Top 10 Australia Working Holiday Destinations

 

Are you planning a working holiday in Australia and wondering which city is the best one for you? We’ve broken down our top recommendations for Australia working holiday destinations to visit, work and experience life as a local. But first, let’s cover a few points to consider while making your decision.

Tips for Planning Your Australia Working Holiday

Australia is a big country, in fact it’s about the same size as the United States. In the same way that Miami and Seattle are vastly different, destinations for working holidays in Australia can vary depending on their location in the country. The climate zones range from hot and humid up north to cooler and more seasonal down south. Because of the country’s size, this also means that distances between major cities are large, often taking one or several days to travel between.  

Another thing to keep in mind when planning your Australia working holiday trip is that the seasons are opposite. When it’s summer in Canada, it’s winter in Australia. Don’t worry fellow Canucks, Aussie winters are nowhere near as cold as what we’re used to. That said, we know warmer weather is one of your main motivations for heading to Australia so we’ve broken down our recommendations by time of year so you can make the most of your time in sunny Australia!

Melbourne in the summer is a great Australia working holiday destination.

Melbourne

Population: 5 million.
Best time of year: December to March.
Temperature range: Lows of 7ºC in winter, highs of 26ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: Food and beverage, customer service, administration, call centres, retail, sales, tour operators, construction, general labour.

Melbourne is the country’s coffee, cultural and sporting capital. A must-see on any Australian itinerary, citizens of Melbourne are proud of their city and for every right reason. Jam-packed with art, history and great sport, Melbourne has repeatedly been named the world’s most livable city. While living in Melbourne you will enjoy exploring mural-filled laneway bars and cafes, ‘Aussie Rules’ football games, hitting the beach and escaping the city to travel the picturesque Mornington Peninsula and Great Ocean Road. While Melbourne has job openings year-round, there will be less competition in the winter and shoulder seasons. Keep in mind the city’s southern location means winters are rainy and cooler than the rest of the country.

Sydney is the most iconic Australia working holiday destination.

Sydney

Population: 5.1 million.
Best time of year: December to March.
Temperature range: Lows of 8ºC in winter, highs of 40ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: retail, customer service, hospitality, food and beverage, fundraising, temp office work, administration, call centres, warehouse, distribution, manual labor, special events.

Sydney is Australia’s oldest and most iconic city. Whether you start your working holiday here or pass through during your trip, its stunning architecture, buzzing nightlife, beautiful city parks and beaches are sure to leave an impression. Sydney really has it all, including world-class festivals, events, arts and culture. Being a world metropolis, the city is busy but if that is what you are looking for you will love it here. There are several laid-back neighbourhoods to escape to including Bondi Beach and Glebe. Many companies and charities have their head offices here creating administrative, call centre and fundraising jobs. Keep in mind that being a large city there are more jobs available, but it is also where most people start their working holidays so there is more competition when trying to land a job!

Off the tourist trail, Adelaide is becoming an increasingly popular working holiday destination.

Adelaide

Population: 1.3 million.
Best time of year: December to March.
Temperature range: Lows of 7ºC in winter, highs of 30ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: hospitality, food and beverage, customer service, retail, general labour, call centres, landscaping.

Once considered a sleepy town, Adelaide is undergoing a rapid transformation with a growing laneway bar, arts and culture scene. Known as Australia’s festival city, here you will enjoy exceptional events, most of which fall in February and March. Best of all, the cost of living in Adelaide is a fraction of Sydney and Melbourne making it one of Australia’s most affordable cities to live in.

Get away from it all in Hobart, a charming Australia working holiday destination located in Tasmania.

Hobart

Population: 220,000.
Best time of year: December to March.
Temperature range: Lows of 4ºC in winter, highs of 22ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: museums, historical sites, tour guide, hotels, food and beverage, customer service, car rental, warehouse. Outside of the city there are dairy farms, vineyards and a large historical prison tourist site.

Located in Tasmania off the southern tip of the continent, Hobart is a small city with big charm. If you like Vancouver Island and Victoria this may be the place for you. In Tasmania the pace of life is a little slower and although tourism has increased in the last few years, it’s a far cry from the hard beaten tourist trail along Australia’s east coast. In the summer months cruise ships pull into port and open up jobs in tourism and hospitality. If you like nature, Tasmania has several stunning national parks, including Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park where you can camp on the beach for free!

Byron Bay is the ultimate east coast beach town making it the ideal Australia working holiday destination.

Byron Bay

Population: 9,000.
Best time of year: December to April.
Temperature range: Lows of 9ºC in winter, highs of 30ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: retail, surf shop, food and beverage, hotel/hostel, housekeeping.

