Recent Posts

Grape Picking in Australia

Grape Picking in Australia is a big business and wine is one of the biggest agricultural products in the country.

You need to have a working visa to pick grapes in Australia.

There are many different regions that produce wine and at harvest they need a large casual workforce to pick the harvest.

When the harvest takes place is determined by the weather but I have provided an time frame of when the harvest begins.

Here are the best regions to find Grape Picking work by state

South Australia

Barossa Valley – harvest Feb – Mar

Fleureau Peninsula – harvest Feb – Mar

Clare Valley – harvest Feb – Mar

Coonawarra – harvest Feb – Mar

The harvest can last up to 2-3 months depending on the yield.


Mornington Peninsula harvest Feb -Mar

Mildura/Robinvale Table Grapes and Wine Grapes Late Dec to Feb

Yarra Valley harvest Feb – Mar

Rutherglen – harvest Feb – Mar

New South Wales

Hunter Valley – harvest Jan/Feb

Griffith/Leeton harvest Feb/Mar

Western Australia

Margaret River – harvest Jan

Swan Valley – harvest Jan


Tamar Valley – harvest Feb-Mar


Stanhope – harvest Feb/Mar

So you can see that the harvest times for grapes around Australia are pretty much the same time but if you wanted to pencil in January through to March you should be able to find grape picking work in all the southern states. South Australia might be your best bet because of how much work there is to be done. and consequently you should be able to get a longer period of work. If there was an early harvest in Hunter Valley and a late harvest in South Australia you might be able to do this back to back.

I have added an old ebook that I used to have. There is info about getting working holiday visas. Some of there guidelines have been changed since COVID so please don’t take these as good advice. However the ebook has many telephone numbers that will be able to help you get work as you are travelling around Australia.

Best Railway Website on the Internet

Today I’d like to give you a bit of information about what I think is the best railway website on the internet.

The Man in Seat 61 covers the entire world of railways. I personally found this website very useful when I travelled through Vietnam by railway a few years back. The website gives a lot of information about the trains, the timetable and the journey itself. Fortunately it doesn’t get caught up writing about the destination because this would be a mistake.

The website is the absolute first place you should go if you want information on train trips.

It is particularly good at giving information about not so travelled lines and the information about train travel in Asia is first class and is generally somewhat difficult to find elsewhere.

The website is run by Mark Smith who worked for British Rail managing a number of railway stations. What information he hasn’t written has been provided by other travellers who have travelled the route and have provided Mark with the information.

Trains are my favorite form of transport so I’ve spent a fair bit of time having a look around on this website and I would thoroughly recommend using it to research your railway journeys through the world.

If you are interested in rail journeys in Europe I’ve added a couple links where you are able to buy Eurail cards or Interrail cards.

Eurail Cards

Interrail Cards

The Australian Swag – A bit of a history lesson

If you’ve been in Australia for any length on time you would heard the word swag or a swagman.

Its a historical term because a swagman was an itinerant farm worker – these guys used to walk around to farms looking for work and swagmen were very common in the 1890’s recession in Australia although I heard a few stories about my grandfather in the depression in the 30’s riding a bike 120 km into the countryside looking for work which is kind of the same. A story that used to be conveniently peddled out to me when I didn’t have work.

Anyway a swagman would have a swag which was a bed that they would roll up on their back and they would store their belongings in the rolled up pack.

So where you most likely heard the term swagman would be in Waltzing Matilda a poem (then song) written by Banjo Paterson which was written in 1895 about a swagman that was walking through the bush and finds a sheep that he slaughters for food and ultimately is caught by the police.

The first line is “Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong” and this is where you have likely heard the term.

So the swag eventually became a staple of the camping industry in Australia because its ideal for the conditions.

A swag is lightweight (historically you’d have it on your back) and designed for warm nights but to keep water off you if it does rain. In Australia you gets all types of climate and a swag is designed fir any type of climate because you can change the type of bedding in the swag if you wish.

Swags are great if you want to camp under the stars and enjoy the outdoors while still being safe from snakes and insects.

Swags today are a little different with modern design and build quality it provides a great alternative to a tent and is particularly  good  for motorcycle riders as they could easily store the swag on the bike or if you are in a car and want to travel light.

