What You Need to Know Before House Sitting in Australia

Although we started house-sitting while living abroad in the UK, we have spent over 2 years house sitting in Australia. 

Brittnay is originally from Melbourne, so between traveling stints, we have settled in Melbourne to visit family, plan our next trip, and house sit! In Australia we have looked after over 25 homes, so I think we know a thing or two about house sitting in Australia! 

Australia is not known as one of the most budget-friendly travel destinations. Airbnbs, hostels, and hotels are some of the most expensive in the world, so house sitting in Australia is one of the best ways to make your money go that little bit further.

By house sitting you can receive free accommodation in Australia in return for looking after someone’s home and pets. This is a particularly good thing if you are a solo traveler or a remote worker looking for something a little more comfortable than traditional accommodation.

In this post, we will go over everything you need to know about house sitting in Australia.

If there is anything we did not cover or if you have any questions please don’t be shy to ask below! 

House Sitting in Gold Coast Australia

What is the Best House Sitting Website in Australia?

There are a lot of house-sitting websites that cover Australia. However, we have 3 go-to websites where we find ours.

Mindahome

Mindahome is our secret weapon in Australia. It is the cheapest website and has far less competition than the other websites. We have noticed over time it has become far more popular and more and more house sitting opportunities in Australia. 

Happy House Sitters

Happy house sitters is a great platform to use in Australia. It is free for homeowners to host their house sits so we find there are a lot of house sitting opportunities. As a house sitter they have 4 different options for subscriptions. A free trial, then a 4, 12 or 18 months subscription. This is perfect for those who are only planning on being in Australia for a limited time!

House Carers

House Carers is one of the original house sitting websites and has been used in Australia as one of the main websites since day one. It has a great range of features to ensure you never miss a house sitting opportunity in Australia. At only 50USD it is always worth having an active licence on! 

Aussie House Sitters

As the name Suggests Aussie House Sitters is an Australian based house-sitting website. It is one of Australia’s most popular sites for homeowners so has lots of house sitting opportunities in Australia. During covid with Australia’s borders closed, we have found there is a huge demand for house sitters on this platform!

Trusted House Sitters

Although Trusted House Sitters is one of the most expensive websites to sign up to, it is also one of the most popular house sitting websites. We always ensure we have an active account on Trusted House Sitters.

For more on the best house sitting websites check out our detailed guide on the best house sitting websites

Do House Sitters Get Paid in Australia?

In Australia, it is not common practice to be paid for house sitting. Australians find house sitting to be more of an exchange of services for accommodation rather than a paid job. This is what the whole idea behind house sitting is.

There are platforms you can use to offer your services at a dollar amount, however, with most sitters sitting for free you may struggle with this. 

If you are not an Australian citizen being paid for house sitting also presents its own challenges with visas and tax.

If you are looking for paid house-sitting jobs in Australia check out Pawshake.

When is the Best Time to House Sit in Australia?

The best time to house sit in Australia is often around the school or Christmas holiday periods. These change slightly each year, however, according to Australia.com the 2021 school holiday periods are:

Term 1 School Holidays 2021

Australian Capital Territory: 2 April to 18 April
New South Wales: 10 April to 26 April
Northern Territory: 10 April to 18 April
Queensland: 2 April to 18 April
South Australia: 10 April to 26 April
Tasmania: 2 April to 20 April
Victoria: 2 April to 18 April
Western Australia: 2 April to 18 April

Term 3 School Holidays 2021

Australian Capital Territory: 18 September to 4 October
New South Wales: 18 September to 4 October
Northern Territory:  25 September to 10 October
Queensland: 18 September to 4 October
South Australia: 25 September to 11 October
Tasmania: 25 September to 10 October
Victoria: 18 September to 3 October
Western Australia: 25 September to 10 October

Term 2 School Holidays 2021

Australian Capital Territory: 26 June to 11 July
New South Wales: 26 June to 11 July
Northern Territory: 26 June to 19 July
Queensland: 26 June to 11 July
South Australia: 3 July to 18 July
Tasmania: 3 July to 19 July
Victoria: 26 June to 11 July
Western Australia: 3 July to 18 July

