Tasmania entices tourists with ‘odd jobs’ offer

Tasmania has launched a tongue-in-cheek “odd jobs” initiative to boost tourism during its winter months.

The Australian island state is offering people the opportunity to swap the “daily grind” of their job for an unusual temporary role during the off-season.

Paranormal investigator, wombat walker and stargazer are among the 10 jobs being advertised.

While the positions are unpaid, successful applicants will have all their expenses – including travel, food and hotels – covered by the Tasmanian tourist board.

The paranormal investigator role is voluntary and just for one day, Tourism Tasmania said.

It is open to those with an interest in “history and mystery” and involves picking up on paranormal activity using “the latest ghost-hunting equipment” at Willow Court, one of Australia’s oldest asylums.

Another role is as an “oyster organiser”, which entails sorting, cleaning and categorising oysters freshly harvested from Great Oyster Bay.

Importantly, there will also be opportunities to “taste-test” the oysters – though according to Tourism Tasmania, this is “purely for quality control”.

Train enthusiasts are invited to apply for the “puffer nut” role, another one-day job in which the applicant will join the crew on the Lynchford Express steam train as it travels along the Tasmanian west coast.

Also being sought are stargazers interested in joining Tasmania’s Astronomical Society for a night to observe the skies.

There are also jobs for truffle hunters, “wine whisperers” and wombat walkers willing to take the marsupials “on their morning waddle”.

Tourism Tasmania says that 1.25 million people visited the island last year – more than the previous year, but still shy of the 1.35 million visitors in 2019, before the pandemic.

Winter runs from May to August in Tasmania, where temperatures typically fall between 3-11C, Tourism Tasmania said.

“As temperatures drop during winter, we know Australians are seeking a well-being boost and a break from the daily grind,” Lindene Cleary, the authority’s chief marketing officer told local media.

Only adult residents currently living in Australia are eligible to apply for the roles, and must explain why they want to swap their day jobs for one of the “odd jobs” in under 50 words.

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