Call Sydney your home for a year, (or extend for two or three on the amazing work scheme…). Meet like-minded, adventurous backpackers and get support from the team on the ground with full admin set up and access to 12 months of job finding assistance. Enjoy a fun packed orientation week. Get a paid job and social network within a few weeks of arrival!


Duration: 12 – 52 weeks (7 day orientation)
Dates: Arrivals throughout the year
Arrival day: Monday or Thursday if no surf camp is required
Eligibility: Must be eligible for a work visa


  • Have an instant social life on arrival by joining a group of up to 30 solo young travellers
  • Packed with activities and fun during your first week including an optional surf camp week
  • Kick start your Aussie Adventure with a welcome orientation, admin set up and job finding help
  • Receive 12 months of access to an online database and job-finding support
  • Earn good wages by obtaining a job in Australia to fund your living expenses as well as travels

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Unlocking Exciting Urban Jobs for International Travelers!

If you want to experience getting paid work abroad but are a little nervous in taking the first step on your own, this programme offers the perfect balance between support and independence. Join an instant group of friends and explore this incredible city whilst getting set up with work and accommodation. The team on the ground will take care of the tricky bits like your tax file number, medicare card, SIM and a bank account during your orientation week. You have support with jobs and travel for up to a year, but with the freedom to plan it however you like.

Activities around admin set up include:

  • City walking tour
  • Welcome night out
  • Sydney Harbour Catamaran cruise
  • Beach and wildlife trips
  • Sandboarding and bush walks
  • BBQ dinner
  • Dolphin cruise
  • Bondi beach walking tour

Upgrade to bolt on an all inclusive, 5day surf camp to finish off your week for just £499!

What will I be doing?

Your first week will be a fun-filled introduction to Australia with a mixture of presentations, social activities and of course sight-seeing! You’ll also enjoy a 2 night excursion a couple of hours outside of the city, all transfers and food included. At the end of the introduction most people choose to start looking for accommodation and a job, but you’re free to travel from the off too! The majority stay in Sydney but you will be supported across Australia if you want to make somewhere else your base.

The work available to you is plentiful, with the majority of the jobs at entry level positions in industries including admin, retail, hospitality, farming, factory and construction. The pay is pretty good too, allowing you to support yourself and save a bit of money for travelling.

You will be working with Aussies and most likely other international backpackers, so you’ll instantly be making friends in the workplace and developing a busy social network.

The terms of your visa allow you to work for one employer for a maximum of 12 months but you can switch to other employment and locations with support from the team. You may decide to go off travelling with a pocket full of money! As part of the programme you will have 12 months of access to an exclusive online job database and job finding support.


  • You’ll spend your stay at the most upmarket hostel the centre of Sydney. It adjoins Central Station so you can easily explore all that Sydney has to offer. You’ll have two nights at the funky ‘basecamp’ hostel outside the city too.

Convenience meets quality here with a range of facilities available:

  • 24-Hour Reception
  • Onsite Travel Desk
  • Communal Kitchen
  • Laundry Facilities
  • Free High-Speed WiFi
  • Daily Social Activities
  • Central Location
  • Onsite Bar/Club & Restaurant
  • Onsite Cafe
  • Social Nights
  • Expect to share 6 bed dorm – upgrades to twin and single available on request.
  • During your orientation presentations, you will be given plenty of advice on where to find accommodation after your initial week is over. Some choose to stay at the hostel and some choose shared apartments in Sydney. Options will be explained on arrival. Others decide to join the all inclusive surf camp so that they can learn to surf whilst hunting for jobs (food and accommodation included).


  • 7 breakfasts at the onsite hostel cafe and all meals during basecamp visit
  • A couple of complimentary lunches, dinners and drink vouchers

Travel arrangements

Airport: Sydney (SYD)
Arrival day: Activities start on a Monday at 11.30am. We advise flying in the day before (Sunday) and we’ve included this and an airport transfer as part of your package.
Departure day: You will finish the programme on following Sunday. We suggest you book at least a couple of days/week’s accommodation following this until you have secured a job and make more permanent arrangements. Also advised is the 5 day surf camp to begin on Monday which will give you more time and accommodation.

Supporting You

On the ground in Australia, the programme and hostel team will be there to support you. Many of the team have lived overseas so they know challenges that you will be facing first-hand and so are ideal people to help you settle in. Both they, and us in the UK are available 24/7 in case of emergency.



  • Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
  • Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
  • Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
  • In-country support
  • Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
  • Gold level, 24/7 Pharos crisis management and incident support cover
  • Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
  • Thorough orientation on arrival
  • Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
  • Advice on visa requirements
  • Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help reduce the impact of global carbon emissions
  • Advice on obtaining a visa
  • Transfer from the airport to your hostel in Sydney
  • Detailed welcome orientation, help with CV, interviewing techniques and jobs
  • Help with training and skill courses
  • Assistance in sorting out your medicare, tax file number and bank account
  • Tax refund advice
  • An Australian Sim Card
  • 7 breakfasts, some lunches and dinners
  • 12 months of help and support with your CV / resume and interview technique
  • 12 month access to an exclusive online database of jobs and help with securing a paid job in Australia
  • Unlimited free internet connection in Sydney (as well as the other offices)
  • Mail holding and forwarding for bank cards
  • Transportation to and from base camp
  • Freebies and entertainment nights
  • Options to book an all inclusive 5 day surf camp trip with 4 x 2 hour surf lessons
  • Access to a 24 hour emergency hotline
  • Access to discounted travel products
  • On your return-  References (on request)

Not Included

  • Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
  • You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
  • Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
  • Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
  • Independent travel costs
  • Home country travel costs
  • Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
  • Cost of your visa. You must be eligible for a Working Holiday visa 417 or Work and Holiday visa 462 (aged between 18-35 and a permitted nationality for the visa. See here for work visa eligibility criteria)
  • National Insurance Card or NHS card for Tax file number and Bank account application
  • Cost of living following the programme including travel, accommodation and food

Project story

“I’ve visited Sydney several times and have never been disappointed by this fantastic destination. The Blue Mountains are always a highlight and surfing is on the Aussie bucket list for sure! The team who assist when you arrive are brilliant. Take full advantage of the full year, you won’t regret it!” says Georgie, Director of Operations.


More Information

If you’re interested in paid gap year programs but are a little nervous in taking those first steps on your own, then this program is perfect for you. You will join an instant group of friends and enjoy all that the city and its surrounds has to offer. You’ll be helped to sort out your tax file number, get your Medicare cover and open a bank account. We include a sim card for you so you can keep in touch.

Sydney enjoys a temperate climate with a mild winter, and has more than 340 sunny days a year. It can get a bit chilly in the winter with minimum temperatures hitting about 9 degrees. January is peak summer and the city is buzzing!

Life in Australia will probably be more expensive than you are used to at home – but typically the pay is much better. How much you spend will really depend on the activities you choose to do. We recommend you have some savings for emergencies and luxuries. You will be earning but you will be living in the heart of one of the world’s major cities with lots of tourist activities on your doorstep.

Work in Australia for up to a year on your Australian Working Holiday Visa. Most people will spend some time travelling the country, which is why being able to access support from our Sydney office in  Australia is so great. Once you have earned some money, it is the perfect time to dust the backpack off and see what the rest of the country has to offer.  This means you can make the most of your gap year in Australia with enough time to work and travel Australia.

You will be given lots of advice on the different travel options available to you. The experienced staff are experts in booking bespoke trips all over Australia, and you should have no difficulty planning an incredible trip. Please note however that this an independent programme following your initial orientation week, the support is there, but what you choose to do with your year abroad is up to you!

To be able to qualify for the Australian working holiday visa 417, you must be between the ages of 18 and 35, and hold a passport from one of the eligible countries stated by the Australian Embassy.

To be able to qualify for the Australian working and holiday visa 462, you must be between the ages of 18 and 30, and hold a passport from one of the eligible countries stated by the Australian Embassy.

There are options to apply for a second working holiday visa.

There are plenty of gap year jobs in Australia … so yes! You and a friend can do the programme together, it is very possible to work at the same job but not guaranteed. You can organise to live together. Don’t worry if you aren’t applying with a friend, three quarters of people travel alone and make new friends along the way.

Whilst you are over in Sydney you will meet lots of people who are travelling and working, as well as work mates. The group sizes vary but generally they range from between 15-30 pax.

Ideally you need to apply a minimum of 2 months before you go to secure your ideal date. Visas can take anywhere between a week and a couple of months to process, so it is best to get prepared early.

