Basics

Well,   you   have   just   arrived   in   Cairns,   your   funds   are   getting   low   and   you   need   a   job   quick.   Before you   do   anything   there   are    some   essentials   that   all   backpackers   in   Cairns   need   to   do   before   they can   land   a   job.   There   are   many   different   types   of   jobs   in   Cairns   that   backpackers   can   find   work in.   The   majority   will   find   fruit   picking   jobs   near   Cairns   as   that   is   a   job   locals   just   do   not   want   to do.   Others   will   find   work   at   a   restaurant   or   bar   (especially   if   you   happen   to   be   blessed   in   the looks   department   and   are   female).   Some   lucky   ones   will   find   work   on   a   dive   boat-it   helps   to   be   a dive   instructor   but   many   do   find   jobs   as   “boat   attendants”   even   with   no   qualifications.      The   best way   of   finding   a   job   is   to   register   with   the   employment   agencies-all   you   need   to   do   is   get   some resumes   printed   off   and   drop   them   off   at   their   offices.   Be   sure   you   dress   appropriately   for   the type   of   job   you   are   looking   for   even   just   to   deliver   your   resumes.   Below   are   the   main   job agencies in Cairns.

Job Agencies

JobSearch Australia NewZealand  will help you find a job, help with your tax file number, bank account superannuation and pretty much everything else related to work. Staffing Solution will help you find a job in tourism or hospitality. Signature staff specializes in hospitality jobs in Cairns. Drake International are also very good at finding temporary jobs. Online Resources for Cairns Jobs Career One is the biggest online job website in Australia. Travellers at Work is another useful resource for backpackers. Backpacker Job Board is definitely worth a try. Jobseeker Backpacker Ads is another good webpage for backpackers. Jobs 4 Travellers is also worth a look at. Gumtree is a great resource for backpackers and also has some jobs. Fruit Picking Work for backpackers Many   backpackers   get   fruit   picking   jobs   in   order   to   get   their   2nd   visa,   and   in   Cairns   it   is   mostly available   all   year   round.      The   closest   locations   are   Tully,   Atherton   Tablelands   and   Mareeba   all about   an   hour   away   from   Cairns.   Usually   accommodation   is   provided   by   the   farm,   and   pay   can be   either   per   hour   or   per   quantity   picked.   Females   are   often   given   less   strenous   but   equally tedious   packing   jobs.   Since   most   farmers   pay   the   legal   rates   you   should   be   able   to   save   quite   a bit   of   money   if   you   put   your   mind   to   it.   For   jobs   try   the   Harvest   Trail   and   the   f ruitpicking.org   websites.   If   you   join   Job   Search   Australia   New   Zealand    it   includes   access   to   the   Harvest   Trail guidebook. Tully   and   Innisfail   are   mostly   banana   picking,   there   is   little   else   going   on   there.   Work   is   usually available   all   year   round   but   you   might   find   it   more   difficult   during   the   Dec-March   wet   season. Banana   picking   is   probably   the   hardest   out   of   all   the   picking   jobs   since   the   bunches   are   very heavy.   Innisfail   is   less   than   an   hour   south   of   Cairns,   and   Tully   is   another   further   hour   away.   Both Greyhound and Premier bus services will take you there. Mareeba   is   an   hour   west   of   Cairns   and   is   much   dryer   so   is   a   much   better   choice   than   Tully   in   the   wet season.   Crops   include   lychee,   banana,   mango,   peanuts,   avocados   and   papaya   so   there   is   work all   year   round.   You   can   get   there   with   the   Transnorth   bus   service    which   leaves   from   the   Cairns Central   Shopping   Centre.   Atherton   is   also   accessible   with   the   same   bus   service   and   includes similar crops.

Restaurant or bar work

If   you   are   a   qualified   chef   then   you   will   be   very   much   in   demand   in   Cairns.   There   are   always   lots   of jobs   going   and   they   just   cannot   seem   to   get   filled.   Check   the   Cairns   Post   newspaper   on Saturdays   and   Wednesdays.   If   you   are   not   a   chef,   then   you   will   have   to   try   a   little   harder   to   get a   job   as   a   waiter/waitress   or   bar   attendant.      You   should   definitely   register   with   the   employment agencies,   and   look   in   the   Cairns   Post   newspaper,   but   don’t   stop   there.   Get   on   your   best   working clothes   and   go   door   knocking.   Don’t   go   at   7   or   8   pm   at   night   when   everybody   is   flat   out-go   in the   early   afternoon   when   the   people   you   need   to   see   have   more   time   to   devote   to   you.   Take your   resumes   for   those   places   that   seem   they   might   want   you   but   just   don’t   have   any   openings at   the   moment.      You   almost   certainly   will   need   a   Responsible   Service   of   Alcohol   certificate   (RSA) which   you   can   get   online   from   someone   like   Etrainu.   Needless   to   say   you   should   get   this   before you start looking.

Hostel Jobs

Hostel   jobs   can   either   be   paid   or   in   return   for   your   accommodation.   Most   are   just   in   return   for   your accommodation   and   usually   entail   a   couple   hours   of   cleaning/housekeeping.   Most   of   the   paid jobs   involve   driving   such   as   picking   up   guests   from   airports   and   doing   city   drop   offs   as   well   as other   work.   You   might   get   really   lucky   and   get   a   job   on   reception,   but   few   hostels   accept backpackers   for   this   sort   of   work   as   the   software   might   be   tricky   to   use,   and   you   are   usually required to be able to sell Cairns tours which takes a long time to learn about.
© Cairns Backpackers Guide 2013
Cairns Backpackers Guide
How to get a job in Cairns The job programme for backpackers