Site logo

Jobs for Backpackers in Australia

Going to Australia on a working holiday visa will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. 

Working and traveling around Australia gives you the chance to save money (so you can see more of this amazing country), have fun, make new friends and get to see the ‘real’ Australia. 

Some jobs for backpackers in Australia will even allow you to extend your stay in Australia for 1 or 2 years if you are on a Working Holiday Visa 417 or 462. 

You don’t need to stress about finding a job before you arrive in Australia, many other backpackers start looking for jobs after they arrive and find work very easily as many jobs don’t require any experience. 

In this guide to backpacking jobs here in Australia, I’ll provide you with insights into the types of jobs available in our country and how to secure them.

Jump Links

1. Seasonal Jobs in Australia – Get Your Second & Third Year Visa Days

Get off the beaten track and get yourself a real Australian experience by working on a farm in regional Australia. This country is huge, has a lot of farms that produce a huge range of different agricultural products. There is always a desperate shortage of workers and you can get a job on a farm very easily with no experience required.

Check out our top job list for backpackers and see what will suit you. In this video, you’ll learn about the jobs, their responsibilities, and how to apply for them.

1.1 Harvest Work

Involves working with grain crops (wheat is the most popular grain crop in Australia); cotton; and all kinds of vegetables. Work in this sector includes tractor driving, header (combine harvester) driving, and driving chaser bins. If you have no experience driving tractors, a lot of these farms look for people to move augers, refuel headers, and cook meals.

1.2 Fruit Picking & Packing

This is easily one of the most popular jobs amongst backpackers because there are orchards everywhere in Australia. Because of the different climates here, you can travel around the country chasing good weather and working with all sorts of different fruits and vegetables. 

Farm work also counts towards your eligible 88 or 179 days to extend your working holiday visa for a second year visa or third year working holiday visa.

Great Benefit

The majority of the pickers on the farms are generally backpackers and there is a great social environment at work and outside of work on your time off. I’ve made lots of friends working on the farms in Australia.

Popular Farming Jobs

Backpackers who are looking for farm work in Australia have a wide variety of options to choose from. Some of the most popular farming jobs for backpackers include fruit-picking, dairy farming, poultry farming, wheat farm jobs, sugar cane farm jobs, cotton farm jobs, wool farm jobs, and beef cattle station jobs. I discuss more of this in the Farming Jobs article.

In Our Experience

Having worked on a lot of farms in Australia and conversing with many other backpackers, here are some of the best farming jobs we’ve encountered:
a backpacker holding a bunch of grapes from harvest

Cherry Picking – Tasmania – The season generally runs from Early December to Late January. Cherry picking is generally a lot easier than other picking jobs because the trees are short (no using ladders) and the weight of the bucket used to collect the fruit is generally less than 7 kilograms so it won’t kill your body. It also pays well compared to other farming jobs.

Tasmania generally has cold and wet weather throughout most of the year but over the summer period you will experience clear blue skies most days and there are so many amazing things to see and do on your days off. If you’re doing your farm work during the summer periods Tasmania is one of the best places I can recommend because it is cooler between 22 – 30 degrees.

Grape Picking – Southern Parts of Australia – Just like the cherries the grape vines are at the perfect height that you don’t need to bend over and it is generally very easy work that pays well.


Strawberry Picking – Australia-Wide – In my experience (and many other backpackers will advise) you are best to stay away from strawberry picking. The bushes are very low to the ground, so you will need to crouch in a squatting position and crab walk as you work yourself down the row, or spend the whole day bending over and standing up. The bushes also have thorns that irritate your hands all day. That said, you can find some awesome farms to work on and do paid well on most farms.

1.3 Crop Maintenance

Work in crop maintenance can include anything from spraying crops to pruning trees and vines. Vine pruning is one of the easiest crop maintenance jobs to get into; and the work, although very monotonous, is very easy to do.

1.4 Pearling

Pearling can be hard work, but if you enjoy the sea (and pristine beautiful places) and don’t mind getting dirty then you should enjoy pearling.

The Best Thing About This Job: you will get the opportunity to see an amazing and diverse array of Australian marine life. Find out more about pearling job and how to land it easily.

2. Fun/ Social Jobs for Backpackers in Australia – Make Friends, Have Fun and Earn Good Money

There are tons of jobs in Australia that are fun and social, offering the potential to make good money that doesn’t involve farm work.

