So what type of work can you do in Australia or New Zealand on your Working Holiday Visa? Anything – for up to 6 months at a time – from serving coffee, to being a deckhand on a yacht in the Whitsundays is what.
Firstly – remember that if you want to extend your visa for a further 12 months, one of the requirements is that you complete 3 months’ work in rural/regional Australia within your first year. This may influence how and where you begin your journey. For clarity, and according to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, all of Australia outside of Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong, Newcastle and the Gold Coast is considered to be “rural and regional Australia”.
– You are free to take on any work you wish for up to 6 months at a time, though a lot of people choose to take on jobs which suit the ‘flighty’ nature that being on a working holiday brings. Some of these areas include:
Restaurants and Bars and Cafes – Places like this are always hiring and most are open to taking on travellers. Don’t expect to rely on tips, as in Australia it is entirely voluntary and customers are not obligated to leave one. Also, be aware that a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and/or a Responsible Service of Gambling (RSG) is a legal requirement in some states. In addition to this, a Safe Food Handling certificate may also be a legal requirement.
Retail – Don’t take it personally if many of the bigger retailers are hesitant to employ you. They will be aware that you are only employable for a short time, however leading up to Christmas would be a great time to apply, as the larger stores hire extra staff to cover the busy period. There is a myriad of smaller shops in Australia that are more than happy to take you on.
Accommodation Included Jobs – Jobs are sometimes offered at hostels, resorts or on farms and involve reception work, housekeeping or labour orientated positions. Make sure they are actually paying you for your time and not just offering cheap/free rent, as you may not get ahead financially, although this may suit some people short-term whilst looking for other work.
Tour work – A little harder to nail and depending on the type of job, you may need special certifications, though why not add new skills to your CV? Tour jobs are widespread and can be anything from instructing scuba diving or snowboarding, to answering phones, to taking bookings.
Sales – Companies looking for sales/telemarketers are always looking to take on working holiday makers. Before taking on this type of work, make sure you understand exactly how you will be paid. You want a base wage, not just ‘commission based’.
Leaflet distributor – A ‘flyer’ hands out leaflets to promote events, venues or establishments. This might include leaving leaflets in letterboxes around different neighbourhoods, standing outside an establishment (in all types of weather) and handing them out, or doing the same in a strategic location in a city or town. It won’t be a job for the long haul, though may something to do if things get tight just to see you through.
Fruit-picking/Farm work – Sometimes fruit picking is referred to in Australia as ‘harvest’ work and is some of the easiest work to find, available all year round and room and board are covered. The downside is that it can also be some of the hardest and dirtiest. Because of the sheer size, differences in climate and types of crops within Australia, there is always work somewhere within this industry. If you will be in New Zealand for more than a few months, WWOOFING (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) is well worth a look. It provides a fantastic way to explore the ‘out of the way’ places and its also the perfect way to meet fellow travellers, unique locals and boost your funds. To view the Australian Harvest Guide, CLICK HERE.
Au Pair/Nanny – This type of work is available, though harder to obtain due to the strict requirements. You will need at least 200 hours of experience with children, a full driving licence, a police/medical check and a first aid certificate amongst other things. That being said, being a live-in nanny is a fantastic way to experience local culture and can pay well.
Construction Labourer – Next to fruit picking and farm work, labouring is another popular field of work for those on a working holiday and can assist with the extension of your visa if in the right areas of Australia. Labouring work is easy to get, though a couple of things are required before you start. Training is done on the job, though will need a ‘White Card’. This is mandatory on all work sites within Australia and it is known formally as an Occupational Health and Safety (General Induction) Certificate. If any potential employer tells you “you don’t need one”, turn around and walk away. Another compulsory requirement on is PPE (personal protective equipment). This includes – high visibility clothing, steel-toe boots, hard hats, ear plugs, and face masks. Always ask if this is provided, as sometimes it is, so you don’t waste your money. There are plenty of female traveller’s labouring around Australia as well, in roles such as road traffic control. You will need to be physically strong for this type of work.
To search our Live Job Board, CLICK HERE.