How To Take An Australian Working Holiday

Mention ‘Australia’ and most people will mention either Kangaroo’s or ask you if it’s really as beautiful as everyone says…and truly it is! Ok, I may be biased, but Australia is a great place to visit if you fancied taking a year off and trotting off to the other side of the world – it’s modern, laid-back and it’s one of the few places you can still live in the city and surf before going to work every morning.

I regularly meet people who are desperate to take an Australian working holiday but often don’t know how to go about deciphering the visa’s available, finding cheap flights to Australia or choosing the best places to live, work and travel to. As I’m a born and bred Aussie girl and I know the ins and outs of our strict immigration laws and the best spots to see, so I wanted to give you a quick overview of how to go about your working holiday Australia mission – whether that involves landing your dream job, picking fruit or taking a year off and not having to work at all!

Australia Working Holiday

Australian Working Holiday Visas

The Australian working holiday visa makes it possible for people between the ages of 18 and 30 to live and work in the country for up to 2 years. This is under the precedent that work is to supplement your travels and you must not work with any employer for more than 6 months. This is the most common visa for working visitors to Australia, and after you have completed your 2 years you may be eligible to extend your visa or switch to another so that you may continue to live in the country.

If for some reason you are not eligible for the working holiday visa then there are other avenues to gaining entry into Australia, which include student visas, skilled visas and employer sponsored visas.

Australian immigration can be pretty tight at times and the rules are constantly changing, so be sure to check the ‘Australian Visa Bureau’ website to read all of the conditions of the visa for which you wish to apply.

Australian Gap Year Locations

Most people will be familiar with Sydney and Melbourne, but what about all the other great cities and regions Australia has to offer? Here’s a quick rundown of the most common Aussie gap year locations to help you decide on your potential new home.

Melbourne – The most European of all Australian cities, Melbourne is all about culture – food, art, drinking and some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste! It’s a big city but without the extreme crowds and snobbishness.

Sydney - Australia’s largest and most well known city, Sydney is stunning – beautiful beaches, great nightlife and a very laid back atmosphere. If you’re looking to work your way up the career ladder, this is the place for it as most international companies are based out of here.

Brisbane – Even more laid back than Sydney, ‘Brissie’ is sometimes referred to as a ‘large small town’ but with a more cosmopolitan feel. Move here if you love the heat – this far North you won’t see a jacket or jumper in sight all year round!

Adelaide – ‘The city of churches’ is what most Aussies think of when they hear Adelaide, but this once quieter city has now become a lot more European and extremely livable…and of course they have some stunning churches if you’re into that sort of thing! Great if you like the feeling of living in a city but hate built up areas and crowds.

Perth – A gorgeous city on the Western coast of the country – close to stunning coastline and wineries galore! It used to be one of the more affordable options, although it’s become so popular it’s prices now compare with that of Sydney or Melbourne.

Byron Bay – Duuuuuuude, Byron Bay is one chilled out town. A lot of expats come here just to chill and party for a few months, and some never leave! This place is buzzing during the summer months so if you’re looking for seasonal work this might be a starting point.

Gold Coast – A man made city right on the beach, ‘Goldie’ isn’t for everyone, but it’s got beaches, and it’s a lot cheaper to live than other cities. A great option if you’re looking to party!

Australia Working Holiday

Australia Working Holiday Jobs

The job market in Australia is extremely diverse and anyone wishing to emigrate on a working holiday should have no trouble finding work. The economy has been going great guns in recent times, which has given rise to low unemployment rates and even in some cases shortages of adequate candidates to fill job vacancies!

Some of the shortage areas include: Accounting, Medical, Trades, IT and engineering. If you work in one of these areas you are almost guaranteed a visa!

If you are looking for more relaxed work or a job that allows you to enjoy the sun, then you are in luck because there are also shortages of casual workers in the following fields: bar/hospitality work, seasonal fruit picking, temporary office workers, retail and construction.

Below are some common salaries for the jobs mentioned above.

Bartending/waiting tables: $15 – $25 per hour (casual)
Fruit picking: $15 – $25 per hour (casual)
Check out operators and cashiers: $500 – $700 per week (full time)
Building/labouring: $650 – $850 per week (full time
Engineering: $800 – $1500 per week (full time)
Secretarial/administration: $600 – $700 per week (full time)
Child care: $18 – $20 per hour (casual)

What Do I Do Now?!

If you’re thinking of taking an Australia working holiday or gap year then your first port of call should be to find out if you can get a visa. Once you have this sorted then start saving like mad as you’ll need some savings to pay for your Australia flights, travel insurance and to help set you up when you arrive.

Once you have a leaving date organised start looking for work - I would recommend the site ‘Jobaroo’ – it gives specifics on the different types of positions available and how to apply for the field you’re interested in. Some jobs you may be able to apply for from home while some you will need to be in the country for, but this site will explain all this so you know exactly where you’re at before you arrive.

You may also be interested in organising a stop over in Asia on your way over to Australia – places like Bali, Thailand or Hong Kong are favourites.

Now all you need to do is spend some time perfecting your ‘G’day’ and you’ll be off in no time at all!

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Comments

  1. Adeline - {r}evolution apparel intern says:

    About a month ago I returned from my semester abroad in Spain. So for about 30 days now, I’ve been repeatedly asking myself how to intertwine work and travel. Yes, I was bit by the travel bug.

