Being able to travel and work around Australia is a fantastic way to see this country. Many of us, living full time on the road are doing exactly this; doing different jobs as we travel Australia, enjoying the semi-retired and travel lifestyle.
Replenishing the travel funds is a one reason for why so many nomads are travelling and working Australia. The opportunity to experience new places, use and develop new skills and knowledge and live a life less ordinary are some of the other reasons.
What are the ways to make money while travelling Australia? Below is an extensive guide with tips and ideas on how to travel and work in Australia.
Types of Jobs For Travellers
Accommodation Host or Caretaker
Caravan parks, campgrounds, hostels and the like are regularly looking for travellers (often travelling couples) to take on the role of host or caretaker. These roles can require hosts or caretakers to live on site which can be a bonus in expensive tourist areas. Other roles can include taking and managing bookings, cleaning of facilities and onsite accommodation and gardening. Positions can be full time, part time, casual, temporary or done on a contract. They can be paid, voluntary or an exchange (usually your site fees wavered for a certain number of hours work each week).
TIP: Register for an ABN before travelling. Many temporary employment opportunities require you to have one.
There seems to be an endless amount of farms and businesses across Australia looking for workers with licences ( MR, HR, HC or MC ) for driving trucks, buses and farm machinery as well as forklift licences. The work available is almost always paid and can be from a few weeks to ongoing.
TIP: Consider upgrading your licence before travelling.
Carnivals, festivals, shows and all sorts of other events that are regularly held in communities all over Australia and they regularly need temporary casual staff. Jobs can be varied from setting up, ticket sales, merchandise sales, cleaning, food and drink service, selling of products, demonstrates and so much more.
Some positions are paid, exchanges are popular such as free tickets or entry (Birdsville Bash is a popular example) and others pay commission.
Farm and Station Work
Farm and station work is incredibly varied and diverse. It can be the caring of animals, livestock or crops, manual labour such as fixing fences and farm buildings, mustering, bore running, taking care of the farm house and garden or a thousand other possible jobs.
Work on farms and stations is a great way to experience Australia’s regional centres and the outback. The hours, pay and conditions can vary greatly depending on experience and skills needed to do the job.
Children in remote and outback areas of Australia have little to no access to day care or schools. Employing a governess (male or female) is something some parents of these children choose to do. The role of the governess will usually involve assisting and monitoring the children with their distant education, supervision while parents work on the property, meal preparation and housework. Often accommodation and meals are provided due to the remoteness of the properties of the families.
Generally families will ask for a commitment if six months or more as they ideally want consistency for their children. A background in education or prior experience with children can be an advantage but isn’t necessarily essential. Being a governess may be a great way to see and experience authentically family life in the outback.
TIP: If working with children is something you are interested in then ensure you are aware of any working with children check requirements.
Government Temporary or Contract Positions
In remote and outback regions government departments including child protection, corrections and justice, education and health are often begging and pleading for experienced qualified staff. Working in these areas can add a new dimension to your work experience and may give you opportunities for progressing your career.
The wheels of government departments can move very slowly. Try to make enquiries and applications for any positions well in advance.
TIP: Keep your resume CV up to date and easily accessible on your laptop to make the process of applying for jobs online quicker and easier.
Harvest Trail and Fruit Picking
The harvest trail and fruit picking are popular ways to earn money on a road trip. Work on the harvest trail includes picking crops as well as pruning, packaging and other tasks. Some seasons can be for a few weeks and others for months. Payment for work can be an hourly rate or a piece rate meaning you are paid depending on how much you pick.
Unfortunately there are employers in this industry that are unscrupulous in their practices. Definitely not all but some. Be cautious of any that require you to live on site paying them rent. Or require you to use and pay them for transport between the accommodation and where the work is done. Further be wary of any that then won’t guarantee a minimum number of hours per week. Unfortunately there are incidents of travellers becoming financially stuck because they are given only enough work to pay for their accommodation and transport costs.
Otherwise the harvest trail can be a great way to make money while travelling if you are prepared to do physical labour often outside in all kinds of weather.
Hospitality is an industry that employs many working travellers. Working around Australia in hospitality can mean working in pubs, roadhouses, island resorts, cafes and restaurants and anywhere else there is service. The work is often paid although sometimes accommodation and meals maybe provided as part of pay. I have heard of travellers saving significant amounts of money working at remote roadhouses because the pay is good, there are plenty of hours, meals are provided and there is nothing around to spend money on.
