Working holiday Australia guide: visa, flight, bank, work, accommodation

The Working Holiday Australia Visaalso called the WHV Australia, is a great way to work and travel in Australia.

The WHV Australia program is the perfect strategy for having an extended stay in Oz. It presents a golden opportunity to travelers and backpackers to earn an income for supplementing their travel funds.

whv australia

To be able to work and base yourself in Australia for an extended period of time makes living and getting around a lot more affordable and interesting. The working holiday Australia visa is particularly great for backpackers and gap year students who want to mingle with the local culture and undertake employment that can help them to sustain their stay and travel expenses.

The WHV Australia program gives you the opportunity to really experience life down under, to immerse yourself in the culture, and to meet locals and form life long friendships.

In terms of a gap year in Oz, the ability to gain new skills by performing different and unusual jobs, or by volunteering on worthwhile projects, can look great on any CV.

General Requirements for the Working Holiday Australia Visa:

  • You must have turned 18, but not turned 31, at the time of your visa application.
  • You must apply for the WHV Australia visa when you are outside of the country.
  • You can’t have entered the country on a WHV program before.
  • You must apply no more than 12 months before you intend to travel to Oz.
  • You must hold a valid passport for the country or region participating in the working holiday schemes.
  • You can enter the country at any time within 3 months of your visas grant date.
  • You can work and travel Australien for up to 12 months.
  • Leave and re-enter as much as you like within those 12 months.
  • Undertake temporary employment.
  • Visa fee = $235

How to Get Your Working Holiday Australia Visa:

The are actually two WHV Australia categories, subclass 417 and subclass 462, and it depends on which country you come from…

Firstly….the Working Holiday Maker Visa (Subclass 417) is available to people from:

  • United Kingdom
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan.

Farm work Australia 2d year visa… Due to the high demand for workers to help with Australia’s harvest (farm work), anyone who works three months or more in an agricultural position can qualify to farm work Australia 2nd year visa to stay one extra year. A great bonus!

This WHV Australia scheme allows you the right to short-term employment and the opportunity to work and travel Australia for up to two years (if you qualify for your renewal). It’s issued electronically, and there is no need to have a 3rd party apply on your behalf – as it’s very straightforward.

Secondly….the Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) is for people from:
  • USA
  • Chile
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey

This visa is also for people aged 18 – 30 who want to work and travel Australien for up to 12 months. This work visa allows you to supplement the cost of your holiday through periods of temporary or casual employment.

Learn more about this visa here.


If you get a new passport after you have processed your application for a visa, then you must advise the application department of your new passport before you arrive in Oz. Otherwise you may experience problems or delays as the Visa is linked electronically to your passport.

Moving to Australia Tips…

Moving to a new country can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be, and thousands have done it before you. There is oodles of  information out there to help you get started. One important issue that always comes up is healthcare, but luckily for some, the Australian Government has signed a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with certain countries. And another important thing to consider before leaving home is Travel Insurance.

You need travel insurance for your Working Holiday in Australia. You can’t afford getting into an accident and not having travel insurance to cover your medical bills. It could cost you a fortune! I recommend getting your insurance from World Nomads.

Luckily, you’re not the first working holiday maker to hit Australian shores, and there are resources in place to help get you started.

working holiday australia

Moving to Australia Tips:

  • Open a Bank Account Pre-Arrival….Sorting out your finances before you leave should make your move a little easier. Three banks that have international services can help you achieve just that. Try the HSBCthe Commonwealth Bankor the ANZ.
  • Healthcare Agreement – The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the following countries: United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Malta and Italy.

To enrol in the Australian Medicare System you will need:

  • your passport with a valid visa
  • to provide, in some cases, identification showing you are enrolled in your country’s national health scheme.

If your application to enrol in Medicare is approved, you will receive an Australian reciprocal health care card in the mail. Learn more here.

  • Leaving Australia Tax Overview – If you have been living in Australia, intend leaving Australia soon, or have recently left Australia, there are things you need to do to get your tax affairs in order. Learn more here.
  • Get Travel Insurance – Whilst you are moving to Australia and whilst you are traveling in and around Australia, it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for peace of mind. Check out World Nomad’s Travel Insurance who also come recommended by Lonely Planet. Learn more here.
  • Goods and Services Tax – Australia has a Goods & Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent.
  • Money – Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD). Consisting of  5, 10, 20, 50 cent coins and $1 and $2 coins. Notes consist of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
  • Emergency Assistance – The emergency number for police, ambulance and or fire brigade is 000.
  • Electrical Power Points – The electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so you may need an adaptor.
  • Postal Services – Post offices are usually open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travellers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia. Visit the Australia Post Website.
  • Climate – Australia’s climate varies, from hot and tropical in the far north to cool and even snowy in the south. Our seasons are the opposite to the northern hemisphere. Between December and February is summer for most of the country, and the wet season in the tropical north. Winter is from June to August. For weather updates online go  here.
  • Backpacking – If you’re a backpacker in Australia, you should invest in a quality backpack from a good brand. This SwissGear Backpack is a great choice for a working holiday in Australia. Need something bigger for the outdoors? You should try this backpack.