Term 4 School Holidays 2021 – 2022

Australian Capital Territory: 18 December 2021 to 31 January 2022
New South Wales: 18 December 2021 to 27 January 2022
Northern Territory: 17 December 2021 to 30 January 2022
Queensland: 11 December 2021 to 23 January 2022
South Australia: 11 December 2021 to 30 January 2022
Tasmania: 17 December 2021 to 27 January 2022
Victoria: 18 December 2021 to 27 January 2022
Western Australia: 17 December 2021 to 30 January 2022

Now, depending on exactly what you are looking for from house sitting any time of year can be the best time to house sit in Australia. This usually comes down to the weather.

In Australia, it is summertime December to February. Autumn runs from March to May. Winter kicks in from June to September and September to November is spring. Below we cover in a little more detail what the most popular tourist destinations weather is like year-round, however you can use the above as a general rule of thumb.

It might shock some of you reading this, but Australia has mountains and a damn good ski season that runs from June – September (how Brittnay and I actually first met!). You will find the ski resorts in Southern NSW and Northern Victoria.

If warm weather is more what you are looking for (and why most tourists flock to Australia) the summer months are generally nice country-wide. However, up North, the weather is sunny, warm, and beautiful almost all year round (see below for more detail).

Popular locations for house sitting in Australia

As you can see from the image below most of the population of Australia lives on the South West or Eastern coasts of Australia with the most densely populated cities being Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Typically you will find most house sits in Australia in these areas.

Australia-population-density-map
Image from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Travelling within Australia

It is no secret that Australia is massive. It’s slightly smaller than the USA and around 50% larger than Europe. However, with an overwhelming percentage of the population living within 50km of the coast (on the East coast of the country) getting around is surprisingly easy. 

Unless you are only planning on house sitting in one of two major cities we strongly recommend buying a vehicle while you are house sitting in Australia. As someone who has traveled Australia using both travel services and my own vehicle, my own vehicle win every time! 

Train

Australias main centers are well connected via train, however, travel by rail is expensive if you are going a long distance, From Perth to Sydney or Sydney to Brisbane for example. We thoroughly enjoy traveling by train in Australia and recommend everyone take one journey, but keep in mind costs and the time for each journey. For more on train journeys check out of experience on ‘The Spirit of Queensland’ from Cairns to Brisbane.

Bus

Bus services in Australia run between all the major centres and is relatively inexpensive. However, do keep in mind some services can take 12 – 48 hours depending on your journey. Traveling via bus is a great way to see the country and is a safe method of travel. However, if you are traveling from East to West of North to the south I would recommend flying as a bus journey can take 4 or 5 days! 

Fly

Flying is without a doubt the best way to get around Australia. Airlines in Australia connect all major (and smaller) cities at a very affordable price. Virgin and Jetstar are the two airlines we would recommend for cheap travel in Australia, however, you can never go wrong with Skyscanner for finding the best deal!

Buy a Car and Drive

If you are planning on staying in Australia for more than a couple of months it is a very good idea to buy yourself a car. You can pick up a decent car for a couple of thousand dollars and it will make your time in Australia much better. Good places to look for cheap cars in Australia include Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Carsales, and hostels. The roads in Australia are straight, long and can be dangerous. But more about that below. 

Rent and Drive

Renting a car in Australia is another great option. If you are house sitting on opposite sides of the country or are not going to be around for very long. If you don’t have a concrete plan of where you want to go we strongly recommend looking into car or campervan relocation rentals. Often you can get free rentals and some will even pay for your gas! 

Is House Sitting in Australia Safe For Foreigners?

On a whole, Australia is a very safe place. However, as you are probably aware Australia has a huge range of deadly animals. 

Generally, you will never come into contact with any of them, but if you are house sitting in Australia it is something you need to be aware of. 

Because of the number of things that have the potential to harm you or the pets you are house sitting we strongly recommend you do a pet first aid course in Australia. This will ensure you know what to do if you do come into contact with one of the many dangerous animals Australia offers. 

