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Working Holiday Visa - to organise work or wing it/?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Working Holiday Visa - to organise work or wing it/?


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31. Posted by Peter (Admin 5954 posts) 3y

Quoting EJG86

Would you recommend going to Sydney then for a bit or Melbourne? And do you have any thoughts on what line of work would be best to look into in terms of meeting people/getting paid (other than WWOOFing)?

Logically, starting in Melbourne makes sense because you can then drive up from there to Sydney and the rest of the east coast. Either that , or starting in Cairns and driving down. That might work out better because it will still be the dry season in September and then by the time you get to Melbourne it will certainly be nice and warm.

I'm from Melbourne, so a bit biased -- it's well worth your time :) And not just Melbourne, but the Great Ocean Road is also worth coming down for.

When I say September is nice, I still think you should bring some warm clothes around then. It can be chilly in the mornings / nights and you will get some cold days. But on the whole I find there's lots of nice days that time of year. And beautiful spring weather means the grass is green, the flowers are out and everyone's happy. I guess I also don't like it too hot. Bear in mind the summers here have days over 40 °C . You may think that's nice, but when you are out in it, the only thing you want to do is go inside and find some aircon! We just had 9 days in a row over 32 °C and I'm pretty sure everyone here was glad to see that gone.

In terms of what work might be better for socialising, I really have no idea :) I would treat the work as just being for the work and get your socialising in in the evenings.

32. Posted by emilynoelle (Budding Member 7 posts) 3y

Well I am going through a program offered through my university called SWAP. Basically you fly to their "base" in Sydney and meet other people your own age and there's job boards specifically for travelers / those on WHVs (like in Vancouver, we have a lot of jobs for Australians on our ski slopes during the year.)

I hear Melbourne and Brisbane are two great places to start off, as Sydney is quite expensive to live in unless you get a good job to start off with. From what I hear, a lot of young people do short-term promotional contract work (ex: with Redbull) and go do promotions at parades / festivals / shopping centers etc. to make some quick money to travel around.

It seems scary but honestly there's so many young people! I am not worried about finding roommates (and hey if you guys need one I am down!) The only thing I'm worried about is safety.. I'm not sure how safe Australia is for young women (I'm 22...) but I guess it can't be that bad.

Melbourne seems like the best place to start off for beginners, or from what I've heard... hmm....

33. Posted by EJG86 (Budding Member 21 posts) 3y

Thank Peter, I have heard that one way driving the Great Ocean Road is more popular than another - is this something you would agree with?

I have found a site that advertises jobs online, would you suggest applying for these before heading out and making a plan on successful job applications? Or using the site once out there? Another thing I was wondering about it the alcohol awareness course that I have heard about, Responsible Drinking or something - is this something you can do through a job or book onto when out there and then apply for jobs?

Thanks EmilyNoelle, certainly worth keeping in mind accommodation wise! It is scary thinking about it as I like to 'know' what I'm doing, but if Australia is anything like this site has been - friendly and helpful - then I don't know what I am worried about. I hear Australia is pretty safe, I went for a run one night in the UK when it was dark and an Aussie I know over here was shocked and said he'd only run at night in Australia, not the UK!

I hadn't thought much about Brisbane...


34. Posted by Peter (Admin 5954 posts) 3y

Quoting EJG86

Thank Peter, I have heard that one way driving the Great Ocean Road is more popular than another - is this something you would agree with?

First I've heard of it :) The only thing I'd say is that you probably want to ensure you are at the 12 apostles at sunset or sunrise to get the best possible view of it. Or hey, even better -- get there at sunset, stay nearby then head out again at sunrise ;)

I have found a site that advertises jobs online, would you suggest applying for these before heading out and making a plan on successful job applications? Or using the site once out there? Another thing I was wondering about it the alcohol awareness course that I have heard about, Responsible Drinking or something - is this something you can do through a job or book onto when out there and then apply for jobs?

No harm in trying to apply from home I guess, but your chances are surely better if you're already on the ground. I only have vague knowledge of the licence that you're referring to. I think it can be pretty easily booked when down here. No idea if jobs will cover that or if they'll employ you without it. I'm guessing they won't cover it though considering you're going to be a pretty short term employee. Might depend on the employer.

35. Posted by Nickyloux (Budding Member 21 posts) 3y

Quoting EJG86

I'm sure it'll be much warmer up in Cairns though at that time of the year? Have you thought much about the Whitsundays?

You loved Thailand so much you're going back!? I was in Thailand when I was 19 - I think I was too young to appreciate it properly though. That is typical re. the boyfriend - you won't be away that long in the great scheme of things if it's meant to be though! And I am sure you will win the lottery!!

No, I like to keep flights short and sweet, especially when you can't leave the airport on your stop-over! Maybe if I planned them better I would have a two day stop over somewhere but like you, I just want to get on with it!

Camper-vanning it does sound very cool - maybe the Ocean road?! Still in two minds re. September, been thinking about keeping it North weather-wise but maybe arriving in Sydney and seeing what the craic is/acclimatize... Where are you thinking for September? That's midway for your trip right?

Have you been reading up on Australia? I inherited a Lonely Planet and the Bill Bryson 'Down Under' but I haven't really got past looking at the pictures...


