Different working holiday makers divide their work and holiday differently.
Some travel the country, picking up jobs on their way round; an excellent way to cover a lot of Aussie ground whilst funding the travel.
Some work in chunks of weeks or months, build up a bed of cash and then travel carefree for another chunk of time (until the bed deflates and they settle to find another bout of work).
Many do 88 days of agricultural work, either in a solid stretch or spread out through their first year, to secure a second year visa; a fabulous way to meet similar minded travellers, gain new skills and experiences and explore rural parts of Australia. Plus with another year down under, who can complain at that!
My wish was to work consistently in professional roles with Melbourne as my base and do as much exploring as that allowed. Although I normally only get weekends off, working in this way has actually allowed a lot of travelling! Here are my 4 top tips for working AND holidaying:
- 1. Stick around Melbourne. Victoria has a HEAP to offer within driveable distances. If you have a car to hand (I hired a very reasonably priced car from
vroomvroomvroom.com.au last weekend), day trips to places like Dandenong Ranges, Hanging Rock and Mornington Peninsula are ace on a weekend. Personal faves include wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, swimming in Lake Eildon, and basking on the beach at Sorrento. If driving isn’t an option, affordable trains leave from the CBD to various destinations including the cute mining towns of Ballarat and Bendigo and the seaside hub of Geelong.
- If you fancy staying somewhere a little longer, gather a gang, commit to a weekend and book accommodation on Airbnb.com.au – it can be cheaper than hotels and every property is different! My friends and I have stayed in gorgeous houses in Ballarat and Apollo Bay within walking distance from the centres, for next to nothing!
- Campervan hire is very popular in Australia, and it is a lot of fun, but to save some bucks, buy cheap camping equipment from Kmart (check out this $12 tent: www.kmart.com.au/product/2-person-dome-tent/1679803) and hire a car instead! Plan a road trip, leave straight after work on Friday and get home for Sunday evening. Pitch up in a couple of campsites along the way and that’s a whole lot of ground covered! Two stunning weekend coastal road trips are down The Great Ocean Road towards Port Campbell, and up the east coast past Lakes Entrance and into New South Wales.
- Take full advantage of temping and make the most of those odd days off here and there. Especially with Victoria’s abundance of public holidays, you can wangle some decent breaks even when working full time. Sign up to alerts from iknowthepilot.com.au for stupidly cheap domestic and international flights to your inbox, and snap them up when the dates suit you. $23 from Melbourne to Sydney popped up today and that is not to be sniffed at. Alternatively, type your dates into Skyscanner.com and see where in Australia (or the world) is cheapest to fly. Booking.com have brilliant accommodation deals and often offer free cancellation, so you can book dates risk free before you even find your flights.