Helpful Websites:

City and State info:


Finding Cheap Flights to Australia…

One of your biggest costs in re-locating will be your airfare. But if you do some research, can be a little flexible with your travel dates, and be ready to act when the price is right for you, then you can find some good discounts. Many airlines fly to Australia and prices can vary considerably, depending on the time of year and your location, so it pays to shop around.

If you are a backpacker or a gap year student, then you should have several websites bookmarked for finding cheap flights to Australia and RTW (round the world flights).

Many airlines fly to Australia and prices can vary considerably, depending on the time of year and your location, so it pays to shop around.

An important thing to remember is, be ready to act! You can play the waiting and watching game which can reward you, but it can also frustrate and cost you.

The best way is to have a price YOU are comfortable with, then jump on it. That way you can be satisfied that YOU got a good deal, and you won’t have regrets.

By the way, all of Australia’s international airports have regular public transport such as bus, train and taxi connections to the city centres.  For more detailed information on all the airports, see the Australian Airports Guide.

Here Are Some Tips:

  • Start searching as early as possible – Preferably at least a month in advance as most deals involve making your reservation 21 days ahead.
  • Be Flexible With Your Dates  – Give yourself the best chance to capture any of the cheap flights when the prices fluctuate.
  • Adjust Your Times For Flying – Flying at unpopular hours increases your chances of getting flights cheap.
  • Fly On a Mid-Weekday – NEVER fly on weekends…Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest times.
  • Consider a Longer Layover  – Flights with longer layovers usually have lower price tags.
  • Avoid Holiday Periods  – Try not to fly within 7 days before or after a holiday.
  • Fly into the Largest City – Then either travel overland or take a cheap connecting flight to reach your destination.
  • Sign Up To An Airlines Mailing List  – Special airline promotion codes can knock up to 50% off your fare. These codes are offered directly by the individual airlines through their newsletter, e-mail, twitter feed etc.
  • Go Directly To The Airline Websites  – Once you look at all the various websites and search engines listed below, as a LAST resort go direct to that airlines own website. Many of the airlines have lower fares that you can only get when you book online at their site, or buy an e-ticket.

OK, below is a great list of websites and search engines to start searching  for your cheap flights to Australia and for flights within Australia…

Flights to Australia:

Flights within Australia:


Finding a Place to Stay When You Get There…

There are many options all over Australia for finding the right accommodation to suit your living and traveling  needs. Factors that will play a role in what is best for you include your budget, comfort zone, your relationship status, and even your employment location.

Finding Australia backpackers hostels, a flat-mate, a budget hotel, or other cheap accommodation is an important part of your working holiday Australia trip.

Depending on your budget, your comfort zone,  your travel style, and your relationship status, there are many options for finding the right accommodation to suit your short term and long term needs.

Whether you want to stay in a backpackers hostel when you first arrive or during your travels, or you want to find a flat-mate and more permanent accommodation, below is a list of your options…

  1. Stay in a Backpackers Hostel
  2. Find a Flat or a Flat-Mate
  3. Go Couchsurfing
  4. Find a Cheap Hotel
  5. VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner
  6. Mind My house

1. Stay in a Backpackers Hostel:

If you need budget accommodation when first arriving or cheap accommodation whilst traveling, a great place to start is a Backpackers Hostel. They are cheap, everywhere, and a great place to meet other travellers.

  • Hostel Bookers – To find a great hostel online in Australia with the lowest price guarantee, check out Hostel BookersYou pay no service charge or booking fee!
  • YHA (Youth Hostels Australia) – If you want to travel Australia on a budget and receive 10% off hostels plus discounts on transport, tours, and activities, then get yourself a YHA Membership.

2. Find a Flat or a Flat-Mate:

  • Flatmate Finder – is a great resource to advertise yourself if you are looking for a room, or to find rooms that are already being advertised. And the great thing about it is that membership and advertising on Flatmate Finder is FREE!
  • Gum Tree – another fantastic site for finding flats, units, apartments, and houses to rent  is Gum Tree.
  • TNT Downunder – This site has a database of more then 8,500 accommodation listings in Australia and NZ!

