Australian Working Holiday Visa: Top tips for your trip

Every year, thousands of young Brits flock Down Under in search of adventure. One of the most popular ways of doing this is the Australia Working Holiday Visa, a specialist visa that allows you to supplement your travels through casual work.

What is an Australia Working Holiday Visa?

The visa allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the date that you enter. You can work with each employer for up to 6 months and even study for up to 3 months. Once your Visa is granted you have 12 months to enter Oz, so you can get cracking on organising the essentials for your holiday.

Arrange your Working Holiday Visa

It’s best to apply for your visa before you do anything else. There’s no point booking your flights etc. until you know you can actually set foot in Oz (Australian Immigration is strict and means that everyone visiting Australia has to have a visa of some sort).

You can apply for the Working Holiday Visa no more than 12 months before your intended travel date, but this still gives you plenty of time to arrange your essentials. For more detailed information about the visa and how to apply, see here.

The cost

Currently, the Working Holiday Visa costs AU$495 (£264 approx.).

Get the right insurance

Whether you’re working in a Melbourne bar or scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll need the right insurance policy to cover all your activities in Australia.

It’s not the most glamorous part of your trip, by any means. However, a bit of research now could save you a massive headache later on.

Specialist gap year insurance gives you all the cover you’ll need for your trip. For more information, see here.

Second year visas

You can get a second year visa by completing 88 days of rural work. For backpackers, this generally means one thing: fruit picking.

Some people love it, some people don’t. It really just depends on the type of work you get and the farm you’re on.

By Australian standards the work is low paid, but, if you can hack the three months, it’s an excellent way to save up for the rest of your trip – rural areas are usually far removed from most of Australia’s star attractions so there’s not much to spend your money on.

It’s often incredibly hard, monotonous work but as everyone is in the same boat, there’s a certain camaraderie to it.

However, if you’re after that second year in Oz, it’s the only way (unless you’re a have a skill or someone is willing to sponsor you; this is much more long term and you can find more information about that here).

Certain areas are better known. Working hostels have sprung up around these areas, they offer cheap (and often poor) accommodation, but they are also useful for finding work. Usually, once you’re booked into a hostel, you are placed on the work list. Once this happens, it’s just a case of waiting for regular work. You might go a month working here and there or land a regular job on your first day – it really depends on the season, the demand and how many other people are looking for work.

WOOFING (Working on an organic farm) also contributes to your 88 days, but instead of payment, you work for food and board. This option supposed to be much more relaxed than industrial farming.


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