27 Signs You’ve Done A Working Holiday in Australia

27 Signs You’ve Done A Working Holiday in Australia…

1. The beach eventually lost its novelty.

The novelty of the Aussie beach bum lifestyle starts to lose it’s appeal a month in… Yeah I want to get my tan on but ain’t nobody got time for the families packed onto Manly beach.

A packed Bondi Beach and the crowds coming off the ferry at Manly Beach
A packed Bondi Beach and the crowds coming off the ferry at Manly Beach

2. Goon.

Do I even need to explain this one? We all drank it. You most likely also used the empty bag as a pillow. It was a necessary cliche at the time.

I heart GOON.
I heart GOON.

3. Passion Pop instead meant a sophisticated evening.

Sure it’s practically Lambrini with a prettier label, but it comes from a bottle instead of a bag darling.

Passion Pop is all class.
Passion Pop is all class.

4. You fell for the myth of the Drop Bears…

Vicious koala-like creatures that prey on their victims by dropping from above… sound familiar? Locals can’t help but wind up foreigners with this mythical beast. At least I didn’t put vegemite behind my ears to ward them off…

Koala bear, not Drop bear...
No fucks given by this dude…

5. You discovered that Timtams are like crack.

So chocolate bars akin to penguins, except they come in a multi-pack so it’s totally acceptable to eat more than one? Or eat 10? Sweet, I’m in.

TimTams fo' life.
TimTams fo’ life.

6. You talked about farm work opportunities with everyone you met.

Even if you arrived in Australia knowing you would only stay a year, and with no desire to get your second year visa, talking about available farmwork is the norm in the backpacker world of Oz. We all know you don’t go pick bananas because of the big spiders and we all know it’s entirely possible to bribe a farmer. Except you never meet anyone who actually has.

Picking the onions in Gatton
Picking the onions in Gatton

7. You’ve lived on ramen noodles and Coles’ Dollar Dazzlers.

At one point in the year you were subjected to poverty of the worst kind – backpacker poverty. This involves living on ramen noodles of the cheapest variety and topping up with whatever’s on offer in Coles. If you’re really strapped for cash you’ll end up in the ‘free food’ shelf of the YHA. (Yes I’ve done this and I’ve come up with surprisingly good dinners. Don’t judge.).

Coles Bondi Junction
Coles Bondi Junction

8. You’ve had to deal with changing hostel rooms on a work day.

The general idea of doing a WHV tends to be that you’ll get some kind of apartment whist you’re working, but there are always stints you have to live in hostels. And that means changing rooms a lot. This means having to pack your worldly belongings up the morning before work, leaving it all in the storage room at Reception, going to work, coming home and moving your stuff into a new dorm. It really sucks.

Hostel Life - Oh more goon...
Hostel Life – Oh more goon…

9. Sydney’s backpacker bars were your bitch.

You thought the city of Sydney would be your playground but it turns out it’s just those same 3 backpacker bars – Three Monkeys, Side Bar, World’s End… (With the occasional visit to Scruffy Murphy’s.)

You have to end the night on the back of a pickup truck in Australia
You have to end the night on the back of a pickup truck in Australia

10. You own clothes from Cotton On.

Sure you want to be wearing clothes from Sportsgirl or General Pants Co, but Cotton On is as good as it gets on your budget. Throw in a couple tops from Jay Jays and you’re good to go.

'Cotton On' ensemble...
‘Cotton On’ ensemble…

11. At some point you’ve played a game of flip cup with a group of rowdy Canadians.

The stereotype is correct – Canadians love Flip Cup and will always be friendly enough to invite you to play.

Oh Canada.
Oh Canada.

12. You’ve been cornered by a huntsman.

Apparently it’s totally normal to be stuck in the showers because there’s a huntsman spider on the door handle… What is this place.

Spider guest
Spider guest

13. You freaked the first time you saw an actual real life KANGAROO!

Massively cliche but so bloody cute.

Kangaroo Love
Kangaroo Love

14. Max Brenner’s blew your mind.

I’m sorry, there’s a restaurant where everything has chocolate in it? And you can buy a ‘shot’ of melted chocolate with popping candy and gummy bear accompaniments? I can die happy.

Get ready for the sugar rush.
Get ready for the sugar rush.

