Working Holiday Header


At HABITAT HQ we know that working & travelling often can go hand in hand. This 'Working Holiday Maker' information page is designed to give you all the hot tips, helpful links, advice & contacts for quick & easy planning. Read on about how to go about it!

Melbourne, Victoria is the most liveable city in Australia. It is a friendly city with a relaxed & cosmopolitan culture. Job prospects are many & not only limited to seasonal jobs. A working holiday while you are based in Melbourne is a realistic opportunity for you to travel, meet and explore.

Working holiday experiences are viable & diverse. All backpackers & travellers want help to make this simple & efficient. At Habitat HQ we can do this with confidence by connecting you to service providers who have expertise in the working holiday employment services fields.


The Australian Government 'Working Holiday' and 'Work and Holiday' programs encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between arrangement countries. Australia is part of the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa scheme & this provides the opportunity for resourceful, self-reliant and adaptable young people to experience extended holidays in Australia and to supplement their funds through short term employment. The visa allows a stay of 12 months from the date of first entry to Australia, regardless of whether or not you spend the whole time in Australia.

The Department of Immigration & Citizenship has reciprocal arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker arrangements with United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, Japan, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Korea, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China, Finland, the Republic of Cyprus, France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia & Malaysia.

Citizens of the USA can obtain short term working holiday visas under a pilot program whilst negotiations are being confirmed for a reciprocal arrangement.

Click here to learn about your Working Holiday Visa options, eligibility, applications, extension availability, superannuation, employer obligations & administrative requirements - Australian Government – Department of Immigration & Citizenship




Nursing/ Healthcare


Account/ Finance

Engineering/ Construction/ Labouring

Be sure to always pick up the local newspapers & check the newspapers Classified section at the back of the paper. Often the surrounding suburbs of the Metropolitan cities there are suburban newspaper titles that local advertisers use as opposed to the national job search websites. Local businesses will look local!


  • Hospitality - waiter, waitress, bar person
  • Retail – shop assistant
  • Healthcare – nursing
  • Office & administrative jobs – “temping”
  • Labouring & building work
  • Horticulture & agriculture work ie. Fruit picking, jackeroo


  • First impressions count! Make sure you dress appropriately for the type of employment you are seeking!
  • Contact details are important, you must be contactable! A cell or mobile phone is the only way to make it easy for them so be sure to keep it charged & switched on!
  • Printed copies of your CV – resume are ideal to leave with employers if you are meeting with them or dropping in seeking work, again with all your full name & contact details
  • CV document files are handy to carry with you on memory cards, disc’s etc as applying for jobs on line & posting your CV to employer search sites is common in Australia
  • Register your CV & employment search details with the key Job Search websites



  • As a Habitat HQ guest you can use our PROPERTY ADDRESS for all mail requirements.


Keep in mind our southern hemisphere seasons & how employers prepare their businesses with staff to make sure they are ready for the busy months! Talk with other travellers and seek advice & contacts. Think ahead & realize that if you are thinking about cashing up with seasonal work at certain times of the year, others will be doing the same. If you want work arrive before the masses do! Don’t arrive in St Kilda or Sydney for summer fun by the beach in November expecting to find a job, it could be too late, the backpackers who thought ahead secured their jobs at the end of September!


  • Arrive in September/October in locations that you want work
  • There is less competition at this time & you will have more pick of the jobs & employers take on extra staff for summer
  • Keep in mind our university & collage students have holidays from November – February & look for similar casual work as backpackers.
  • April/May the busy season dies off & employers lay off seasonal staff for the cooler months


Metropolitan or regional towns?


The metropolitan cities create better job opportunities & pay rates. The bigger centres like Melbourne VIC, Sydney NSW, Brisbane/Gold Coast QLD will have more on offer than the smaller state capitals Perth WA, Adelaide SA & Canberra ACT, and again better pay rates!!


Keep in the mind the regional & particularly coastal towns which may seem the most appealing to live & work in often have low employment opportunities for travelers. The pay rate is usually less but equally the living costs are to! It’s all relative. Permanent local residents will usually have priority over travelers. Australia has large numbers of backpackers which is great but it can flood some markets.


You may find in some cities & towns that there are jobs advertised but not for travelers. Don’t be offended, it is a hangover from their last working holiday maker that let them down. They promised commitment but did not deliver & quite possibly just never turned up one day without notice! Sometimes more off the beaten track spots can produce more success for work & provide a more authentic Australian experience.


  • Be honest with employers about your availability, general consideration goes a long way. Don’t be a selfish working holiday maker as your behavior may effect the next backpacker being employed in your role. Karma baby, karma ☺


Australia has a real need & is welcoming to qualified & skilled workers particularly in certain sectors. Healthcare is one in particular that comes to mind. Of course always travel with authentic proof of your qualifications. There are recruitment & employment agencies that specialize in transitioning international visitors who are looking to be placed in their chosen profession. Habitat HQ has existing relationships with credible recruitment companies. When you stay at Habitat HQ we can initiate your connections & employment process in Melbourne.


The Harvest Trail Website provides jobseekers with important information about harvest work opportunities, working conditions, transport and accommodation options in the key harvest areas around Australia. There is a comprehensive National Harvest Guide that you can download off this site.

National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332 will advise you on the latest up-to-date information on harvest labour opportunities. This helps with information on wages/pay rates, working conditions or accommodation.


