Roam Australia and Get Paid

Damon Harvery taking full advantage of Australia's great surf. Photo: Ellis
Damon Harvery taking full advantage of Australia's great surf. Photo: Ellis

Young surfers' travel plans are often dismissed due to the lack of financial resources or school obligations. The Australian government recognized this and created the Work and Holiday visa that allows America's youth to wander Australia's outback for up to a year. SURFER Magazine spoke with Daryl Hudson from Tourism Australia to learn more about this opportunity.

Describe Australia's Work and Holiday program going on right now.

Americans can travel throughout the country under a unique opportunity called the Work and Holiday Visa. They can stay for 12 months and work during their time in Australia, which gives them the opportunity to spend more time outside the common tourism areas.

What's considered outside the common tourism area?

Places like Tasmania where you can do some fantastic hiking. Surfing along the New South Wales coast. Incredible rock climbing just outside Sydney in the Blue Maintains, and of course, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef.

Are there any type of job restrictions under the Work and Holiday Visa?

No, it's any job the traveler can hold. You know, the mainstream ones, like working in a pub, restaurant, a lodge; and if the individual has some outdoor guiding experience, then that can be used to do walking day tours, assist with scuba diving, and work at surf schools.

Attending school classifies under the Work and Holiday Visa, correct?

Yeah, you can do some studying for up to four months, which would cover a whole semester or summer program.

Why is this program valuable to surfers?

Fantastic world-class surf from Southern Queensland, right down through Sydney and into Western Australia's Perth. And there's a lot of variety along the coastline that will suit any level of expertise. We all also have quite a number of national parks along the coast that are perfect for hiking and other wildlife activities.

For more information on Australia's Work and Holiday Visa and enrolling online, click here.