15. Australian slang has made it’s way into your vocabulary in some form.

How ’bout a Macca’s this arvo’ mate? Too easy, let me grab my singlet and thongs. (The words ‘Capsicum’ and ‘Zucchini’ still come out of my mouth on occasion)

Australia Day in Sydney
Australia Day in Sydney

16. You’ve come face to face with at least 5 animals that could kill you.

After you’ve seen a crocodile feeding at Malcolm Douglas, there’s no going back. New fear discovered.

Not sure an emu is deadly but they peck real hard ok...
Not sure an emu is deadly but they peck real hard ok…

17. Christmas in July.

It’s a thing. There’s Christmas trees. There’s Irish Jigs. There’s Goon.

Christmas in July, Brisbane
Christmas in July, Brisbane

18. You missed British humour.

It’s hard when people don’t understand your sarcastic, self-deprecating, pessimistic sense of humour. I’m not suicidal Aussies, I’m just a Brit.

Good old Blighty.
Good old Blighty.

19. You’ve seen Bondi Rescue in action.

You’ve also likely been terrified by the shark-watch helicopters flying over the beach…

Bondi Rescue IRL
Bondi Rescue IRL

20. You’ve done some bad-ass adventure sports.

I’m not as mental as most Bungee-Jumping backpackers, but Sandboarding and Quadbiking is still cool right?

Sandboarding in Lancelin & Quadbiking in Coral Bay
Sandboarding in Lancelin & Quadbiking in Coral Bay

21. You’ve done some really random jobs.

Smoothie anyone?

Ok waitressing isn't that random but it's the only one I have a photo of!
Ok, waitressing isn’t that random but it’s the only one I have a photo of.

22. You felt like a student again with the amount of fancy dress that went down

Although it’s pretty hard to find an outfit on a budget in Australia, am I right?

FD to the max in Australia.
FD to the max in Australia.

23. You’ve literally thrown a shrimp on the barby…

Or was it just me that wanted to achieve every Australian cliche humanly possible?

Being a complete tourist. (Brisbane, Australia)
Being a complete tourist. (Brisbane, Australia)

24. These things freaked you the fuck out.

I’m sorry, but is that a pterodactyl on the pavement?

The infamous White Ibis in Australia.
The infamous White Ibis in Australia.

25. You’ve been to some pretty sick parties…

NYE in Sydney is a bucketlist item checked off.

BOOM. NYE in Sydney, Australia.
BOOM. NYE in Sydney, Australia.

26. You met people from all walks of life.

We were all there for the Australia dream yeah?

#travelfriends in Australia
#travelfriends in Australia

27. You got to live in a pretty damn cool country for a year.

Shit, Australia’s pretty rad. Who knew?

Best of Australia

13 thoughts on “27 Signs You’ve Done A Working Holiday in Australia

  • 7th June 2015 at 3:19 pm
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    Hoping to do an internship in Australia so I can stay there for a while. Never been but it looks incredible 🙂

    • kara8188
      7th June 2015 at 3:31 pm
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      Amazing, you’ll have a great time! ????

  • 9th June 2015 at 6:49 pm
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    A few things: 1)CottonOn is pretty much my life, we don’t have an equivalent at home and I miss it – I often still find myself wearing all CotttonOn errrythang event though I own other clothes.
    2) I didn’t realise flip cup was a Canadian stereotype but it is a brilliant game, I fulfill that stereotype.
    3) Ibises are the devil spawn of satan birds (only topped by magpies)

    Loved this post 🙂

    • kara8188
      9th June 2015 at 7:01 pm
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      Haha the Canadian stereotype is one I’ve discovered on my own but I’m yet to meet a Canadian that doesn’t actively promote flip cup! And yes, Ibises are terrifying!!

    • kara8188
      18th July 2015 at 6:53 am
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      Yep it’ll get ya. Zucchini in particular is a hard one to go back from. Courgette just sounds weird now…

  • 22nd July 2015 at 3:30 pm
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    Totally agree with the Goon. Think I had to give it up once I got to about Mission beach area….it was too much! Cotton on…haha so true!
    Also, I will never be bored of the beach…bring on more beach time.

  • 24th July 2015 at 4:30 pm
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    I was in Oz for a year loved it late 2004

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  • 8th November 2016 at 3:23 pm
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    Ohhh Max Brenner is the best!!! So glad I discovered it, most backpackers I’d met had never heard of it. Also lol’d at the ibis pterodactyl comment, I thought the same thing!!

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