My Working Holiday Visa in Oz!

Taking a year out from studies, work, general gloom in England and heading to the other side of the world is a popular decision for Brit’s. Working in Australia is perfect for British Backpackers who want to work, travel and see the world, so that’s exactly what I did. After getting a little taster of Oz back in 2012, I went to visit family in Sydney for three weeks and ended up staying for two months, I knew then that one day I would be back.

It didn’t take me long and after my summer traveling around America I knew I couldn’t settle back in London just yet. I decided to defer my postgraduate studies another year and head to Australia in 2013, but this time on a working holiday visa. I secured a job with family in Sydney for the first two to three months of my stay in Oz. I was an Au-Pair to three children, who were indecently my awesome cousins so really my time was spent playing on Bondi beach each morning. I also had a part-time job as a waitress in a local café.

I need a dollar dollar – Living in the city became increasingly expensive and my original plan was to save as much as I could so I could get traveling ASAP again. A few of my home friends were in Australia so we decided to all get a job together, we ended up working in an outback pub in Roma, Queensland. This in itself has been an experience, I have seen a totally different side of Australia. I think one of my favourite days in Australia has been spent in the outback quad biking and horse riding, seeing a herd or wild kangaroo’s hop past me. If you’re really looking to work and save money I recommend getting an outback or mining related job as they pay well. You’re not only earning a decent wage as your working lots, there’s not much to spend your money on so you can save more for your travel fund. Don’t get me wrong you will get bored, as there’s not much to do, however if you have a goal of earning enough money to do your intended travels or securing your second year visa, it’s worth it! Saying that, if working somewhere is making your time in Australia miserable, leave, do something else, Oz is such a big country with lots of opportunities so remember it’s your year in Oz, so make it a good one!


There’s no getting around it, Australia is an expensive country. So my only real advice is to make sure you come out with as much money as possible. Whatever you think is a reasonable amount, I’d suggest probably doubling it. I only say this because you want to make the most out of year in Australia and experience as much as you can, so the more money you have, the more you can do. But that is the beauty of being on a working holiday visa is that you can earn as you travel, work for a period of time, travel and then work again to top up your travel fund.

The cost of the Working Holiday Visa is $420. In addition to this you may need to carry out some medical examinations depending on your history of living or travelling other countries. I needed to pay for a chest x-ray to check that I didn’t have tuberculosis from living in Thailand for six months. Obviously I knew I didn’t have TB but that’s just an example of how rigorous their visa applications can be.

It’s difficult to give an exact recommendation of how much money to bring out with you to Australia as everyone has a different plan of what they want to achieve and do. With so many backpackers in Australia at the moment there can be competition when it comes to work, so just make sure you have enough to survive for at least the first 1-3 months of your stay in Oz.

Remember anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I’ve had some amazing travels and experiences in the last three years which have all been achieved by hard work and vision, vision to travel and see the world. If you read this blog and want to know more or have any questions feel free to tweet me @NellyNellsBells

Happy travels!

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