Where to find second year visa jobs and farm work in Australia
Keen to extend your Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa? Here are some incredible places to complete your 88 days of specified work.
You’ve come to Australia on a work and holiday visa, and you’ve decided you want to spend an extra 12 months Down Under. What now? Before you can apply for your Work and Holiday visa extension, you need to complete three months, or 88 days, of specified work. Jobs that qualify you for a Second Work and Holiday Visa must fall into specific industries and be carried out in certain locations around Australia.
You can work in industries like farming, fishing and tourism, and from 2020, working holiday makers can count bushfire recovery work in designated disaster areas toward their specified work requirement. Learn more here.
Whichever job you choose, you're sure to find yourself in some of Australia's most unique locations. Here are five places where you can find eligible jobs for your second-year visa – and have fun doing it.
Australia’s northernmost capital is well worth getting to know. Walk along Darwin’s main strip, Mitchell Street and the first thing you’ll notice is all the outdoor bars, which overflow with people from around the world.
If you’re interested in working in tourism or travel, there is plenty of work available during the dry season (April to October), ranging from working as a casino croupier to pouring beers at one of the friendly pubs.
Winter can mean cold weather – but not in Queensland's city of Cairns. Some may call this famous tropical city one of the best places to do farm work in Australia. It's not only a fantastic base for exploring the incredible beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, but offers plenty of adventures, including white-water rafting, sky diving and explorations through the lush Daintree Rainforest. With its warm weather, it’s a great place to go fruit-picking. The main crop around here is bananas, and as they're harvested year-round, there’s generally plenty of farm work to be had.
The romantic outback beach town of Broome in Western Australia is a hugely popular choice for working holidaymakers. There is plenty of work in the hospitality industry here – ask in local establishments, look out for signs around town, or check job listing sites. This is also one of the few bases in Australia where you could find a job in the pearling industry, with a harvest period from April to October. Not only is this when famous companies like Cygnet Bay Pearls are looking for extra staff (mainly backpackers), it’s also peak season for travellers, coinciding with the dry season, which is characterised by warm days, clear skies and balmy nights.
The palm-fringed town of Airlie Beach in Queensland is a backpacker’s dream come true. It's known as the jumping off point for the blissful Whitsunday Islands, where days can be spent snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef or exploring magical spots like Whitehaven Beach. Thanks to the area’s beauty, there are several upscale resorts and a thriving hospitality scene here, so the main employment opportunities are in the hospitality and tourism businesses. Check around town for work in restaurants, cafés, bars and resorts; this can range from mixing cocktails at poolside bars to taking on housekeeping in a hotel.
The bohemian surf mecca of Byron Bay in New South Wales is a popular destination to complete the program’s three-month work requirements. If you’re interested in farm work, make sure you arrive early in the season, or begin contacting employers before you even show up, as finding this work can be quite competitive. Fruit picking and packing jobs are available during February and March, and again from May to December, when you could find yourself filling baskets of avocados, lychees, macadamias and more. And, of course, while here you can fill your days off with explorations around the town’s cool bars, spectacular beaches and trendy hinterland villages.
Know before you go
Specified work has some great benefits; not only can you stay an extra year, but you’ll also get the opportunity to discover a different side of Australia. But before you accept a job, make sure you talk to your potential employer about wages, living conditions and safety protocols. If you want to learn more about workers’ rights, or have questions or concerns about your Australian employer, visit the Australian Government Fair Work website.
Are there other resources for finding farm work and second-year visa jobs?
The Department of Home Affairs website is the best resource for understanding your options for specified and farm work in Australia. You can also check the Harvest Trail, which allows you to search for farm jobs by location and crop. The Harvest Trail site also has an interactive map to explore eligible work at different times of the year. You may also be able to find work through job board sites such as Seek and Backpacker Job Board. Jobs posted here aren't limited to fruit picking; you'll also find opportunities on cattle farms, construction sites and pearl luggers.
What can I expect to earn?
The national minimum wage is currently AUD $21.38 per hour or AUD $812.60 per 38-hour week (before tax)*. Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also get at least a 25 per cent casual loading added to their pay. Many jobs pay above minimum wage, depending on your experience.
Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for complete details on minimum wage and workers' rights.
*Correct as of July 2022
Note: Tourism Australia is not the Australian government visa granting authority. The visa granting authority is the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. For up-to-date information, please refer to their website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-462.
The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an Australian qualified immigration lawyer or migration agent if you are seeking legal advice.