Byron Bay is a must-do for anyone’s east coast tour. Once a right of passage for any backpacker, it’s trendy revival from its hippie roots means it’s becoming a popular vacation spot for Australians. With plenty of choice for beaches and good conditions for beginner surfing, tourism will continue to explode in this little gem ideally located between Sydney and Brisbane. Jobs will be limited here due to its small size, so arrive well before Christmas when businesses are hiring for the busy summer season. 

The Gold Coast has it all - beaches, nightlife, shopping and is a popular vacation spot and working holiday destination.

Gold Coast

Population: 590,000.
Best time of year: December to April.
Temperature range: Lows of 9ºC in winter, highs of 28ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: Restaurants and cafes, hotels, tourist attractions.

The Gold Coast is a city located approximately one hour south of Brisbane. Australians and tourists alike flock here to enjoy endless sprawling beaches, excellent surfing, shopping, culinary arts and a lively nightlife. It’s also the theme park capital of Australia with attractions like Wet n’ Wild water park, Warner Brothers Movie World, Sea World and the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a popular holiday destination for both local and international vacationers so arrive before the tourists to land a job in paradise.

Escape the winter and work in Cairns, our recommendation for a working holiday between May and August.

Cairns

Population: 150,000.
Best time of year: May to August.
Temperature range: Lows of 17ºC in winter, highs of 35ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: hostels, food and beverage, customer service, retail, sales.

Cairns is the place of choice for many working holiday makers that want to escape the cooler winter temperatures of Sydney and Melbourne. It’s the last stop for many travellers making their way up the east coast and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests of the far north. It’s popularity and smaller size (compared to Sydney and Melbourne) means there are fewer jobs, and more travellers after the jobs. Your best bet is to arrive in the fall when businesses are staffing up to welcome the winter arrivals.

Brisbane is a laidback city in the centre of the east coast making it a perfect Austraila working holiday destination.

Brisbane

Population: 2.1 million.
Best time of year: June to September.
Temperature range: Lows of 10ºC in winter, highs of 30ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: Sales, retail, food and beverage, warehouse, general labour.

The big draw for Brisbane is the lower cost of living and year round warmer weather than Sydney and Melbourne. A laid back city with easy access to holiday spots like Byron Bay, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Brisbane doesn’t see the tourist crowds like other major cities in Australia. Although Brisbane is situated slightly inland from Moreton Bay, the city has several beach-style lagoons in the CBD with beautiful surfing beaches within an hour’s drive from the city on Bribie, North Stradbroke, Moreton islands.

Imagine working on a sailboat in the beautiful Whitsundays! That's why Airlie Beach makes our list of recommended working holiday destinations in Australia.

Airlie Beach

Population: 1,200.
Best time of year: year round.
Temperature range: Lows of 12ºC in winter, highs of 32ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: tourism, hospitality, food and beverage, retail, hostels, sailing.

Airlie Beach is a small resort town and the launch point for sailing the Whitsunday Islands, a group of islands off the coast of central Queensland. The group’s largest island, Hamilton Island, is home to several resort hotels, even its own airport. Many travellers make a stop in Airlie Beach to enjoy the town’s lively backpacker nightlife before heading off on multi-day sailing tours to incredible spots like Whitehaven Beach. While tourism in the Whitsundays is year round, the subtropical climate means that the summer months get the most rain. The busiest times of the year align with school holidays, particularly the September/October and December/January breaks so get there before the rush to find a job in this beautiful destination!

The farms around Coffs Harbour are a good spot to obtain your regional work required to extend your working holiday visa.

Coffs Harbour

Population: 75,000.
Best time of year: year round. 
Temperature range: Lows of 8ºC in winter, highs of 32ºC in summer.
Types of jobs: farm work, food and beverage, retail.

Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour is a popular vacation spot for families who go to enjoy the endless uncrowded beaches. It’s also a good base to explore some of the areas inland including the swimming holes along Waterfall Way and Dorrigo National Park. Most of the jobs available here will be for farm work, necessary for extending your working holiday visa for an additional year. Unlike the farm work in Queensland’s hotter and more humid climate, working here in the cooler months will make your days of manual labour a little less grueling.

What’s your favourite Australia  working holiday destination? Tell us in the comments below!


Wondering how you can get started on an Australian working holiday?

At Stepabroad we offer programs for Canadian youth to begin their working holiday in Australia with ease. Our team takes care of the details like opening a bank account, getting a cell phone number, creating a tax file account more so you don’t have to stress about the small things. We polish up your resume and provide one-one-one job coaching so you are well-equipped to land a job in Australia in the field of your choice. You can start your trip with 4 or 8 day welcome orientations in Sydney or Melbourne to meet other travellers and cross Aussie adventures off your bucket list like surf lessons, seeing koalas and taking a cruise in the Sydney Harbour!

Click to learn more about our Australia Working Holiday Program or fill out the form in the orange banner below to get in touch with our team.


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