Travelling to Australia? Read our top tips to help you prepare for your working holiday in Australia

Landing A Job On Your Working Holiday In Australia | Part 3: Top tips to help you prepare for your working holiday in Australia

Australia is home to stunning beaches, unique wildlife, a fascinating indigenous culture dating back nearly 80,000 years and endless opportunity for fun and adventure. So what better place to spend a year or two working and travelling on a gap year?

If you’ve been dreaming of a working holiday in Australia but you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Enjoy an easy-breezy arrival. with these tips and resources to help you prepare for your Aussie Gap Year.

Tips to help you prepare for your working holiday in Australia

Whether you’re a natural when it comes to organising trips, or you’re more of a go-with-the-flow kinda traveller, there are things you can do to prepare for your working holiday in Australia.

It’s all about the experience!

When you start planning your working holiday, we recommend getting clear on what you want to gain from your experience. To make the most of your time in Australia, set aside some time and consider the following:

  • How long would you ideally like to spend working vs travelling? 
  • Is there anything on your Aussie bucket list you’ve been dreaming of doing or places you’d love to visit?
  • Are you looking to expand your skills and beef up your CV or simply fund your Aussie travel adventure? 
  • Would you like to experience living in an Aussie city for a while or would you rather pick up jobs as you travel around? 
  • How about extending your time in Australia with a 2nd year visa by completing 88 days of regional work? More on that here.

Part of the beauty of travelling is not knowing what might happen along the way, but it can help to think about what you’d like to get out of your epic year abroad to give yourself some direction.

For example, if you’d like to get a 2nd year visa, it might be worth completing your regional work in one chunk early on to maximise your adventure and travel time later on.

Research, Plan & Prepare

While it’s tempting to wait until you land to think about getting a job, getting organised beforehand can set you up for success from the start. That way, you can just focus on the fun stuff when you get here…did someone say free cheese and wine night at Wake Up! Sydney? 

Write your CV

To save valuable time when you arrive, get your CV written and up to date before you travel. That way, you’ll be ready for any job opportunities that pop up when you get here and as you travel around. Need some guidance on writing your CV? Check out our blog with tips for writing your Aussie resume.

Learn the language

If English isn’t your first language why not brush up on your English before you arrive? In most cases, you’ll be expected to communicate in English at work, particularly in customer service and hospitality roles. Take up lessons, binge those English Netflix series and get practising to build up your confidence. Keen to learn the Aussie lingo? Our guide to Aussie slang has you covered –  no wokkas!

See what’s out there!

See yourself working in a bar overlooking Bondi Beach? Always dreamt of working on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef? Take a look at our pick of the best jobs for backpackers and tips on how to search and apply.

Plan your travel route

If you’re planning to travel around Australia, having a rough route in mind will help you get the most out of your travels. You’ll have heard that Australia is a big country – yep, the whole of Europe could fit quite comfortably inside! – but did you know it’s so big, we have two different seasons and 3 different time zones? 

When the tropical rainy season up North is in full swing, Sydney boasts paradise summer beach vibes. When the South of the country gets chilly in winter, it’s actually the best time to visit the tropics in the North.

Of course, you may not want to plan out your whole adventure – where’s the fun in that?! – but it is worth considering the seasons whilst you’re making plans. Think about what you’d like to get out of your time in Australia and how that might tie in with your plans to work.

Check out our itinerary examples below for inspiration:

Tip: If you’re planning on fruit picking, try to avoid areas with harsh weather conditions at certain times in the year and enjoy a more comfortable farm work experience!


Research any courses you might need to complete in order to land certain jobs in Australia. For example, anyone serving alcohol in any venue in Australia needs to have completed a course in the responsible service of alcohol (RSA certificate). So, if you’re a cocktail-making guru or pour pints to perfection, you might want to plan your course before you arrive. Note: There are different courses to complete for different states. Not sure? Start with your NSW RSA to land a job in Sydney, all the way up to Byron Bay. Most states now allow you to complete this course online in half a day.

Plan your first week in Australia

The majority of travellers arriving in Australia on a working holiday land in Sydney. Not only is Sydney a convenient first stop, with cheaper flights from most corners of the world, but it also provides a great backpacker-friendly intro to Australia.

What’s more, Sydney is set up for travellers. Enjoy easy-to-navigate public transport, some of the best backpacker bars in Australia – we’re looking at you Side Bar, budget food options galore, plenty of backpacker job opportunities and amazing day trips, all accessible from the city.

By booking your first few nights of accommodation, you’ll give yourself time to get over your jet lag and familiarise yourself with this beautiful city. Wake Up! Sydney is located in the heart of the city and provides a fuss-free, fun base for you to kick start your trip to Australia and mingle with other travellers.

Backpacking or travelling Australia? Book your Sydney accommodation at Wake Up! Hostel in the centre of the city.

When you land in Australia

So you’ve landed in Sydney! Now what? Get ready to explore one of the most amazing cities in the world! 

Meet and Mingle

Not only will your new mates be part of your Aussie memories, but the more you mingle, the more chance of hearing about random and fun work and travel opportunities. Whether that’s a chance to explore the city with someone new, an epic group travel adventure, or hearing about a friend of a friend whose company is hiring.

For a great way to meet other travellers, take advantage of Wake Up! all-inclusive free guided activities when you stay, including beach and city walks, social evenings and themed party nights.

Tax File Number

Between socialising, if you’re keen to get stuck into the job search, then you’ll need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN). This can be applied for as soon as you get to Australia.

This will allow you to be taxed on any work you do on your working holiday. As you’ll be travelling on a working holiday visa, you’ll be taxed at a different rate to Aussies and in most cases you can also expect a big tax return at the end of the tax year – ka-ching!  

Your TFN can take up to 28 days to be processed, but not to worry – you can start work without it – for up to 1 month as long as it’s been applied for.

Search for jobs on the ground

Motivated to get stuck into looking for work? Take a look at our guide to finding work for tips and info on what to expect and how to apply.

Remember to be open-minded about the types of jobs you’re applying for. Your time in Australia could be the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Finding a job might be your top priority, but remember to enjoy the ride! With a little preparation, a great CV and a positive mindset, you’ll land a job in no time!

You've landed in Australia on your working holiday visa and now ready to find some backpacker jobs? Base yourself at Wake Up! Hostels - the perfect base for starting your job search, with plenty of support from the onsite team.

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