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7 tips for finding work while travelling around Australia

Some great tips for overseas visitors travelling to Australia and hoping to find work along the way

So you've decided to travel to Australia with dreams of hitting every picturesque surf spot along the coast and caravanning through the red centre, but have you saved enough money to stretch your trip to cover your year of travel plans?

If you want to travel around Australia but don’t have the funds to make your trip last for the year, these tips will help you earn money to extend your dream holiday.

Australia, while a breathtaking country, can also break the bank.  Many travellers to Australia opt to come for a gap year balanced with both travel and work.  Balance is the key word, as Working Holiday Visas only allow travellers to work with one employer for a period of 6 months before you are required to move on. However, this should not be a deterrent to obtaining your visa and seeking work but, instead, an incentive to try new things, put yourself in new positions and experiences and really see Australia for all it has to offer.

7 tips to make finding work in Australia as easy as making your decision to come was!

1. Come Prepared

Before you can arrive to Australia and start looking for work, you need to put a few steps in place to make your transition as smooth as possible. Firstly, you will need a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417).  Once you are approved for your visa you will also want to consider laying a foundation for earning money in Australia such as opening a bank account and applying for your TFN-Tax File Number.  There are several companies that offer visa packages with the working traveller in mind.  A one stop shop, you can apply for your working holiday visa, TFN and open a bank account all before you come to Australia.

For more information about your requirements during your stay you can visit sites like Visa First which will help outline the visa types and application processes you need to go through.

2. Have an open mind

A working holiday is not about keeping down a steady job, keep in mind that you are wanting to work to earn that extra bit of cash to bolster your trip and keep you traveling for the year. With this in mind you will always find some job that will keep you taking in the sights. No position is too small and no position term is too short, money in your pocket is another pin visited on the map and that is what traveling through Australia on a work visa is all about.

It’s most important to remember that the working side of your holiday will also enable you to have some great experiences and meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to. Make the most of your opportunity to be really flexible on your working hours (as not everybody is) and look to make the most of your time to enjoy a different work culture and pick up new skills.

3. Meet locals, put yourself out there

Start volunteering, take a class or join a sport. Familiarise yourself with a number of Australia’s quintessential athletic pastimes, if you are a novice sports like touch rugby, Oz Tag are great or if you are experienced, activities like surf lifesaving also have a very well networked community behind them.

Regardless of what you choose, you will soon find that you have established a large network of friends who can help you find work. Chances are many of the people you are running around with on the field are travellers themselves, maybe lucky enough to find sponsorship, or are everyday Australians with connections to job opportunities all over the city. They will be one of your best guides to finding work as they come attached with great connections to make a recommendation for you.

4. Utilise your hostel

Your hostel is one of your best resources. Many hostels make it a point to provide information to travellers for local job openings, especially for casual or temporary work. Big hostel chains throughout Australia like YHA, Base and Nomads are fantastic options. Not only will these chains have job boards and notices of work opportunities but are likely to have positions within the hostel or an established network with their local community. Jobs in hospitality are a big hit and you will find many networking opportunities through your larger hostel chains to find work.

5. Get qualified

To get work in hospitality or the construction industry, two popular fields for travellers, you will need to obtain a qualification. Getting your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol), RSG (Responsible Conduct of Gambling) certificates for hospitality to work in a venue or a White Card (Work safely in the Construction Industry) to work on a construction site is easier than you think. These qualifications can be earned online in one day courses but the good news is you can complete them and have them sent straight to your email.

All of the certifications will require will require a course payment. We’ve put together some of the best discounts for you below if you want to look for work in the hospitality and constructions industries:

The RSA qualification (SITHFAB201 - Provide Responsible Service of Alcohol) can be completed online or by correspondence by Express Online Training (Course RTO 40592).

6. Surf the Web

The internet will become your best friend for staying up to date with great opportunities as you move around. While you are reconnecting with friends and family back home you can also search for your next job. Hundreds of sites dedicate themselves to listing job openings for casual work or with particular focus on the backpacker. While some sites do require a small subscription to use their services, you will chance upon some that are entirely free and offer great insight. On these sites you will find anything from German language tutors to hundreds of great hospitality jobs.

Australia’s top job site is SEEK, they have a great tool called JobMail. All you have to do is setup your job preferences which may include keywords, hourly rate, location, industry and you’ll be emailed when you like with only the freshest job opportunities, no more searching!

At the time of writing there were over 7,000 jobs across the hospitality so be sure to check this out. Whether you leverage on your existing skills, or look to enjoy a new opportunity there’s something for everyone. We would also try other major job boards or nice backpacking sites, depending on your preference.

7. Move around!

Remember that Working Holiday Visas only allow you to work with one employer for a maximum period of 6 months. If you find yourself having trouble landing a job in Sydney or Brisbane then move on. Remember, you’re on holiday as well and your station is not permanent. Where you can’t find work in one place there will be a plethora of job opportunities in another.  If you want to get an insight into where the most abundant job opportunities you can surf the web as mentioned, or check out some of the most up to date employment industry trends and tips on how to secure the best job for you.

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Steve Baile
Steve Baile
I’m the founder of Expedition Australia, a writer, filmmaker & adventure travel junkie. Passionate about my family, health and fitness, hiking, 4WD touring, adventure motorbikes, camping and exploring as much of the planet as I can.


  1. Great article and wanna thanks for this. AUS is such a great country to explore. I love ausis beach.
    we are soon traveling to aus. Hope we'll find more adventures places to have fun.

  2. Fantastic, traveling always makes us so confident and this process should not end however it's a short traveling or traveling to very far, step out of your comfort zone, let see the world on your own and enjoy every moment in life. That's the way of living a great happy life because there is so much to learn.

  3. It’s always fascinating to discover something new and other ways of life, to meet different people, learn the different tastes of food and languages, explore a variety of architectural styles, traditions, museums and art galleries, historic places.

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