Farm work in Australia

Get all the skills you need and find a great job on a ranch in Australia with our paid farm work and training programme. You’ll start in Brisbane with an induction followed by a few days to relax and get over jet-lag at Rainbow beach, finally you will take part in a full farm training course before heading off to your first job. This programme includes a great job-finding service and your first job on a ranch is guaranteed.

It’s a great way to experience Australian life in the great outdoors- and fund some further travels!

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Paid work in Australia for tough Poms

Get a job and earn money working in the vast and beautiful Australian Outback. Experience life as a jackeroo, mustering cattle, riding dirt bikes, and living on a ranch- and those are just a few things you might get up to!

Oyster’s paid work programme opens the door to farming and outdoor jobs all over the Outback. Starting with a fantastic 5-day farm training course that will equip you with all the skills needed to work on farms, ranches, cattle stations and riding stables. You will get to grips with driving tractors, riding horses, mastering chainsaws, driving dirt bikes, shearing sheep and constructing fences.

The training farm is certainly a highlight of the programme, it combines learning new skills with lots of fun. Once you have completed your training, you are provided with a great job-finding service so you can put your new skills to good use. With almost 2000 employers across Australia on the job-finding database, your first job is guaranteed. Help is also provided if you decide to look for a subsequent job later on.

Aussies expect hard work and a positive attitude, you will be set up with an employer initially for up to 6 months depending on your skills and motivations. You will be paid around A$350 (up to £230!) per week, plus free tucker and swag (OK, free bed and board).

The added bonus of this work programme is that you can earn enough to finance another few months’ travel – and you will be doing more than just fruit picking in Australia!

What will I be doing in the Outback?

Aussie farms are remote and the jobs that need doing are varied. You could be rounding up sheep and cattle, doing essential maintenance around the farm, harvesting crops or looking after horses.

You’ll need to be ready to get stuck in and to work outdoors in all weather – no whingeing Poms, please! It’s tough, physical work, but in the evening you can sit outside under the stars sharing beers and stories with your work mates. And you’ll sleep like a log!

It’s not all hard work. At the beginning of the programme, on arrival in Brisbane, you have a day to explore this exciting city before heading off to the famous Rainbow Beach for 3 days. This is a great opportunity to get to know your companions and enjoy the legendary Aussie sun, sea and sand before heading to the training farm. Once you have finished your job you can do some travelling- or get back to the beach. After exploring what Australia’s amazing diversity has to offer, our partners can help you find another Outback job for up to 12 months after your stay on the training farm.

Getting down to the nitty gritty bits

  • What is the ideal candidate like? It’s great to have an experience of outdoors work or an outdoors lifestyle, but  a positive attitude, friendly demeanour and willingness to work hard are the most important qualities. Jobs are fitted to each individual’s skill set after the training farm, so those of you with experience of working on farms, taking care of horses and riding horses will expect to be doing work to a similar standard that you are used to at home. You MUST have a driving licence before you travel to Australia and be able to drive a manual car confidently. Find out why
  • How does arrival work? Groups arrive in Brisbane every Thursday, with the exception of over Christmas and New Year. You’ll be met on arrival at Brisbane International airport and your paperwork – including visas, medicare and setting up bank accounts – will be sorted out. After a good night’s sleep in Brisbane, it’s straight to Rainbow beach for three days of rigorous relaxation.
  • What about the training farm? Next stop is a family-run training farm, where you spend five days on a specialised farm skills training course. The course is highly respected by employers and will get you off to a really good start with a job suitable to your skills and requirements. On the farm you can drive a tractor, ride a motorbike, muster cattle, learn to build fences, change a wheel and you will get used to working in the heat. It can be challenging but it’s lots of fun and you make great friends along the way.
  • How do I get a job? The programme has a dedicated job-finding website and almost 2000 employers have signed up to use this service meaning here are plenty of jobs out there. Whilst you are on the training farm you will use this website and will be given assistance in finding a job. You will be in touch with potential employers and will be able to find out more about different roles so that you can decide what job would suit you best. Once you have secured a job we will help you to organise transport to get you to your new job. Please note: At the end of your training course you will be guaranteed a job in the Outback. However if you are a vegetarian or want to find work with a friend then you may have to wait slightly longer to get your job.
  • Are there are other jobs available besides farm work? Working on a farm full time isn’t for everyone. There are a number of other options available. You could wok as an au pair, a homestead helper or you could find a job in the rural hospitality sector, these positions are perfect for those wanting to combine life and work on a farm with some domestic indoor duties too. Find out more
  • How do I get involved? You will need to fill in our online booking form. At the end of the application form you will be asked to pay the first £50 of the programme fee. Once we receive these, we will fix a time for an informal telephone interview with you. If, after interview, we are unable to offer a place or you decide not to go ahead with this, we will refund your £50.
  • For loads more detailed information about jobs, weather, location check out our more information pages

