Australia Working Holiday Visa

By: Dylan Skinner - Ono Vita

Working Holiday Visa Australia.jpg

Sydney Harbour Bridge - Sydney Opera House - Ono Vita

The title is not click bait, you can really travel Australia for 2 years with only $5,000. Even better, you can do the same in New Zealand for an additional 2 years. That’s 4 years of travel in Oceania with only $5,000 to start. Let’s jump right into it.

How the Working Holiday Visa Works

The key mechanism for years of travel in Australia and New Zealand with nearly no starting money is by connecting Working-Holiday Visas together. It is really that simple. The working-holiday visa is a visa program that gives young adults the rights to work and travel within a country for a limited period of time. Both Australia and New Zealand offer this visa to young adults for one year, and both allow a one-year extension in exchange for 88 days of work performed in a rural region. Thus, by taking advantage of the visa extensions, it is possible to stay on a working-holiday visa in Oceania for 4 years!

Why $5,000 for a Working Holiday Visa?

It is actually $5,000 AUD, not USD which is less in US Currency. The number comes from the visa sufficient fund requirement.  The number is certainly not sufficient for a year if you do not work, but nonetheless, it is the required amount. The Government set up the sufficient fund requirement to ensure that you can pay for your exit from the country at the end of your stay.


So how much money do you really need to travel to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa?

The right number depends on your perspective. $5,000 is enough to cover your initial expenses until new income can sustain you. At first, you will need to buy a one-way plane ticket, and then you will have living expenses to cover you until you land a job. If you want a life of luxury, or do not intend to work while abroad, then this is a low number. However, if you intend to work along the way, and live within your means, then you may even be able to leave with a significant net gain!

Working HolidaManly Corso, Sunrise, Australia Visa,

Manly Corso Sunrise, Australia - Ono Vita

Finding Work in Australia 

Finding work is generally the number one concern people have when considering a working-holiday visa. Construction and restaurants are the most common type of jobs, but there are many other options. Australian’s are familiar with hiring travelers, and work can be abundant. It is difficult to make work arrangements ahead of time, but if you want to keep to a $5,000 budget, you may want to do any work prerequisites ahead of time.  For example, everyone in construction must have a “White-Card” (Construction Induction Card), which can be done online for $40 in just a few hours but can take a week or two until you receive it. Serving at restaurants has a similar induction process to ensure the safe distribution of Alcohol is performed. It is good idea if you want to work quickly upon arrival, to complete the training courses ahead of time.

Income & Expenses While Living in Australia 

The financial situation varies from person to person. For the purposes of this article we will lay out what a typical week can look like during full-time work for a typical job:

Cash Flow Table (Working Holiday).jpg

The above numbers our based on real experience in the beautiful location of Manly, Australia. You can easily save $200 a week while swinging a hammer or serving a drink near a beautiful beach with other curious travelers. Thus, what you spend on your initial flight, and during the first few weeks of not working, can be saved up again during the next few months, and then you repeat the process.

Working Holiday Visa, Manly Beach, Sunrise, Australia

Manly Beach Sunrise - Ono Vita

Working-Holiday Visas in Detail

The key requirement to travel so easily abroad is the working-holiday visa program. These visas are available to many countries around the world including the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and many more. There are some rules that are important to note:

  • Age Limit (Apply before 31)

  • You cannot work for the same company for more than 6 months

  • The 2nd year extension requires 88 days a specific type of work in a rural area (backpackers like to call it the “farm work”, and it can be nice to do it in the north during the winter in order to avoid any cold weather).

You can read the exact details of a Working Holiday Visa on the Australian Government site by clicking here.


Don’t be afraid of finding a job, just make sure you have the right attitude. Working can actually be the best part, as it allows you to find friends and truly explore the country. Pay off your debt, sell anything you don’t need, and take advantage of this opportunity while you can. Who thought you could so easily sustain a travel for so long with so little to start. 


Bon Voyage - Ono Vita 

Working Holiday Visa, Sydney Opera House, Australia Visa,

Sydney Opera House - Ono Vita

Working Holiday Visa, Sydney, Narrow Street, Australia

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