Yeah i think Cairns is the place to be! might spend a week in sydney doing the sights etc then head up there! yeah i would love to go to the whitsundays looks amazing! would make up for not being able to afford Fiji!! you heading there?

Yeah iv been to Thailand twice now and love the place! im only going to the elephant park in chiang mai though as iv seen afew of the islands now an figured the beaches will be amazing in aus so not missing out! yeah i know i really dont want it to end but cant really expect him to hang around if im going galobanting around the world!!

Definatly the same with flights im not the best at flying get very annoyed with having to sit down for so long! ha ha yes campervan on the great ocean road! that is something i would like to do when im there! i just thought it works out quite cheap as its your accommodation and transport all in one!

Sepetember yeah that is nearly the end of mine but if im working my way down the east coast then an your heading north we may cross paths somewhere?!


36. Posted by EJG86 (Budding Member 21 posts) 3y

Whitsundays definitly keen - seen a few jobs as well there, which would be amazing if you could work and live there, though it would be amazing to work on one of the boats! However, my experience being a topper when I was 14 on a lake in Cornwall - probably don't have the experience for it... I have been to Fiji years ago, but I can't afford to go back, the Whitsundays have to do!

So what are you going to do with the boyfriend!? I hate the cliche, but... If it's meant to be...!

I truly don't know what I am doing, my friend who lives in Tasmania was asking me this morning and I was trying to give her some idea but I'm still in two minds. I guess I am weather dependant too, which would mean Cairns/Whitsundays when I arrive (post Sydney I think, though it's not going to be crazy hot then so maybe not) and then do a couple of months work there maybe? As I am there for the year, I am keen to get a bit of work wherever I am for a while.

I am sure we will cross paths! Can you add me on Facebook from my profile?


37. Posted by Nickyloux (Budding Member 21 posts) 3y

yeah iv been having a google an definatly looks worth a visit!! id love to get a job there! at least you have some sort of experience! lol id love to do fiji its just money i didnt realise how expensive it was to get to from oz! its a shame as its definatly a bucket list place for me but just not sure the funds can strech that far!

Well we touched on it over the weekend, think were basically putting things on hold when i go as he doesnt want me to not fully enjoy it out there which i can understand i suppose! but he said the same he believes if its meant to be then it will and he says we will just see how things unfold when i get home! which is positive i suppose!?

Well iv finally booked my first weeks accom in Sydney should have a look at it if your not sorted yet its called coogee beach hostel an its just accross the road from coogee beach, my friend whos been said its a really good one! yeah if you have more time id head north an settle while its hot then move south as it gets warmer! id like to settle in Cairns for a while or around that area! im booked in with an STA travel consultant to get some advice in 2 weeks as im exactly the same just cant decide what to do!!

Yeah iv sent you a request on facebook! we should keep in touch an meet up!


38. Posted by orzie (Budding Member 6 posts) 3y

Hi everyone!

I went through some similar dilemmas when I came to Oz--- work wise. I knew I wanted to take advantage of my Working Holiday Visa, but I also wanted to get around the country as much as possible (including the Outback!) so I was not sure what to do. Was arriving right before the Christmas holidays, which turned out to be a big mistake in terms of finding a job. Was searching in Sydney for a while but there was NOTHING. Let me rephrase that--- there are plenty of jobs in a place like Sydney (as well as Melbourne and up North), but all of the travellers who arrived before me snatched them! So come Christmas time, there was nothing left! My boyfriend and I searched and searched with no luck in the big cities. Eventually, we got a job in the Outback, which we were really liked! I think the Outback is one of the exceptions-- you can get a job no matter what time of year and for good money! That is how we met a lot of other travellers, the pay is great, and you get the 'outback' experience. It is also much cheaper day to day living compared to the big cities.

As for weather, I am Canadian, so NOTHING in Australia is cold for me. You should choose your starting point according to work options, timing, and sights/attractions-- the weather should not be a deciding factor, but I do understand it can be for packing purposes.

Either way, I posted resumes everywhere, and even after getting the job in the Outback, I eventually got some promising replies, it just took a while (after the whole Christmas season buzz). Persistence is key, and it really is worth it to work in Oz!!! It doesn't feel so expensive to travel there when you are paid like an Australian!!

Feel free to throw out any more questions you may have!


39. Posted by Fee_90 (Budding Member 13 posts) 3y

Hi Magda,

I'm heading out in October, possibly to Brisbane - Do you think there is likely to still be farm/harvest jobs left then? I'd like to get my 88days farm work done ASAP so I can get my 2nd yr Visa. I'm planning on just winging it in terms of finding work, not going to try to organise anything before I get there, it doesn't seem to work like that.

I'm keen to go back to Melbourne to do the Great Ocean road and also want to see Cairns, would be good to know people going there and meet up! :)



40. Posted by kmwain (Budding Member 77 posts) 3y

Hey... Is anyone heading out alone?

Looking to start arranging stuff but hoping to make some travel buddies before I leave. It's a scary thought hitting the opposite side of the world all alone.

Hoping to go around September time providing I have saved enough. I've read a lot of reviews where people have said that the minimum $5000 really isn't enough, which puts doubts in my head that I won't be able to go until beginning of next year :(