Armchair Traveller

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How to give back to the Aussie outback

How to give back to the Aussie outback
Image: AAP

Live The Farmer Wants a Wife life

Fancy turning off your iPhone or Blackberry for a week and trading fast-paced city life for a country detox? Want to unleash your inner cowboy/girl? One outback Aussie initiative is looking for city slickers who want to see the country and lend a helping hand to under-resourced communities in the bush.

As part of National Volunteer Week 2011, from May 9-15, Frontier Services' Outback Links program is looking for budding volun-tourists who want to see perfect Australian landscapes while helping isolated families recover from the recent floods and other hardships of rural life. Locations include Broome, Carnarvon, Alice Springs, Coober Pedy and Longreach.

"People in rural and particularly remote Australia do not have the same support structures that are available to people in cities and towns," said Outback Links coordinator Davida Melksham. "The nearest person to ask for help can be a hundred kilometres away."

Skilled volunteers are required for short periods of time to perform various duties that include teaching, gardening, feeding animals, carpentry, physiotherapy, computer work, plumbing, childcare and farmhand work. Best of all, the program lets travellers see amazing parts of Australia through the eyes of a local.

READ MORE: Why you must visit Queensland now

READ MORE: The joys of volunteer travel

One volunteer, Denise Williams, travelled in a motorhome to a property in outback Queensland where she spent three weeks helping out the community.

"You experience something you can't get when you are travelling as a tourist," she said. "You meet people and see how they live and that adds and enriches your life. It gives more purpose to travelling around."

See around 50 opportunities on the Outback Links website

Related video: Tropical North Queensland's return to paradise

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