Gap years to Australia on the rise

More and more backpackers are travelling to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa

Australia has always been one of the most popular destinations for backpackers and travellers. After all, there's so much to see and do, especially on a gap year.

One of the reasons why Australia is so popular is due to the working holiday scheme. Gappers often work and travel around the country making use of being able to live and work Down Under for a year.

Recent research by Tourism Australia shows that there has been an increase in the number of young people aged 18-30 applying for a Working Holiday Visa with a 7% increase compared to this time last year.

On top of that, those that are applying for a second Working Holiday Visa (introduced in 2008) are up a huge 29%.

With university tuition fees being capped at £9,000 per year, it is expected that the number of people taking a gap year will boom, and this research supports that.

Rodney Harrex, Tourism Australia General Manager, said: "Now is the perfect time for young people to take up the opportunity of a Working Holiday Visa. It's a chance to travel and experience the friendly welcome, beautiful beaches and vast coastline Australia offers, with the chance to work to supplement your travels.

"We want to encourage school leavers to take a look at the programme - it's a chance to get some valuable work experience should they return to the tough UK job market, whilst having fun at the same time."

Those applying for a first Working Holiday Visa are able to spend a year working anywhere in Australia for up to six months at a time, with job opportunities being as varied as being a deck hand sailing round the Whitsunday Islands to being a guide at a wildlife park in Tasmania, Australia's island state.

Are you planning on working in Australia on your gap year? Jump onto the message boards and see who else is doing the same!

Also, if you want more information on Australia then head to our Australia country section for more advice and information and read our article aptly titled 'Working in Australia'.