Working Holidays in Australia are Becoming More and More Popular
Working holidays in Australia are becoming more and more popular, because it’s a great way to see a lot of a truly amazing country whilst simultaneously doing something you enjoy. Done right, it can be an experience that defines your entire lifetime!
I’ll tell you about my experiences and how they defined me. But first – before anything else, before looking up the best bars and clubs in the area – bear in mind that you have to do some planning before your holiday begins. You need to pick up a Working Holiday Visa, which allows you to stay in Australia for up to one year, and you must not work for the same employer for more than six months. You also need enough money (A$5,000 is generally the minimum) to support yourself in Australia before you find work, and a planned way of getting out of the country again.
Like many people in their twenties who undertake an Australian working holiday, I went to work in a bar. This was in Sydney, and it was an unadvertised job – I handed my CV in and got lucky. The only other thing I needed was an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certificate, but if you take it seriously and do the work, these certificates are easy to get.
Bartending in Sydney is, as you would probably expect, an amazing way to meet very interesting people. Within mere days I had learnt/been drunkenly taught all the important Australian lingo and the sky was the limit. Daytime was for work; nighttime and weekends were for exploring everything that Sydney and the wider country around it had to offer me. I spent a lot of time at Bondi Beach just relaxing in the sun and thanking my lucky stars that I had picked Australia. And though I never actually went inside the Sydney Opera House, I spent a lot of time photographing it from every angle. I wasn’t the only one, apparently it’s a very popular landmark to have in the background of selfies.
I spent a lot of time at some less well-known places within Sydney as well. The Chinese Garden of Friendship might just be my favourite place in the city, as it’s a beautifully calm oasis in an otherwise quite mad place. You can even hire out a Chinese costume to take pictures with whilst you’re there, although I didn’t do this. It does cost a little money to get into the garden, but it’s worth it, honestly.
One thing I did in Sydney which was a true leap into the unknown was take a helicopter tour. I had never taken one before in my life, but I figured if there was any country worth seeing from the air it was Australia. The tour turned out to be very well organised, very safe and very fun! So if you get a chance to do this, don’t turn it down.
What about outside Sydney? Did my employers give me enough time off and enough pay to allow me to explore it? Course they did! (Australia has strict rules about the treatment of workers. Minimum wage, by the way, is slightly over A$17 per hour, but most people make a bit more.) So I got plenty of opportunity to see almost everything I wanted to. I had always dreamed of seeing Uluru (aka Ayers Rock), so I was able to get a flight from Sydney to go see it. It was everything I’d imagined it would be and more – I got to watch the rock change colour as the sun set, and meet lots of fascinating tour guides who told me about the history of the rock and its surrounding area. A visit to Uluru should frankly be on everybody’s bucket list.
However, some of the other best things I did in Australia were things that many Australians take for granted but I had never done – things like seeing the Sydney Opera House every day, or going surfing, or spending time on a nice hot beach. I spent Christmas Day on the beach, in fact, a big change from how my Christmases are normally spent! Then it was straight back to a fun casual job. Definitely an experience I would recommend to everyone.