Our Outback Farm Adventure program sets you up with paid farm work following a comprehensive training week in the Australian Outback. We'll greet you at Brisbane International Airport and take you to Noosa on Australia's Sunshine Coast for 4 nights of jet lag recovery. Then it's off to your training and job on the farm!
This is a paid work experience following a beach getaway and training period. Initial jobs usually last one to three months, after which you can travel a bit and then take on another position with the program's assistance, for up to one year in total. Expenses on the job are minimal so your earnings will allow you to save cash to travel around Australia!
Participants should have a strong work ethic, openness to long work days, and preferably some experience with manual labor. The program will teach you the rest. You'll ride horses and agricultural motorbikes, work with cattle, drive and operate tractors, work with fence building, learn chainsaw skills, and receive basic maintenance instruction. Safety skills are a primary focus of the training.
Job matching is done during training week, and staff will help you make travel arrangements to your first job, which will probably last one to three months. Some may be longer, but in any case you will have continued placement support for future jobs with new farms until your visa (good for 12 months) expires. We suggest taking time between work to explore the rest of this sunny, friendly country!
Programs begin every Thursday throughout the year (except in December) with morning pickup at Brisbane International Airport. Due to limited space, we encourage you to enroll at least four months in advance. Feel free to contact us to check availability.
For summer start dates, please book early!
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the application process work?
Our online application is free to start and easy to complete. Just complete a few web forms and upload your documents using our online system. We're always happy to help if you have any questions. Sign Up.
What happens after I apply?
Once you complete your application and make a $250 deposit (this goes towards the program fee) we'll reach out to you to set up a phone call so that we can ensure the program is right for you, review some key points and get all of your questions answered.
Once you've been accepted into our program, we'll advise you on getting your visa and set you up with our international partner, who will be there to support you on the ground throughout your adventure in Australia.
How will I be supported on the program?
We're here to help you with your application, provide pre-departure support and guidance, and support you throughout your time abroad.
Moving across the world and getting situated can be stressful. We smooth your transition by handling logistics such as your bank account, connecting you with fellow travelers, job training, job placement services, and providing in-country support. A job will be organized during the training period and afterwards you can take your savings and travel! When you're ready, the program will help you find another position.
What will I be paid?
You can expect to earn at least $350 AUD per week after taxes, and the jobs include room and board so you'll be spending next to nothing during the work periods. We suggest working one job, taking your savings and traveling a bit, and then contacting the program to line up another position. Your visa will allow you to travel and work in Australia for up to one year.
What are the jobs like in Australia?
Typical jobs include working at sheep and cattle stations, working with horses, serving as a driver, and driving a tractor and farming. Even if you do not have a farming background, an agricultural degree, or previous experience, the training program will teach you how to be useful in just a few days but you should at minimum bring a strong work ethic and experience doing manual labor of some kind.
Working on Sheep and Cattle Stations
Sheep and cattle stations can be remote and vast. You'll learn to be useful on the horse (if experienced enough) and motorcycle for herding; working in the yards; mustering; repairing fences; using machinery for jobs around the station, including growing fodder and crops; and helping with routine maintenance and gardening. You may also brand or tag animals.
Tractor Work and Farming
If you were brought up on a farm and have driven tractors ever since you could reach the pedals then these are the jobs for you. They are mostly short-term jobs – 4 to 10 weeks – and because Australia is such a huge country, there's always a crop to plant or harvest somewhere, from cotton, wheat, sorghum, lucerne and corn to sunflowers and haymaking.
Good drivers are always in demand for grader work, stick raking (removing bush to make it suitable for grazing and crops) and bulldozer work. Truck or tractor drivers are usually quick learners. Most farms have not only crops, but cattle and/or sheep as well, so animal-handling skills and the ability to ride a horse or motorbike, repair fences, and use a chainsaw are essential. If you feel you're well-suited for this kind of work, staff during training can double check and help with any skills you need to pick up.
Working With Horses
For those with experience (and in some cases those just learning), work caring for horses is available. Some jobs occur with event horses, show jumpers, polocrosse or polo ponies, stock horse studs, dressage or endurance horses, race horses and at trail-riding centers. It's not always essential to be a first-class horse person, though in some cases a smaller wage is paid to compensate for the training provided. A fair bit of work will be on the ground caring for the horses – possibly in stables, but also feeding and checking them in the paddocks, perhaps lunging them and preparing them for the owner to ride. At trail-riding centers most horses and ponies are very quiet and once you know the routes taken you can have a thoroughly enjoyable job. Trail-riding work is seasonal, and generally occurs in the southern states of Australia.
Other Job Options
You also have the option to take other short-term jobs if you'd like to take a break from the farm during your time in Australia. For isntance, there are many hospitality jobs in pubs, hotels, restaurants, and more. These jobs can involve cooking, cleaning, assistance with guests, general maintenance, and outdoor duties.
How long do most jobs last?
Most employers are looking to hire for the season – about 3 months. There are some shorter jobs such as harvesting but you should be prepared for about 3 months for your first job.
How many hours will I be working?
Farm work is a lifestyle and it is unrealistic to expect a 9-to-5 schedule. More likely is that you will be expected to work from sun up until sun down with lulls during the day - sometimes 5, 6 or even 7 days in a week. Animals don't wait for people to get out of bed or understand public holidays! If there is a long muster to do you may be camping out for 10 days in a row, or there may be a bushfire that burns for days and you will be expected to help save the property and not clock off when your hours have finished. On the other hand, if it rains, you may not work for 4 days until things dry up, or you may be paid to sleep in a truck for 6 hours while you travel to another property for work.
How do you help me find a job?
Our international partner will be there to assist you the entire time. We guarantee job placement, utilizing a network of farms that has been working in the Australian Outback for more than 20 years.
Can I work with a friend or partner?
Yes, sometimes. You must have a similar level of farm skills (e.g. both good horse riders) to be accepted on the same farm by one employer. If not, you must be willing to compromise and go with a job that matches the skills of the lesser-qualified participant.
Can I leave Australia and re-enter?
Yes. The Work and Holiday Visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can leave the country and come back during the 12 months your visa is valid.
What are accommodations like?
This depends on your employer. You could be living in a homestead with a family, in workers' cottages, in caravans, camping, or traveling in a truck at times.
Do I have to stay in Australia for 12 months?
No. You can stay as long as 12 months, but there's no minimum stay. We recommend staying for at least 6 months in order to get the full experience.
Can I extend my Work and Holiday Visa?
No, U.S. citizens are only eligible for the Work and Holiday Visa for Australia one time.
Can I work for the same employer the entire length of my stay?
No. The maximum amount of time you can work for any employer is 6 months, so if you want to stay longer than 6 months, you'll need to find a new job with a different employer. We will help you with this!
Are my flights covered by my program fee?
No, please be prepared to pay the cost of your round-trip airfare. You should have no trouble earning this back in Australia!
What our participants are saying
I worked on a strawberry farm for 6 weeks, packed fish on the docks for 2 weeks on the Sunshine Coast and worked on an avocado/custard apple orchard for 2 weeks in the Tablelands of Cairns… Australia is beautiful. I went diving on the Great Barrier Reef, did a 3-day/2-night sailing trip in the Whitsunday islands, and learned to surf (kind of). Shawn
I had the best time in Australia… The program is great, I wouldn't change a thing. Brad