Earn lots of money for your travels down under by spending your first 3+ months working in the Aussie Outback! You will receive full training on arrival for your new adventure in one of the planet's biggest areas of untouched wilderness.
This program will get you 'off the beaten path' and straight into true Aussie life, providing you with an opportunity to gain employment in a variety of roles all over the Outback. We help you get started with a fantastic course on a training farm where you will gain necessary skills that you need to work on various farms, ranches, cattle stations and riding stables.
Before you head out into the Outback on your own, you and your new friends will be accommodated by an Aussie family on their ranch and go through one week of ultimate agricultural training such as off-road motor biking, tractor driving, horse riding, cattle rounding and chainsaw operation before starting your guaranteed job and saving for your travels.
Your training week will give you an introduction into the agriculture industry and you will discover what area of farm life would best suit you. While proving your worth on the ranch you will receive job offers from one of 1,800 farms from all regions of Australia and be able to leave training to start the job of your choice.
You will be paid a very competitive rate (AU$300+ per week after taxes) plus your accommodation and food are included as part of your job role.
This Smaller Earth program gives you a job like no other and a 100% authentic Australian outback adventure!
Types of Outback Jobs Available on a Working Holiday Visa
- Working on Sheep and Cattle Stations
- Tractor Work and Farming
- Working with Horses
- Au Pair in the Outback
- Hospitality Jobs
The Australian Working Holiday Visa allows you to work for up to one year in a variety of jobs all around Australia. You can continue to work on farms for as long as you like or you can move on to a different type of employment anywhere in Australia, it is entirely up to you! On this Smaller Earth program you will receive extensive training allowing you to gain well paid employment on a farm for the first few weeks or months of your trip. After that initial job we suggest traveling at least once week for each month that you have worked in order to enjoy your time abroad. To proceed with additional job placements you will simply give the training farm a call and let them know you are ready to get back to work and they will send you to another employer!
Below are the types of jobs you will find in the Outback on this program. It covers various levels of experience and interests - however, you do not need to specify what type of job you want until the training period as that is your chance to learn new skills and brush up on old ones! A current drivers license is required for this program as well as the ability to drive manual! For more information on the training schedule, please click on the "Arrival & Orientation" tab.
Please note that vegetarians and vegans are accepted on the program, however work may be difficult to find as meat makes up a large portion of the general diet on many rural Australian farms.
Working on Sheep and Cattle Stations
Do not worry if you do not have a farming background, agricultural degree, or previous experience - we will teach you all of this during the training period! When working on sheep and cattle stations in the Outback, you will learn how to get around on horses and motorcycles - you will be working with animals, fixing fences, potentially help growing some crops and always assisting with general maintenance. Please note that animals are not treated as pets and livestock are being raised primarily for the meat industry. Therefore, some duties could include branding, ear tagging and castrating cattle. Some stations are located in the most remote (beautiful!) parts of Australia so you cannot count on visiting the nearest town/city on the weekends!
Tractor Work and Farming
If you have been brought up on a farm or have strong experience, then these types of jobs are for you! Given the size of the Outback, there are always crops needing to be planted and harvested meaning your skills are in high demand! Very few farms have only crops - they will also need help with the animals, riding horses, and using power tools. Good (manual) drivers are also needed.
Working with Horses
While jobs on cattle and sheep stations are easily the most popular, there are dozens of other working holiday jobs for those who can ride horses well or would like to improve their knowledge of working with horses. Various jobs working with horses include: working with Three Day Event horses, Dressage, Stock Horses and Polo ponies or at trail riding centers. The majority of the work will be caring for the horses but also preparing them for rides.
Au Pair in the Outback
If you want to experience the Outback, but don't necessarily have an agricultural background, then the Au pair/Homestead helper jobs are a perfect fit. This work includes caring for children, some housekeeping duties, and light gardening. If you are passionate about working with children and currently have your college degree, you may also have the chance to teach children in their home should the opportunity be available during your arrival.
For those with hospitality qualifications and interests, there are many jobs in the rural Outback! There are opportunities in hotels, pubs and resorts located away from the main coastal areas but situated near iconic Outback landmarks - think Ayres Rock, Uluru, or the Daintree Rainforest!
You will receive intensive training, a lot of information and meet great new friends during your time on the training farm. You can expect to be living in somewhat rugged conditions or possibly pulling 16-hour days in the beginning of your new job. Most participants find themselves enduring a bit of culture shock when they arrive and start working with their new employer. This is normal and the training farm provides an emergency hotline for any inquires or assistance during your times of employment.
The Australian Work and Holiday Visa
If you are between 18 and 30 years old, you are eligible for a Working Holiday Visa. This allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia for 12 months, allowing you to earn money to fund your trip.
