially a cabin within a caravan park. It was amazing, there was a sauna and jacuzzi which was absolute luxury, we indulged!!
We took all of our heavy boots and toiletries back up to Charlotte’s Pass before it snows and they shut the roads. Once it snows we would have had to have bought chains for the car wheels and struggled to get there in our 2 wheel drive. We unloaded everything and waved goodbye to Jules and Stephan as we had 3 weeks until we officially started work.
We made a plan to do a mini road trip which involves camping to try to save money as we have to make our savings stretch another month. We have done road trips before but in huge camper vans which had a bed and somewhere to sit and cooking facilities so we knew we could do it again. Olly was a scout so he loves camping and the outdoors, me on the other hand, I have never camped or willingly slept in a car. I asked my Dad why we had never camped as a family and he said because we wouldn’t have anywhere for my Mum to plug her hairdryer in. That moment right there, I could finally see myself in both parents, likes the outdoors but prefers nice hair.
Wish us luck for our next journey on the road!