Work and Travel in Australia

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Volunteer and Paid Work Opportunities in Australasia for Travellers

Australasia is the dream destination for so many travellers across the world. They dream of travelling across this giant continent and working hard to fund it all. For many, it’s an adventure that can quite easily take a year. Australasia will provide you with an experience that will both be memorable yet will test you like never before.

But to succeed here you need to find the right challenge for you. We’re here to help you with that. We’ll show you what the travel guides for Australasia won’t.

These are the things you need to know about volunteering opportunities in Australasia.

1. Working on a Farm

Farm work is the most common type of work you’re likely to encounter. You require no more experience than a reasonable level of fitness and a strong work ethic. Australia is the most common place in which you can find this type of work, but it’s also available in New Zealand as well.

Most of these positions are designed for travellers who want to work and travel in Australasia for at least a few months. The majority are unpaid but will provide you with accommodation and food in exchange for a few hours per day.

2. Conservation Work in Australasia

Conservation work in Australasia is available all over this small continent. Work in Australasia as a conservationist and you can find work in the cooler climate of Tasmania or up in the humid jungles of the island of New Guinea. It all depends on where you want to work and what you specifically want to work with.

For example, you can do anything from working on the Great Barrier Reef to conserving the various forests and rock formations of New Zealand.

It all relies on the positions open at the time.

3. Work in a Hostel in Australasia

Australasia is home to many hostels. Work and travel in Australasia will bring you into contact with a lot of hostels, and where there are hostels there are opportunities. You’ll find that this is generally an unpaid work opportunity, but with high prices on this continent you’ll save a lot of money through offering your time.

You may be working as a cleaner or you may be spending your time helping guests at the front desk. You’ll find a lot of hostel jobs for travel in Australasia online.


As you can imagine, due to the fact that Australia and New Zealand make up the majority of this continent so you can expect visa requirements to be quite strict for most nationalities. But some nations do have special agreements with countries in this part of the world, so obtaining a work visa may be easier than you think.

For example, UK citizens have a reciprocal working holiday agreement with Australia, and so they can take advantage of that.

Here’s a basic guide to what most nationalities can expect when they visit this part of the world:

EU Citizens: EU citizens have no problems either entering every country in Australasia without a visa or simply gaining a visa on arrival, as is the case with Papua New Guinea. Many EU citizens may also be able to take advantage of reciprocal working holiday visas, as is the case with Australia and New Zealand.

However, these aren’t available to all EU citizens.

UK Citizens: UK citizens have identical requirements to citizens from the rest of the EU. Furthermore, you can take advantage of reciprocal working holiday visas. This is the case with Australia, where UK citizens can get a visa for up to 12 months.

US Citizens: US citizens have almost identical requirements to the above categories. However, there is one key difference. For entry to Australia, US citizens must initially apply online and receive an eVisa. This is relatively easy to do and there are no real issues with getting accepted.

Canadian Citizens: Canadian citizens have the same visa requirements as citizens of the United States. They just need to obtain the eVisa to enter Australia.

Australian and New Zealand Citizens: Citizens of Australia and New Zealand are able to enter each other’s countries without a visa due to a common travel zone adopted under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. They can also enter Papua New Guinea with a visa on arrival.

Russian Citizens: Russian citizens are unable to take advantage of the same visa advantages as Westerners as they work and travel in Australasia. They must obtain pre-arranged visas for Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea. And they also don’t have the benefit of any working holiday programs.

This can make it extremely difficult to find paid or volunteer work in Australia and New Zealand, due to strict work requirements in force.

South African Citizens: South African citizens are in the same position as Russians. They must apply for a visa to enter every country on the Australasia continent. They also aren’t able to access reciprocal working holiday programmes, which can make obtaining work difficult.

Australia and New Zealand are some of the strictest countries in the world when it comes to outsiders entering their countries. Work regulations are also extremely strict and can bring hefty penalties for both the employer and employee. This is why you must ensure all your papers are in order to even enter the country in the first place.

For paid work, you will be expected to have specialist skills to have a chance of getting the visa you need.



Spring time is generally a pleasant time to be anywhere in Australasia. The northern part of the continent is just coming out of the rainy season and the rest of the continent is leaving the hot season. You’ll usually find plenty of work at this time, regardless of where you are.

But be aware that many jobs in tourism are typically ending in Australia and New Zealand at this time of year. It’s a good time to begin making your way north again.


Summer in Papua New Guinea is the most humid time of year. This is characterised by its proximity to the equator, which leaves it with a highly tropical climate. Summer in Australia, on the other hand, can be extremely cold at this time of year in areas of high altitude.

Believe it or not, you can even find snow in some parts of the country. It’s best to head closer to the equator at this time of year for the best temperatures.


Autumn is similar to spring, but in reverse. You also have to beware of the rainy season in Papua New Guinea. Some years can see the rainy season come in as early as November. But in general work and travel in Australasia as a whole is possible at this time of year and it’s not important where you decide to work.

However, when you take a look at winter your place of work during this season will likely be decided for you.


Winter is the time of the rainy season in Papua New Guinea. We recommend avoiding the country at this time because the rain storms can be intense. The lack of infrastructure throughout much of the country means that some roads may be impassable.

Besides, Australia and New Zealand experience their peak seasons during the winter period. This is when many seasonal volunteer opportunities in Australia surface. If you’re looking for paid positions, this is the time of year to find them.


Australasia is a continent of complete contrasts. It won’t surprise you to learn that Australia and New Zealand are extremely used to foreigners visiting to work and volunteer in the country. It’s a rite of passage many of their own nationals take, so there are no negative feelings towards volunteers or workers in the country.

Papua New Guinea is slightly different. It’s not really a destination on the lists of many people. This means that a lot of locals are surprised to see foreigners here, particularly if you’re a Westerner.

Many locals will be delighted to see foreigners with skills as there are many parts of the country suffering from extreme poverty.

Overall, Australasia is the perfect place to start for many first-time travellers who want to get out on the road and begin working in a role they’d never considered before in a location they’d only dreamed of.

Do you have what’s needed to work in Australasia?

Recent Contributors

  • Edited on Jan 15 2018 by Yara

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