  • Daily activities
  • Guided Tours
  • Drink vouchers
  • Work and admin prep
  • Options for training and skills courses


After your induction programme comes to an end, you have several options open to you. Many participants have their first job lined up within 2-3 weeks of being in Sydney. For those who plan to stay on in Sydney, you can stay in the hostel or perhaps a house share – many are set up for short term leases and minimal notice needs to be given.

Alternatively, others prefer to leave Sydney and explore more of Australia and settle somewhere else. If you decide to do this, do not forget that you will be supported wherever you decide to live.

Don’t forget the option to stay with the surf team who will support your job hunt in the evenings around your surfing experience.

Although a job is not and cannot be guaranteed, our partners will offer you excellent support and training to get you through the interview doors. With a little work you will be able to secure yourself a job. You will get plenty of help with interview techniques and making sure that your CV is as ‘Aussie friendly’ as possible. For most people it takes 2 -3 weeks of arrival into the country in order to get their first job secured.

As long as you are pro-active there will be no trouble finding a suitable job.

To some extent this is up to you. Most people choose to work in the city of Sydney which is in the state of New South Wales. You could be living anywhere in the city dependent on where your job is offered to you. Most participants will find work in the centre of the city in either bars, restaurants, shops or offices. There are often jobs a little further afield in farm, construction and factory work. You can work anywhere in Australia in and close to other major cities.

The maximum length of time that you can spend in one job is 12 months. Many participants choose to work for a bit and then travel before possibly getting another job. We encourage people to work for a minimum of 3 months but we do understand that this is not always possible. You will have access to the job finding database and will have full job finding support for up to 12 months.

You should visit your doctor or travel nurse to find out what vaccinations you will need. Typically you will need your routine travel vaccinations to be in date and it is essential that your tetanus is up to date. Australia does not require any additional vaccinations to Europe.

For any more information, please see the Fit for Travel website or the UK government’s travel advice page for Australia.

Sydney is a large city and there are hospitals within easy reaching distance. Australia has a great flying doctors network available to those in more regional areas.

Providing you follow all instructions given by your employers you should be as safe working in Australia for a year as you would be at home. Whilst Australia is an extremely safe country, it is important as in any big city to be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings in sight and keep your wits about you. Crime levels in Australia are low.

  • Sydney activities include The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Bondi Beach, The Blue Mountains, excellent museums, galleries, sports facilities, bars, live music, surf, parks and restaurants.
  • Australia itself cannot be fully explored in a lifetime, but make sure you hit some of the hotspots during your year abroad such as Ayers Rock, The Great Barrier Reef, Byron Bay, The Great Ocean Road, The Gold Coast, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane!

You will have access to free wifi in the hostel. There are multiple free wifi options around the city.

Sydney is 10 hours ahead GMT (GMT +10)

Australian electrical appliances operate on 240v at 50hz but the socket outlets are not compatible with the other countries’ plugs. This means you will need a specific Australian adapter.

Take a Gap Year in Australia to one of the most popular destinations in the world for work and travel. Some of the greatest attractions for people wanting to work there include that the English language is spoken, the laid back culture is very appealing, the weather is great and there is a variety of work on offer.

This Gap Year Program gives you the opportunity to embrace life down-under, safe in the knowledge that you have support and a group of young like-minded people around you. Working in Sydney is a once in a lifetime opportunity so don’t think about it, just do it!

Travelling in Australia is safe and easy and by obtaining an Australian working holiday visa, you can get a paid job to keep the cost of living down. Start by getting a job in Australia on this gap year program to kick start your Aussie Adventure!

This paid work abroad programme aims to help you hit the ground running once you arrive in Australia. It therefore involves support and advice, rather than supervision. You will have a lot of interaction with our local rep during the first week or so. After that, you will probably feel able to do most things independently. However, you will still be able to to call on them at any time for support or help with job-hunting.

Oyster has responsibility for your safety on all activities directly organised by us. However, during your free time, and after the first week of intensive support, we will not be in control of your activities and you will need to take responsibility for making safe decisions. We will provide plenty of guidance about this. We will also be able to provide help in an emergency for up to 12 months.

Got a question or want to chat to Project Manager Georgie who has first-hand experience of the project? Call +44 1892 771 977 or email: – [email protected].

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