- Although this varies depending on your country of citizenship, in general you must:
- Be outside Australia when you apply and are granted your visa
- Not have entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa before
- Be aged between 18 and 30 years at the time of applying
- Not apply more than 12 months before you intend to travel
- Not be accompanied by dependent children during your stay
- Have sufficient proof of funds*
- Meet health criteria**
Sufficient Proof of Funds
You also must have access to sufficient funds to support yourself for the initial stage of your holiday. Generally, $5000AUD may be regarded as sufficient, but the amount may vary depending on your length of stay and the extent of your travel. You should also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for a fare to depart Australia. You may be asked to provide evidence. Evidence may include a certified copy of a bank statement and an air ticket out of Australia.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to undertake a medical examination, which may include a chest x-ray, HIV, Hepatitis B and/or Hepatitis C test. All required health examinations must be completed before a decision can be made on your visa application. If you need a medical examination, the cost is not included in the visa application fee you pay when you submit your application.
How to Apply
You will be asked to choose a departure date and make a deposit of $100 to confirm your job placement. Not quite sure when you want to go? That's okay! Simply start your application and we will be in touch about how to plan out your working holiday in Australia.
- Pick up at Brisbane International Airport upon arrival
- Transport to Halse Lodge Guest House, Noosa
- Transport to Springbrook Farm
- Welcome lunch in Goomeri and all meals on the farm.
- 5 day introductory course to Australian agriculture
- Tax file registration assistance
- Bank account set up assistance
- Free Internet at Springbrook Farm
- Help and advice 24/7 while in Australia
- Free phone emergency number
What's Not Included?
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
- Work and Holiday Visa, approximately $460 USD
- Additional nights at the hostel should you arrive earlier than Thursday. Each additional night is $33 AUD to be paid upon arrival.
- Any extra living expenses or excursions
Arrival & Orientation
You need to arrive on a Thursday between 6:30am and 10:30am. Upon arrival at Brisbane airport you will be met by one of the greeters from VisitOz. They will then take you to the Halse Lodge Guest House at Noosa for a four night chill out and jet lag recovery weekend. Noosa is one of the top backpacker destinations in Australia; a beautiful beach resort at the northern end of the Sunshine coast, readily accessible from Brisbane.
Thursday to Sunday:
You will be taken to the Halse Lodge Guest House at Noosa and there you will have the chance to sun, surf and relax! Take the time to unwind and get over your jet lag, so that you can be ready and prepared for the week ahead!
You will leave Noosa in the morning and take the 10 am bus to Goomeri. Here you will stop for some lunch and will complete some paperwork in order to be ready for your first week of work. This will include setting up your bank account, Medicare and tax file registration number. You'll then have the chance to do some shopping before your trainers will pick you up and take you over to their farms for the rest of the week. This is where you will begin your training for life in the outback!
Monday to Friday:
During the introductory training week you will ride a motor-bike across farm grounds to check things such as cattle and fences. You will ride a stock horse and move cattle and you will also work the cattle on foot in the yard. You will get to drive tractors, do routine maintenance and operation work as well. Lastly, you will learn about Australian fencing techniques and will learn how to use a chainsaw as part of timber control. Quite importantly, you will be taught about many aspects of outback and farm safety! Here's a summary of what you can expect during your training week:
- Look after cattle; muster them, drive them and work with them in the yards, drafting and doing routine jobs such as injecting and spraying.
- Ride the horses, learn how to care for them and for the tack, use the horses to muster and drive the cattle.
- Ride agricultural motorbikes, learn how to use them for jobs such as checking the cattle, checking fences and bringing in the horses.
- Drive tractors, maintain them and understand how they work. How to use implements such as forks and buckets; how to mount and use plows, seeders, post hole digging and slashing.
- Learn how to use a chainsaw safely, how to look after it and to sharpen the blade. You will then be able to use the chainsaw to cut down small trees, and possibly to cut fence posts from bigger trees and debark them.
You will also help with the household jobs on the farms such as laying and cleaning tables, washing up and keeping your own space tidy as you would to any employer.
It's really important to note that even though you will be working in the Outback and on a farm, you must still look presentable to an employer! Dress appropriately and remember that you will need a job after your training week; so the more you do to impress during this first week, the more likely it it that the employer will offer you a job on the farm!
Once you have completed your training you will then be able to choose the job you wish from the average 1 to 3 job offers you will get from employers. We will help make arrangements for you to get to your new employer, whether it be by train, bus or plane! This transportation is an additional cost to you and is not included in the program fee.
Pre-departure – Bookings and preparation
To make sure you get a place on your preferred Thursday it is best to book between 4-6 months in advance. Any later and you may have to be flexible by a week or two. Peak times are Aug-Nov and Jan- Feb so book as early as possible.
