So, you want to travel around Australia? I had so many quesions before I came out but never found the answers! So I have taken my most asked Q’s and given you the answers!
How much money should I take with me to Australia?
The government recommends you have $5,000 (AUD) to support your initial stay here in Australia if you already have a return flight booked. If however you have only a one way ticket, you need extra to cover your flight home.
Do I need a return flight pre-booked when I arrive in Australia?
No. No you don’t. Australia is not like a lot of other countries which will demand to see proof of a return ticket. As mentioned in the answer before, if you do not have a return flight booked, you will need to have adequate money available in your bank account to pay for a flight home.
Will my bank statement get checked at immigration?
Australian immigration have the right to refuse entry to anyone who does not present a bank statement/proof of funds when asked to. HOWEVER, I have never EVER heard of them asking! However, that doesn’t mean they won’t. Even though the chance may be slim, have enough money in your bank, just in case they check!
When in the year do I have to apply for a working holiday visa?
Unlike countries such as Canada who have fixed application times, you can apply all year round for a WHV in Australia!
Is there a “season” for station work compared to fruit picking seasons?
Fruit picking has set seasons in many parts of Australia whereas stations/properties will have high seasons, where they may be shearing or harvesting. However, it is a lot more flexible! It will all depend on whether the property owners need extra help at the time you’re looking to apply! So the best way to do it is be prepared to move around, and get asking! If you need a hand finding rural work then check out my post on How To Find Work In Australia.
Are receptionist/cleaning jobs in hostels common?
Very! With backpackers coming and going at a rapid pace, sticking with a job for sometimes less than a week before they move on again, “work for accommodation” positions are frequently popping up!
What is the best way to travel around Australia?
There are so many options available to you! Let us start with the cheapest; bus! Along the east coast and straight through the centre of Australia then Greyhound buses are your way to go. Greyhound cover a large network spanning from Melbourne to Cairns and Darwin to Adelaide. The prices are cheap with plenty of passes such as their very popular “Hop-on-Hop-off” pass which I have used regularly. You pick two end points and you are able to travel in one direction and stop of as many times you like along the way for just one price. GREAT for those hopping up the east coast!
I have only got on one long distance train in Australia and plenty of short hop trains. Trains CAN be expensive, however, sometimes they are cheaper than Greyhound as I found returning from Ilfracombe to Brisbane.Trains are obviously a more comfortable option with lounges where you can really stretch your legs, but be prepared to pay a little extra!
Flights can be oh so cheap or ridiculously expensive here! Flights between Sydney and Melbourne will be under $100 whereas flights Sydney to Perth are obviously more ($300-700). With flights being so quick and cheap you may ask yourself why you would ever go any other way. Well, if you want to stop off in small towns and really experience Australia then buses are the way to go. with flying, you go from A to B and see very little.
The final mode of transportation I will talk about is CAR!
How expensive is Australia?
Here it is really hard to answer without using comparisons with other countries and actually laying out different prices, so here are a few…
Pint of beer (purchased in a bar) = $8-12
Low range supermarket brand bread = $1-1.50
Shampoo/Conditioner = $3-20 (depending on brand)
Cigarettes (20 pack) = $18-25
I just used a couple of examples from drink to food and also extras like smokes. Please keep in mind if you are coming over on a working holiday visa then your minimum wage will be around $20 per hour. So it all balances out really.
How much did it cost you to get out there?
My one way flight with Malaysia Airlines in August 2013 cost £530 to which I got a deal with STA travel and got my working holiday visa free as I booked my flight between their specified dates.
Should I pre-book a hostel or just arrive?
This all depends on whether it is high or low season. High season, or when there are big events on such as sport or cultural events, you will find it much harder to get a cheap deal in a hostel, or even a bed at all! However, in the lower seasons it is very possible just to turn up, talk to some people and find a bed. No problem. Don’t be afraid to do this during low season. Australia is EXTREMELY backpacker friendly!
Should I stay in a hostel, or rent an apartment?
This depends of course on how long you intent to stay in a place. Generally you will stay in a hostel and find work. Then when you have the job and hours you like and want to stick it out for a few months, get a few mates from the hostel or work, and jump onto GumTree. Renting is super easy in cities with no contract, but you have to patient and just keep looking for houseshares etc.
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