I’m just going to make the wild assumption that after last year, almost everyone will want an extended vacation.
The good people over in Queensland seem to be aware of this, as they’ve just announced some travel incentives as part of their Give It A Go program for people looking to move up to the Sunny State for a working vacay.
Heavy discounts are being offered for transport so holiday-makers can see as much of Queensland as humanly possible. While working there, you can purchase a 90-day Greyhound bus pass for $399, which gives you unlimited trips around QLD. On top of that, Queensland Rail is offering a 60% discount on economy fairs, if trains are more your style.
$399 might initially sound like a lot, but hear me out: you could feasibly use one of those trips to go from the Gold Coast up to Dreamworld for the day, Movieworld the next day and Seaworld the day after, you’ve still got 87 days worth of trips – think of all the money you’ll save on Ubers.
Tourism workers can also receive up to 60% discounts on a smorgasbord of different perks, meaning it’s going to be even cheaper to tick off your bucket list.
So, if you have your eyes set on Queensland as your dream destination, here’s what you should consider when you’re planning a seachange.
1. Suss out what jobs suit your lifestyle
You don’t have to set your sights on a career when you’re on a working holiday. In fact, as someone who worked at various tourism destinations during my ’20s, I’d strongly advise against it.
You want your primary focus to be sightseeing and shenanigans, so a job where you can go in, get it done and then flit off to a tropical island would be ideal.
Say you pick up a job as a cleaner, that usually requires an early start, you’ll have ample time in the arvo to tan those pasty pins of yours.
Bars and surf shops are also ideal for meeting likeminded people while you work, so you’ll be best friends with the locals after a few easy shifts. From there, they can tell you about all the places tourists wouldn’t know of unless someone tells them. Cheeky, cheeky.
Here’s a handy little link that’ll give you a gist of what jobs are on offer.
2. Remind yourself on a daily basis that you’re there for fun
Whether it’s writing a note on a sticky pad or getting it tattooed on your forehead, find a way to remind yourself of why you’re there.
Sure, you always want to be a good employee regardless of the job, but put aside time each week to go exploring, meet new people, check out bars or hit the beach.
If you move to the Gold Coast, it’s unlikely you’ll live in another place where you can go from the beach to the city in a flash, so make the most of it.
You can stop having fun when you’re 100 years old.
3. Know how much accommodation will roughly cost
Speaking of accommodation, looking into potential places to live before you hit the road will give you a good idea of what you can afford and who you want to live with.
It’ll also take the pressure off for when you arrive. You just got to your new holiday-away-from-home, you don’t want to be stressed finding last-minute accommodation.
You’ll also find that places tend to be a bit cheaper than some other Aussie cities, so you might just be able to live the high life if you find a ripper deal.
Better yet, a lot of employees are offering free accommodation depending on the job, so if you hunt around and ask each employer what they’re offering, you could find a place to live for quite literally zero dollars a month.
Pro tip: have a decent nest egg saved up before making the move, so you’ll have more money for activities (and rent).
4. Speak to friends of friends
It’s networking time, babay.
You’d be surprised at how connected people are if you just ask them. I have a theory that everyone should awkwardly reach out to a friend-of-a-friend to hang at least once in their lives. Worst-case scenario they hate your guts, best-case scenario you make a new friend in a different city and create cute memories together.
As you talk to more people, you’ll be given some hot tips about some hidden gems only known to locals. Secret waterfalls, bars hidden down seemingly quiet sidestreets, beaches that few people know about – the only way you can truly experience QLD is to find out all of its secrets.
Who knows? You might even stumble upon some people who know where to get those heavy discounts on food and travel.
5. Write down a list of must-do activities
It can be easy to forget that the whole point of a working holiday is the holiday aspect.
Sure, you need to work to make money so you can do fun things, but the aim of the game is to sow your oats now so that when you’re old and crusty, you’ll have fond memories to look back on (and pictures of yourself in your prime to make you feel worse about your old age).
Here are a few handy ideas to help you plan:
- DIY gin at this Brisbane distillery
- Chasing six waterfalls in a single day
- Venturing to various fruit stalls.
- Exploring the hidden treehouses around Queensland
- Venturing to places unknown to most tourists
That’s merely scratching the surface though, you could spend your entire working holiday trying to do everything in Queensland and you’ll barely make a dent.
Consider that a challenge and give it a go.Image: iStock / zstockphotos