Thinking of exploring Australia with the potential to work aswell?
Australia the biggest island continent in the world, the land of deadly animals and coastal cities.
Its a huge country, packed with diversity.
It had been on our bucket list to visit Australia.
With the Working Holiday visa available, we embraced this opportunity, whilst still being in the 18 to 31 age bracket.
The visa is very simple and easy to apply for, through the IMMI Gov site.
It costs around $440 dollars for the visa. The turn around for the process is generally pretty quick.
In terms of setting yourself up, the essentials are a Bank account, mobile phone number, tax file number, super account this is for a pension. It all sounds over whelming to begin with, but actually were easy tasks.
Choosing a Bank
With a variety of banks in Australia. We did our research and opted for ANZ, they are everywhere in Australia, with no account fees for 2 years it seemed ideal for us.
Regarding sim cards, they can be found in most super markets, newagents etc. Generally the cost being around the $2 mark. Australia has a wide selection of Providers. Over the last 1.5 years we have definately discovered which offer the best deals and being the most reliable. If you plan to head outback a lot become unreliable. With Telstra being the biggest provider , you are most likely pick up signal. But there plans are not the cheapest.
We discovered Telstra Boost whilst in WA, they provide the best monthly plans. For $30 plus you can expect unlimited calls, txt and atleast 10 GB, a little extra offers international calls and TXTS.
For us we literally had the plan prior to purchase a vehicle for our trip around Australia. Having your own vehicle, just boardens your experience and you dont have to rely on public transport.
Depending on your budget and what you want, you can expect what you pay for. We had a budget up to $10,000 dollars, to find our perfect 4×4 vehicle which would become our home for 2 years. We found Gumtree, facebook, ad boards, backpackers and general car dealers are your best option when searching.
We spent our first 4 weeks looking at cars.
Vans provide great space when travelling, you can pick one up from $1000 to $8000. But it really depends what you want to invest. Hatchback cars, are one of the lower budget vehicles, which do the job, but also limit you, only sticking to highways. We opted for a 4 wheel drive, for the reason that we arent limited on where we want to go, and it literally has taken us everywhere we have wanted to go.
Toyota Land Cruisers, are well known throughout Australia, and were given the advice to opt for this brand. Parts can be found everywhere in Australia, they are durable and build to withstand the harsh conditions of the outback.
Every state is different with rego, WA is straight forward, with the option to purchase a 3, 6 or 12 month payment, no MOT checks. It was a simple case of signing a form to change ownership.
However if purchasing a vehicle isnt on your plan, there are plenty of car hire places, which offer great deals, as well relocation cars, this can save you heaps but can result in limited travel time.
Greyhound, is a widely used coach company operating across Australia, providing long haul journeys are great value. They also do weekly hop on and off passes.
Tax File Number
This is a very important thing to apply for, if you have the intention to work, it is a compulsory document, its simple to obtain but you will need an address to have it sent to.
In terms of Accommodation,
Hostels are great places to be social, in the centre of cities, you can often work for your board and even find work through them, but the downside they arent as cheap as you expect. YHA and Nomads are the bigger chains which can be found throughout Australia
Air BNB ,we have used this source on several occasions, mainly in the bigger cities. You can find yourself a lovely apartment, or house which often you can enjoy to yourself. It caters for all budgets.
Couchsurf, this is cheap and social, it isnt something which we have personally used whilst in Australia, but we do know friends who have used this, resulting in postitive results.
This is great for sourcing, a place to stay, in exchange for at least 4 hours of work a day. I have been a member of this platform for over 6 years and definately had some great experiences. Literally hosts are scattered around Australia. Its the perfect way to gain experience living with locals and experiencing their way of life, and often can lead to extra work. We have used this at least 3 times since being here.
2nd Year Visa
We had the plan to complete our 3 months of rural work, as soon as possible to gain an extra year in Australia.
In order to stay longer, 88 days or 3 months regional or rural work has to be completed.
We were fortunate to find ourselves a Mango farm 3 months into our Visa, which we stayed for the duration of 3.5 months.
Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia is classified as regional Australia.
Queensland and Tasmania are great places for fruit picking, it can be hard labour, long days and the pay isnt that high.
NT has a lot of roadhouses and stations, which offer second year work. Most stations offer daily rates, which include your food and accomodation. They are great places to save money.
Roadhouses are an experience, they are busy, and good money.
Below is a link to all the postcodes which qualify for rural work.
In terms of General work, casual postitons are pretty easy to come across. Especially Hospitality and Farm work. The pay rate is extremely good. Average wages starting from $22 an hour.
We had the intention to try different things whilst in Australia, especially getting to experience farm and station life in Australia, so landing ourselves a job on several occasions in the outback really gave us the true experience of Outback Australia.
Gumtree, Facebook, Workstay, Backpacker Jobboard are good platforms where jobs are advertised. Lots of casual and 2nd year work. Unskilled positions, the hourly wages vary from $22 up to $30 plus and hour. It is not uncommon for backpackers willing to commit to a job and travel far distances for this position. Sometimes its a risk or gamble as your just relying on that trust it is a geunine job.
We have experienced a few occasions where its not what we have expected. Luckily having a vehcile we can literally just pack up and leave.
Shopping and Fuel
Shopping in Australia, they have two main Supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths, they are widely spread across the country. Always offering good deals. I discovered shortly into our Trip they both provide point cards. They are worth getting, cost nothing, but you gain points on each shop which result in $$$ off. We have saved lots over the months which can be used on fuel also.
Aldi is pretty popular and definately a cheaper option, they are mostly found on the East coast up until Bunderberg. Perth is sadly the only one in WA.
In more rural areas, IGA are more common, they are a little more on the pricer side. But still offer a basic selection and do have their own brand which is cheaper. Tasmania has lots of them and probably the only place we spent more money on food.
In terms of fuel this has varied over our trip. its often cheaper in cities, the more rural you go the more you pay. But its still cheaper than Europe.
Kmart, Big W are great stores, for finding everything you need. I literally dont know what we would of done without these stores. We favour Kmart more, they offer great value prices. We sourced a lot of Kitchen, bedding and camping stuff from here. Widely spread across the country. WA and NT slightly more limited. It always made us excited when seeing one.
In terms of Apps to have on your phone
They were our regular sources of information .
What a life saver, its saved us so much money over the months on accom. It costs around $8 but you gain this in free camps over time.
With hundreds of Free camps to paid places. It shows everything you really need. Fuel, accom, places to visit. it filters for everything.
It really is a great app invented and saves us heaps. Over 19 months we have literally spent no more than $1800 on camping and accom fees.
This is great for sourceing where to purchase fuel, its generally pretty up to date, saves you time looking around at fuel and shows you the prices. Its definitely helped us save time and money.
Maps Me, this is a great detailed map app which also serves offline. You download the different states prior, its been so reliable throughtout our trip.
In terms of starting your adventure around Australia, these are some of our experiences and tips to help get everything out of your time here in Australia.
We pretty much wouldnt change or do anything different, not everything has always gone to plan, but that has shaped our journey and made us grow and deal with this experience.
Anyways for now this all, feel free to comment below if you have any concerns or questions regarding your upcoming trip.
Love to hear from fellow travellers.