    And then I ran across this post. You perfectly outlined an option that hadn’t crossed my mind- the possibility of a working holiday. It covered the visas, the locations, and the jobs, with tidbits of advice throughout.

    First time visiting your blog, but after a quick clicking fest, it looks like I’ll find many more inspirational articles here. Thanks for capturing my dream!

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Thanks Adeline, all the best for your goals!

  2. What do you mean by this?
    “after you have completed your 2 years you may be eligible to extend your visa”

    I thought 2 years a maximum for working holidays visas.

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hi Vi, after you spend 2 years in Aus on a working holiday you can then apply to other visas, or get a work permit depending on your circumstances. I know a few people who have been desperate to stay after theirs expired and they were able to find a way to.

      So are you in Sydney at the moment?

      • Vi says:

        So I think it is better to remove that “extend your visa” part from the post. As to extend and to get another kind of visa is very different situations and people can misinterpret that.

        I lived in Sydney for 2+ years, but not at the moment.

        • WomanSeeksWorld says:

          Thanks for the feedback, Ill rework that section : )

  3. Is the two years still only if you spend time working in a rural area or have they changed it – someone asked me about it the other day!

    Also just for everyone’s info Perth is not cheap anymore! Lots of working holiday makers and international students come here because everyone tells them it is much cheaper than the east coast and that was true a decade ago but they are very disappointed. Rent etc same as Syd/Melb and living costs like groceries are much more expensive.

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Thanks Amanda – good to know! I might rework this to reflect that Perth is maybe not as cheap as it used to be! When did Aus get so damn expensive btw?! Its crazy!

      • You’re telling me – I was only away from Perth for six years and in that time it went from being cheap to you suddenly needing to be a millionaire to have a house near the city (needless to say we don’t live quite so near the city as I would have liked). Insane.

  4. The Working Holiday Australia Visa, also called the WHV Australia, is a great way to work and travel Australia. To be able to work and base yourself for an extended period of time makes living and getting around a lot more affordable and interesting.The WHV Australia program gives you the opportunity to really experience life down under, to immerse yourself in the culture, and to meet locals and form life long friendships. To know more about visa relelated information and our services visit our website http://visaaustralia.sg/ or drop your queries & feedback.We strive to meet your needs and continue an ongoing relationship.

  5. Working Holiday Visa is a very good way for both travelling and earning extra money. One of my friends has just come on this visa. He is studying English and trying to find a job here.

    In general, it has been a very fun experience for him. With this visa, he said he has learned a lot of real world experience and he can meet locals and form life long friendships here.

    That’s why he is planning to apply for other visas after he finishes this visa.

    Thanks for your information!

  6. Shawn says:

    I was searching for some info on upcoming events in Australia and stumbled upon this blog. I have bookmarked your blog, thanks for such detailed and useful information

  7. Everyone head to Byron Bay and paaaaaaaaaarrrrty! It was so tight over there because we went there on a summer and a lot of people were there as well. Fun3x!

  8. Jack says:

    Hey,

    Your site is very informative! I just received my WHV and am from the US… I am trying to decide between Brisbane and Melbourne or Sydney. I don’t mind what I do for temp work but would ultimately like to apply for a job with my economics degree. In the meantime I want to have as much fun as possible and work whatever job necessary to make a decent living to pay for travels. How should I go about finding an apartment to live?

    Thanks!

    • WomanSeeksWorld says:

      Hi Jack, congrats on the move, you will love it out there! Im from Melbourne, so Im pretty biased, but in terms of culture, living expenses and potential for weekend/day trips, you cant really choose any of those 3 cities and have an absolutely awesome life! It depends what you are looking for – Sydney is beautiful and if you love the beach, an absolute paradise, but its definitely the most expensive place to live, and a lot of people dont like the ‘rat race’ mentality there. But it is where a lot of the work is….Melbourne is more relaxed, but you will still be able to find work there, and it is the art/fashion/coffee capital of Aus! Brisbane is a smaller city, but close to some beautiful beaches and mountains, although finding work here may be a little harder…that’s not to say its impossible though! In your field you should have no problem landing a job, so definitely check out the job websites and see what you think.

      If you have any more questions feel free to get in touch via the contact form!

      Best of luck!

      • Jack says:

        Hello again!

        What is your advice on living arrangements for someone like me when arriving in Brisbane or if I decide to go to Melbourne first? I have applied for a lot of different jobs but am honestly not that worried about it. I feel if I need I can find one once I arrive. I would however, like to line up a place to stay or figure out what the best route to go is. Apartment, hostels, or ? I have plenty of questions and much appreciate your help!

        • WomanSeeksWorld says:

          Hey Jack! No worries at all… yes, I would say hostels would be a good way to go…or if you want to meet some locals you could even look on Gumtree for a temp room in a sharehouse. Depending on how long you plan on staying, this might be a good option. Otherwise, hostels are cheap, so you cant really go wrong! Feel free to email me at womanseeksworld at gmail dot com if you have any other Q’s!

  9. Wa Jobs says:

    always good to have a few webpages you can search for work. Checkout my facebook page of Western Australia jobs. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jobs-in-Western-Australia/459163504150186

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