A year working and travelling in Australia & New Zealand has almost become a rite-of-passage for Irish youth graduating from college or looking for a year out of the humdrum of work and life at home.

A year working and travelling in Australia & New Zealand has almost become a rite-of-passage for Irish youth graduating from college or looking for a year out of the humdrum of work and life at home. It may quite literally be the furthest place from home you could choose to visit, with a gruelling 24 hour journey to undertake.

A year working and travelling in Australia & New Zealand has almost become a rite-of-passage for Irish youth graduating from college or looking for a year out of the humdrum of work and life at home. It may quite literally be the furthest place from home you could choose to visit, with a gruelling 24 hour journey to undertake. However, with its unwavering popularity with Irish emigrants and travellers alike, you're as likely to meet someone you know on the streets of Sydney or Melbourne as your college bar during rag week!

Whether you see this as a good or a bad thing, familiar faces can certainly help make settling in easier and take the edge off of homesickness, when you start to crave the rain and a home-cooked Sunday roast. (You know it's going to happen!)

Apart from the influx of Irish under-30s, Australia and New Zealand has, of course, a wealth of wonders and travel opportunities to offer. Golden white beaches and clear blue waters, within a sub-tropical climate, dramatic inland scenery, exotic cuisine, exciting bars, affordable accommodation, a language you don't have to learn and an easy-going attitude to life.

Every natural wonder that occurs on the earth seems to be crammed into the islands of New Zealand: volcanoes, glaciers, rainforests, boiling mud baths, alpine scenery and long sandy beaches are all packed into an area only slightly bigger than Britain!

Visa application

Both visas to Australia and New Zealand allow you to work and live in either country for any length of time up to a year. If a year isn't long enough you can apply for one visa after another, and spend two years between the two countries! Also available is a second 1 year Working Holiday Visa to anyone that undertakes 3 months harvest work in Australia while on their first visa. See Harvest Trail website for full details www.jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail.

Please note: If you would like to work in Australia directly before or after New Zealand, you must already have both visas before you leave Ireland.

You can organise your trip independently. A good place to start is by contacting the Australian Embassy in Ireland: 7th Floor, Fitzwilton House, Wilton Terrace, Dublin 2 - Telephone: (353 - 1) 664 5300 - Fax: (353 1) 678 5185 or the Embassy of New Zealand in Ireland 37 Leeson Park, Dublin 6 - Phone:
+353-1-660-4233 - Fax: +353-1-660-4228 -  Email: nzconsul@indigo.ie

However, many people go with an all-inclusive Work Programme option run by a youth travel specialist, who will organise a lot of the paperwork for you.

USIT offers the following deals:

Aussie-All-In Pack

1 Year Working Holiday Visa: €150 1 Year Worldwide Travel Insurance: €412 VIP Backpacker Card:  €25 Sim Card with AU$30 Credit:  €30 2 Nights Hostel Accommodation, Airport Transfer & 1/2 Day Sydney Tour: €100 Regular Price:  €717

The original cost was €717; they are now offering it for €499
For more information call the USIT call centre on (01) 602 1906 or click here.

Work in New Zealand

You do not need to have a job offer to apply for the Work & Travel in New Zealand programme and since New Zealand is currently experiencing the lowest unemployment rates for 16 years, you shouldn't have too many problems finding work after arrival!

Whether professional career-advancement or making friends is your priority, you are sure to find your niche within the wide range of jobs available: from ski instructors to hotel staff, IT to organic farming.

Don't forget that although you arrive into Auckland on the North Island, you are free to live and work anywhere on the two islands!

IEP (International Exchange Programmes), USIT's local partner in New Zealand, will introduce you to living and working in New Zealand through a comprehensive orientation session in Auckland.

IEP will provide you with ongoing employment service and support. IEP New Zealand (International Exchange Programmes) based in Auckland, is a non-profit organisation specialising in work exchange programmes and services to and from New Zealand.

Costs & how to apply:

You can download the USIT application form here.

The Work in New Zealand Programme is open to those who fulfil the following:

  • Age: Between 18 and 30 years old at time of visa approval
  • Nationality: Ireland /UK passport holder, resident in the Republic or Northern Ireland at the time of application
  • Passport: Hold a passport valid for at least 2 years and 4 months from date of application
  • Status: Not be accompanied by children
  • Funding: Have a minimum of NZ$4,200 (€2,200 / £1600) available funds when entering New Zealand

The fee for the programme is from €299 and includes:

  • Visa processing services
  • Voucher for Airport coach from Auckland Airport to city
  • Two nights hostel accommodation, incl. breakfast in Auckland
  • Work in New Zealand Handbook
  • Comprehensive Orientation
  • Job/accommodation hunting assistance
  • Free Internet access and free local phone-calls at the IEP office
  • Social activities
  • Ongoing support for 12 months
  • Mail-forwarding service
  • 24 hour emergency service

Additional costs:

  • Flights: from €850 depending on time of year (taxes extra)
  • Insurance: from €439 for 12 months
  • Funding: €2,200/£1,600 when entering New Zealand

Due to currency fluctuations, all fees are subject to change.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail with a member of the USIT specialist Work and Travel team and to begin making your travel arrangements, you can contact 01 602 1906 or workandtravel@usit.ie.

Note: It may take up to six weeks to process your application and you must arrive in New Zealand within 12 months of the date of issue of your working visa.

Sayit Travel offers the following visa options:

Standard 48 hour Australian working holiday visa - €160
Apply for the standard working holiday visa today and have your visa organised in just 48 hours allowing you to work in Australia for up to 12 months. (You are advised to register for the working holiday visa extension before you go)

Australian working holiday visa in 2 weeks - €150
You can also have a delayed visa organised in 2 weeks however we recommend you avail of the 48 hour option as visa numbers are limited. (You are advised to register for the working holiday visa extension before you go)

Working Holiday Visa Extension - €50
It is possible to extend your stay in Australia for up to 4 years after your working holiday visa. Apply now for this extension before you leave and we will prepare your case in the event that you are interested in prolonging your stay in Australia. Without the extension you will have to leave after 12 months.

New Zealand working holiday visa - €160
We advise you to apply for a New Zealand visa if you intend on working in New Zealand. There is a limit of 2000 New Zealand visas available to Irish citizens and you must be in Ireland at the time of application.

Vietnamese Holiday Visas - €135
If you are planning to go through Vietnam you will need a holiday visa. We will process your visa in just 4 weeks. (2 weeks service is €150)

Other visas also available. You can call 0214279188 for details

Flights

Sayit have ongoing flight offers for Australia and New Zealand. Contact them directly for current offers and package deals www.sayit.ie.

Note: All information is correct at time of publication. Please contact agencies directly to confirm details and prices.