Work & Travel in Australia
Work in Australia and earn money to bask on the beach, explore the Outback, or savor city livin’ in the Land Down Under.
Greenheart Travel’s Work & Travel program in Australia is a chance to spend up to a year backpacking Australia, while making money to fund your adventures!
We’ll help you find short-term work in industries like hospitality, retail, food service and agriculture. You’ll work as much or as little as you want, earning the cash you need to travel around this gorgeous country and live like a local.
When you arrive in Australia, you’ll have support from our in-country staff as you find housing and work. You will also have an orientation during which you will meet other travelers, set up basic necessities such as bank/phone accounts, and spend a few days in dynamic Sydney.
If you’re looking for an independent adventure abroad without breaking the bank, Work & Travel Australia is for you!
Program At a Glance
- Spend up to a year freely traveling around Australia
- Pick up work in bars, restaurants, hostels, farms, and other short-term jobs
- Sufficient salary to live and travel
- Pre-departure and in-country support
- Flexible start dates and job opportunities
- You can arrive on any day of the year
- Applications due 8 weeks prior to desired start date
- Program is 6 months – 1 year upon arrival in country
- Must be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa
- Be between the ages of 18-30 years old
- Must outside of Australia for the visa application process
- Be a native English speaker or have near-native fluency
- Must have emergency accident/health insurance (can be purchased directly through Greenheart Travel for $60/month)
If you and a friend go on the same start date, you’ll each get $50 off your program fee.
*Price subject to change
- Pre-departure support and orientation from an experienced Greenheart Travel Program Manager
- Bank account set up prior to arrival
- Airport transfer upon arrival
- 3 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and 3 breakfasts
- Arrival orientation with in-country staff
- 1-on-1 job assistance service, support, and advice
- Resources and support for finding permanent housing
- Assistance preparing tax paperwork upon arrival and before departure
- Assistance with setting up an Australian cell phone
- SIM card
- Organized social events and activities throughout program
- YHA (Youth Hostel) membership
- 24-hour emergency support and service
- “Culture Smart!” guide to Australian Customs and Culture
What’s not included in the program fee?
- Visa processing and fees (about $420 AUD- you can apply online for your visa)
- Medical/accident insurance (available for purchase through Greenheart Travel for $60/month)
- International airfare
- Lunch and dinner at hostel during orientation
- Housing costs and living expenses (meals, utilities, etc.)
- Return transfers
- Personal expenses (see Budget)
The cost of living in Australia, especially in big cities like Sydney, is likely more than what you’re used to in your home country. So, it is important to budget accordingly to make sure you are financially prepared upon arrival and until you begin to make a regular paycheck.
Here is a rough estimate of your initial start up costs (in USD):
Program Fee: $950
*this amount is a requirement of the Working Holiday Visa, however, it is a good amount to have to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably until you start working
Average Weekly Costs:
Your salary will depend on how often you decide to work and what work you end up getting into. However, you are guaranteed to make Australian minimum wage ($23.31 AUD/hour), and as long as you’re working 25-35 hours per week, you’ll be making enough to live and travel on.
Wages and rent are paid weekly which makes budgeting your paychecks much easier:
Pay (minimum wage): +$699.30 AUD (30 hours/week)
Rent (+gas/utilities): -$230 AUD
Food: -$150 AUD
Phone and Internet: -$40 AUD
Transportation: -$40 AUD
Entertainment: -$100 AUD
Leftover: +139.30 AUD
These weekly costs will, of course, depend on your personal spending habits, where you live, how many hours you work, and if your job provides a higher pay/accommodation but you should expect to be able to save some of your paycheck every week.
Although you will most likely spend any extra cash on travel opportunities in between jobs, you have the potential to make back your start up costs:
Monthly Savings = $557.20 AUD
Yearly Savings = $6686 AUD
During your orientation upon arrival to Australia, you will meet travelers from all over the world. Before you arrive, your bank account will already be opened – you won’t have to research Australian banks or finalize your account. Instead, the team will have prepared all of your paperwork in advance. They will also set you up for the Australian tax system and give you your Tax ID so you file taxes before you leave.
During orientation you will meet the team and get all of the information necessary to start planning your time in Australia. You will learn about life in Australia, when to work, where to work, where to travel and when to travel.
Orientation starts every few days and will last 2-3 days. At orientation, you will:
- Learn about Australian culture
- Meet other travelers who have just arrived in Australia
- Review the yearly job market; what jobs are abundant and where
- Meet 1-on-1 with a job consultant to review resume, skill set, job preferences*
- Be introduced to online job boards for future jobs
- Sign up for any required courses you may need to be eligible for work like the RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) if you plan to work in environments where you serve alcohol (resorts, bars, cruise ships)
- Receive assistance in finding short or long term accommodation
- Receive tax ID and learn how to file taxes when you leave the country
- Have the opportunity to sign up for any group excursions before you start working
*Job Consultant Meeting
You will have the opportunity to meet with a job consultant and talk about your resume, what other skills you may have that aren’t listed on your resume, and to set your expectations for the type of work that you would be best suited for.
