One of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia is Ayers Rock right in the center of the red inland Australia. It is called red because it is miles and miles of red sand desert. The rock sits up in the middle of all this sand and is the only thing to see for miles around. Because of the popularity of the area it has been declared a national park and a manned gateway only gives you access when you pay the fee. Many people do pay the fee because there are thousands of visitors every year. It must generate a huge turnover which goes toward the local Aboriginal community who now are the traditional owners of the rock.
I discovered the rock when my wife arrived from the Philippines with two daughters and none of them could drive. We needed to find four jobs all together and we were able to do that at Ayers Rock Resort which is very near to the rock itself and caters for all the tourists who visit the area. We drove out there which is a feet in itself being several days drive from whichever direction you come. You are driving through endless days of red sand which can get a bit boring once the novelty wears off. The resort is part of the township of Yulara which was a purpose built town by the government to cater for tourists. It had about five hotels and caravan and camping grounds and the whole town was bought by the resort company. As the leases expired on all the commercial businesses the resort took them over until they now own and operate everything there except the bank and post office.
This means that there is plenty of work there and it is not unusual to find almost 1000 staff in the peak times. After all, a thousand tourists stay every night and many more when it is busy. The town is totally self contained as it is miles from anywhere else. The nearest town is Alice Springs which is 550 kls away. Many tourists arrive in Alice looking for the rock not realizing they still have to get on a bus or hire a car for the long drive. So Yulara generates it's own electricity from gas generators. The water is pumped up from underground and treated and delivered around the town. It has it's own garbage landfill and sewerage treatment works. Phone and internet services come by satellite via a huge tower. All in all, Yulara is a complete community with a police station, medical center, small hospital and flying doctor connection to Alice Springs, primary school, fire station, airport etc.
The airport is large and has two major carriers operating several flights a day so you can fly right there which is the easiest. Every now and then an aircraft will refuse to start because of the heat and a service man has to be flown in from Alice Springs causing long delays which upsets the passengers. The heat out on the tarmac can be in the 50s and summer temperatures in Yulara are usually over 40 degrees. The company provides staff accommodation with air conditioning and free electricity so that makes it all bearable. Although they do have trouble getting staff to work out there even though they provide many facilities.
Staff have access to their own bar and club facilities and gymnasium and swimming pools but still wont stay very long. The company has to rely on overseas workers on temporary visas and import some of the specialist jobs like chefs from overseas. I was in the commercial size laundry out there and 80% of our staff was from Korea on temporary visas. We washed about 40 tonne of laundry a week catering for five hotels and many restaurants. The lifestyle is different and the opportunity is there to work extra shifts and save some money. Many people come there for quick promotions which happen because of the difficulty getting staff. They can then leave for a better job with the extra credentials on their resume.
We had four year there and one of our daughters stayed for five. She started making beds in the housekeeping department and finished up as assistant manager in front office. If you can adjust to the lifestyle there are opportunities for young people. It is not really a bad place to live and work. The red desert surroundings are certainly unique and there is always something to do. You will spot wandering families of camels grazing the sand hills or dingoes sneaking around the town looking for something to eat. The local lizards and snakes will keep you on your toes and there is always some one leaving having a farewell party. Most leave by plane and so dump all the stuff they haven't been able to sell. TVs and microwave ovens and other assorted bits of household goods are always free for the picking up.You can fly in with a suitcase and go to work. Your accommodation is furnished and everything else you will need is available at the local supermarket.
Too many of the young people are always broke waiting for the next payday. What the company pays out in wages they get back in the till at the company owned supermarket or company owned club as well as the rent they deduct from your pay. They have half a dozen tourist shops there selling all the usual tourist stuff along with several restaurants and the hotels. The turnover is massive and the security guys are kept busy emptying the tills and delivering the cash to the secure cash counting room. There, the cash counter is locked in and processes all the cash and arranges for security to deliver it to the bank. One of these guys once succumbed to temptation and filled his car boot with cash and headed out. They caught him before he got to Darwin. There is only one long road so he didn't have a hope.
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