How to work remotely in Australia

Becoming a digital nomad in Australia
Updated 2023-05-13 19:14

Boasting some of the best beaches in the world, astonishingly diverse wildlife, and sophisticated cosmopolitan cities, Australia is a desirable place for expats and tourists alike. For people who wish to work in Australia, opportunities abound, with some of the highest wages and one of the most robust economies in the world. Throw in the easy-going lifestyle and focus on a good work/life balance, and there is no wonder the digital nomad community in Australia is growing.

Visa options for digital nomads in Australia

Unfortunately, being a free-spirited digital nomad doesn't exclude you from the usual tedious rigmarole of acquiring a visa. Anyone coming to Australia needs a valid Australian Visa (unless you happen to be a citizen of Australia or New Zealand).

Although some countries are creating dedicated digital nomad visas, Australia has not joined the club at this time. However, there are a number of other visas that digital nomads traveling to Australia can consider.

Visitor Visas

If you want to travel to Australia for a short period, then ‘Visitor Visas' such as the eVisitor eVisa (Subclass 651), Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) and Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa (Subclass 601) are definitely the most affordable and simplest options. If you hold a passport from an ETA or eVisa-eligible country, you will be issued a visa that allows you to stay in Australia for 3, 6, or 12 months (usually, you will receive the visa for one year and then can apply for further extensions). Other nationalities who aren't eligible for the ETA can apply for the Visitor Visa (Subclass 600).

If you're concerned that visitor visas prohibit their holders from working, it's important to familiarize yourself with the terms of the visa and determine whether your particular online work situation violates the visa conditions. Under the terms of the visa, volunteer work is accepted, as is working online for your job in your home country. This means that working online does not breach the terms of the Visitor Visa as long as you are not working for an Australian employer and are only in Australia temporarily.

Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa subclasses allow you to remain in Australia and work for 12 - 36 months (if you extend your original visa). While on a working holiday visa, you can do any kind of work, including online work for Australian employers. If you want to work for more than six months with one employer, you must request permission.

To find out more about your eligibility for certain visas, please visit the Australian immigration website.

Benefits of being a digital nomad in Australia

Australia has a lot to offer travelers and visitors. Its laid-back culture, natural beauty, and wealth of cafes and co-working spaces make it a great choice for the remote worker. The good thing about being a digital nomad in Australia is that you can expect to find the necessary comforts and a stable Internet connection, even in some of its most remote corners. This has sparked a rapid development of the country's digital nomad community, and you are sure to find like-minded remote workers in this beautiful country.

Coworking spaces are booming in Australia: from shared offices designed specifically for working nomads to an abundance of coffee shops serving up stable Wi-Fi and strong brews, you will find your perfect spot to work from. Check out free Wi-Fi spots in Australia here.

Things to be aware of as a digital nomad in Australia

Though being a digital nomad comes with manifold benefits, there are some things that you need to be aware of when planning for your new, untethered lifestyle. As a digital nomad in Australia, you should prepare for the following:

  • High cost of living: Australia can be an expensive country to live in, with high prices for accommodation, food, and transportation. It's important to budget accordingly and be prepared for these expenses. If you are planning to stay in AirBnBs, research the viability and average costs of this beforehand. If you are planning to rent a camper and work from there, factor in gas prices, camping fees and so on. Short-term rentals in Australia can often be found online through Facebook groups and other websites, which can be a great option.
  • Visa requirements: As mentioned above, you need to have the correct visa to work as a digital nomad in Australia. Remember that if anything about your employment situation changes, you must ensure your visa conditions allow for it. If you have any concerns about the legality of your plan, make sure to investigate these before coming to Australia.
  • Internet and Wi-Fi availability: Most of Australia has good internet infrastructure, but some areas may have limited connectivity. Make sure to research the availability of Wi-Fi and internet access in the areas you plan to stay in and to check with your accommodation in advance that their plans will meet your data needs.
  • Time zone differences: Australia's time zones can be challenging for remote workers who need to collaborate with teams in other parts of the world. Make sure to plan your work schedule accordingly. Remember, time zones differ from state to state, so if you are planning to cross into different states and territories, you may have to adapt your schedule.
  • Weather conditions: Australia's weather can be extreme and unpredictable, especially during the summer months. Make sure to take precautions and stay safe during periods of extreme heat, bushfires, or severe weather events. This might rule out living in a camper or mobile home during the summer or planning your route through cooler regions in the hottest months of the year.

Best Australian cities to work from as a digital nomad

Sydney is Australia's most populous city and one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads worldwide. The reasons are obvious: the big cosmopolitan city has plenty to offer when it comes to working facilities and leisure. Here, you will have the chance to work with the backdrop of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge while enjoying the city's beautiful landscapes day and night. The only downside of living in Sydney is the rather high cost of living.

Melbourne is another popular choice, having ranked as 'the world's most liveable city' for seven years running. Melbourne is Australia's second most inhabited city, and although it comes with a more laid-back pace of life compared to the bustling Sydney, it will set you back about the same in financial terms as it can be quite expensive to live there.

Located among Australia's famous wine regions, Adelaide is an incredibly picturesque city filled with gorgeous beaches, fine dining restaurants, coffee shops and bar strips. With a population of about 1.33 million people, Adelaide is quieter than Sydney and Melbourne, offering its visitors a more resort-like vibe. At the same time, you will find plenty of coworking spots and remote working hubs.

Brisbane is a very popular city with expats and tourists alike, with its almost perfect climate all year round and proximity to all of Queensland's outstanding sightseeing spots. Brisbane is the biggest Queensland city, as well as its capital, boasting a population of 2.28 million. Brisbane is said to be cheaper than Melbourne and Sydney, another pull for expats.

Coworking spaces in Australia

Australia, unfortunately, doesn't boast the best internet in the world, but it's usually good enough for most kinds of work. With a growing digital nomad community, Australia has seen a massive increase in coworking spots dotted throughout its territory. In these places, you will find the best internet as they are set up to process a lot of data. These will generally work better than a cafe that provides Wi-Fi for its customers. Coworking spaces provide a great professional space where you can concentrate but also socialize and meet like-minded people. If you are new to Australia, it is worth visiting one at least once a week to get you out of the house and into a professional space.

You can find a decent amount of coworking spaces by a simple Google search. Websites like Hub have locations all across the country. Remember to shop around, as you will want to make sure you are getting a price you are comfortable with. Some coworking spaces will be a lot more expensive than others due to their amenities or 'brand'.

Useful links:


The Cluster
York Butter Factory


Your Desk
Work Inc


River City Labs
Little Tokyo Two

Good to know:

If you are looking to become a digital nomad in Australia, there are a few good websites to keep your eye on – these advertise openings specifically for remote workers, such as Remote Work, We Work Remotely, and AngelList.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.