A working holiday

Anita Pavey — 13 February 2015

Extended travel can be taxing on your available resources, particularly money. To slow the drain or extend their time on the road, many travellers look for supplementary income or ways to reduce their costs.

The hospitality industry is the land of opportunity. While your days of pouring pots at chic city hotels may have well and truly passed, many outback stations and caravan parks are always looking for mature, reliable staff. Jobs vary from cleaning the amenities, fixing taps and toilets, cooking, kitchen work or, in some circumstances, even managing the park.


Other than earning money, there may be other opportunities to save money through free accommodation in lieu of part-time work. If you’ve ever been interested in volunteering on an organic farm, this might be the gig for you. WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) brings together volunteers and farmers. You’ll work a set number of hours in exchange for room and board and, generally speaking, no previous farming experience is required.

Other conservation volunteer groups sometimes provide free board for volunteers.


If you like mixing with people, camping in the wilderness and doing a few odd jobs, then acting as a camp host could be for you. Camp hosts help parks staff manage popular camping areas by distributing information, managing overcrowding and keeping facilities clean.

Camp hosts generally only work for a month at a time, camping at no cost, and accrue further national park camping credits for future use.


Another great resource is Workout Australia, connecting travellers with casual, seasonal, part-time and permanent work around Australia. There are heaps more links listed online; it’s just a matter of Googling ‘Working while travelling Australia’.


We ran into plenty of musicians on our travels, mainly playing at outback stations during the tourist season. Col Fitz navigated his motorhome to El Questro station in the Kimberley one year. By day, he worked as a station hand managing the campgrounds and, on some evenings, provided entertainment at the bar with his set of bluesy rock guitar.


Trades people always seem to be in high demand. If you are touring in your work vehicle with your trade and contact number plastered down the side of your vehicle, you’re likely to do very well, particularly when camped at caravan parks.


If you are handy with a camera and can string a few sentences together, there may be an opportunity to write for a travel magazine. It’s a great thrill to see your work published, to share your experiences with others, and get paid some pocket money for your troubles.

The full feature appeared in Caravan World #533, January 2015. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month! 


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Anita Pavey

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