Worried about funding your stay in Melbourne? Don’t be - there are plentiful backpacker jobs available for visitors and long-term tourists alike.

If you are planning to extend your travel stay in Australia, yet on a tight budget, then you need not worry about anything at all. There are plenty of jobs suitable for Melbourne backpackers.

But before you start walking down Flinders Street resume in hand, it pays to do a little bit of preparation first! Here are some of the things that you’ll need to prepare before applying for backpacker jobs in Melbourne:

Melbourne backpackers


Step 1: Working holiday visa for backpacking job

For those not in the know, a working holiday visa is a temporary visa granted to those who want to travel and work in Australia for a year. It gives visitors the opportunity to support themselves while exploring the sights and sounds.

Not every country offers working holiday visas to visitors. Luckily for you, Australia is one of them!

The basic requirements for a working holiday visa Down Under are thankfully quite lenient. As long as you’re between 18 and 31, not travelling with any dependents and come from an eligible country, you’re good to go.

Yep, that’s really it! It doesn’t take much to travel and see everything that Australia has to offer, all the while making enough money to support yourself.


Step 2: Get your application in order

Unfortunately, visitors cannot apply for their first working holiday visa while in Australia. No, that step needs to be completed before setting foot on the flight down under.

You’ll need:

  • Your intended place of residence
  • A copy of your passport
  • A method of payment
  • And that’s it!
  • Furthermore, if you plan on staying in Australia longer, you can apply for an extension of your working holiday visa. Fortunately, this one can be completed while you’re in-country - if you were worrying about additional airfares, you don’t need to!

    A working holiday visa also allows you to study in Australia for 4 months and you can even leave or come back to Australia anytime while the visa is valid.

    For further details on the application process for a working holiday visa, click here.


    Step 3: Get a travel and health insurance

    Many backpackers go around on relatively small budgets. If there’s one thing you can’t afford to skimp on however, it’s insurance.

    The following countries have signed reciprocal health agreements with Australia, meaning that you’re eligible for Medicare, Australia’s publicly-funded healthcare system:

  • New Zealand
  • The UK & Ireland
  • The Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • If your country isn’t on the list above, you should purchase your own travel and medical insurance.

    Acquiring both travel and medical insurance covers you when things go wrong. Whether it’s medical bills, travel cancellations, delays or lost baggage, it’s better to be safe than sorry... especially if you’re far away from home!


    Step 4: Open an Australian bank account

    The next thing you’ll need to do is set yourself up with an Australian bank account.

    We know, setting up a bank account isn’t exactly the most exciting activity. But it’s an essential step in the path to finding a backpacker job - how else are you supposed to receive your pay?

    Unless you plan on stashing all your hard-earned cash underneath your mattress (not recommended), you’ll need a local bank account. Fortunately, setting up an Aussie bank account is fairly similar to in most places around the world.

    As a backpacker, remember to bring your passport as identification. You’ll want to open an account within six months of arriving down under - wait any longer, and you’ll be required to present additional documentation, such as bills in your name.

    Most banks will open an account on the spot.

    Better yet, many allow you to set one up online or over the phone (although you’ll need to turn up in-person to activate it). Get the boring bits out of the way first by opening your account in advance so you can do more interesting things!

    Heading to Australia? Learn about Australia’s 4 major banks here.


    Step 5: Get a Tax File Number (TFN)

    Just because you’re here on a working holiday doesn’t mean you’re exempt from paying tax!

    As a working holiday visa holder, the first $37,000 of your income is taxed at 15% with the balance taxed at ordinary rates.

    And before all that, you’ll need a tax file number (TFN). This will be matched to your passport and Australian postal address.

    This 9-digit number is essentially your reference number in Australia’s tax system. Once your visa is approved, we strongly recommend applying for a TFN immediately. Fortunately, just like the visa application process, it can be done completely online.

    Apply for your TFN here.


    Step 6: Get an Australian mobile number

    While we often rely on Wifi for a shorter holiday, getting a local phone number for a longer stay simply makes sense.

    Your phone is one of the most common causes for bill shock when travelling overseas. The solution? Get a local SIM card!

    Not only is getting a local mobile number just a good piece of advice for job-hunting, but it’s also helpful for when you’re out-and-about too (contacting friends, looking up directions, ordering Ubers, etc.)!


    Searching for a Melbourne backpacker hostel?

    By no means is this list exhaustive. There are a lot of other considerations we had to gloss over for the sake of time (which you can read more about here.)

    Many of us at Urban Central are seasoned travellers ourselves - we understand the struggle that backpackers go through to find work in another country, so we’re here to help.

    Planning a long- (or short!) term trip to Melbourne? Searching for an affordable, clean, and safe Melbourne backpacker hostel? Book your room today ar Urban Central!