Bookings & travel news
Western Australia (WA) is Australia’s largest state.
The capital city, Perth, generally has an abundance of jobs available. The majority of these are mainly in:
If you’re a backpacker staying at Perth Central YHA and looking for work, try the Job Shop or AussiJobs.
Ready to head out into the unknown?
WA’s south-west is spectacular, with stunning ocean beaches, world-class vineyards and most importantly – a thriving regional employment industry that depends largely on working holiday makers and backpackers.
If you’re seeking an outback experience, there is also work in the north-west Kimberley region, famous for the World Heritage-listed Bungle Bungles, the dazzling Lake Argyle and El Questro Wilderness Park.
Dunsborough YHA Pemberton YHA Margaret River YHA Kimberley Croc YHA - Kununurra
Dunsborough is a seaside holiday town, with a small local population – a population which is reliant on backpackers filling positions, in particular, during summer.
Working Holiday Makers are made to feel very welcome in Dunsborough, with many becoming integral members of the community, joining sports teams and clubs.
Dunsborough YHA is actively involved in placing travellers in jobs.
The hostel is well known amongst local businesses as being a good source of labour and is regularly contacted by employers looking for staff. The hostel is also proactive in contacting and staying in touch with potential employers.
The hostel has a job board and will also speak with guests directly if a job comes up that is believed to suit them. If there is no work on the job board, the hostel will give backpackers a list of likely businesses to visit.
There are plenty of hospitality jobs in restaurants and bars as well as housekeeping in local resorts. Employers call looking for hospitality workers several times a week.
WA Responsible Service of Alcohol certification can generally be completed online.
November to April are the busiest months for this type of work.
There is also seasonal agricultural work in vineyards, flower farms and avocado orchards, all of which contribute towards the working holiday maker visa extension.
Backpackers may have to spend a little bit to get the right gear for these jobs, which may include:
The cost is typically $100-$200.
The vineyards often supply a lot of this equipment and then charge the workers in instalments taken from their wages. Generally, they also offer a buyback option for the equipment when the season finishes. It can also be on-sold to newly-arrived backpackers. The main reason for doing this is that equipment is easily lost or damaged if not cared for.
Some of these jobs are paid on piece rates, rather than hourly rates, which can be very lucrative for hard workers, but makes having the right gear even more essential, so as to work at maximum efficiency.
Most employers expect backpackers to be willing to commit for at least 2-3 months.
Many jobs last as long as the backpacker wants to stick around – some are handed on from one backpacker to another.
Having your own transport is a distinct advantage as much of the farming work is 15-20 kilometres out of town.
For more information, read Hostel Manager Andy’s tips to help you find work in Dunsborough.
Pemberton is on the edge of Gloucester National Park, renowned for the extraordinarily tall Karri trees.
Pemberton YHA matches backpackers with work available at any one of a dozen local farms.
When one job finishes, the hostel help set you up with another one, to ensure that you are able to complete your three months’ seasonal work requirement to get the visa extension.
The hostel sources work proactively from local employers as well as a local job agency.
Work is primarily agricultural and includes vineyards and avocado farms.
The hostel can also transport guests to the bigger farms, although some farmers will pick their staff up from the hostel and yet other backpackers have their own cars.
Margaret River is one of Australia’s renowned wine regions. Close to the coast, it also has some fantastic surfing breaks.
Margaret River YHA works extensively with local job agencies and labour hire companies to help working holiday makers and backpackers to find seasonal work.
The hostel has good contacts with 5-6 of the main vineyards.
Hostel staff also recommend going door-to-door with your CV/resume as a successful way of looking for work.
The labour hire companies run training for backpackers and also provide all the tools required, which, as with Dunsborough, are taken out of the backpacker’s wages in instalments.
If you need your RSA certification, the hostel will provide you with free internet time to do the course online, which in WA, generally only takes a couple of hours.
Backpackers need to source their own wet-weather gear, but the hostel has a good supply of second-hand clothing, which they sell at discounted prices and will also buy back at the end of a backpacker’s stay. This can save up to 50% on the cost of new clothing.
Margaret River YHA also runs a Work Bus, which they use to transport backpackers to their various jobs, for a small fee, to cover the cost of petrol.
Some farmers will also pick their workers up and other backpackers will set up car pool arrangements with their fellow working holiday makers.
Calls offering work come in every week, throughout the year, although the grape vine pruning (June-September) and grape picking (February-April) periods are the peak season for jobs.
There is a staff shortage year-round in Margaret River, with many of the local bars, restaurants and shops in Margaret River town posting notices in their windows, looking for workers.
There is also other work available on local farms.
The average job lasts for about three months, which matches up with the requirements for a visa extension.
If it is a visa extension that you’re seeking, pruning season is better suited to this than picking season. Pruning season involves three months of working full days, whereas grape picking takes place in the early morning and generally only offers a couple of hours work per day.
You can also work in hospitality, in a vineyard restaurant, to qualify for the extension.
Kimberley Croc YHA in Kununurra has dedicated half of its hostel’s beds to long-term seasonal workers, paying a weekly rate.
The work available is:
The hostel can give you a list of local farmers that are likely to be offering work and sometimes gets calls from farmers offering jobs.
Many of these farmers will pick workers up from the hostel and drop them back.
You will need to provide your own wet weather gear and footwear, but the farmers in the Kimberley generally provide the tools.
YHA/HI members can get great value Australian Travel Insurance.
YHA Travel licences: 2TA002629 (NSW), LTA148 (NT), 3433524 (QLD), TTA32 (SA), TA-0033055
(VIC), 9TA00584 (WA)