No. You are under no contract with our partners, however we offer support for the full 365 days of your program should you need us.
After your first placement and with money in your pocket, you are free to travel, return home or after a short holiday, return to our partner for another job. Most jobs require about three months commitment so coming for any shorter length of time means you will need to be flexible with job offers.
Most employers are looking for participants to work the season – about 3 months. However you can work for one employer for up to 6 months if they have enough work. There are some shorter jobs such as harvesting but you should be prepared for about the 3-month mark.
It is possible under certain conditions. You must have a similar level of farm skills e.g. both good horse riders to be accepted on the same farm by one employer. If not you must be willing to compromise and go with a job that matched the skills of the lesser participant.
Our partner works with the seasons and they are REAL paid jobs that come up each week. You must be flexible with what type of work you are willing to do. You must also be prepared that you may have compromise on job location or the rate of pay and/or wait a bit longer for a job at your own expense.
Jobs for two are not as common as single placements. The same applies to couples and the female has to be prepared for the fact that domestic work or childcare may be the option for her. This sounds harsh but we are being realistic! Jobs together are never 100% guaranteed.
Providing you have no criminal convictions and you have a valid passport, a few days at the most. Please do not apply for your visa or book any flights before you have received an acceptance letter for the programme.
On Program – Training and jobs
Almost every week of the year, excluding 4 weeks in December/Early January. This is due to the wet season and employers who employ less during the Christmas period. Occasionally there is an odd break week during other times of the year.
The training course is an introduction to farm work and above all a safety course to make sure you are prepared for work on an Australian property. You are not expected to learn everything in a week so whether you are skilled or not, it is a great experience and a chance to meet new people. In addition to this, if you do have experience and qualifications, the way things are done in your home country may be very different from the Australian way. You are shown how things are done in Australia and how your employer will expect you to work.
The course is also designed so that we are able to assess the skills that you say you have, and match you to the right employer. We also assess your level of English to make sure it is strong enough for you to be sent for paid positions, also your manners and your attitude to work determine which employers we will match you to.
These stringent criteria ensure we have so many trusted employers who chose to select workers through our partners as opposed to other means. We get to meet you and assess you. Without these employers we could not guarantee you work!
What we request are the Australian health and safety recommendations and are for your safety during your training week AND at your employment.
You’ll need to ensure you pack long sleeve collared shirts and thick trousers; we know these may seem hot but they will protect you against injuries from falling off bikes and horses, from the sun or from snakes!
NON-laced boots are VITAL – laces getting tied up in machinery or stirrups is a hazard. Boots also protect against snakebites. 99% of farmers request that you come with a broad brimmed hat – we’ll provide you with one as part of the program package!
All clothing requirements are for your safety and you will not be able to take part in the course without them.
The majority of the jobs that are on offer are on properties that can only be reached by car. Employers always require their workers to drive somewhere. A major job role for our workers often involves running errands in the local area or even driving for several hours to the nearest town. People with licences will always be favourable over those without.
In addition to the necessity of a licence is having the actual ability to drive! Moving farm equipment around the homestead, taking fencing items out for repair work and moving livestock is also a vital part of everyday life on a farm.
If you are unfamiliar with how gears work on a car, it is unlikely you will have pre-existing knowledge of how to drive a two-wheeler motorbike, four wheeler quad bike or tractors prior to joining the programme. In saying this we don’t expect everyone coming to be able to do these things, and we want our participants to enjoy the training course and learn something. However without a licence the training week can be difficult as having this basic knowledge of manual gears on a car aids greatly when you are taught about more advanced vehicles and machinery.
Remember these are real jobs and we need to be able to ‘sell’ you to an employer. Without a car licence, employers will be looking for some other skills that may be of interest to them to outweigh your lack of licence. Tractor or motorbike experience will be unlikely attributes if you cannot drive a car, and this only limits your choice of job options further.
By far the most important reason is SAFETY. The majority of accidents that occur on the training farm and also when on the job, are by those who have never driven a car before and we do not want to put our participants, or employers, in any dangerous situations.
Riding positions are never guaranteed. However it is likely that you will be offered work riding if you have significant experience. Many of the employers we work with have very expensive and often difficult horses so they have to make sure they have the right people riding them.
Remember, ‘riding jobs’ have not been created for your entertainment! The employer needs a job done and he is paying you to do it! There will also be a lot of groundwork / or cattle work in the yards so you will not be riding all the time.
We offer horse work in cattle mustering, polo yards, show jumping stables, racing studs and training and working young horses. Jobs in certain fields are more likely to come up during certain times of the year but you must be prepared for all scenarios, as we can never predict elements such as the Australian weather that can dictate the job market.
