Larissa, Germany

Based in Karratha, WA

I’m Larissa from Germany and I’ve been an Au Pair in Karratha for 5 months. Whenever I think back to this time, I feel kind of homesick. Homesick, because the family I stayed with, the friends I made and the city I lived in made me feel like I was home.

Coming to Karratha was one of the best decisions I ever made. I remember being so insecure about what I was doing, if I could stay away from home for that long, on the other side of the world. I had doubts and fears, but they disappeared the moment I saw that little boy running towards me when I got out the plane. After two days of flying, nothing felt better than coming to a family that was so excited to see me and so happy I arrived, I forgot that I was tired and far away from home!

I stayed in a beautiful family, with two kids and a lovely dog! Little Flynn and Mahkayla got closer and closer to me every day. Whenever I felt homesick, all it took was a smile, a hug or a kiss to make me feel happy again! I think the most beautiful thing about being an Au Pair is that with every day you can see and, much more important, feel how the kids begin to trust you, how they become comfortable with you and how it becomes so natural to them, that you are there, when they wake up in the morning and at night, when they go to sleep. I remember waving at my host mum Erin so excited, when Mahkayla sat on my lap for the first time!

As an Au Pair you get to learn how to take responsibility of the kids you live with. When you take them to school, take them on play dates or to the park. What I loved most about Karratha is that nearly everyone lives around the corner. You’ll just call the other Au Pairs to meet up at your favourite park and everyone is there to enjoy the day with you within 15 minutes. I loved the days at Dampier Beach, the barbecues with all the people I met and the time we spent at Kindergym, Rhyme time or Hearson’s Cove! Karratha is different. Everyone knows big cities, but when do you get the chance to live in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by red sand and the heat. I never liked the heat that much, but Karratha made it a part of me! No summer in Germany ever feels hot to me since my stay in Karratha!

I got to visit Perth and other cities while I was in Australia, but no city ever got my heart as Karratha did! My family in Karratha took me to beautiful cities around home. We went to Broome for New Year’s Eve, we went on boat trips and I got to see Millstream Chichester National Park.

One thing I didn’t enjoy were the flies! that fly into your mouth when you laugh to hard and I hated saying goodbye. But in spite of the flies and the goodbyes I just loved it. Of course I felt homesick some time. Of course not every day is just good. But if I think back I only remember the good ones. I got to watch Mahkayla learning to talk and Flynn learning to write and read at school. I learned that whenever you want emphasise something in Australia, you just have to use the word ‚bloody ‘, that you don’t need any more shoes than thongs in Karratha and that you can call two places that are about 15.000 km apart your home.

So, yes, if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would choose the same family, the same city and the same time. Karratha is a very special place to go to as an Au Pair. I got to meet a lot of lovely families and I had the privilege to stay with one that made me feel like a family member! I really hope one day I get the chance to come back and see them again!

Pia, Germany

Based in Dampier, WA

G’Day Mate!

I’m Pia 22 years old Educator from Germany and I’m living in Dampier since 2 months and I still got 4 months left. I tried to google Karratha before I came here but the only thing I found was the beach, shopping center and the mines. But the things around are amazing like the Karijini national park, Broome, Coral Bay and Exmouth.

This was also my first Aussie experience when my host parents told me that these spots are all in the near. The truth about that is that nothing is really close for German people because you need to drive about 6 ­-8 hours to get there.  Since I'm here I think it's an amazing part of Australia, the red earth and the red mountains, bushes and dry trees and the awesome sunsets. I totally fall in love with the amazing starlight sky, with a black sky, so black that you don't see your hands. I think it is one of the best I ever seen. And I'm so happy to see that every day.

I like the town, everything important is in the near and here are heaps au pairs so you can also make a lot of friends. Every time you meet people they ask you “how are you going”, don’t wonder about that it’s the normal way to say hello.  So everyone here is friendly and they are all easy going. Like my family, I think I’m really happy to have my family and I wish a lot of au pairs have the same luck with their families.

My Host mum is the woman that runs this au pair business and she is really lovely. She tries to help me with everything and understand me in every situation.

She helps me to make my dream come true.

It’s the first time I’m looking after an 18 months old girl and I love her. She is cute and she cries when I’m leaving the room, this makes me feel like a family member, so I don’t get homesick here.

Since one week I work with another family during the week as well just because my host mum wants more time with her lovely daughter.  This means I work 2 days a week with my host family and 3 days a week with another family in Karratha.  This is the same as the Shared Au Pair Placement.  My second family have two kids, one boy 2.5 years old and a little girl 8 months old. I think it is nice to look after two families -  you learn more about Australian people and it's always good get to know people and see how they live at the other end of the world.

Finally I would say that you never get used to the heat and I really don’t know how I should survive in Germany when I can’t wear my thongs every day.

Aileen, Germany

Based in Karratha, WA

Hi I’m Aileen 21 years old from Germany. I’m in Karratha since 5 months and have just one month left. I came up here with no expectation. I found my family on Facebook while I was on my travels and didn’t do any research. I asked my host mum and the Au pair before me if it has a shopping centre, if I would be isolated and if it’s easy to find here au pairs / friends. They both said the same: here is a big shopping centre, a lot of people and heaps of au pairs. I was really happy after I heard that and looked forward to come here.

I met the Family in Perth and they were all so friendly and open that I felt welcome from the first second. I stayed 2 weeks with them in Perth and so I really loved the kids before we came to Karratha. I was sitting on the window in the airplane on our way home to Karratha, that was probably the worst thing ever! Every minute we flew was a minute were everything get more red, more isolated and lonelier.

