How to work and travel in Australia
Published on February 18, 2022 / Updated on January 10, 2024
If you’re thinking about living abroad for a while, why not choose to work and travel in Australia? With an Australian working holiday visa, you’ll be able to live like a local, learn English and have the time of your life in a sun kissed, far-away land Down Under. Whether you want to spot kangaroos and koalas in the bush or work within sight of the iconic Sydney Opera House, living in Australia will give you these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Want to find out how you can work and travel in Australia? Read on.
If you’re under 30, or 35 in some cases, and hold a passport from an eligible country, it’s fairly easy to start travelling and working in Australia. You’ll need to pay a fee of AUD 495 for the visa and, if it’s granted, you can stay for a year and do any kind of work you want. If you fulfill certain conditions, you’ll be able to stay for two more years.
The great thing about a working holiday visa is that you can live anywhere in Australia. Australians tend to live in just a few cities on the coast and the most popular ones for working holidaymakers are on the East Coast. For big city life with great weather, Sydney is a favorite and, just down the coast, Melbourne is great for culture-seekers. For tropical vibes, go to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland.
If you want to get away from the busy east coast, head west to Perth, Australia’s sunniest city where you’ll easily get a whole beach to yourself. In the far north, Darwin is a small but lively city with hot weather all year round. If you prefer cooler weather, make your way down to the island of Tasmania, where you might spot one of the famous Tasmanian devils!
You don’t need to choose just one city to work in – there are loads of good towns to work and travel in Australia and many people live in a few different places during their stay.
There’s no getting away from it; accommodation in Australia is expensive. Most young people live in shared houses with friends and you can find plenty of adverts for rooms online. To save money, you can find work in exchange for accommodation on sites like WWOOF and, this way, you’ll get to meet some locals and live in places you probably otherwise wouldn’t go.
Now that you know Australia can be quite expensive, you’re probably wondering how to find a job. As we said earlier, you can do any type of work you want while you’re in Australia on the right visa. And the best news is that wages are high so whatever you do, you’ll have enough money to have some fun too. Hospitality work is popular so you might want to brush up on your cocktail making skills or get a barista qualification to learn to pour some of Australia’s delicious flat whites. You’ll need to be a confident – though not advanced – English-speaker in these jobs.
If you’d rather have steady hours, you could work in a shop or on a construction site. Lots of people also choose to work as an au-pair and these jobs usually come with accommodation as you live with the family.
Wondering if you can get paid to travel while you’re in Australia? Choose a job in tourism and you might get paid to show people around some of the national parks or lead a group through the center of Sydney. Your work options really are limitless, from kitesurfing instructor to crocodile feeder. Look at Gumtree to see what’s on offer.
After a few months, you might realize you don’t want to leave Australia yet and this is when you can start to think about renewing your visa for a second year. To do this, you’ll need to work for three months in specified work in a regional area. Lots of backpackers work on farms or do construction work to fulfill this requirement.
Travelling and working around Australia is sure to leave you with lifelong memories of the glorious outback, the friendly people and speaking a healthy dose of Australian slang. If you’re thinking about making the move, apply for your visa, save up for the plane ticket and pack your best bathers to try out life in Oz.