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Home > Tips and Hints > Trip planning and safety > Finding work or volunteer work
Finding work

With the mining industry boom, there are plenty of well paid opportunities in mining areas such as in the Pilbara in Western Australia for those will suitable skills and qualifications.  Many mining jobs are filled through agencies, so register with a number of these if this is your area of skill and interest.   Accommodation, even for somewhere to park your caravan, may be hard to find, particularly at Karratha in Western Australia. 


If you are suitably qualified and experienced at mining maintenance work, specific agencies specialise in providing teams for shutdowns.  The pay is very good, and a few shutdowns can not only get you out into very different parts of the country, but the income can help finance touring between contracts.  At minimum you will need a MARCSTA (Mining and Resource Contractors Safety Training Association) certificate before entering a mine site. This short safety course can be taken with a number of training providers. 


In tourist areas at peak season, there is usually plenty of work, particularly in the hospitality businesses.  As an example, in the Kimberley, work during the tourist season is plentiful. Those tourists with hospitality experience were picking up seasonal or short term work at station stays, and inKununurra it seemed everyone was looking for staff.   We stayed at a caravan park amongst the seasonal workers, and there were people who work in Kununurra in the winter, then follow the fruit picking season in the southern states. Much of the horticultural industry at Kununurra is staffed year round by young 'backpackers' from overseas. Just about everyone we spoke to, from shop assistant to nurse or doctor, talked about which caravan park they lived at, and how many weeks before they continue their travels.

In the Northern Territory, National Parks were advertising for 'volunteer' staff in exchange for accommodation or powered site at ranger stations; aimed at the 'grey nomads'. Usually this involved cleaning amenities blocks for part of the day, then having free time to sightsee. Minimum time frame two weeks, but most stay much longer. I think some were paid jobs, but they involved much longer hours work.

At many of the larger resorts and caravan parks, seasonal staff were caravanners working as receptionists, cleaners and grounds people. Some said they earn as much in the season as they did in full time jobs 'back home'. They can then tour for the rest of the year.

So if you are willing to anything from picking fruit to cleaning toilets, work should be easy to obtain.

Word of mouth is still the best way to find jobs; good news does travel. Most jobs are filled by this method negating any need for employers to advertise or list on websites. After years working in employment, I saw that it is generally only the jobs employers can't fill or can't get people to stay in (for reasons) that get listed with job agencies.


Check our News page for other work suitable for travellers which may come up from time to time.

The government website where all employment agency vacancies are listed:  Job search


Websites targeting travellers: Grey nomad jobs


Older workers website aimed at jobs for older workers and grey nomads  


Workabout Australia; jobs suited to travellers


No Boundaries; work connections for Aussie nomads


Anna Brown for pastoral station positions


For the young and those who are fit or like to work outdoors, The Harvest Trail lists seasonal horticultural work right around Australia from the Job Search website. 


Travellers at Work Backpacker Job Service A job board listing jobs to suit backpackers and to suit local job seekers.  This site has a lot of information for new job seekers in particular those from overseas, covering all aspects of meeting the work and tax regulations, as well as advice on job applications and interviews. 


Young oversees visitors can work for a few hours each day to offset living costs on organic farms throughout Australia by joining Willing Workers on Organic Farms


Job seekers from other countries must meet work visa and residency criteria.   

Working while on your trip can mean anything from a full time job in a fixed location for a year or two at a time to doing seasonal work such as fruit picking, or even doing a bit of volunteer work while having an easy life in your camper/caravan. 


Before setting out, get a National Police Certificate, as most employers will require this.  There is a fee for this service and it does take up to a few weeks, so allow time: Police Checks

In most cases, applications can be submitted at state Police Stations.  Police Certificates can be obtained for those doing voluntary work at a reduced rate through the organisation using volunteers if that organisation is registered to do so. 


For jobs and volunteer jobs which involve contact with children a Working With Children Check Card may be required.  These vary from state to state.   


For an overview of the differing requirements in each state see here


          All about the requirements in New South Wales


          All about the requirements in the Northern Territory


          All about the requirements in Queensland


          All about the requirements in  Victoria


          All about the requirements in Western Australia


There is no Working with Children check for South Australia, but a Police Check is required, and potential employers are required to do adequate screening.  See the requirements here


In the Australian Capital Territory and in Tasmania, there are no formal Acts or screening program, however, individual employers may require police checks at their discretion.




tipsasm2c037003.jpg tn_signworkshop.jpg

Other alternatives can be taking your trade mobile.  Pictured is a vinyl sign maker travelling with a motorhome and mobile workshop. We have seen a bricklayer in a bus converted to a motor home and towing a trailer for his four wheel drive, with his bricklaying equipment stored in a compartment at the rear of the bus and on the trailer. 