TIP: Having a Senior First Aid certificate is looked upon favourably by many employers and may even be a requirement. Consider getting yours.
Jobs You Never Knew Were Jobs
Kid you not one of the jobs advertised on the Grey Nomads Jobs website at the time of writing this article was for Parrot Scaring Technicians (see picture above). Working and travelling in Australia can mean doing things you never ever consider doing. Why not give some ago and maybe even have some fun?
TIP: Be flexible and open to the types of work you will do. Travel is about experiences. Make your working life on the road about the same.
Online | Blogging, Vlogging, Freelance Writing, Editing and More
In this era of improving internet accessibility, travelling and working online is a realistic possibly. A benefit to working online is it can be very flexible meaning as a working traveller the work can be done at times convenient to you. It does however often require self discipline, ability to meet deadlines and regularly having a reliable internet connection.
Try learning how to get to paid to write or some other the types of online jobs are website development, logo design, editing, blogging, photography, online tutoring, online sales, marketing and data entry. There are far too many jobs that can be done online to be listed here but this hopefully gives you something to think about.
Tour Operator or Guide
Australia has many tour companies, museums and experiences that need staff to operate. Some like the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum specifically look for couples working and travelling around Australia to run the museum in exchange for a powered campsite and $200 per couple. Similarly across Australia there other opportunities, some paid, some exchange and some voluntary.
Qualified tradies are regularly sort after in all areas of Australia. Regularly jobs looking for carpenters, electricians, diesel mechanics and welders as well as other trades like roofers, plumbers and other mechanics are advertised on job pages and websites. In addition from time to time we see travellers with signage on their vehicles and rigs advertising their trades. If you have a trade, perhaps it is something to consider as well.
Where To Find Work As A Traveller
Some jobs while travelling Australia require prior knowledge and experience however that is not true of all. Others it is about timing and being the right place at the right time. Regardless being able to work and travel Australia requires a regular commitment to looking through job advertisements online, speaking to locals and checking local notice boards.
- Acorn Recruitment (Perth and Kalgoorlie)
- Agri Labour Australia
- AU Job Finder
- Backpacker Job Board
- Belgravia Pro
- Black Betty Hospitality Group (Sydney)
- Blaze Aid
- Farm Army
- Governess Australia
- Grey Nomads Jobs
- Gumtree under the jobs category
- JobActive Harvest Trail
- MILKA Hospitality
- No Boundaries
- Ringer From The Top End (Cattle Station Jobs)
- Rural Enterprise
- Skill Hire
- Travellers at Work
- WWOOF Australia
- Workabout Australia
Government Job Websites
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Facebook Pages and Groups
- Caretakers & Helpers for Rural & Remote areas of Australia
- Farm Jobs in Australia
- Farm Sitting Australia
- Jobbers Australia by Shane
- Outback Australia Jobs
- Working As We Travel
Questions Answered About Caravanners Working
Say You’re a Traveller?
Absolutely. And be honest about the amount of time you can stick around to do the work available. Many employers who hire travellers will say what the least commitment is that they need, some are more flexible than others but consider this when applying for any particular job.
Do You Need a Resume and References?
An updated concise resume with relevant experience is important to have although we haven’t needed ours yet, in fact we haven’t even had to do an interview. Many rural and remote employers are willing to give you a go even without the relevant experience so it is more about showing initiative, commitment, ability to learn and so on.
Have references handy. Just remember like always to let your references know if you have passed on their contact details to a potential employer.
Claiming Your Trip as a Tax Deduction?
It is possible to travel and work around Australia and claim work related expenses. It is thanks to shearers and their nomadic working lifestyles that these tax rules exist and may apply to you too. For these tax rules to apply to you, you need to meet an eligibility criteria and have the ability to keep good records.
For a more competent information about tax deductions while living the nomadic lifestyle click here. We also strongly suggest speaking to your accountant to find if these tax rules can be applied to your specific situation.
Parking the Caravan While Working?
Really it’s not a problem and we do it with a dog. We have done a mix of camping on the job site particularly if it’s a farm, free camps nearby and exchange for our caravan park site. It is something to discuss with each employer because they will often have the best advice about what is available locally.
Possible to Get Work as a Couple?