2.1 Tourism

The tourism industry in Australia is huge! With many travelers coming to Australia to see the great sights there is a huge demand for workers in the tourism industry.

Imagine sailing around the Whitsundays on a boat and getting paid to do so!

Depending on the type of activity most tourism is seasonal and employs temporary staff just for the season. There are tour companies right across Australia aimed at backpackers and they often look for backpackers to work for them.

2.2 Hospitality

Hospitality is one of the most fun and social jobs, you’ll make lots of friends from your workplace and other workplaces as well. Hospitality also has excellent pay and penalty rates for casual staff. Penalty rates apply for working nights After 7 pm ($1-2 more per hour), Saturday ($5 more per hour), Sunday ($5 – $10 more per hour) and public holidays you get double pay!

It is always best to have experience if you are looking for a job. Try and get some experience in hospitality in your home country before you arrive here to improve your chances.

To get a job in a bar or restaurant you will first need to get a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA). This is very easy to get and I have already created an RSA Full Guide for you.

Types of Hospitality Jobs That Hire With No Experience Are:

If you’re looking for Jobs in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide you will find it harder to find jobs with no experience for Waitress and Bartending jobs.

You will find that different places have particular seasons, and you will find it easier to get a Hospitality job in Darwin & Cairns during the dry season when all the backpackers go there.

Great Perks:

Hospitality workers usually get Mondays & Tuesdays off as this is a slow day for most businesses and many bars offer hospitality (hospo) discounts these days and it is a great socializing culture with other hospo workers from the area.

Counts towards Visa Days (Subclass 417 & 462) – Hospitality work can count towards your eligible 88 days or 179 for your second and third-year visa if you are on subclass 417 or 462 visa. However, you will need to get a Hospitality job in Northern & Regional areas of Australia. See my Second Year Visa guide for more information.

“Working in hospitality is always a good start, especially if you want to get better with the English language.“

3. Jobs That Save You on Food and/or Accommodation

Australia can be an expensive country to travel around. While traveling there are ways to get accommodation and sometimes food for free! Here’s how.

3.1 WWOOFing and HelpXing

Both Wwoofing and HelpXing are great ways to cut down on costs while traveling around Australia. WWOOF stands for “Willing Workers on Organic Farms” and basically involves working on farms for free, in exchange for meals, accommodation and a unique cultural experience. HelpXing, short for “Help Exchange”, works in mostly the same way as Wwoofing.

The best part about Wwoofing and HelpXing: It allows you to get off the beaten backpacker trail and experience “real” Australian life.

Please note:  WWOOFing used to be accepted as farm work for your eligible visa days to extend your visa. It is no longer accepted, only paid work with a payslip is accepted. Some farms are unaware of the rule changes.

“There is such a huge variety of work available (HelpXing) such as farm work, construction projects and gardening. This is a great experience and a great way to save money whilst looking for paid work.“

3.2 Volunteering

There are plenty of opportunities, from working with wildlife to helping with disaster relief. Visit our Volunteering page to learn more about how you give back and volunteer in Australia.

Are you willing to work in exchange for accommodation? Volunteering could be your thing! Check out this video for all the details on volunteering and the awesome perks it brings.

3.3 Working in a Backpackers Hostel

Many backpacker hostels around Australia offer backpackers the chance to work for a few hours a week, (mostly cleaning and reception work) in exchange for accommodation. Most will want you to stay for at least 2 months. Some hostels do offer full-time paid jobs too.

Pretty much every hostel I stayed in Australia has backpackers volunteering, a lot of them also find a backpacker job to save money whilst getting free or discounted accommodation.

The best thing about working in a backpacker hostel: You get to work in a fun environment and meet other backpackers from around the globe!

3.4 Live-in Nanny or Au-Pair

Working as a live-in nanny or as an au-pair in Australia can help you save heaps of money as accommodation and meals are provided. Many families will also provide free WI-FI and the use of a car.

4. Serious Money Saving Jobs

There are a lot of jobs that pay very well and can give you a quick cash injection for your next travels. Most jobs in regional Australia and in the outback will allow you to save some serious money as there won’t be many places where you can spend your money! Here I list some of the popular ones:

4.1 Outback Roadhouse

an infographic list of money saving jobsThere are quite a lot of roadhouses in regional Australia; they are often located on main highways in between regional towns. Due to their isolated locations, they find it hard to attract local staff and hire a lot of backpackers.