We met up with a mobile bookshop in a trailer towed behind a motor home.  They had their UHF channel on the rear of the trailer so we could ask them to stop at the next convenient rest area while we shopped from their selection of near new condition books. 


Finding work when travelling, or doing volunteer work. 

For those seeking volunteer work, check out the following websites.  Rural towns may have a community centre which coordinates volunteers in that town.  These volunteers can work for not-for-profit agencies and a variety of skills can be welcomed.  Job network agencies often know of voluntary jobs available in their town.  I have no personal experience with these organisations and agencies listed below.  In some volunteer positions, such as camp hosting and the National Road Transport Hall of Fame provide free caravan sites. 


Volunteer work websites include


Volunteer work in Northern Territory Parks


Volunteer Caretakers at Old Andado Station


Campground hosting in Western Australian parks


Volunteering in South Australian parks


Volunteering in Queensland parks


Camp hosting in New South Wales Parks


Contact the Visitor Centre Volunteering at Milparinka in outback New South Wales


Volunteering to work at Farina in outback South Australia on the restoration project


Outback helpers scheme


Volunteer; a directory of volunteer opportunities


Volunteering Australia


Go Volunteer; about volunteering  


Australian Volunteers


Job is job - volunteer jobs


Volunteering Western Australia


Volunteering Queensland


Volunteering New South Wales  


Volunteering Victoria


Becoming a Volunteer in South Australia 


Volunteering in South Australia and Northern Territory


Conservation Volunteers


Outback Links


Farm sitters


HelpX for volunarty help positions in Australia and all over the world


Farm Army


Seek Volunteer




Blaze Aid is a voluntary organisation coordinating help where it is most needed after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Volunteers are sought for these much needed tasks and the work is suitable for mobile travellers.   


Volunteer workers are welcome at the National Road Transport Hall of Fame and the Old Ghan Museum to the south of Alice Springs. Volunteers can stay and work for a minimum of four weeks (two or three weeks periods can apply to those who have previously worked there). The minimum work requirement is ten hours per person per week, but most do much more than that.  Some people return every year and spend a few months working there, with fourteen continuous years being the longest period of service.  Work can involve building, maintenance, cleaning, office duties, mechanical work, train or vehicle restoration, clerical, shop attendant, dusting displays, or even talking with visitors.  Powered sites and basic amenities are available for volunteers at the very low fee of $40 per week within this very interesting venue in the heart of Central Australia.   


Contact the Road Transport Hall of Fame at PO Box 8099, Alice Springs Northern Territory 0871.  Phone 08 89527161 or 0429201549, email: Website:

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Volunteer work

The restoration shed is one area of interest where suitably skilled volunteers can work at the Road Transport Hall of Fame.


If you are looking for long term work, take a resume for job applications and for sending out if cold canvassing for work.  A standard short resume is preferred by most employers.  Three referees who can re readily contacted by telephone during office ours should be shown on your resume. Let your referees know each time you are applying for a job and a bit about it so they can respond having had the time to put a bit of thought into how you will suit that particular job if they are contacted.  Before setting out, make up a folder (the type with clear display pockets) containing copies of your resume, and originals together with a number of copies of your trade certificates, references, Police Certificate, birth certificate and first aid certificate. 

Sign writers, mechanics and auto electricians, hairdressers and masseuses can occasionally be seen in caravan parks and camp grounds. Check with the caravan park about putting a sign outside your door or a notice on the laundry noticeboard. 


Some people who do various crafts as a hobby can make a bit of pocket money selling their products either direct from their camper or at community markets.

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House sitting for those on holidays is another option for accommodation.  This may be specified as staying in your caravan with access to power free of charge, or living in the house while owners are away.  This may as simple as feeding pets and watering gardens and mowing lawns, while offering security of the owners not leaving an empty house.


This may be for a short period of week during annual holidays, or a period of months during an overseas trip. 


An internet search will find many agencies that provide house sitters, with some degree of confidence due to their screening processes and feedback.  A few examples are


Aussie House Sitters


House Care


The House Sitters


Farm sitting is another option but it may involve a greater amount of work and skill requirements. 


Farm Sitters Australia

House Sitting