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Employment in Airlie Beach

Employment, jobs and work in Airlie Beach, tourist town, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.


I don't know anything about getting work in Airlie Beach (I've never looked for work). However people keep sending me questions about working here, so I'm just starting to gather the answers I hear on this page.

Please don't consider anything here authoritative or tested. As I say, I haven't been looking for work myself, so there is a lot of hearsay on this page. I got the initial information from a series of articles and advertisements that happened to be in the local paper when I was first asked about employment, and followed this up with visits to some of the places mentioned. However, I do not do follow up visits. Details may have changed, and some companies gone out of business.

I gather that in general to get a job, you have to be entitled to be a permanent resident of Australia. You will have to provide your Tax File Number to the employer.

Working Holidaymaker Visa

An alternative for younger travellers from certain countries is a working visa, obtained before you leave your home country.

The Australian Department of Immigration has a website with a section on visas, and working holiday rules. The rules change frequently, and I can't put a direct link to them, but start at

These working visas are apparently how many younger travellers get (not very well paid) seasonal work picking fruit, etc. I'm told (but haven't confirmed) that you need to be aged between 18 to 30, and either unmarried, or if married, not have children. The visa is for one year, and the maximum time you can spend with any one employer is three months. The agreements for these visas are with Canada, Ireland, Japan, Malta, The Netherlands, South Korea, Britain, Germany and Sweden. About 75,000 working holiday visas were issued in 2000 (about 27,000 Australian travelled abroard under the scheme).

Negotiations are taking place with USA, Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel, Cyprus, Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark.

Local Jobs

I have noticed many British and European tourists working here as chefs, cooks, and in the hospitality industry here, usually for a three month term. Some are hostesses (serving lunch, dinner, and doing general boat chores) or if qualified, dive instructors or boat hands on the one day and three day tour boats. The nearest fruit picking area I know of is Bowen, some 80 kilometre north of Airlie Beach.

Unemployment has been a political issue in Australia, and several employers have been very publicly raided and charged with employing travellers without work permits. I would expect a considerable degree of caution from employers regarding employing anyone without an appropriate working visa or Tax File Number.

You should note that I don't have any contacts with potential employers, nor do I know any shortcuts to work. Anything I learn about jobs goes on this page.

Oh yes, and if anyone can tell me how to make money out of these web pages (without putting advertising and lots of slow graphics on them) please let me know, as I'd much prefer not to pay for them out of my own pocket.

Employment Bureaus

I gathered the big one was Employment National, whose Australia wide phone number is 131 444. They say they offer a free recruitment service to employers. The local office at The Whitsunday Shopping Centre disappeared. The national web site was at Recent press reports indicate Employment National lost their government contract, so they may not exist now.

Employment National said qualified chefs are always in demand in the Airlie Beach area. Other hospitality industry jobs are also possible, and qualified dive instructors may also find work, but are not in the same demand as chefs.

Challenge Recruitment have a Whitsunday office managed by Kate Batrouney. They say they do specific competancy based interviews, and supply temp and permanent staff. Local phone number (07) 4946 6606.

CHR Whitsunday have a local office at Suite 2/3 Conway House, 6 Island Drive, Cannonvale, phone number within Australia. They claim to assist employers with full time and temporary positions.

Minniecon and Burke Pty Ltd employment and consulting services are at Whitsunday Shopping Centre, Cannonvale and advertise vacancies in the local paper.

NEATO (Northern Employment And Training Organisation), Cannonvale industrial area, Qld 4802. They tell me they don't deal in temporary jobs, only permanent positions, or for a minimum of six to twelve months. Overseas job seekers would need to be immigrating (or hold a New Zealand passport). Web page is at Founded in Bowen in 1987, now has 30 staff.

I hope you have enjoyed If you have corrections
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