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Getting a job on a working holiday

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Getting a job on a working holiday

1. Posted by DirtyDan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Apparently the most common types of work for working holidayers in Australia is in hospitality or in a country pub/a farm picking fruit, but my dilemma is that I don't have any hospitality experience and I am not interested in the latter.

I do have work experience though. I've worked part time as a cashier at a large regional supermarket for almost two years throughout high school (I recently graduated). I want to leave for Australia in November or December, so I don't think that leaves enough time to gain experience in a hospitality job, if I can even get one. I will start working fulltime soon, and if it would help my hiring chances I could potentially get a promotion to working in customer service or as a front end leader.

Is it realistic to expect to be able to find work in retail on a WHV, or do I need to quit my job and find employment in hospitality? What city would I have the best shot at finding retail work in (ideally Sydney)? And should I seek out a promotion?

I am an 18 year old male from the US if that matters. (Side question; do you think 18 is too young to do a WH in Australia, or should I wait until after college?)

Thanks for the help.

[ Edit: Edited on 07-Jul-2015, at 13:49 by DirtyDan ]

2. Posted by Shaleen (Budding Member 9 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I'm 25 I've finished university and I'm going this year in sept. I waited till I was a bit older as with some jobs they prefer mature people and also hiring a car or camper van is easier for those over 25.

Most hospitality jobs also offer on job training so I wouldn't worry about. You could offer to volunteer in a local restaurant in your area for work experience if you're worried.

3. Posted by tabathapatchfur (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

You could try the "work a way" site
Find free accommodation in exchange for about 4 hrs work a day. Check the site for details.

4. Posted by Ciara_91 (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!


I definitely had a big problem finding work in oz. I had retail experience and experience working with animals and literally could not find work. Biggest problem os that your visa only allows you to work for 3 months which most employers think is too little time and also these are the jobs that young ozzie kids are looking for, so most likely given to them. I had to come home early because i ran out of cash SO my advice to anyone going on a WHV to oz is get your regional work done ASAP so you both secure a 2nd yr visa and also get some cash so you dobt need to spend the money you brought :) whixh means more money to travel and see oz without worrying about funds :) hope this helps :)

5. Posted by redapple12 (Budding Member 10 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

i have been in australia a year. i was 21 tht time but i meet so many 18 years old. it doesnt really matter if u know what you are doing.

as far as queensland is considered i meet many people who said they didint find many job opportunities there. apparaently there arent that many restaurants up there( i started in melbourne in victoria) people tend to say it is the best location to start off as melbourne is quit chilled about tram( u dont really have to pay as they control almost never , and even if u get catched it pays off aslong as u dont get catched 1 a week) i got catched once but didint pay as i gave them my old adress haha)

by the way for hospitality u dont really need expierence. of course it helps but most times no matter if u got expierence or not u gonna start as a back up who helps the full timers . if u stay longer u gonna get other jobs and prolly more hours tho. so dont worry about that.

a good way of making money is to do stuff like fork lift certificicate or be the traffic controller on building sites. they pay quite good and u find a job easiliy. but u have to make it in australia for 500 to 800 bucks. u need to do it before tho as they wont allow u to apply witohut it. a friend of mine lied to them and made it quickly when they approved it, cant say if it always works.

anyway u can work as a kitchenhand tho,( not recommended u are treated really bad)
btw u usually have to do a alcohol handling ceritificate for 120 bucks or so if u work anywhere where u sell alcohol.

i highly recommend to start in any town but sydney. hostel costs are over the top comapred to other cities. share flats harder to find aswell and less job opportunities. not to say that it is being said that people from sydney are really greedy( prolly just a predjudice) anyway i recommend melbounre. wehter aint that good but if u wanna start of there u gonna work anyway. u prolly dont wanna work at 35 degrees. and melbounre has a whole lot of retaurants bars and retails tho. if u go to melbounre i can give a event company which hires witohut expierence and pay quite good. u can earn enough money at the start to cover hostel and living expenses.

if u have any further questions dont mind asking.

kind regards, nate

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Aug-2015, at 11:33 by redapple12 ]

6. Posted by benny1314 (Budding Member 109 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Australia offer 1000's of jobs in different sectors.. When you arrive in Australia create a profile on and search for jobs that way (Aim your search at temporary jobs - 6 months or less) Also, Gumtree is full of weird and wonderful jobs as well which are usually cash in hand.

finding a job in any country is going to be difficult but if you invest enough time you'll find something.

7. Posted by redapple12 (Budding Member 10 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

i tried i never felt like it gave u any serious offers but yeah gumtree has many weird offers and smams. u gotta get used to that. australia is gonna scam u so much.

please never book any tours , trust me n e v e r do it!

8. Posted by benny1314 (Budding Member 109 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Seek is basically the only mainstream gateway for employers to advertise jobs in Australia. My background is recruitment and my last 2 roles have been in the same function, I.e recruiting people into jobs internally for big organisations.. Take it from me, if you are looking for work Seek is your best option.