The vast majority of the country of Australia is in fact barren Outback land. Because life is so sparse in the Outback, the need to produce large cattle ranches – those larger than some European countries – has become common practice. Combined with the romantic depiction of said lifestyle thanks to the 2008 movie ‘Australia’, the Australian Outback is almost synonymous with cattle ranches, as well as a tourism destination for some of the more adventurous travelers down under.
Cattle ranching in the Outback is extremely hard and demanding work. Those involved in raising cattle work just about every day of the week, and often need to travel and live away from home while doing the mustering. The dry seasons bring excessive drought in many areas, which also means little grassland and feed for the cattle. Extended grazing patterns means cowboys and cowgirls set off into the remote Outback for days or weeks at a time.
Tourists and visitors on working holiday visas in Australia might find it exciting to live and work as an Aussie jack-a-roo or jill-a-roo (cowboy or cowgirl) on an Outback cattle ranch. Courses are also available that give interested individuals the real-life experience before setting off to find longer-term work.
Most travelers will prefer to visit a cattle ranch instead of trying to work there. In that case, searching through travel guides and local tourism websites can provide a list of cattle ranch options. The “Golden Outback” in Western Australia lists several options for cattle ranch getaways with rooms that range from complete luxury down to camping. Outback Beds is another good site that features outback accommodation throughout New South Wales and Queensland, while Southern Crossings covers both Australia and New Zealand.