Backpacker Jobs During Corona Virus Outbreak

Find alternative work opportunities for backpackers during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The corona virus has hit the job market hard and during these unprecedented times, many people including Australians are looking for paid work opportunities. Paid jobs have already proved to be hard to get during this time with COVID-19 having not yet come into full force in Australia. Following is a list of potential alternatives such as volunteer work as a way of saving money during the corona virus outbreak and while you search for paid opportunities. Some of the below options could potentially lead to paid work for the right candidate. Although these are not the ideal situation for some, they are great options for those who cannot afford accommodation without any paid prospects in the near future and a chance for a meaningful Australian experience while we all ride this COVID-19 journey out.


HelpX is an online listing of host farmstays, homestays, outback stations, B & Bs, hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for accommodation and / or food.

Some hosts may ask for just 2 hours per day for accommodation only, and have you provide your own food. Others may expect 5-6 hours per day in return for meals, your own room and sometimes other benefits. It is up to the host and volunteer to agree on these terms.

Helpers can register for a free account however, they will need to upgrade to Premier membership to take full advantage of contacting all hosts and reading host reviews left from previous volunteers. Premier membership costs 20 Euros for 2 years and allows the helper to contact all hosts directly to make arrangements to stay.

Many Helpx hosts have listed in their profile that they are happy to open their home for people in need during the coronavirus outbreak. However, some hosts have decided to self-isolate themselves for 14+ days due to COVID-19 and have listed that in their profile and blocked out available dates. Please respect their decision to do so.

You are able to search for opportunities by location and by individual states. Please consider the current state border closures due to the corona virus and the heavy fines you may incur if you don't remain in your current state.

Visit HelpX to search for current opportunities.

Work Away

Workaway is an online platform that allows members to arrange volunteer work in exchange for food and accommodation. Generally you will be expected to help around 5 hours per day in exchange for food and accommodation. Some hosts may give a paid allowance to ensure they are offering at least the minimum wage in Australia or New Zealand. When a host is offering payment this will be clearly marked on their profile.

Registering with is just US $ 44 for an individual account and US $ 56 for a couple account. Accounts are valid for one year enabling you to contact any of the hosts on the host list and access all other features.

Many Workaway hosts are open to still hosting during the COVID-19 crisis however, many do require you to meet some guidelines such as having practiced self-isolating ie you have not stayed in a backpacker hostel recently or have not been in close proximity to persons infected with corona virus. Most hosts have updated their profiles on whether or not they are accepting volunteers during the outbreak.

Visit Work Away to view current listings.


WWOOF was established in 1981 as an online network linking willing workers with hosts of organic farms to promote cultural and educational experiences, building a sustainable global community. Usually you are asked to volunteer for 4-6 hours daily while living with your Host and learning about their organic methods and culture.

A 12 month membership costs for a single $ 70 or dual $ 120. Host profiles provide members with names, contact details, a description and map location of each host property with reviews and photos, as well as the skills you can learn and the kind of living arrangements and types of meals provided. Choose the host that interests you, contact them and offer to help out.

Each host will have their own COVID-19 plan to minimize the risk of infection for their family and anyone who visits. Some hosts have decided not to invite WWOOFers for the foreseeable future in attempt to self-isolate themselves and their property to slow the spread of the virus. They will have blocked out their calendar as unavailable if this is the case. Please be respectful of their decision if they ask you to change plans at short notice for this reason. If you do visit a host and become unwell, hosts should have a plan to ensure they are able to isolate anyone who becomes unwell. We also recommend bringing your own supply of hand sanitiser and tasks.

Browse the WWOOF website for more information.


Searching for work in exchange for board and / or food on Gumtree can return some useful leads. However, do be extra vigilant as there is no review system in place on Gumtree. You are able to search by area or even State and find recent posts for people searching for extra help. Some work requests could potentially lead to paid work for the right candidate.

No membership is required to apply for volunteer exchange opportunities through Gumtree. Try searching on Gumtree for jobs in exchange for accommodation.

Backpacker Corona Virus Updates

Tourism Australia has comprehensive COVID-19 Information for Travelers and Australians which is being updated daily.

We have created a 100% free job board for backpackers to use, especially during this time when finding a suitable job is extremely difficult. It has up-to-date paid and volunteer job opportunities suitable for those on working holiday visas and in need of work due to the coronavirus situation. You are also able to post a request if you are seeking work, information, accommodation or any general inquiries.

Related Posts and Further Information

Here you will find further information on the development of the corona virus. Keep up to date and keep yourself informed on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

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