  • If you work in accredited regional areas for a minimum period of time there is opportunity to apply for 1 year working holiday visa extensions


Habitat HQ staff love to contribute to the events program and reduce their carbon footprint, and encourage our guests to get local. Volunteer work is great on your resume & personally satisfying by contributing to preserving our environment.


WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms. There are 1200 Organic farms in Australia which participate in the WWOOF scheme. If you're interested in agriculture or horticulture in general, this is fantastic as you can get hands-on practice in methods of organic farming, including biodynamics or permaculture - this is as much a learning experience as a job. 

WWOOF work is a very popular backpacker job as it also gives you a chance to experience rural Australian life and meet local people. Many farm stays are also run by Vegetarians and Vegans who live a very healthy lifestyle. There are also 100 non-farm hosts, such as schools and guest houses. To join the organization, buy a WWOOF book, this gives you info and contact details of the farms participating. Then you call your chosen farm directly to arrange a stay.


Of course bring your current CV & qualification documents with you. Technology makes this easier than ever to access & the cost of printing won’t break your travel account. Australian industries have compulsory ‘work-safe’ courses that are a must to secure employment when you arrive. Be mindful that these cost money, approximately $150 for a day course, but it is worth the investment to keep you aware of expectations on the job & indicates you are serious about employment.


  • Stash some cash! Don’t let your cash run dry before you look for work, you will get caught out.
  • Keep some funds back at home to cover possible costs of finding & preparing for employment. There may be training certificates, transport between interviews, gaps between work & possible uniform requirements.
  • Bar staff – require RSA certification (Responsible Service of Alcohol accreditation)
  • Don’t also be fooled into thinking you will earning thousands, its best to be conservative in your expectations & you can’t go wrong!

Training and Accreditation


Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)

This Visa is granted to citizens of a country that has a reciprocating agreement with Australia. These include people from 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 and United Kingdom.

Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)

This Visa differs from the Workign Holiday Visa becase the reciprocating agreement is the same. This link includes information for applicants from Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA on holiday and work visas in Australia.

Australian Government – Department of Immigration & Citizenship


  • If you are under 30 you may be eligible but BE SURE because it is only issued once!
  • You have to apply outside of Australia for this visa. If you are on a tourist visa, then decided you like the work on offer, take a quick trip to NZ (return flight from Melbourne – Auckland about AU $350) and apply for the visa there.
  • A visa will only allow you to work for any one employer for 6 months. Be realistic when looking for work, as a career or more professional job like your trained profession at home might be difficult to find on this basis
    • Guys can pick up construction/laboring/hospitality
    • Girls tend to go for retail, hospitality/beauty
    • Nurses can very easily obtain part time or casual work through the nursing and care provider agencies
    • Anyone with good English should be able to find work in a call centre as long as you intend to work for for 3 to 6 months


Get the boring but necessary stuff out of the way early!

Visa Bureau (Australia) The Australian Visa Bureau provides travel and short business visas for all UK and EU Nationals heading to Australia, as well as assistance for skilled workers emigrating to Australia.


Habitat HQ has teamed up with the Visa Bureau to offer you this great package: As a Visa Bureau Platinum cardholder you are entitled to: - FREE – 4th night stay free (* Dorms only) - FREE – Airport pick up from Tullamarine (Min. 3 night stay, conditions apply) - FREE – 3 hours internet - Vodafone SIM card - Job & Tax File Application assistance - Bank Account & ATM Card assistance - To redeem this offer you must show your signed Visa Bureau card & passport on arrival. Bookings must be made direct using this enquiry form:


If you have a working holiday visa, or are a student intending to work, you should obtain a Australian Tax File Number (TFN). You can apply for this in person, or online at Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

If you start work before getting your tax file number (TFN), you have 28 days to provide it to your employer. When you stop work, by law an employer needs to supply you with a copy of your Group Certificate – this is a payment summary showing your TOTAL INCOME & AMOUNT of TAX WITHHELD, as you will need this to lodge a compulsory annual tax return supplied to the Australian Taxation Office by the cut off month October, of the previous financial year (July – June).


  • There are all sorts of travel working holiday service providers that can make your life easy. Let the professionals sort out your administrational needs & keep the holiday mode in full swing. Taxback.com can help you with all your financial & tax needs. We have a relationship with them & our guests can access the forms & postage paid addressed envelopes to make it even easier!


Taxback.com provides global tax refund services for people and businesses all over the world. We can organise income tax refunds and corporate VAT refunds for you in your home country & we have made it easy for you from Habitat HQ!


You are entitled to access your retirement savings (superannuation) when you leave Australia. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website provides more information on accessing this money.


Before we get you started on planning your working holiday, do you have friends or family who worked on a VISA in Australia & have now returned home? If so, tell them about this great new service SuperScoopa. It is a superannuation recovery service for travellers who are not aware or did not claim the superannuation they paid whilst working in Australia. They may have dollars hiding here ready for their next adventure. Check out the link SuperScoopa.com


Medical treatment in Australia can be very expensive and it is advisable to have both travel and health insurance. It is strongly advised that you take out private health insurance to cover yourself in Australia.

The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta, Italy, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand which entitles you to limited subsidised health services for immediately necessary treatment while visiting Australia.

For more information visit the Health Insurance Commission.



Take our Habitat HQ Australian working holiday tips before you arrive & then book ahead with us so you are ready for Melbourne & can settle into work mode. Or if you are keen to learn english & study whilst here check out the English Education links.

Once you commence your stay at Habitat HQ in Melbourne you can take advantage of our on the ground connections, postal address, 24 hour internet café & FREE Wi-Fi options plus handy local knowledge about getting around & things to do.