Three months into his new job, Greg Snell says he’s never really had a day off. But when your job consists of swimming with great white sharks and sea lions, skydiving over the Murray River or photographing koalas on mountain biking trips around Adelaide, Australia, it’s hard to justify taking a vacation.
Snell is halfway through his stint working the Best Job in the World as South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker. The Oshawa, Ont. man beat thousands of other applicants to win the job as part of a competition organized by South Australia’s tourism commission.
“It’s a whirlwind that I love being in the centre of,” Snell says of his strict schedule, which brings him all over South Australia on jobs varying from taking care of sick koalas to checking out snakes and spiders in the Venom Pit show at the Raptor Domain on Kangaroo Island.
His job essentially consists of drawing attention to the amazing biological diversity and ecology of the area. As he sandboards down dunes or travels by land cruiser through 400 kilometres of remote beaches along the Eyre Peninsula, he’s constantly shooting video or photographing places, which he later uploads to his blog.
He’s based on Kangaroo Island where he’s seen tammar wallabies and plenty of kangaroos. It’s a 45-minute ferry ride and two-hour drive from Adelaide, but he’s always on the move.
He says the job has taught him a lot about the different kinds of wildlife habitat and the problems they face as they lose it. He’s also learned to understand the diverse kinds of habitat that animals live in. “There’s wildlife everywhere. It’s just about being able to recognize it,” he says.
While he swam with great white sharks in a tank, the most interactive encounter he’s ever had was swimming with Australian sea lions. “The puppy dogs of the ocean,” as Snell calls them, are the only animals he’s ever seen that appear excited to see people.
Unfortunately the best job in the world won’t last forever, but Snell is already thinking about future possibilities. He thinks he’d like to return to running adventure tours for Toronto-based G Adventures in Argentina and Chile, or even take on the next dream job working as a photographer on a ship travelling to Antarctica.
But for now, he’ll continue to work seven-day weeks in South Australia. “I don’t want them,” he says. “I’ve only got six months.”
Want to know how Snell won the job? Read our previous story here.