I was really shocked when I realized that Karratha isn’t really a city. It’s more like a large village. Well the people here are right when they call Karratha a city because every other town around is even smaller! But it was already too late for me to change the family because my family is really great. My Host mum is like a friend I love the kids like there are my own siblings. So I decided to give Karratha a chance.

I met really easy my first Au pair friend because she was a friend of the au pair before me and our kids liked each other. And I came in the right time up here ­ summer holidays. So I had plenty of time to entertain the kids every time. After I get to know the other Au pairs here, and here are heaps, I felt better. But I wasn’t really happy because they had one Pub where they go every weekend and one club where you can go afterwards (because every pub closes at midnight) and I like to have options.

I thought my weekends for the next 6 months would look similar. But I was wrong! The other Au pair took me in my first month to a Christmas singing event, the millstream national park and we did a BBQ at the beach. So my weekends were full of things I never thought of. Now after 5 months I would say it was really good that I gave Karratha a chance, because I have a great time here! I found a couple of really good friends, had a lot of amazing weekend road trips, a lot wine and an amazing time! If someone asked me if I would do it again?! Yes.

I love the heat! Can’t thing of the time where I have to go back to Germany and have just 25°C in summer. I start freezing when it gets under 30°C. And I love wearing thongs every time! You don’t have to think about that anymore because you wear them just 24/7. And I think it’s just really Aussie to live here. It’s like they want to show you that in the really bad movies. They swear, drink everywhere is red sand and the people are so friendly and helpful. So if you get the chance to come up here take it! It is really different ­ trust me! But I think it’s the best way to explore Australia. 

Sina, Germany

Based in Karratha, WA

G’day mates, I’m Sina, a 22-year-old German and I’m living as an Au Pair in Karratha since 3 months now.  I love to be here in this unique area of Australia it’s hot every day in summer as in winter so you will never worry about your clothes – shorts, t-shirt and thongs (Australian word for Flip Flops) are always perfect.

In my mind you can find here the amazing part of Australia everyone is thinking about: the red earth and the red mountains, bushes and dry trees, blue skies and awesome big clouds in front of the sunsets. So I often meet up with my Au Pair friends who I met here in Karratha to drive to a beach or hike up a mountain to watch the amazing, stunning sunsets. We also meet up in one of the restaurants where you regularly can listen to live music and enjoy the warm nights.

We also made some trips during the weekend like to Coral Bay and Exmouth. Usually it’s no problem because most of the Au Pairs have their own car also for their private use. And how the Aussie’s say: these Spots are JUST a 6 hours’ drive away – unbelievable but no long distance for Australia.

We have a lot to do in Karratha as well. Here’s a small Shopping Centre where you get everything you need. There’s a big Sport Spot, too. It includes a Pool Area, gym, Sport lessons and an oval. BUT you can also join a local Sports Team like me. I started to play Australian Football and met many local people and it’s a lot of fun! Many families have also their own boat because here is one of the best fishing spots. So every Au Pair is going out with the boat at least once! So I never got bored and because of that I never felt homesick!

Unfortunately, not everything runs perfectly. I already swapped my family. It wasn’t an easy decision but it just didn’t work out with one of the kids of my first family. BUT no worries: I had much support by my Au Pair friends, my current host mum and Hayley also offered help and was worried if everything is working out for me.

Because I love to live in this unique place I decided to stay in another family in Karratha. I’m more than happy about this decision. I found the perfect host family for me. I really feel like home. I take care for a 21 months old boy. He is so cute and we have so much fun every day! My host parents are lovely and caring. And Words like: “of course you can stay with us and our friends because now you are living with us and you are a family member”! are just the best to hear and makes you happy and let you have the best time of your life!

Isabel, Germany

Based in Karratha, WA

Hot! Hotter! Karratha! This is what I have in my mind thinking about Karratha. Yes, it is pretty warm here and when you hear 45°C you think you can’t go out of the house, but it sounds worse than it actually is and you get used to it.

Hi, I am Isi and I am here as an Au Pair since 3 months and I really enjoy it to be here and it was the right decision to go to Karratha. At first I was a bit worried about that I wouldn’t find new friends here because it is such a little city but I was absolutely wrong. In my first week I met so many people and here is a big Au Pair community that you could never feel lonely. 

If you think you wouldn’t find something you can do here because you are in the middle of nowhere, you are wrong because you have heaps of options. For example the shopping centre (not the biggest but it is enough) and a great public pool with a gym. With a 10 minutes’ drive you can reach 2 beautiful beaches and around Karratha are great national parks you can visit. For a weekend trip you can visit Coral Bay and Exmouth. I have seen there the most beautiful beach in my life.

I never get bored here because we have new things to do all the time or new places to visit. On the weekends we go often to a bar and there you meet every time new people. All the Australian people are very friendly and open-minded. At first it was a bit hard to understand the Aussies because they use so much short forms like arvo - afternoon… not to be confused with the word avo which means Avocado.

I feel very comfortable in my host family and since the first moment they made it pretty easy for me to feel at home. I look after a little boy and sometime it is hard to keep him busy but here are a lot of playgroups or meetings at the library and I can also make a playdate with another Au Pair and their host child.

I am also really independent because I have my own car I can use from my host family for work and also in my free time. Nearly every Au Pair here has a car available, which is good because you don’t have public transport like in a big city.
You can’t compare Karratha with a big city because you have here so much beautiful and special things you could never see or do in Sydney, Perth or in all the other big cities.

One of the beautiful things is the starry sky. You can see it from here much better because it is darker here like in a big city and most of the time it is a clear sky and you can see easily the southern cross from the Australian flag.
I really enjoy my time in Karratha and I would recommend it to everyone.