Tasmania Is Hiring for a ‘Wombat Walker’ and Other Odd Jobs

The Australian island state is trying to drum up tourism during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter

A wombat standing in short grass
The "wombat walker" will "coax [the wombats] out of bed to get them moving" and "[motivate] them to complete their morning walks." Keiichihiki / Getty Images

Searching for a new job? Tasmania is looking for curious, adventurous professionals to fill a wide array of unusual roles—including a “wombat walker,” who will be responsible for taking the stocky marsupials on their morning jaunts and feeding them snacks.

Tasmania has posted a series of “odd jobs” in a bid to boost tourism during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, which runs from June to August. All of the gigs are unpaid, though the local tourism board will cover the cost of travel, lodging and food.

“Do you crave a break from the rinse and repeat of the daily grind?” asks the wombat walker job description. “Swap your day job for an odd job: a uniquely Tasmanian experience designed to shake you by the shoulders and wake you up to the wonders of winter.”

The gigs are designed to offer “creative stimulation; connection to local communities, culture and nature; and making things with your own two hands,” per Tourism Tasmania.

“The stuff that makes us feel alive,” the tourism board adds.

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But don’t start updating your resume just yet. Unfortunately, the positions are only open to adults currently residing in Australia. Still, the job descriptions are entertaining to read—and, as intended, they highlight some of what makes Tasmania special.

Wombats, for instance, are stocky animals native to Australia. As marsupials, female wombats carry their young in pouches for about six months after giving birth. While newborn wombats are only about 0.5 inches long, they measure about three feet long as adults. They are known for being quite cute; a few years ago, one Tasmanian island started asking tourists to pledge not to chase them around or try to pick them up.

The wombat walker will work for just one day at a wildlife park in Bicheno, a town on Tasmania’s east coast. This worker will be responsible for tasks such as “[coaxing the wombats] out of bed to get them moving” and “motivating them to complete their morning walks.”

Meanwhile, the “truffle snuffler” gig involves hanging out with trained truffle dogs as they search for black winter truffles among oak trees. The successful candidate will also have a chance to taste the delicacies “to ensure they meet the highest standards,” per the listing.

The person who snags the role of “paranormal investigator” will be required to spend the night inside the maximum-security ward at Willow Court, one of the oldest asylums in Australia. While there, the investigator will use “the latest ghost-hunting equipment” to help document any unexplained disturbances.

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The Australian island state is also looking for a “wine whisperer,” a “cave conductor,” an “oyster organizer” and a “sauna stoker,” among other roles.

Tasmanian officials launched the odd jobs initiative to drum up publicity and help tourism rebound to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, Tasmania saw 1.35 million visitors, compared with 1.25 million last year, per BBC News’ Anna Lamche.

During this time of year, the climate in Tasmania can get quite chilly, with highs ranging from the 30s to the 50s.

“As temperatures drop during winter, we know Australians are seeking a well-being boost,” says Lindene Cleary, Tourism Tasmania’s chief marketing officer, to the Australian publication Mediaweek’s Alisha Buaya.

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