Is it better than a tent? Difficult question I’m not sure its better or worse but is just different. But the benefit of a swag is it’s very easy and quick to setup and pack up.  There are not as many parts as well so no issues with missing tent pegs.

Earning Frequent Flyer Points with Agoda Max Points

Earning Frequent Flyer Points with Agoda Max Points

When I travel in Asia I nearly always book a part, if not all of my accommodation with Agoda.

I find that you get a pretty good rate and they also have a wide range of accommodation types and budgets.

I’ve never tried to get points on Agoda because I never realised I could get them however I would get points on my credit card only.

Agoda Max allows you to obtain points on your Hotel stay in a large amount of airline schemes. You choose which account you would like the points sent to.

You are able to send points to the following partners:

Aer Lingus AERCLUB, Air China Phoenix Miles, Air Asia Big Loyalty, American Airlines AAdvantage, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Asiana Airlines, Avios, Bonus Link, British Airways Executive Club, China Airlines, China Eastern, Etihad Guest, Eva Air, Bangkok Airways Flyer Bonus, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Air India Flying Returns, Sri Lankan Airways, Hainan Airlines, Garuda Miles, Cebu Pacific GetGo, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Fortune Wings Club, Iberia Plus, Japan Airlines, Jet Privilage, L Points, Vietnam Airlines Lotusmiles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Meridiana Club, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles, Oman Air Sindbad, Philippine Airlines, Pins, Plus, Qatar Privilege Club, Reward U, Royal Skies, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, BDO Rewards, Thai Royal Orchid Plus, The Card, TudoAzul, Milage Plus United, Velocity, Waon Point.

So you can see that there are a large number of partners to send your points to. When you book your points you need to look at the price and sometimes you will see options of a higher price with higher points or lower amount of points with a lower price, you can choose depending on how much you want the points.

Create Your Account

Qantas Frequent Flyer points hack – keeping your account current – updated 2020

Qantas Frequent Flyer Points Hack

If you have a Qantas Frequent Flyer account you may or may not know that you need to make at least 1 transaction that increases your point balance every 18 months to keep your account active.

If you don’t do this you will lose the points you have earned in your account.

My housemate was relating his story to me. He was given 50,000 points as a part of a sales incentive where he worked and the points were parked in his account – I doubt he knew the password to get access to this account. Where he works he gets a few of these incentives normally its mobile phones.

Anyway after a year or so he decided to check out his account and do something with the points – well the points were gone because the account had not been used for over a year.

Accumulating Qantas Frequent Flyer Points with eBay

So what is this hack that could have saved his points – well it’s ebay.

All he needed to do was log into Qantas Frequent Flyer Account go to the Frequent Flyer menu – Earn Points then – Shopping. That takes you to You then find the ebay link which will say that you can earn 1 point for each $1 you spend on ebay.

All you need to do is find a book or a DVD something cheap and then you will get the points in your account and the account stays open for another 12 months.

You need to be aware though that you need to have cookies enabled in your browser otherwise your sale won’t be tracked by Qantas Frequent Flyers.

Qantas Well Being App

Another free way to be able to keep your account active is to download the Qantas Well Being App. You also need to download a fitness app that tracks the amount of steps you’ve done. There are daily sleep challenges where you need to have a specific amount of time where you don’t use your phone.

The amount of points can add up. I’ve accumulated over 1000 points in this way although I’m really only using it to keep my account active. You can also accumulate 150 points for each friend who signs up to a maximum of 3000 points

Easy way to make 1500 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points

Good news everyone, here’s an easy way to make 1500 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.

You may have seen this on because they are promoting it as well.

If you read my article Travelodium Monthly Results you would see that I have over 100,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points. I’ve had one return trip to Singapore that I have gained from Qantas points however this time I’m trying to save a bigger number of points hopefully to sit up the front of the plane and have a nicer experience.

Qantas have health insurance called Qantas Assure you are able to earn points for any insurance product you buy on a 1:1 basis.

This brings me to the 1500 Qantas points, which Qantas call Wellness Rewards. If you enroll for the Wellness Rewards 28 day trial you can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points for going for a walk.

By downloading the Qantas Assure app, members are earning points for everyday activities such as walking the dog, cycling to work, taking the stairs at the office and swimming.

It costs nothing to get the 28 day trial and is ideal if you need some easy points to keep your account current.