Farm work in the Outback in Australia

Hit the ground running in Australia with our paid farm work and training programme. You’ll get an induction, a few days relaxing on Rainbow beach, a full farm training course, guaranteed first job and a great job-finding service all included.

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 the ultimate Aussie experience living and working in the vast and beautiful Australian Outback. Live the life of a jackeroo, mustering cattle, riding dirt bikes, and living on a ranch- and that’s just some of the things you might experience!

Oyster’s paid work programme opens the door to farming and outdoor jobs all over the Outback. We help you get started with a fantastic 5-day course at a training farm, bringing to you all of the skills needed for work on various farms, ranches, cattle stations and riding stables. You will find yourself getting to grips with driving tractors, riding horses, mastering chainsaws, driving dirt bikes, shearing sheep and constructing fences. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

The training farm is certainly one of the highlights of the programme, combining the learning of new skills with lots of fun. Following on from the completion of your training, you are provided with a great job-finding service to get you putting these new skills into practice. With almost 2000 employers across Australia on the job-finding database, your first job is guaranteed. Help is also provided for subsequent job-hunting if and when you want to work on another farm later on.

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

The great thing about 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! The training farm really sets you up for some good graft on a variety of jobs over the Outback, developing many important skills and meeting a variety of people.

What will I be doing in the Outback?

Aussie farms are remote and need help with all sorts of farming and maintenance jobs. These could include rounding up sheep and cattle, mending fences, harvesting crops, looking after the horses or doing essential maintenance around the farm.

You’ll need to be ready to help out with whatever needs to be done, and to work outdoors in all weather – no whingeing Poms, please! It’s tough, physical work, but at the end of the day you can sit out under the stars sharing beers and stories with your work mates. And you’ll sleep like a log!

It’s not all hard work though. On arrival in Brisbane at the beginning of the programme, you have a day exploring 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 lengendary Aussie sun, sea and sand before heading on to the training farm. At the end of your job you can plan some extra travel – or get back to the beach again. After exploring what Australia’s amazing diversity has to offer, our partners can help you have access to Outback jobs right up to the 12-month point.

Getting down to the nitty gritty bits

  • What is your ideal candidate like? It’s great to have an experience of outdoors work or an outdoors lifestyle, but having 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 every Thursday to Brisbane, with the exception being over the Christmas and New Year period. 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 get to drive a tractor, ride a motorbike, muster cattle, learn to build fences, change a wheel and work 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? During your time on the training farm you’ll be helped to find a job via the programme’s dedicated job-finding website. Almost 2000 employers have signed up to use this service, so there are a good amount of jobs out there! You’ll get in touch with the potential employers, find out more about the roles and decide which job is best for you. Once your job is arranged, we will help you to get out to the job at the end of the training period. 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? Full time farm work might not be everyone’s cup of tea. We also offer a good range of jobs in the rural hospitality sector, as well as au pair work and homestead helper – perfect for those of you 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 this, and your application form, 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 return the £50 to you
  • 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. There is considerable variety and we ask you to be flexible: you might be sharing a room, or you might even have your own room with aircon on a farm with use of a pool. You will find out all about the accommodation when you are offered your job, so there will be no surprises. Accommodation and food are provided free of charge – in return you are expected to treat your accommodation with respect and be a friendly, helpful house guest.


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

  • The chance to get to know a side of Australia that many travellers would never even dream of!

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

  • Time to relax and explore at the renowned 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 the 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. Working on a farm in the Outback not only gets you a great wage, it also covers your accommodation and food costs. Doing farm work in Australia means that 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 tremendous 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:

  • Call from Anne to gather your feedback
  • Welcome home pack
  • Certificate of Recognition (on request)
  • 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 or debit card

  • 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