Job vacancy on idyllic Lord Howe Island - but there's a catch

The island is located off the east coast of Australia.
The island is located off the east coast of Australia. Photo credit: Getty

For most people, working as a barista on a beautiful sub-tropical island sounds like a dream come true. 

But what if that island was overrun by rats?

That's the case for Lord Howe Island, which is looking to attract a barista, despite the island being plagued by a rat problem. 

The job was listed in an Australian backpackers Facebook group, according to Daily Mail Australia, with the ideal candidate asked to stay on the island for three to four months.

Around 350 people live permanently on the island, which is located off the east coast of Australia. According to ABC news there are 1000 rats for each resident. 

The ongoing problem is a stain on an otherwise idyllic island, which boasts stunning views and warm weather. 

And just what to do to get rid of the rats has divided locals. 

Poisoned bait stations were laid earlier this year after the idea was first broached 20 years ago.

But the decision to poison the rats was controversial, leading to one opponent being assaulted, according to the Guardian.

One local hotel owner told the Guardian tensions had turned the island into a "nasty place at the moment". 

"It's distressing to see the level of anger and distrust over this issue."

Locals have complained that the plan to eradicate the rats was mismanaged right from the get-go.

"It got off to a bad start and it’s very hard to turn it around," local naturalist and tour operator Ian Hutton told the Guardian earlier this year.

The black rats arrived on the island from a shipwreck in 1918. Since then they have played a role in the extinction of various bird species and plants.

Locals want the rats gone, but many have fears that the plan to poison them will affect local wildlife. 

With tensions high and the rats not going anywhere soon, it looks like the new barista might get more than they bargain for if they are expecting a slice of paradise.