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UluruIf you’re heading to Australia on a working holiday visa you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only place you could find work is on the East Coast. Big mistake. Read on for three tales of desert stars, secret canyons, buzzing cities and a whole world of working opportunities you’d never even considered. Welcome to Australia’s Northern Territory.

CLAIRE MCKINLAY

I ended up in the Northern Territory largely by mistake, I decided I would like to go and see Uluru and then head to the West Coast to look for work but when I got to Alice Springs I loved it. It’s a weird wee place but full of character (and characters). I asked the tour company I was travelling with if they had any work and, two years later, I finally left Alice.

Thanks to my job I got to spend my time exploring the Red Centre which is like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere else in the world, miles and miles of nothing then, suddenly, a small mountain range, or a big red rock! I also travelled the Stewart Highway between Alice and Darwin. As you travel North the landscape very gradually begins to dramatically change, the termite mounds start to appear and they get bigger and bigger until they’re over 7 feet tall.Northern Territory There’s some amazing natural hot springs just south of Darwin (not that you really need warm water in their climate) as well as brilliant waterholes (just make sure you follow all advice regarding the crocs).

Be prepared for heat in the summer in the centre, some days it was so hot the rain evaporated before it even hit the ground! But it can get pretty chilly in the winter especially overnight – more than once I woke up in a frost covered swag. By far my favourite thing to do when I lived in NT was camping, every chance we could we’d grab our swags in the back of a car and head out into the bush, find a spot, light a fire (where there weren’t fire warnings) cook up some food and sleep under the stars. You’ll never get over the amazing view of the stars and milky way from the Aussie outback.

Victoria Strong

During my first year in Aus I did my 88 days of rural work (to qualify for a 2nd year visa) 8 hours inland from Darwin in a roadhouse right by an aboriginal community. Very long days but I got to see so many places and experience so many things I wouldn’t have if hadn’t ventured out.

After my first taste of Northern Territory, I spent 9 months of my second year visa in Darwin. I started in a travel shop and, after 6 months, went to work in a bar down the waterfront. We spent our weekends and bank holidays visiting Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks.They are not accessible in the wet season (October-April) without a 4×4 so we went in the dry which meant we could swim in the waterfalls as the crocs had gone.

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