[Backpacker + Gap Year jobs in Australia]

If you don’t suffer from sea-sickness then why not earn some cash from sailing around the beautiful[Whitsunday Islands]. Joanna Tilley checks out what’s available at sea.

One of my best experiences of[Australia] so far was sailing around the Whitsundays. My trip will be remembered for the great food, fun people and stunning views. So the idea of getting paid as a deck-hand on a[sail boat] sounds like a good plan. Better than[fruit-picking] anyway.

But what qualities do you need to bag a job sailing the high seas? Trish Parker, operations administrator at[Cruise Whitsundays], explains that a good personality is vital. But what about experience? There are various courses available that teach you the basics of working on a boat. These can make you more attractive to companies.[The Whitsunday Marine Academy] offer an introductory certificate (three day course/$649) and a competent crew certificate (six days/$1,199.)

But don’t despair if you don’t have that extra cash, says Trish. “During your first three months of[work] you can complete a ship-board safety TAFE course for $225.”

Although a few companies don’t pay deck-hands, there are many that do. Tammy Quilan from[Southern Cross] explains, “Crew can expect to get paid around $130/day. We hire more backpackers than we used to as they can now work for six months, rather than three.”

In general, companies like people to commit for as long as possible because it can take almost a month to train new staff. While the summer months are a good time to look for work, there are jobs available on boats throughout the year.

“There is not that much competition for work and you could find a job within two or three days,” Trish claims.

On board jobs vary but you will probably end up working as either a deck-hand, cruise attendant or chef.[Pro Dive in Cairns] is always looking for talented chefs to join the crew.

“All jobs are paid and diving courses are included for free,” says their sales and marketing manager Steve Madden.”It’s a good perk working here because you could end up being a dive master.”

All you need to do is give them a call and they’ll send you on a three-day trip to show you the ropes and test your skills.

Do you need to be a three star Michelin chef? “No. There are instructions to follow for all the meals, and most are basic like salads and soups. Someone who cooks a good cake can never go wrong.”

Job Contacts[Cruise Whitsundays]
Ph: (07) 4946 4662[Whitsunday Sailing]
Ph: (07) 4946 6577[Pro Dive]
Ph: 1800 820 820