Regional Gap Year

Discover new places, make new friends, learn new skills, create memories that will last a lifetime – and get paid – by embarking on a Regional NSW Gap Year.

If you’re aged 17 to 24, have just finished school or university, are currently looking for a job, or just not sure what to do next, consider giving a gap year in Regional NSW a go.

Here you will find links to everything you need to know about where and when work is available in regional NSW, how to apply, how to travel to your new job, information about safety and your rights at work, and even some of the exciting things you can do while you’re there. Adventure awaits...

Camping on the beach at sunset
What is a Regional NSW Gap Year?

It’s a gap year that doesn’t require a passport like international travel would. While COVID-19 has led to restrictions on international travel and a trip overseas might currently be off the table, there’s a world of experiences to be lived by visiting local towns and cities in your own backyard.

Employers continue to face shortages of workers because there are currently no backpackers or overseas workers to fill roles, so this is the ideal time to kick-start your adventure!

There are thousands of jobs to choose from -  whether you’d like the chance to spend time in the bush, up in the mountains or on the coast – picking fruit, vegetables or cotton, childminding, labouring, hospitality or even working as a lifeguard – your once-in-a-lifetime experience starts here.

Why take a Regional Gap Year in Regional NSW?

Young people who take a gap year in regional towns have the chance to upskill in new industries, meet down-to-earth people, make new friends and be part of vibrant communities.

It's a great opportunity to live and work in thriving communities that are bouncing back after drought, bushfires and COVID-19 lockdowns. The welcome mat has well and truly been rolled out and employers need an extra set of hands.

Discover what you can earn and what you can learn about regional NSW. See first-hand where your fresh fruit and veggies come from, make a local’s day with a barista made coffee, or get a high from some hard yakka on a building site and gain skills that will take you from the bush to the boardroom.

There’s spectacular, natural beauty on offer in regional NSW, from the outback to the lush rainforests in Northern NSW, to relaxed coastal towns and the stunning surrounds of the Southern Highlands. Camp under the stars in a swag, go for a bushwalk, or swim under a waterfall on your time off.

If you don’t have any experience, this could be a great way of getting some real-life job skills, experiencing the extraordinary and adding something meaningful to your CV. There is so much to see and do in regional NSW so don’t wait, start planning your journey today.

How do I get involved?

Check out the range of industries and job sites on this website and register your interest with the employers on their site. Have a simple CV prepared. If you need help with this, have a look at support services here.

Lots of jobs do not require previous experience or skills, but some do. Read more about training and study.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with the latest news and events and connect with other Regional NSW Gap Year participants.

Use #RegionalGapYearNSW to share your story.

Get in touch 

If you’re a job seeker, employer, or accommodation provider and have a suggestion for additional information or ideas for links to be included on this website, please contact us at regionalyouth@regional.nsw.gov.au

Please note: The Department of Regional NSW has developed this website to bring together useful information for young people thinking of working in regional NSW. The Department and NSW Government does not independently check information provided by third parties. You should do your own research and take steps to independently verify information available to you before deciding whether to accept a job you have found using this website.

Please also read our disclaimer in relation to linked websites.

Regional Gap Year case studies

Yazmin Threadgate talking to a friend
Take a Regional NSW Gap Year and change your life like Yazmin changed hers. While working at a café on the Sapphire Coast Yazmin discovered the opportunity to turn her hobby into a career and follow her calling as an artist. It allowed her to truly find herself.
Matt Clearwater in a park in Griffith
Originally a city boy, Matt is loving his new lifestyle in Griffith following his regional gap year. With lower costs of living and the opportunity to work in agriculture, an in-demand industry, Matt has been able to get ahead and build his work experience.
Ben Thompson having a coffee with a friend
Discover the true community spirit of regional NSW on a gap year, like Ben did in Bathurst. Ben is enjoying the ease of travel, friendly vibe and his work at an after-school care provider.
Cleo Randall walking with a friend
Enjoy a vibrant lifestyle in regional NSW on a gap year! Cleo has enjoyed discovering the cafes, boutiques and many beautiful outdoor recreation spots in Wagga on her regional gap year.

If you have taken time out, working in any part of regional NSW, we’d love to hear about your experience. You can share your story via regionalyouth@regional.nsw.gov.au

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