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Cash-strapped backpacker calls out Aussie 'myth': 'There's no money'

While many backpackers are sold 'The Australian Dream', it seems it's a reality for only a select few.

Backpackers flock to Australia in their droves having been sold a life of beach sunsets and strong pay packets. But is the latter all but a myth?

One Irish backpacker certainly thinks so, and her despair at being unable to earn enough to save some cash has prompted other young hopefuls to question whether heading Down Under is actually better, financially.

The woman lamented the belief well-paying jobs were widely available in the big cities.

The working holiday maker says she's yet to see where the money is to be had in Sydney. Source: TikTok/ lordkeely
The working holiday maker says she's yet to see where the money is to be had in Sydney. Source: TikTok/ lordkeely

"Where are the people in Australia making money? Like, where are you? Because I'm in Sydney and there's no money to be made," she said in the video that has garnered more than 430k views.

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"Everyone I know is paycheque to paycheque here with very minimal savings, like not going home with thousands and thousands."

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She said she was well aware there were lucrative wages to be had in FIFO work and traffic control but wondered if there was "money to be made" for "normal people working nine to five".

And she wasn't alone in her confusion. Many took to the comments to say they too were dismayed with the situation, particularly in Sydney.

But some had little sympathy, arguing people's lifestyles, qualifications, and the location they chose to live heavily influenced whether they'd have money to spare each week.

All backpackers 'living it up' a false narrative

Matthew Heyes, founder of Australia's leading job site for working holiday makers, Backpacker Job Board, said backpackers were often pushed a fake reality of Australia on social media.

Backpackers are often sold a beach lifestyle before they come over, but is it sustainable for most? Source: Getty
Backpackers are often sold a beach lifestyle before they come over, but is it sustainable for most? (Source: Getty)

"It's easy to scroll through plenty of videos of backpackers who are six months into their adventure and have figured out the hack to backpacking life in Oz. This usually means raking in plenty of cash and living it up on days off by the beach," he told Yahoo Finance Australia.

"In truth - the reality is not that straightforward."

Heyes said many coming to Australia may see Australia's minimum wage of $23.23 as "pretty impressive", but without regular hours, and the combined cost of living and rental crises, it can be hard to get by.

"If you're doing bar work or housekeeping in Sydney, the truth is you're probably not going to save much money," he said.

Like many in response to the video, Heyes said backpackers could make good money if they were willing to commit to long hours in less desirable areas, working FIFO Jobs in the mining industry or solar farm jobs, or even in agriculture.

That was the mantra of one French backpacker working as a fruit picker who went viral earlier this year after he begged the question: "How can you be poor in Australia?"

Heyes said backpackers happy to move away from the big cities should look for places offering free accommodation and urged new arrivals to get organised and apply ahead, with this summer expected to be a "bumper season" for backpackers.

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