Definitely! All jobs we have done so far except a few days Daryl did driving a forklift we have been able to do as a couple. Sometimes our hours can vary slightly to each other’s but mostly we have worked together.
What About Our Dog While We Work?
It is important to consider your dog when applying for work. The main consideration is supervision of your dog because it’s not like being at home where you can leave them in the house or back yard.
Some jobs will allow you to have your dog on site. On farms our dog Chika has been able run around (she never goes far) and other jobs we have had her tethered close to where we are working. Then there are jobs you can’t have your dog with you and for these we have had Chika sleep in our car. These jobs have been afternoon and evening work when she is likely to be resting anyway and weather is cool. We use our breaks to get her out for short walks and make sure she still has water.
Sometimes there are jobs that are not suitable when travelling with a dog. Again go with honesty is the best policy, speak to a potential employer about you having a dog and you be pleasantly surprised to find they offer up an option for your dog while you work.
Brief On The Jobs We Have Done
Gardening and Property Maintenance, Bryon Bay
In exchange for weeding the garden beds in the farm house yard and doing some basic repairs to a small deck we were able to stay in a one bedroom self contained unit in the Byron Bay hinterland on an old dairy property. The surroundings were stunning and it meant for us we were able to stay in Bryon Bay with our dog for two weeks without any accommodation costs.
Forklift Driver, Gemfields Qld
Daryl did this for a few days at a local supermarket. It just happened they needed someone for a very short time and we were in the area.
Orchard Farm, Jervis Bay Area
Our role here was to weed around establishing trees. We were able to work as a couple, to decide how many hours we worked and we parked our caravan on site. It was lovely being on the farm and we were able to enjoy the Jervis bay area.
Beach House Property Maintenance, Hyams Beach
Hyams Beach is famous for its incredible blue water and white sand. Holiday rentals in the seaside inlet are highly sort after and for prices we could never afford. Truly we were lucky to be able to stay in a beach house at Hyams Beach with Chika in exchange for a few small maintenance jobs around the house.
Deceased Estate, Hopetoun
It was an ad on Gumtree stating that workers were needed for 1-3 days in an area we were heading to on our travels. Taking a punt we called the number and it turned out to be with a company that completely empties the homes of deceased persons on behalf of their families. We took the job offer, found a free camp close by and Chika chilled out in the yard while we worked.
Family Carnival, by the Sea
Of course not every job we express an interest in do we hear back about and had thought this was the case with this job. Then last minute we got a call asking if we were still in the area and if we could still work. A day later and we may not have been. We worked some evenings over the month the carnival was open selling ride tickets and helping to run sideshow alley games. I liked this job because we had the days to do our own thing. Finding affordable seaside campsites during the Christmas school holiday period that allowed dogs was impossible so we stayed at campgrounds 25 and 45 minutes away and commuted.
Caravan Park Cleaning, Yorke Peninsula
For us, taking on this was mostly about giving us the opportunity to gain experience working in a caravan park as this is something we are interested in doing as we travel around Australia. This particular position was both an exchange and paid with us doing an agreed amount of hours in exchange for our site and then we were paid for any additional hours. The hours were not guaranteed but most weeks up until the park had to close due to Covid 19 we were able to at least cover our weekly expenditure. The work we did was cleaning onsite cabins and the amenities (toilets and showers).
Tavern Bar and Kitchen, Yorke Peninsula
Luck had it that the tavern just down the road from the caravan park we were working at also needed staff so evenings I worked behind the bar and Daryl worked in the kitchen helping with food prep and cleaning dishes. Unfortunately Covid 19 saw the Tavern reduce its trade to takeaway only and there just wasn’t enough hours to keep us employed.
Campground 2IC, Far North Qld
It was a scrap bit of paper stuck up in reception and a series of events that saw staff change that meant we went quickly from six weeks to five months working and our roles changed. We learnt a lot about running a campground!
We have and continue to thoroughly enjoy the nomadic lifestyle travelling and working around Australia full time. If this is something you are considering and are nervous about taking the leap, worried the work isn’t out there, our advice is face your fears, be brave and take the leap. There is work available, especially if you are willing to try new things and work remotely. Personally I am someone who likes and needs financial security, and I am also someone who believes experience is more important than stuff – the working travelling lifestyle allows me (us) to have both (security and experience).