There are opportunities a plenty after you arrive in Australia to find yourself working hard at a job. Many jobs for travelers are located in remote Australia, and this is a simple guide to finding them. If you're looking to work in the big cities, then consider your options for Australian city work while on your WHV.
As a backpacker the lowest hanging fruit, so to speak, is working the harvest trail. Work on the harvest trail is fairly easy to find picking fruit, vegetables, sorting, packing and even driving a tractor.
The key to successfully finding work here is being in the right location at the right time of year. The Australian Government has a general guidebook for where to be in what time of year, and where to be for certain types of fruits.
These books are only general rules, and don't account for variations in the growing seasons. A wet season will have fruit ripening later, if at all, and dry seasons will have fruit not ripening as well. Before you buy that bus ticket to rural Australia, call around to hostels and farms in advance to get the inside information. It could save you a trip out and a lot of money waiting around if no works is happening when you arrive.
The easiest way to find fruit picking work is by asking hostels, Information centers, and farmers. Go to the areas known for growing fruit and vegetables and ask the people who live there. You will be surprised how many people are happy to offer advice.
Even at a place as simple as a petrol station you may find someone who knows someone. In fact, at a petrol station on the way out of Adelaide the woman working behind the counter was looking for a couple travelers to work on her potato farm. If you keep your options open, you really never do know what you may find.
Harvest work doesn't pay well if you are slow at it. If you are lucky with timing, or if you get in with the farmer, there is harvest work out there that pays hourly. The rate is usually 17-25 AUD per hour. You only work on days when the weather is cooperating and you can't be guaranteed a lot of work.
Then, you can even get work packing fruit, which also pays hourly. Work here is more consistent than picking and the pay is better. To find this, you can ask the farmer if they have any positions or call up the actual packing company.
According to reports by newspapers and other media, regional Australia has a labor shortage. While many of these jobs require certain qualifications, many others do not.
These jobs can be found by searching Australian job search websites in regional areas.
If you are in Australia already and have an area or place in mind, go there and find the nearest pub or hotel. Ask the owner if he knows of anyone in the area who might be looking to hire a backpacker or two.
Pay for these jobs is very dependent on the industry, but you can expect $20+ per hour.
We found ourselves in a small town near Adelaide working for a concrete company, pouring cement into molds and helping around the shop. It was only short term, but it helped pay for us to move on to the next town.
This type of work will also get you well and truly off the "backpacker trail" and meeting the locals.
The Hospitality industry is another popular option for backpackers. These jobs can be found everywhere, from remote locations to big cities. There is the whole range of luxury to backpackery.
The pay for hospitality work is 15-25 AUD per hour. While the wage is very good compared to back home the cost of living is also quite high in many parts of the country.
If you're living in a hostel in an average city, you will likely be paying 30-60 AUD per day, everyday whether you're working or not. That means the first 3 hours of every day you work are going straight to your living costs. You will be able to save some, but not much if you plan to have a social life.
Hospitality work in remote locations is easy to come by in the massive country. Some remote areas that have hospitality work include the Whitsundays, Flinders Ranges, Kangaroo Island, and in the Territory. If you find yourself working in hospitality in remote areas of Australia, they will often provide housing, food and other necessities at a reduced price.
One Outback Wilderness Resort in South Australia, for example, charges crew $100 per week which includes lodging, 3 daily meals and internet. Considering we work 50 hours per week and the fact there's really nothing else to spend your money on, this makes lots of room for saving money to continue on your travels.
It is a fact that in these situations determined travelers have been known to save for 3-6 months and leave with 15,000-20,000 AUD in the bank account. Not bad for only a few months of your life slinging beers or washing dishes. It can be tough living in these situations. It all really comes down to the people. If you like the people, then you will be able to handle the job.
Positions like this are always opening up, with the revolving door of staff members averaging from 2 weeks to 2 months before getting fed up with outback life. If you can handle living there, the reward can be worth it. For a further in depth review of one experience working at an Outback Resort.
These are just a few options for backpackers traveling around Australia to find work. There are many more. If you are an employer who hires backpackers contact us and we can help you find people to fill your ranks.
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