Island resort jobs & work in Australia

Ever asked yourself, "How to get work on a tropical island resort"?
Not sure what options are available or how to find island jobs in Australia?
This page is the perfect starting place for you - go on, find your dream job today!

Firstly, it should be noted, that if you are a backpacker seeking a job to extend your Working Holiday in Australia visa to an Extended Working Holiday Visa then working on a Holiday / Resort Island is not what you want - it won't count towards your extended visa.

If you really want to work on an island, and for it to count towards your extended visa, you should find a job doing something other than working on a resort.

But don't despair, these jobs do exist. Just keep reading to find out more.

When it comes to finding islands jobs in Australia, there are many job options available to you. The larger resorts are like mini cities with full amenities available to their guests.


Types of island & resort jobs in Australia

They aim to provide the complete experience to their guests and offer a large range of activities. Things such as gyms/fitness classes, wellness spas, massage therapy, shopping, adventure activities, guided tours, classes on various topics, nature tours and education related activities, water sports, and a whole lot more are often available. And they all require staff!

As such, job roles vary greatly, and include positions such as:


  • Chefs
  • Boat Captains
  • Reservations Agents
  • Purchasing Administrators
  • Translators
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Administration staff
  • Mechanics
  • Tour Guides
  • Assistant Chief Steward
  • Security Staff
  • Childcare staff, and many more...
Daydream Island Resort, Queensland
  Daydream Island Resort - is
this your dream job come true?



However, if you are not skilled in a particular area, there are still plenty of entry level positions that suit backpackers, school leavers, or anyone else who is not trained in a particular industry. Such positions include:

  • Gardeners
  • Dish washers
  • Food & Beverage staff
  • Room Attendants
  • Shop Staff
  • Porters
  • Cleaners
  • And many more...
Tangalooma Island Resort, Queensland
This could be your office, watching the
sunset over the ocean every day!




What to expect working on an island resort?

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So now that you know that it shouldn't be impossible to find a job, even if it is just an entry level position, the next obvious question is, "What should I expect from such a job"? And it's a very good question that many people don't ask themselves. Very often you'll be on the island for extended periods of time - these jobs do not suit everyone.

When looking for resort work in Australia, things can vary greatly from island to island, and from one job position to another.

Some resort jobs, such as working in the kitchen as a chef, kitchen hand, waiter, etc, or as a room attendant, generally work split shifts. This means you work two short (perhaps 3 - 4 hours each) shifts per day. As such, you generally have a break in the middle of the day where you can enjoy the beach, make use of the amenities during daylight hours, etc.

Hayman Island Resort, Queensland
Hayman Island Resort - fancy a pristine
beach as your front yard?

However, if you are in a office position, you will more than likely being working the normal 9am - 5pm grind, reducing your access to the beach during the morning to mid-afternoon hours, but you get all late afternoon onwards to fully relax and make the most of your time.

Generally speaking, most island resorts in Australia will provide their staff with accommodation whilst they are working there, but it will generally cost you - either it will be "free" but you'll paid a smaller amount than other islands that provide you with accommodation for a fee, so all in all, it works out about the same from resort to resort.

Accommodation can range from shared/dorm rooms, small private rooms, or rooms for couples. All meals will also generally be provided (normally there will be a staff canteen with buffet style food) free of charge.

As mentioned, things can differ greatly from one resort to the next. Asking "what to expect with an island job"?, is very much like asking "what to expect from an office job"? For example, in some resorts staff won't be able to drink in the guest bars but will have a staff bar for the workers, others resorts will allow staff to drink in the guest bars but will have to vacate it at a certain time, and some will let the staff drink at the public bars at any time.

The same applies with things such as swimming pools, tennis courts and other such amenities. Another thing to consider is that on islands in the high tropics (i.e. near Cairns and Townsville), you cannot go swimming in the ocean during the wet season (typically Oct - Feb) due to jellyfish and crocodiles.

When you attend your job interview, if you have any specific questions that the interviewer does not cover, just ask them. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have. One thing is for certain, you will meet a great bunch of people while working on an island resort, but unfortunately, it's still a job, and you won't get to spend all of your time basking in the sun.



How to find an Island job?

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If you've read this far then you know you should be able to get a job working on an island, and have a general idea of what to expect. The next question you'll be asking is "How do I go about getting a job on an island in Australia"?

The first place to go is to our dedicated Island Jobs in Australia page and see what we have already have on offer for you. If you don't find anything that suits your needs you should keep reading!

If you cannot find a job that suits your needs in our jobs board, your next best options is to look at recruitment agencies as this is where they advertise most of their positions.

Most of these kinds of island jobs are based in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland. Just follow these links to find recruitment agencies in these areas.

It should be noted that if you are looking to work on an island, but not in a resort (perhaps you want your time to count towards an Extended Working Holiday visa), pretty much all of the above information is true.



Island work in Australia FAQ

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Yes they can. So long as you have a visa that allows you to work (typically a Work and Travel visa or a Study visa, but not just a Tourist visa) then there are no restrictions on the type of work backpackers can do.

Generally speaking, no. The work you will do on an island resort will not count towards the three months work that backpackers must do to get an extended, or second, working holiday visa. For more details about extended working holiday visas please visit the Second or Extended Australian Working Holiday Visa page.

Peak tourist season is the best. In northern Australia, the months from November - March are typically very wet with the chance of a cyclone or two. As such, there are typically not as many people making holidays during this time of year, thus not as many island jobs being advertised. However, work can be found all year long.

That really depends on both the island/resort that you will be working on and what position you are hired for. Some resorts will fly you in and out, others that are closer to the mainland may ferry you, and some are connected by a bridge and you will have to make your own arrangements to get on and off the island. Some positions you will have to stay for extended periods of time, typically anywhere from 5 days up to a full month, and other positions you will leave at the end of each day.

There is no real answer to this. It depends on many factors ranging from what position you are working at (obviously a scuba diver instructor will make a lot more money than a kitchen hand), what shifts you are working (night shift workers generally get paid more than day shift workers), and if you are living on the island (if the resort is providing you with accommodation and food they generally take some money out of your wages to cover these expenses).

There are many types of work available. To get a better idea you should read the Types of Work section of this page by clicking here.





Good luck on your island job hunt, and don't forget to click our social media buttons just below!





This website & page was created and written by: Tim Blackburn.

Photos on this page supplied by: (Daydream Island Resort) Peter Nijenhuis, (Hayman Island Resort) Sarah_Ackerman, (Tangalooma Resort) brewbooks
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