3. Go Couchsurfing:

  • Couch Surfing – is a great network that connects travelers with locals. CouchSurfing members share hospitality with one another, and hosts have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world without leaving home.

“Surfers,” or travelers, are able to participate in the local life of the places they visit. It also gives more people the chance to become travelers, because “Couch surfing” lowers the financial cost of exploration.

4. Find a Cheap Hotel:

There are several Hotel booking sites to compare hotel prices and facilities. Here are some of the best:

  • Hotels Combined– allows you to search all the best sites at once.
  • Hotel Calculator – find the best deal and book directly!
  • Wotif – broad range of accommodation — hotels, motels, apartments, B&Bs

5. VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner:

Vacation Rentals By Owner – Do you or a group of friends need a week away? Sometimes, staying in a vacation property is cheaper than a hotel. Compared to hotels, vacation rentals offer more value, space and privacy.

VRBO provide an online space for homeowners to advertise their vacation properties and make it easy for travelers to search 150,000+ rentals in over 100 countries worldwide.

6. Mind My House:

Mind My House – is a global house sitting matching service. They provide all the online tools for home owners and house sitters to find each other from around the globe (or around the corner). House sitters provide their house sitting services for free in exchange for the privilege of accommodation in the owner’s home.

Finding work in Oz

The next thing you will need to do is find your self a job. Luckily, the travel jobs market is a big and developed industry, and with thousands of other working holiday Australia makers already there, job agencies and job boards are plentiful. There are agencies and job boards for farm jobs, retail, hospitality, construction,  nursing, engineering, childcare, fruit picking  and many more. You may even just end up working in exchange for board and meals.

And like most things in life, personal contacts can play a huge role. Do you know somebody already on a WHV Australia visa and doing what you want to do? Make sure you talk with everyone and anyone both in person when you arrive, and online through the social networks that are available today.  Also,  if you are a gap year student, you may even already have your employment or volunteer project pre-arranged through a reputable company.

Travel Jobs and backpacker jobs in Australia come in all shapes and sizes. If you want to work and travel Australia we’ve got you covered. Job agencies in Australia are plentiful and travel jobs for backpackers is a large industry.

Whether you want farm jobs, retail, hospitality, construction,  nursing, engineering, childcare, or you want to go fruit picking Australia, chances are the opportunity is there for you!

Below is a list of websites, job agencies, and jobs boards to help you find backpacker jobs in Australia for those who want to work and travel Australia:

  • GumTree – Great job site for travelers. There is a Gum Tree site for every city!
  • TNT Jobs – Not as good as the UK version, but a good site for backpackers!
  • Helpx – Her’s an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation!
  • Fruit Picking – a great place to find fruit picking Australia work!
  • Harvest Trail – this site links job seekers with harvest jobs and fruit picking Australia seasonal info!
  • Aussie Jobs – For a REAL Australian work experience check out this site!
  • Thumbrella – Jobs for travelers around Australia
  • Travellers at Work – Job search club for working holiday visa holders and backpackers!
  • WWOOF – Willing Workers On Organic Farms. Work in exchange for your meals and accommodation!
  • Hospitality Jobs – Bar work, Kitchen Jobs, House Keeping, Security Guards etc
  • Men at Work – Labour hire on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland!

Nursing Jobs: Nurses with overseas qualifications will first have to register with the Nurses Registration Board in the state you want to work in. Visit the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia for all the info.

Nursing Agencies: There are loads of agencies out there to help you find a job including:

Teaching Jobs…As with nursing, teachers are required to register with the Teacher registration Board in each state they hope to work in.


Getting Around…

Australia is a BIG place and getting around can really eat into your budget. Depending on where you want to travel to, what you want to see, who you want to travel with, and for how long, will be a factor in what’s best for you. You can discover Oz by road, by train, by air, by bike, by boat, and by foot. You may travel independently, or as part of an organized tour group.

Australia is a big country, and how you get around depends on factors like your budget, the amount of time you have, and your traveling style.

Thankfully, there are options to satisfy all scenarios…

Cars and Campervans for Sale & Rent:

Backpacker Bus Companies:

Train Travel:

Tour Company:

  • GAP Adventures – For the Most Choices and Authentic Adventures You’ll Ever Experience!

Things To See And Do…

Do you want to explore a city, explore the outback, explore the never ending coastline, visit a National Park, tour a winery, attend a festival or a sporting event? Whatever it is, Australia is vast and has everything to satisfy and excite. To help get you started, we have put together a list of the top 16 things to see and do in Australia, as well as a list of free things, big things, and fun things. Go check out our Things To See And Do page now.

Enjoy your Working Holiday in Australia!
Visit our Backpacker Job Board to search for backpacker jobs in Australia