Working Holiday Visa: Hamilton Island

This last chapter in Australia, like most of my experience so far, came to me unexpectedly. I didn’t even realize I could extend for a second year on this visa until a guy on Tinder, yes Tinder, told me I could. And who said dating apps were useless.

Bonus as my last event agency in Sydney had contacts in the Whitsundays. After some quick email exchanges I was discussing event positions. Almost a shoe in when they send me the online application asking if you have any visible tattoos, of which I have 2. Cue the recruiter telling me even with my 10+ years of event experience my tattoos disqualify me.

This is how at 29 with 0 food and beverage experience I found myself convincingly disguising my event customer service experience as enough. Thankfully they took a chance on me.

I started at Hamilton Island with only 2 weeks to spare to get these 3 months of required work in before my visa experienced. I could breathe a bit easier and hoped the anxiety attacks would end.

Living on an island was 100% not what I imagined. It is basically my nightmare of living in a small town come to reality but it has the best beach imaginable. My mornings off were spent swimming, kayaking, hiking while my nights were spent binge drinking and avoiding my tiny, black hole of a room as seen below. No light, privacy, or 4g service, obviously no wifi.


Truthfully this was one of the hardest mental things I’ve had to go through. I was in a job I had no experience in, had the smallest bed I’ve ever seen, and was in a place I could not escape. Most people now would say shut up! You are living on Hamilton Island! But until you take yourself out of you comfort zone and are thrust into the complete unknown it is hard to explain the mental and physical confusion.

Thankfully I started making some friends and finding ways to spend my days. My restaurant has the most incredible and helpful people from the kitchen to the front of house. Going along with my life motto of going big, not going home, I made a to do list of everything Hamilton Island had to offer. If you find yourself here the below will give you a taste of what Hamo has to offer besides the staff bar Sporties…

With my 3 months completed I am ready to leave the island and reenter society. It’s been 4 months since I’ve been in a car or been to a concert. On the other hand, I have worked every day outside, swam with turtles, explored the Great Barrier Reef, and enjoyed the most incredible sunsets from our deck at Manta Ray. Regardless this summer camp meets Catholic School meets reality tv show experience has come to a beautiful end.

Or as my Chilean friend said “los mejor de los viajes, los amigos que quedan” or the best part of traveling, are the friends that you meet. Vale.

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