We arrived in Australia in May intending to crew on a yacht for 3 months. Having never done it before we found after 2 months that we were missing time on land so agreed with the skipper that we would leave.
Friends heard about this and told us their neighbour had just been rushed into hospital and would we like to house-sit and look after their 2 cats. This house was in Tewantin, near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and next door to our friends. As if this wasn't perfect enough we had satellite TV, broadband Internet, swimming pool and use of a car. All the owners were concerned about was having their pets cared for and the house being occupied. So September was taken care of.
During October we hoped to visit good friends in Ocean Grove. They told us we would be welcome but they had just booked a 3 week holiday from the middle of that month and would we like to stay on and house-sit whilst they were away. Now Ocean Grove in Victoria is a lovely seaside town and our friends have a brand new house within walking distance of the shops and beach so that is going to be wonderful.
On a crowded bus in Vietnam we first met Jude & Garth back in 2004. They live in Mildura and we always visit when in the area and have become good friends. Previously we house sat and looked after their dogs, ducks and chickens and this year when we heard they were going to be away for the whole of December we glady volunteered again. So December will see us in Mildura enjoying a swimming pool and use of a car to explore more of the area.
We have been lucky in doing these house sits for friends and word of mouth works very well (we have already had to turn down an offer of another one near Brisbane over Christmas and New Year). However this is now big business and House Carers is just one of many sites where you can register to either find a house or find a sitter.
Many people have pets that they don't want to put into kennels so a love of animals helps but all this information is listed on the websites. Duration varies from a few days to months at a time and these opportunities are worldwide. We never set out to do this kind of thing but are now starting to enjoy it and may actively seek positions in the future.