The money is usually quite good and often accommodation and meals are included or heavily discounted (you can usually stay on site). Because Roadhouses are usually isolated there is nowhere to spend your money and you can end up saving a lot of money fast.

Roadhouse work varies from Roadhouse but job tasks can include Cashier, Cleaning, Cooking, Bartending, Barista, and Yard Work. You are often employed as an Allrounder and do a mix of the above. However, keep in mind that some roadhouses operate 24/7 and some roadhouses mainly hire backpackers to work night shifts and weekends.

4.2 Mining

Mining jobs in Australia also pay extremely well, so it is worth checking out, especially if you have a trade such as boilermaker or electrician.

“Trades people like fitters, welders, boilermakers and electricians still have a fairly good chance of picking up work on mining sites. If you don’t have a trade, doing a rigging or scaffolding course would give you a good chance at getting a job.“

4.3 Cattle Station

Become a Jack(or Jill!)-aroo and work on an outback cattle station. Life on a cattle station is never dull and it is a truly unique experience that you will remember for years to come. Working on a station will also give you the opportunity to save a lot of money, as they are usually very isolated with nowhere to spend your hard-earned cash; plus food and accommodation are provided!

5. Jobs That Are Easy To Get

Sometimes, you just want to get any available job, to tide you over until you get a better job or go traveling. Hostel notice boards and Gumtree are usually the best places to find these types of jobs.

5.1 Sales

Sales jobs are very easy to get into, even at entry-level, and with some offering an hourly rate plus commission, you could end up earning good money.

“It’s worth researching the advertised companies before you apply for them. If they are any good, they will have lots of information on their website, including awards and stories about their employees. If you can’t find much about them, then move on and look for another company.“

5.2 Charity Fundraising

Charity fundraising is great for those who are outgoing and like to socialize. It’s also a great opportunity for solo travelers to meet people. Work in charity fundraising includes call-centre work, face-to-face street team fundraising and being a brand ambassador at events.

The best thing about working in charity fundraising: A lot of these companies offer sponsorship.

5.3 Call-Centre

Call-centre work (i.e. customer enquiries, sales) is super easy to get, so long as you have a reasonable grasp of the English language. There are plenty of entry-level jobs in call centres and training is usually provided in the first week or two.

5.4 Working at Events and Festivals

There are tons of temporary/casual jobs available working at events in Australia’s major cities. Work includes: packing up after trade fairs; serving at conferences and big events; and setting up stages and marques for major events. If working at a festival you often get to enjoy some of the music while you work.

6. Jobs That Plentiful – some experience required

These are some of the most popular backpacker jobs that are fairly easy to get into once you have some training and/or experience; however, experience isn’t always necessary for these jobs either.

6.1 Retail

There are plenty of opportunities to work in retail in Australia’s major cities. Even though the work isn’t that difficult, most employers (particularly big chain stores) prefer that you have some experience in retail or sales, but it isn’t always a requirement.

“If you happen to be traveling at Christmas time, retailers do take on staff for 3 months, and so they will be open to those applicants on a WHV“

6.2 Temporary Administration

Again, you can get temporary admin jobs without previous experience, but it is much easier to get into if you have some previous experience and skills. Work includes receptionist, filing, data entry and general office work.

The best thing about temporary admin jobs: You work on short-term contracts. This allows you to work and save for a period of time without worrying about having to quit a job so that you can travel.

6.3 Labouring and Construction

You can get entry-level work as a general labourer, but the pay isn’t as good and the work is definitely more physically demanding than if you were a skilled labourer with experience. However, wages are better for general labour if you to decide work in regional parts of Australia.

Regardless of any experience you have, you will need to get a White Card to work on any construction site in Australia. See our full guide on How to get a White Card in Australia

The best thing about working in labouring and construction: You can get your second and third-year eligible working holiday visa days if you meet certain requirements. I have written a very useful Second Year Visa Guide that has all the details.

7. Scams in Australia

As you can see from this article there are plenty of jobs in Australia, however, unfortunately, there are some people who try to take advantage of backpackers knowing they are looking for fast money. I thought I should mention a few of the job scams in Australia so you don’t fall victim.

