Skip Navigation

Working in Australia

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Working in Australia

1. Posted by LizzyDee123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Lots of questions really, as nothing is set in stone right now, just looking for ideas...

I have a big break between my 1st and 2nd year of uni, so I want to travel between May and September, but have NO money, have enough for a flight there and back but that's about it, so I was wanting to work along the way, not wanting a lot of money just enough to fund the travel and living, and I'm willing to put the hours in - was thinking along the lines of EITHER bar and restaurant work OR au pairing because I love children... ideas anyone?

ALSO ignoring the risk of sounding shallow I want to go somewhere quite hot (I forgot to mention that I'm from England where it is vary rarely warm haha) and I can't have a summer without sun, I know that it's winter in Australia and wondered if it is warm AT ALL ANYWHERE?? I googled average temperatures and it said in places like Weipa and Darwin temperatures are between 20-30 degrees in this time period?? Also I have NO idea what those places are like.

All suggestions and advice welcome :) thanks very much!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5028 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

You can only work in Australia if you have a visa which allows you to do so. The common thing to do for Australia is to get a Working Holiday Visa, cheaply available for a year for people aged 18-30 (inclusive), but this WHV is a once-in-a-lifetime deal (unless you spend a full three months working in jobs like fruit picking in regional Australia while on that WHV, in which case you can get a second one). That means that it sounds like a bit of a shame to me to use this WHV for what's only a 4-5 month trip. Additionally, it's a requirement of getting the WHV to have AUD $5000 (about 2500 GBP) in funds available when you enter Australia (simply because Australia is expensive, and even with working to fund their way, the average backpacker tends to need at least that much money). You also shouldn't expect to be able to just find work anywhere, stay for a couple of days, and then move on. Most places will want a minimum commitment of time, and you can easily spend a couple of weeks searching before you find a job, especially if you don't have any in demand skills, and you'll need to be able to support yourself during that time. You could look into things like WWOOFing to help you stretch your money, but unless you're very lucky, you should not expect to go there and earn as much as you spend.

It'll be quite warm all along the north of Australia (I remember it being 28 degrees or thereabouts when I was in Cairns in July), but even Sydney tends to be mostly warm (20 degrees or more) during the day, most days. The only place it actually gets cold is in Tasmania.

Overall, it might be better to just buckle down and work at home for the summer, to save up money for some serious travelling for the year after that. Alternatively, investigate teaching English in SE Asia, where costs are significantly lower, and so the little money you have available now would stretch further?

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Mar-2015, at 11:43 by Sander ]

3. Posted by LizzyDee123 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the advice! I have no idea so I'm thinking maybe it wouldn't be the best idea for a short period of time especially if it meant I couldn't work there in the future, working in south east asia is definitely something i've considered, but as harsh as it may sound, I don't want to get bored on my days off, i've been to Thailand before so maybe somewhere different like Vietnam, could be really nice, but not sure if I can fund my living cost on a low pay. ALSO travel companies that offer these type of programs seem to ask for ALOT of money it seems, just for 2 week long periods, no flights included, seems a bit of a rip off considering I'm the one doing the work? I'm not sure ALL suggestions welcome! America? China?

4. Posted by Foxy1991 (Budding Member 55 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Hey Lizzy,

I totally agree with Sander about the fact that it seems a little bit of a waste to only go to Australia for a short period of time because once you are granted a visa you wont be able to apply for a second one unless you do something like farm work for three months. However, I think you might be able to stay in Australia for up to three months as a holiday, but that would mean you wouldnt be allowed to work.

I could be wrong here but regarding the $5,000 AUD mentioned above, I was under the impression that if you had a return ticket out of the country there is no minimum amount of money you need. That being said the last thing you want is to be absolutely broke!

As for work there a few groups on facebook that have recently advertised jobs for live in au pairs, where your accomodation and meals are provided for you in return for you looking after children.

A little off topic, but Sander, you mentioned teaching in SE Asia, do you have any further information on this as its something I would love to look into,

Hope this information helps in some way,


5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5028 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Sorry, no idea on teaching jobs. Only know they exist, and are the only (?) viable option for the average backpacker to work in SE Asia. Try searching the forums, or look for information in some country guides in our travel wiki (the China article for example has some information and links). Otherwise, I suspect that a dedicated thread on the subject posted in the Asia forum here would get some pointers to places with more information.

Oh, and the AUD $5000 always is a requirement for the Australian WHV. If you don't have a return ticket, then you should have sufficient funds on top of that to buy one. They don't actually check up on these things, but they're requirements all the same. (For reference, see "Who could get this visa?" on the "Visa applicants" tab here, which lists two bullet points: "have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday (about AUD 5000)" and "have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay".)

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Mar-2015, at 12:34 by Sander ]