After the job consultant gets to know you a little better, you will be put on an Availability List along with all the other travelers. This list shows who is available to work, what their skills and preferences are as well as who is traveling and unavailable for work. This list is constantly changing as 50-60 employers call every day looking for employees to start working ASAP.
Our in-country staff will call you to let you know when you have been matched with a job, which you can take or turn down. Travelers who are open minded to the work they do may start working the day after they are placed on the Availability list, where others may hold out for their preferred position or decide to travel first. If you’re looking to work, you should expect to have a job within 2 weeks.
You may use this method to find work later in the year, though most travelers prefer to use the online job board to find subsequent work, especially if they have relocated outside of Sydney.
Most of your job opportunities will be in the Sydney area and in the southern region of Australia around Melbourne, Brisbane, and Cairns. Resort and agriculture jobs are offered in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. Greenheart Travel’s partner has professional relationships with trusted employers around Australia who pay fair wages and alert us whenever they have positions available.
What are the most common job types?
Hospitality, customer service and office work are by far the most common job type as Australian companies report that the high level of service in the US and Canada tends to produce workers who are well-suited for these types of positions.
Seasonal work in amusement parks, resorts, and on offshore cruises, etc. are great positions for more consistent and long-term jobs (3-6 months) where jobs in restaurants, bars, hostels and hotels are widely available for shorter contracts.
Working on farms and WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) are also popular among Working Holiday travelers who want to experience a different type of work outside of a city.
Can I change jobs while I am there?
Yes. Many jobs are seasonal, so it is likely you will hold more than one job in your host country. Also, visa requirements dictate that you will not be allowed to work for a given employer for a period longer than six months. Due to these factors, most Work and Travel travelers hold 2-3 jobs over the duration of their stay, which is a great way to travel to different parts of the country and experience as much authentic Aussie culture as you can!
You will have access to an online job board which will enable you to check employment postings wherever you are. You should also call or visit the Center in Sydney regularly to keep informed of new work opportunities.
Where will I live when I am hired?
Some jobs, especially those on resorts and farms, include housing or subsidized housing. Our in-country partner has relationships with some property managers who lease long term and/or group housing, and they can also provide guidance and resources to participants to help them find other types of housing depending on where they are working. Sometimes the employer can provide assistance as well.
Sydney generally has the highest cost-of-living. In Sydney, you will probably pay $160-$200 for a shared room (per week) if you are in a short-term accommodation. If you want your own room, it is more expensive. If you are staying a while, think about renting an apartment with some friends or moving in with some Aussies, as it is generally the cheapest option. However, some jobs will only be short term (1-2 months) and it can be difficult to find a short or open lease, so you may need to spend more towards $200 AUD/week to stay at a hostel. Melbourne and other major cities have a lower cost of living than in Sydney, but most jobs are available in and around Sydney.
How much will I make?
See the Budget page
Will I be able to get a job that will enhance my career?
The visa you’ll get only allows you to work at any one job for 6 months or less. Since employers looking to fill high-skill positions generally want someone for longer than that, it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that you’d get a more professional or high-skilled position. This program caters to people looking for a more casual work experience, and who are more focused on travel.
If you’re looking for a more professional experience, consider our sister program in New Zealand! In that program, you can work in higher-skilled, full-time jobs for the full year of your visa. That program is a great option for nurses, teachers, skilled laborers, etc, looking to add international experience to their resume.
How long does it take the get a job?
This varies. During the busy season when lots of jobs are available, sometimes several job prospects are already awaiting you when you arrive and you can start work right away. Other times it can take up to two weeks. Usually if there is a delay it is because you have rejected initial job prospects because they did not meet your expectations for some reason.
Can I work for longer than one year?
United States citizens are eligible for a second Working Holiday visa if they spend 3 months working in Northern Australia in one of the following industries:
- plant and animal cultivation
- fishing and pearling
- tree farming and felling
- tourism and hospitality
This means you could work for three months in one place, then have 21 more months to work and travel as you please in Australia! Our in-country staff will help you secure this type of work if you’re interested in taking advantage of this policy.
- Simple, online application
- Copy of Passport
- Copy of Resume
- Electronic terms and conditions
- $250 deposit
- Interview with Greenheart Travel program manager
Reviewing Your Application
Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you to confirm your acceptance. If you have submitted all documents, this can happen as quickly as 1-2 days. Acceptance can only be given after we have all of your required documents, so please submit them to us as soon as possible. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately.
Get started on your new adventure today and apply to Work and Travel Abroad in Australia!