work in Australia?
Gap Year wanderers opt for a one year work visa in order to find the time
and resources to see more of this vast country.
It is so common for backpackers to work their way round Oz that
job opportunities and recruitment are relatively easy to find compared
to other countries.
- Sitting in offices in the business district of a large city, or
washing dishes in a greasy cafe is never going to be a bonza time.
- You may get heavily taxed, check with your boss.
- Visitor visas allow most nationalities
to stay up to 3 months, though londer visas are not difficult to
- One year working holiday visas are
available for 18-30 year olds, lasting one year, to UK, Irish, Dutch,
Canadian, Korean, Maltese, Japanese, German or Italian citizens.
- Working visa applications must be organised
BEFORE arriving in Australia.
- Restrictions apply, such as not staying
with any one employer for more than 6 (new in 2006) months.
- Applicants must have a return ticket and/or
proof of funds (A$1,000 per month).
- US citizens do not have automatic right to a visa, but if you
are under 30 and can prove you have funds sufficient for your vacation you stand a
To check the latest arrangements go to Australia's
has no disease problems, but also no shortage of toxic wildlife
or adrenalin activities that can lead to damage.
Long-stay or working visitors are advised to obtain a free
Medicare Card from a Medicare Centre. This makes getting
free treatment in public hospitals a doddle - though ambulance
rides, GP visits, or dental treatment are not free.
You will need to show your passport and your
National Health documents, so bring them to Oz!
Popular holiday work options:
Fruit picking: all over Australia; good fun but hard; it's possible to save a lot
of dollars in a short time (picture top left, Tasmania in May).
backpacker hostels have an arrangement with local farms to recruit
and house you, for example Bunderberg, Queensland (rum and sugar
The Mission Beach area has plantations and is near Cairns and lots
You can earn from AU$1000-5000 in a six week season.
WWOOFING: buy a $35 membership to the Worldwide Organisation for Organic Farming.
A couple of hours a day in return for bed and board and usually
a ride onto the next farm. A cheap, informative, interesting way
to see the country, especially off the beaten track. There are
1300 host farms.
Cafes and bars: cities, resorts and outback towns all need casual labour. Sydney,
Melbourne and Cairns being the most popular. From $15 an hour.
Call centres: if you like talking to 300 people a day for three minutes at a time
from all over Australia, this one is for you. Normally well paid
($20-30 an hour), 3-6 week placements, long hours available, along
with other travellers, recruited from hostels in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Specific skills: au pair, nurses, secretaries, mechanics, computer technicians and
electricians appear to be particularly in demand and make obtaining
a work visa much easier if you are over 30 years old.
TNT magazine has lists of recruitment agencies. Watersport instructors
and crew for windsurfing, sailing, diving, lifeguards etc. are always
needed in tourist resorts.
Weird options: can be high paid. e.g. on the rodeo circuit; as a jack or jillaroo
on huge ranches, rounding up cattle with helicopters; sheep shearing...