Things to Know Before You Work & Travel in Australia

Do you dream of work and travel in Australia? Right on! Here are a few things to know before you go deeper into planning your journey abroad.

Sunshine, sandals, and… paychecks. Working in Australia is a popular right of passage for many young expats keen for adventure and sustained world traveling. With dozens of job possibilities, thousands of opportunities, and a little thing called the Australian Work Visa program, it’s no wonder that intrepid globetrotters head south to Oz every year in droves. 

But is it all tan lines and cute animals? What should you be prepared for as you plan your own work abroad stint in Australia? We’re glad you’re asked. Traveling and working in Australia is about as close to a walk in the (very sun-soaked) park as you can get. Read on as we share our must-know tips for those considering work and travel in Australia.

Pro tips for working in Australia

Australia’s working holiday visa programs has made it an attractive destination for practical long-term travelers for years. We’re not really sure which came first. The fun, temporary jobs abroad in a variety of sectors? OR the hoards of international travelers looking for fairly low level, low commitment jobs? It’s a real chicken or egg situation (or are we say cassowary or egg situation).

The most popular short term jobs abroad in Australia are in the hospitality (hostel employment, bartending, barista gigs) and agriculture (physical labor like harvesting crops) sectors. You can also find plentiful work as an au pair abroad and in entry-level marketing and communications positions. If you have your sights set on mid-level or advanced positions, there’s absolutely opportunities for you—it’ll just require a more polished resume and more power heels and dress shoes in your backpack than thongs (flip flops!!!). Not to worry though, because companies like Alliance Abroad or InterExchange are here to assist you through every step of the process!

You might look at that country populating the southeast corner of your map and think, “Sure, Australia is big, but I can conquer it all pretty easily.” Think again. A flight from Perth to Brisbane—on opposing coastlines—will take you 4.5 hours. The vast Red Center takes hours (if not days) to cross by train. The tropical rainforests of the northeast give way to one of the biggest deserts on the planet. You can find shrubs and low lying grasses across the southern coastline.


Mountains more your style? Stick to traveling and working in Australia in Sydney and the east coast. Love feeling “away from it all” (except maybe quokkas?)? There’s an entire state for you: Western Australia. Laid back, artsy, and uber cultural destinations like Melbourne are a nice respite from the dusty, sun soaked, indigenous vibes of Alice Springs and provide yet another unique Aussie experience for the engaged traveler. Moral of the story: Australia is chock full of unique locations to explore, all overflowing with a variety of cultures and customs to experience.

And if you love to spend your time off the clock by the water, you’d be hard pressed to find a destination with more mileage of beautiful coastline. Talk about a good tan!

It’d be really awesome if you could just land in Oz after your direct LAX —> SYD flight and get hired ASAP, but alas, the world doesn’t work this way. You need to research and coordinate your application for a working holiday visa in advance of arriving to Australia.

On the bright side, so long as you fulfill the minimum requirements and can fork out the fees, you are close to guaranteed access to this work abroad opportunity. Further, you don’t need to secure your employment in advance, which gives you a lot of flexibility to find opportunities as they arise. However, companies exist to assist you in securing working opportunities before transitioning to Australia, making your Australian journey that much more smooth from the start! 

And one more bright side: Your visa isn’t attached to employment for a single organization, company, etc. You can move about at-will!

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