7.1 Fake Contractor Scam in Australia

I perinfographic list of scam jobs for backpackers in Australiasonally saw one of my friends fall victim to this scam, he was desperate for a job, low on money and didn’t see it coming. There are probably a few variations but here’s how it went. The scammer will call up a hostel and say they need 5 – 10 workers tomorrow (can vary the number of people) for a few days’ work (can vary the length).

The scammer will offer to pick them up from the hostel and take them to the job site and drop them off at the hostel. Sounds ideal for a backpacker at a hostel usually with no car. They will leave their number with the receptionist and anyone interested should message them directly.

Once the victim messages the number you are reassured you will be picked up at a certain time at 8 am and the job sounds like easy work etc. However, you are told before you start the job you need to obtain a certain certificate or obtain certain PPE or company t-shirt etc (can be anything that costs money but seems reasonable for a job) and they provide a link to pay. The amount can vary but is usually a reasonable amount of $20 – $100 (can vary). The amount needs to be paid otherwise you can’t start. This scam works well with backpackers because they don’t often know the certificates or requirements to work in particular industries.

In my friend’s case, 8 of them were waiting outside the hostel at 8 am having paid $60 each and no one showed up. The scammer was never going to show up; the scammer may not have even been in the same town or even in the country and got themselves an easy payday.

This scam works well because the hostel receptionist (usually a backpacker) acts as the middleman talking to and passing on information to the potential backpacker victims who have no direct contact with the scammer. The receptionist often receives phone calls of this nature so it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. Quite often, contractors will call up hostels and offer legitimate work and follow through with the job offer. Many backpackers do get employed this way while staying at hostels.

To avoid this scam, speak on the phone to the contractor directly or meet them in person before you start. It is extremely unlikely you need to obtain any of the materials or pay any money before starting a job. If they insist you can tell them to just take it out of your pay. If they won’t let you start without paying money first it is likely to be a scam.

7.1.2 Farm Work Accommodation Scam

Not necessarily a scam but some farms offer on-site accommodation while you do your farm work. The accommodation is usually extremely overpriced over $250 a week for a shared dormitory with poor conditions. Some farms will not let you work there unless you stay onsite and pay for the massively overpriced accommodation. This is a big red flag. Think about the location of the farm, in the middle of nowhere in Regional Australia and they are charging higher prices than you would pay for a hostel in the big cities. Bundaberg in Queensland has a bad reputation for this amongst backpackers.

The variation to this is the farm will offer you a ride to work from your accommodation at a hugely inflated price. Even worse if you are already staying at their overpriced accommodation, you get hit twice in the pocket.

To avoid this try and secure your own accommodation and/or transport to the farm, the farm is usually a bit disgruntled about this if they are offering overpriced accommodation. Sometimes they won’t let you work unless you take their overpriced accommodation. Big Red Flag. If it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t! Find another farm there’s plenty around.

7.1.3 Working Hostels Scam

A slight variation to the above scenario. Don’t get me wrong, some working hostels are great. The way they work is they have contact with the local farmers and source the farm work jobs for you if you stay at their hostel. Saves you looking and they have all the important contacts.

Where this can go wrong is unfortunately some hostels charge overinflated prices for you to stay and use their job-seeking service and again you can also get hit with overinflated transport costs to work. In some cases, they only want to fill the beds and have very little care about finding you work once you have paid for your bed. They suck you in by offering a weekly or monthly discount if you pay upfront (sometimes non-refundable). Sometimes the jobs they offer are very undesirable jobs or farms that have a bad reputation and mistreat backpackers. They may also provide work but only 1 or 2 days a week, barely enough to cover your extremely high accommodation costs. Again Bundaberg has a bad reputation for this.

To avoid this before going to any working hostel, check the reviews, and talk to other backpackers about their experience with certain working hostels. Some are actually very good, but unfortunately, there are bad ones.

If you’re willing to take a chance on one (some can be very good) try to book 1 or 2 nights and when you arrive speak to the guests that are there about their experience so far. See if there are any legitimate jobs before you book for a long-term stay (week/s or month).


There are a lot of options for backpackers; some of the most popular are fruit picking, farm work, and hospitality and there are some hot spots for these. Locations are varied throughout the country based on many factors.

Backpackers often choose popular cities like Sydney and Melbourne but other cities and regional areas like the Outback offer unique experiences and opportunities for backpackers to live, work, and explore.

Forgot Password