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.
- Spend up to a year working and traveling in Australia
- Assistance finding work in bars, restaurants, hostels, farms, and other short-term jobs
- Sufficient salary to live and travel
- Save up to $500 AUD/month after living expenses
- Pre-departure and in-country support
- Welcome Week in Sydney with daily excursions and group activities
Have questions for a program manager? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You must meet the following requirements to apply
- Citizen of one of the following: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, EU
- Must be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa
- Be between the ages of 18-30 years old
- Must be outside of Australia for the visa application process
- Be a native English speaker or have near-native fluency
**Due to visa regulations for a Working Holiday Visa we cannot make exceptions to these requirements. These are put in place by the Australian government.
The Sydney Welcome Week starts on Fridays, so you’ll arrive on one of these Thursdays:
|January 10, 2019||November 1, 2018|
|February 7, 2019||December 1, 2018|
|March 7, 2019||January 1, 2019|
|April 4, 2019||February 1, 2019|
|May 16, 2019||March 1, 2019|
|June 6, 2019||April 1, 2019|
|July 18, 2019||May 1, 2019|
|August 15, 2019||June 1, 2019|
|September 12, 2019||July 1, 2019|
|October 10, 2019||August 1, 2019|
|November 7, 2019||September 1, 2019|
|December 5, 2019||October 1, 2019|
*July is the low season in Australia. If the group is too small for July, those participants may be asked to attend Welcome Week in August instead.
- Fun and adventure welcome week upon arrival in Sydney
- 6 months of international medical insurance
- Pre-departure support and orientation from an experienced Greenheart Travel Program Manager
- Bank account set up prior to arrival
- Alcohol service certificate (to allow you to work in bars and restaurants)
- Airport transfer upon arrival
- 7 nights’ hostel accommodation (shared room) and 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
- 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 $450 AUD- you can apply online for your visa)
- International airfare
- Lunch and dinner at hostel during orientation and Welcome Week
- Housing costs and living expenses (meals, utilities, etc.)
- Return transfers
- Personal expenses
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: $1430
*this total 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 Budget:
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 ($18.93 AUD/hour), and as long as you’re working 28-38 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): +$662.55 AUD (35 hours/week)
Rent (+gas/utilities): -$230 AUD
Food: -$150 AUD
Phone and Internet: -$40 AUD
Transportation: -$40 AUD
Entertainment: -$100 AUD
Leftover: +102.55 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 = $410.20 AUD
Yearly Savings = $4,922.40 AUD
Sydney Welcome Week
During your first week in Sydney, you’ll have 7 days of activities and excursions where you’ll get to know fellow travelers and enjoy your introduction to this gorgeous country!
Thursday: Arrive, hang out, settle in, and meet your new travel buddies!
Friday: Orientation and Pub Crawl
Saturday: Sydney Harbour Cruise
Sunday: Walking tour of Sydney
Monday: Excursion to Blue Mountains National Park
Tuesday: Visit Pylon Lookout
Wednesday: Costal Walk and Beach BBQ
During your first week in Sydney, you’ll attend a brief orientation to prepare you for your job and housing search. 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 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.
At orientation, you will:
- Learn about Australian culture
- Review the yearly job market; what jobs are abundant and where
- 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
You will meet 1-on-1 with a job consultant to review resume, skill set, and job preferences.
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.
- You can start the application here: Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 10-15 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.
- Sign our online Terms and Conditions Document. These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.
- Submit your $300 deposit. A deposit is required in order to apply for the program and is subtracted from your total program fee. We only have the resources to interview serious applicants for this program, which is why we require the deposit ahead of the interview. We get thousands of applications each year, and while we wish we could meet everyone, we only have the time to interview those who are committed to participating. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.
- Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. Links to this part will be emailed to you. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts.
- Submit your required documents at the link provided.
- Schedule your video interview! Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application deposit, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.
- You’re accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within a 1-2 weeks of their interviews.
- Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment deposit within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program.
- Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Australia!
The above process can take as little as 1 week to complete, so it’s up to you how quickly you’re able to complete each step.
Schedule a Call
Have questions or want to talk to the program manager, Zoe? Set up a time to have a phone call below.