Sydney or Melbourne for Work? The race is on!

sydney-or-melbourne-work Sydney Melbourne backpacker work

When you’ve decided to go on a working holiday in Australia you’re probably overwhelmed at choosing which city you should go to.

Once you have your working holiday visa for Australia…what is next? Most of this decision is probably based on the cost of living and the available work, which is why I am here to help you make that choice.

Both Sydney and Melbourne are awesome cities with a lot to offer and where you choose to go will just depend on what your priorities are and personal preference.

Let’s take a look at how each of these cities compare to one another and by the end of this post you’ll hopefully be ready to book your plane ticket to Australia!

Cost Of Living

Australia is expensive in general, but Sydney is very very expensive compared to Melbourne’s just expensive.

Your grocery costs probably aren’t going to change much, but you’re going to pay more in Sydney for transport, accommodation, eating out and general activities.

As someone looking for backpacker work, transport costs are something to keep in mind because there’s a very real possibility you won’t be within walking distance of where you can get a job.

If this is a big thing for you, then Melbourne may be the choice for you.


Both of these cities are great fun, but they focus on different things. Melbourne is known for its coffee, alleyways and culture, whereas Sydney is better known for its partying scene and beach life.

If you’re one who prefers to stay out all night long, you’ll still be perfectly fine in Melbourne, but Sydney is probably more the place you’re looking for.

Also, if you really just want to chill out on the beach in your free time, Melbourne isn’t really a great place. Although St. Kilda Beach is perfectly nice, it isn’t exactly your stereotypical Australian beach dream.

This isn’t to say that Sydney doesn’t have culture and Melbourne has no nightlife, but if you’re strongly inclined one way or the other this could help make your decision.

melbourne Sydney Melbourne backpacker work

Available Backpacker Work

This is a hard question to answer because it depends on what you want to do.

Both Sydney and Melbourne are plentiful in jobs in hospitality or retail, you really can’t go wrong, but if you’re looking for something a bit more interesting or long-term than Melbourne may be your better bet.

Although Sydney has a lot of backpacker work, it also attracts more backpackers so there’s a bit more competition.

In Melbourne, you have a better chance of getting work as a backpacker doing stuff like call centre work, sales and marketing, teaching English or administration work.

In Sydney, your options will mainly surround hospitality and retail.

Remember I have partnered with Jobs 4 Travellers operates in both Sydney and Melbourne and they can help to get you into employment as soon as possible and to get some great assistance to get you settled You can get a special price exclusive for readers of myAustraliatrip to help you get a job !

Use MYAUSTRIP1  for a 10% discount on standard membership – so it is reduced to $31.50AUD and you will get 12 months job assistance and loads of other goodies.
Or use MYAUSTRIP2 – and you get a 10% discount on the “Ozzie Starter Pack” which includes standard membership plus TFN and bank account set up – so it is reduced to just $50AUD. A bargain!


Melbourne and Sydney are both really great cities and whichever you choose you’ll be in a great place, but it will really depend on what attributes you’re looking for and what’s more important to you.

And if you can’t make up your mind, no worries, believe it or not you can just leave and go to the other one instead.

What do you think? Where are you going to work in Australia? What are you looking at doing? Let me know in the comments below!


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