Snakes: Snakes are one of the most feared animals in Australia. However, snake bites are very uncommon and they are not something you should be worried about. When house sitting in Australia it is important to talk to the homeowner about the risk of snakes in their area. If you are looking after dogs, you must ask the homeowner if they usually walk the dog off lead and if there are any areas you should avoid. Joining local Facebook groups is a good idea to keep up to date with snake sightings and warnings. 

Spiders: Spiders are another one you should be aware of. Australia is home to some of the most deadly spiders in the world. However, just like snakes, it is very unlikely you will come into close contact with one. In a pet first aid course they will teach you how to avoid theese 8 legged nightmares and what to do if you or your animals get bitten. 

Kangaroos: Kangaroos are cute, cuddly and very amusing to someone who has never seen one in real life. However, they can be deadly. This is mainly when you are driving. It is very important that when yo are driving in Australia that you stay diligent and keep an eye out on the sides of the road for Kangaroos. They like to hang out on the verge and can (and often do) jump across the road infront of cars. The most dangerous time in duck and dawn, however, always be aware they are out there! 

The Weather in Australia

The weather in Australia varies a lot from season to season and place to place. Australia is a huge place and has many different climates from snow in the South East to all year sunshine and tropical vibes in the North. Here is an overview of the weather in the most popular destinations in Australia.

Weather in Australia

Weather in Perth

Due to its vast area, Western Australia has a variety of climate zones. Winters in the South West are moderate and moist, and summers are scorching and dry. Perth has the most number of sunny days per year of any Australian capital city. Between May and September, the rainiest months are. Temperatures average 31°C/88°F in February, making it the warmest month of the year. The ‘Fremantle Doctor,’ a sea wind, provides some cooling reprieve from the heat. Winters are mild and moist, with daytime temperatures ranging from 18 to 21 degrees Celsius (64 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit).

Weather in Adelaide

The climate of South Australia ranges from hot and dry in the core to moderate and wet in the south and along the coast. Adelaide enjoys moderate, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. It has the driest climate of any Australian capital city. The annual rainfall averages 553 mm. June is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 80 mm. In the summer, the average rainfall is roughly 20 mm. In the summer, the average maximum temperature is 29°C/84°F, and in the winter, the average maximum temperature is 15-16°C/59°F-61°F.

Weather in Broome

Broome’s climate is tropical, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Temperatures average around 33°C/91°F from October through April. The winters (June-September) are warm, with daily temperatures in July averaging around 27°C/81°F. At any time of year, overnight temperatures rarely drop below 5°C/41°F. The average annual rainfall is 532 mm, however, it can sometimes go months without rain. The wettest months are January to March. Tropical cyclones can occur from November to April, with January and February being the most common months.

Weather in Sydney

With more than 340 sunny days each year, Sydney has a Mediterranean-style climate all year. Summers are hot, while winters are pleasant, with rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year. The average maximum temperature in the summer (December-February) is around 26°C/79°F. It’s also humid at this time of year, with an average humidity of 65%. In the winter months (June-September), average maximum temperatures are around 16°C/61°F. The rainiest months in Sydney are March and June.

Weather in Melbourne

Victoria’s climate is divided into several zones, ranging from hot, arid regions in the northwest to alpine snowfields in the northeast. Melbourne is known for its unpredictable weather, which is sometimes referred to as having “four seasons in one day”. The city has a temperate climate, with warm to hot summers, mild, temperate springs and autumns, and mild, temperate winters. Summer temperatures average 25°C/77°F, while winter temperatures average 14°C/57°F. From May to October, the rainiest months are.

Weather in Brisbane

Brisbane has a subtropical climate, which means that it is warm or hot for the majority of the year. Maximum temperatures in the summer (December-February) average around 30°C/86°F. Summer is when the city receives the most rainfall, which can result in thunderstorms and flooding. In Brisbane, this is also the wettest time of year. The winter months are usually dry and pleasant. The majority of winter days are sunny, with temperatures averaging around 17°C/63°F. Over the year, the average monthly rainfall is roughly 96 mm.

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