You could be offered a job placement anywhere in Australia so you must be prepared to travel and work in a remote location. You must also have the funds to travel to that job from the training farm.
Our partner says at least $900 needs to be available when you arrive, depending on how much you are planning to see and do in Brisbane and at Rainbow Beach. Most travel costs are between $200-400 and because of the variety of jobs on offer, we cannot factor this cost into the programme. In saying this there is a lot of work on offer in Queensland and New South Wales because the training farm is based on the East Coast and has many contacts in the region.
To be safe, and to cover food/tourist activities from the Thursday – Sunday of the training programme, stick to the $900 recommended amount. If you find you have spent all your money on trips to Fraser Island and cannot afford to pay to get to your job, our partner will not be able to compensate for this!
Almost all jobs start the Monday following the course and you have the weekend to travel to your job. However with such large portions of Australia being so remote, Australian transport services are limited and occasionally you may have to wait a few more days to connect. Please be patient and be prepared to ‘go with the flow.’ Accounting for hostel and food expenses along the way is a good idea.
Our partners work with the Level 1 Farming and Livestock Hand Award Wage. This is the legal minimum, however there are a lot of employers that pay a bit above this. It’s important to note that you will be taxed whilst in Australia. Through our partnership with Taxback.com, you’ll be able to claim your tax back at the end of your stay.
Based on a weekly wage (5 – 6 day week), this breaks down to:
Tax Deductions (@ 32.5%)
Food & Accom. Deductions
Nett Weekly Salary
If you think about the cost of living and recreational activities in a city, the amount to be final weekly salary is pretty good for an unskilled teenager, quite often straight out of school. Most of our employers will actually pay $300 - $350 nett which is what we tell participants to expect to be offered and often say don’t take anything less.
Exceptions would be those who want to go to a job to learn e.g. getting a lot of riding lessons under instruction to help improve their techniques, in some instances they will take experience over the money, which is their choice.
If you are very skilled, for example, can drive combine harvesters, excavators etc then you may be able to earn on a per hour basis. This leads you to earn up to $900- $1000 if you come in the right season and are lucky with your placement. This is not to be expected by the average person!
There are lots of jobs for skilled people that pay $450- $500 Nett which is great but again we cannot guarantee higher than the legal minimum.
- Fire risk
- Too many breaks and employers don’t like this!
- Employers don’t like smoke around their children
- Employers don’t like cigarette smoke in their accommodation
99% of farm work jobs we offer are in the right area code to qualify for the second visa. If you are not suited to outdoor work and are looking for hospitality or childcare positions then you cannot obtain the second visa.
What do I need to do to in order for you to organise my Tax file number, Bank account and Medicare card?
Everyone in Australia must have a Tax File Number (TFN), which is essential for legally working in Australia. The current tax rate for non-residents is 32.5%, but without a TFN you will be taxed at 46.5%. You will be able to claim your tax back at the end of your trip through our partnership with Taxback.com.
To apply for your TFN we will need your Passport number, home address and date of birth details prior to your arrival into the country. Tax file numbers can take up to 28 days to arrive but usually it comes within a week. We apply for yours the moment your plane lands in the country so that the number has more chance of arriving to the training farm before you leave us.
We will apply for a Medicare card for those who come from reciprocal countries. It can take about 2-3 weeks to arrive. You will need to bring a EUROPEAN HEALTH CARD if you come from one these countries (UK, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Italy, Malta or Belgium ONLY) as the Medicare office will always accept these and it expedites the process of gaining your Medicare card.
We will also need a copy of your photo-card driving licence (or Birth Certificate copy if you do not have a driving licence). It’s also important that you print out a copy of your visa confirmation and bring it with you.
It is essential to have an Australian bank account!
We work with Commonwealth bank who offer a free account. They provide debit MasterCard’s, which means you can make online purchases – very important when you are booking flights/buses from a rural location! If you apply for your card 2 weeks in advance it will be waiting for when you arrive to the training week. Please do not do it any earlier than 2 weeks as the bank are unable to hold accounts open for very long. It is very important not to transfer ALL of your money into this account. If by any reason there is a delay with your card, you will need a back up to pay for your weekend expenses and most importantly TRAVEL to your place of work!
Networks such as Vodafone offer cheap rates, but when it comes to signal they cover the major cities and nowhere else! 99% of participants who buy into this network end up purchasing a Telstra sim card, if not a whole new phone package because their current one is locked to Vodafone.
We sell ‘pay as you go’ sim cards and cheap ‘rural tick’ approved phones with credit; $30 SIM card with $30 credit and $59 phones with $10 credit. We also sell micro SIMs for tablets, however on farms phones can often get damaged and many prefer to buy a cheap handset and save their expensive phone