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I am now in my 8th month in Australia and have decided not to do the 88 days regional work to get a visa extension. This decision has mostly been made by the fact that I have run out of time to find something suitable and to complete the days, but the idea of picking fruit for hours and an allergy to horses ruling out most farm work didn’t help!

Plan Your “Working” Holiday

Planning when to do the working part of your Australian working holiday can have a big impact on your year. I worked part time in a restaurant in Brisbane for 10 weeks before setting off on an adventure that went from Cairns all the way to Perth, with a 10 week trip to New Zealand thrown in for good measure. If I had the year again I would have worked as many hours as I could in that first job because the money didn’t last long and my hard earned UK savings then took a massive hit! Now I am paying a fortune for rent in Perth looking for a job that will hire me until my visa runs out in only 3.5 months. So hopefully these tips will be helpful in showing you that organising the year around the work part will make for an even better holiday part (and make sure you don’t return home in financial ruin!)

8 Tips To Make The Difference

1) Find a job in the first month or so of travelling. You can get all the excitement of being here out of the way then knuckle down and earn some dollars.

2) You will need a tax file number and Australian bank account for your job so do this as soon as you have an Australian address. It is easy to apply for the TFN online so don’t bother paying a company to set it up for you. It should arrive in the post shortly after applying.

3) If you want to do the regional work sort the whole 88 days out early on and preferably just with 1 job. Be aware that some farms will only count the days you work and don’t include weekends meaning 88 days might take longer than 88 consecutive days.

4) Farm work is seasonal and the competition will be tough for the popular states i.e. travellers go to Sydney and Melbourne in the summer then head North to Cairns in the Winter. If you can handle the heat why not try Cairns in Nov/Dec when it starts to quieten down. A good spot is the Atherton Tablelands which are several degrees cooler, beautiful and home to the platypus!

5) If you don’t want regional work there are plenty of factories around that hire travellers as factory hands. I’ve heard of people working long hours here but earning $1000 a week (before tax). It wouldn’t take too long to save up enough money for an epic road trip if you are prepared to work hard!

6) There are things you will need before starting certain jobs. For hospitality work this is an RSA (responsible serving of alcohol) certificate which costs $140 and takes a full day in a classroom in NSW but in QLD/SA/WA/NT it’s only $19 and can be done online. If you are desperate to work in a bar in Sydney don’t arrive a couple of weeks before Christmas and cross your fingers, most positions will be taken by then. For farm work you may need suitable outdoor clothing such as work boots which you have to provide. Be prepared to buy these things before you start the job.

7) Hospitality agencies can be good for casual shift work. Pinnacle people has an office in all the main cities and once you are registered in one city, when you move cities you can go to the office and they should hook you up with work. N.B. You will need hospitality experience to work here.

8) The job adverts which promise EARN HUGE $$$$ WHILE HAVING FUN!!!!! are all for door-to-door sales jobs which are commission based jobs only. If you have experience of these roles and know you can earn money from them, go for it! If not it will be 6-8 hours of walking around, knocking on doors and talking to people who don’t want to talk to you. You will most likely have to pay to get to the main office, then pay to travel to the area you are working in, before seeing any cash.

Earn Money and Have Fun

If you are willing to do anything there are plenty of working holiday jobs around. Don’t hold out for the kind of job you had at home, that’s probably not why you are here anyway and chances are these jobs will be prioritised for Aussies.
The important thing is to earn some money, if you can meet new people and have fun while doing it, even better! Hopefully with a bit of planning you won’t have a job nightmare and will save up enough to do all the awesome things Australia has to offer. Good luck with the job hunt!

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Laura Forfar /

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