Round Regional Australia in 88 Days
We would like to clear up some of the issues for travellers searching for the opportunity to complete their 88 Days Work in Regional Australia, to assist in obtaining an extra year on your 417 Working Visa.
● First and foremost, keep a diary of hours worked, there is a government form 1263 which needs to be filled in for visa extension purposes, this can be downloaded below this blog.
● Work needs to be along specific guidelines, primary and construction industries are safe.
● In Queensland, visa applicants can work pretty much anywhere with the exception of Greater Brisbane and the Gold Coast, again within industry guidelines.
● Volunteer work no longer qualifies as fulfilling visa extension requirements.
North Bundy Backpackers Hostel is a working hostel, it is not a “party central” hostel. Our function is to provide accommodation and job opportunities for backpackers. Naturally, we know that while many backpackers want to see Australia, the wide brown land, they also want to gain that second-year travel visa, and we try our best to get the Working Holiday Travellers the best opportunities.
We do want to make it clear that most of the work we connect travellers with, is Farm Work, this is often hard or laborious work, with early starts and hot work to boot. The notion of “primary” work is that is generally outside work, involving manual processes.
Some important considerations for this pathway are:
● Do not start looking for regional jobs when you are down to your last few dollars, i.e. plan your trip.
● Try as best you can to land in areas when crops are coming to harvest. Remember Mother Nature does not conform to any of the current calendars, she makes up her own mind. Here is a link to the Bundaberg Seasonal Calendar (http://www.bfvg.com.au/)
● Just because it is the “season” doesn’t mean getting work is easy, there are a heap of variants to account for, so plan your trips and remember, this is a big country to get around. Travel to where there are several opportunities/options in proximity, Bundaberg is such a region.
● Try to get accommodation with hostels that work directly with farms, because these are the better paid options, generally, and the most responsive. While employment companies may have a place in the commercial world, direct farm/hostel connection works best. This is the North Bundy Backpackers model.
● Reliability is the key to getting your 88 days up. There is a reason the government offers this Visa Extension option. Primary industries in regional areas have difficulty maintaining their workforce, due to the irregularity of work volume. Farmers, in particular, these days, need more flexible employment options and this government initiative helps that process. But it is not perfect, it is not an end to end solution, and requires all parties to be respectful and vigilant.
● At North Bundy Backpackers, we have had our share of people who want to break the rules, and they invariably get upset. But when farmers say, “Tomorrow, we want 8 workers” and then we can only provide 4, because the other 4 got on the grog and couldn’t get up in time, means stressed relationships with our partners. They will forgive us once, but when it happens time and again, they look for other options. Backpackers get 3 chances, so if you want to get your Visa Days up, we are the place. If you want Party Central, that is not us, but our culture is one that supports long time friendships, build on dirt and tomatoes.
The great thing about the Bundaberg area is that some of the best fruit and vegetables are grown here. Frankly, the people of this area are salt of the earth types. If you are looking for political correctness, you are probably in the wrong area. However, if you are looking for tough, hardworking real Aussies, you’ll find them here in the Bundaberg Region.
Welcome to Bundy, our favourite part of Queensland.
Here is the link for the Australian Government Form for completing with the info on the scheme: