The number of Irish travellers applying for Australian working holiday visas has surged this year, it has been reported.

Booking cheap flights to Australia and heading off into the sun is an increasingly popular prospect among Irish travellers, it has been discovered.

According to figures compiled by the Australian department of immigration and citizenship, the number of Irish travellers going to the country has increased by a third this year.

The number of people who were granted an Australian working holiday visa from January to June this year rose to almost 23,000, compared to the 17,000 recorded during the same period of 2008.

Meanwhile, the fact that youngsters are drawn to Australia for a gap year abroad is “hardly surprising”, according to specialist firm i-to-i.

Last month, the organisation said that all manner of activities can be embarked upon in Australia, from experiencing life in the outback to ranch conservation projects.

The country has multitudes of attractions for those hoping to stay for a prolonged period and “offers the best of all worlds”, it added.

Written by Nicholas Scott

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