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Coming to Australia in a gap year

Every year, thousands of young travellers from around the globe make their way to Australia on their gap year. Of course there’s little wonder why Australia heads the list of many millennial’s gap year wish list – whether it’s the 10,000+ beaches (including the world-famous Bondi Beach) or the iconic cityscapes (hello Sydney Opera House) matched with blissful weather and a laid-back culture, Australia tops the list for many travellers.

If you’re thinking about heading to the land down under for an extended break or working holiday, here are some things to keep in mind.


The working holiday maker programme (subclass 417) allows young people aged 18-30 from eligible countries to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. You can find out about the rights and conditions of this Visa on the Australian Government Department of Immigration website.


More about the Working Holiday Visa

Working in Australia

Many travellers on their gap year find their feet working in the lively hospitality scenes of the big cities, but equally you might want to try some regional work fruit picking, or get a job in the tourist sector on the Great Barrier Reef. Perhaps if you’ve always been fascinated with the Outback, this could be your opportunity to work as a jackaroo. Whatever it is you decide you want to do though, make sure you’ve got the right Visa to allow you to work.

Sorting out your Tax File Number

If you’ll be working while you’re here, one of the things you’ll need to arrange is a Tax File Number. Issued by the Australian Tax Office (ATO), this is your individual number that identifies you for all your tax office dealings.

The good news is getting a Tax File Number is easy and can be done online.


Find out more about applying for a Tax File Number

Sorting out your banking

One of the first things you’ll likely want to sort if you’re planning a gap year in Australia is an Australian bank account. Once you arrive in Australia, you can open up an everyday bank account online with Westpac and transfer money straight away into your new account. You’ll then need to verify your ID in one of our local branches before you start using your new account.

What type of account?

Most likely you’ll be after an account that you can transfer money into from overseas as well as get paid into if you’re working. And just as important, you’ll want an account that gives you easy access to your money when you need it. 2

In Australia this type of account is called an everyday banking or transaction account (the equivalent of a current account in the UK and checking in the US). With this type of account you’ll be able to access your cash at ATMS with a debit or access card as well as make purchases in store and online with some debit cards.


Find out more about opening an everyday account in Australia

Things you should know

1 Westpac Choice: Please consider terms and conditions (PDF 1MB) of this product before deciding if appropriate for you.

2 Fees and charges may apply for international money transfers.