Accommodation and Food

You will stay on a farm either with the farmer’s family or in workers’ accommodation. Different farms offer different accommodation, in some places you might be sharing a room and in others you might have your own room with aircon and the use of a pool, it is important to be flexible. When you are offered a job you will be given details of the accommodation so there will be no surprises. Your food and accommodation are included with your job free of charge – in return you are expected to look after your accommodation and be a friendly and helpful house guest.



  • A guaranteed first job on a farm in the Australian Outback

  • The chance to get to know a side of Australia that many travellers never get to see!

  • Earn some good money to fund further travel around the country- or even further afield

  • Time to relax and explore at the famous Rainbow Beach, a traveller’s dream with great surfing and golden sands

  • Completion of a well-respected farming course, offering you some great working possibilities for your time in Australia- as well as looking great on your CV

Whyshould I do this?

Getting paid work in Australia is one of the “musts” on a gap year programme. Not only does it allow you to stay for a long time in one of the most diverse countries in the world, it also means that you get to earn some money.

Wages are high in Australia, however so is the cost of living. Farm work in Australia not only gets you a great wage, it also covers your accommodation and food costs. You can save up lots of money over the time that you are on the farms, ready to explore the beauty of the East Coast, or even head further afield over to South East Asia.

Our training programme is good fun – it has even been quoted by one of our past participants as “the best bit about Australia!” Getting a guaranteed job suitable to your skills at the end of it not only means that you can start earning straight away, it also means that that you will be doing far more than just fruit picking!

Getting there

The farm work programme runs every week of the year, with the exception of 6 weeks over the Christmas and New Year period. Participants arrive in Brisbane (BNE) every Thursday morning, between 6am and 9am to start the programme. On arrival at the airport, participants are greeted and taken to a central hostel for their first night Down Under.

Our representative

Our representative

Oyster specialises in providing friendly support and advice to those we send away. We will help you get all the preparations in place so you can look forward to your trip with confidence. Once there, the support continues through our partners at the training farm, who will provide your training, job-finding service and ongoing advice. Australia is an easy place to adjust to, but there may still be times when you want a bit of advice or help. With large time differences and participants placed all over the Outback, Joanna and her team are well placed to be your first point of call. Both they, and us in the UK, are contactable 24/7 should you need it. It’s a big country, but you won’t be on your own.

What is provided

  • An excellent and well-regarded farm training course (5 nights) with food, accommodation, work hat, t-shirt, water bottle and internet access all included

  • A guaranteed job, with help finding subsequent work for the duration of your visa (12 months)

  • Being met at Brisbane airport on arrival (1 night hostel accommodation)

  • A restful holiday at Rainbow Beach when you arrive (3 nights hostel accommodation)

  • Excellent preparation from Oyster, including one-to-one interview and informal briefing

  • Advice on obtaining a working visa

  • (Optional) Help finding a competitive and suitable return flight to Brisbane (cost around £900 from London)

  • Help setting up an Australian bank account before departure

  • Medicare and Tax File Number included and arranged for you

  • Full financial protection through our ATOL bond if Oyster book your flights

  • Help and advice from our UK office

  • Support and advice in-country if you need it with a 24/7 free emergency phone number.

  • Food and accommodation at your workplace

  • Travel (by bus) to Rainbow Beach and the training farm

  • International phone card worth $10

  • Free access to InterHealth’s Travel Health Advice Service

On your return:

  • References (on request)

What do I need


  • A passport valid for 6 months beyond the end of your placement

  • You must be eligible for an Australian working holiday visa (UK and 18 other nationalities- see here for details)

  • Cost of a working holiday visa- approx £240

  • Hold a full drivers license- knowing how to drive manual is important. Find out why

  • Hold either a Visa or Mastercard credit card or have $900 Australian dollars in cash when you arrive

  • Insurance – we can recommend you a policy

  • Cost of return flight to Brisbane (we can book for you)

  • Cost of changing your flight if you need to

  • Your travel costs to the airport

  • Cost of travel from training farm to job (budget for up to A$500)

  • Independent travel and accommodation costs when not working

  • Some money for food during your first 4 nights at Brisbane and on the beach

  • Appropriate clothing (we will advise)

  • Living costs (hostel and food costs) while not working i.e. when travelling over several days to a job or if you are inbetween jobs