If you’re thinking of going on a working holiday in Australia during your Gap year there are a few things that you need to arrange. Some of these things you can do before you leave, others when you get here.There are companies that will do these things for you (for a price) but really you can save yourself the money by doing them yourself.
I’ve put together a list of some of the things you should think about or arrange before you hit Australia.
To work in Australia more than likely your employer will want an Australian Bank Account to deposit your wages.
To be able to get an Australian Bank Account you need to pass the 100 point identity check.
This shouldn’t be too difficult and you should pass with the following documents
There’s still quite a lot of work in Australia and it’s not unusual to see advertisements in windows of cafés and restaurants looking for waiting staff. There is quite a lot of fruit picking work and also work on grape harvests. A lot of this work is seasonal but there is a lot of work available in the cities as well. There is particularly a lot of employment available in Western Australia.
There are a number of ways to look for work in Australia and I will add some of the websites below where you can look for work. This may give you an idea as to what type of jobs might be available.
Seek is the main website in Australia where people are most likely to be looking for work. You are more likely to find office type jobs and sales roles. Generally jobs that locals will be applying for as well.
A lot of backpackers want to get some harvest work so they can qualify for a visa extension and this website Harvest Trail might be able to help if not get a job give you an idea of what districts might be the best places to go to and when.
To work legally you will need a work visa, Tax File Number and a Bank Account. You will also need to nominate a Superannuation provider as well.
If you’re going to work legally you’ll need to get a Tax File Number. When you leave to be able to get your excess tax that you’ve paid sent back to the UK you need to process a tax return. It is best to get a Tax Agent to do this for you, it should be fairly cheap and there’s plenty around. When I did this myself in the UK I got ripped off and the agent kept the money himself, so use a reputable company. A company that doesn’t just advertise to backpackers is preferable. Someone like H & R Block.
You should have an amount taken out of your wages for superannuation (normally 9% of your gross wages). When you return to your home country you are entitled to have this paid back to you. Your Tax Agent would be able to help you with that when you lodge your taxation return..
Getting Around - Buying a Car
Buying a Car is a good idea particularly if you are expecting to work outside of any of the major cities or if you are going to tour for a long period of time.
If you're here and you want to work fruit picking or out on a station you've got to get a car.
If you're in Australia for year and you want to work in rural areas you've got to get a car.
In Australia station wagons (what in the UK you call estate cars) are very popular and you could put a mattress in the back of the car for touring. A station wagon would also be quite good for camping.
Camping in caravan parks will cost for a powered site around $25 per night less for unpowered.
Mobile Homes are extremely expensive here so are pretty much out of the question unless you’ve got plenty of cash. VW Kombis would do the job but the older ones would not be great on the open road if you want to travel > 400km for the day.
The cost of used cars in Australia is quite reasonable and the cost of fuel is cheaper than Europe. Cheaper again is the cost LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and you will find quite a few cars with gas and petrol. This is good as it extends your range because in the outback you can find some extortionate petrol prices. The downside is you lose some space in the boot or back of a station wagon.
The best makes to get would be Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore or Toyota. You will find plenty of parts, mechanics are familiar with those cars. You could find if you buy some European makes of car that if you brake down in the outback there will be no parts and it will cost a fortune when they do come - stick to Australian built cars. VW Kombis should be Ok but could be $$ if they brake down.
You can buy cars either at car lots that you'll find everywhere or if you are a little adventurous you could buy at auction. This is where car yards generally buy their second hand cars but anyone can buy there. You could save good money by buying at auction but its best that you know something about cars if you do it this way becasue you can't test drive them.
Also Diesel Cars are available and are becoming more popular, you will find mostly 4WD in diesel. If you want to travel to some of the more difficult areas of Australia a 4WD is necessary. The Kimberley’s are a classic example.
There are many car auctions where you can buy cars cheaper than at a dealer and if you have time to look, this maybe a better option. If you’re going to drive around the city a lot a GPS Navigator would be a good buy.
Here are a few options
Hostels - cost about $20-$25 per night more for a private room. Good for short term visitors
Upside - good social contact with other backpackers, cheap accommodation
Downside - drinking culture, you have to pay for tours if you don't have a car and also need to pay bus transport
Camping in Australia - site will cost $20-$30 per night sometimes less. You could buy a 10 year old car for about $4000 and a very good tent for $1000
Upside - much cheaper for more than 1 person. Can stay in National Park campgrounds. Get to see much more of the country.
Downside - flys, mosquitos, rainy nights putting up a tent in the dark
Caravan - something that most backpackers wouldn't think about - you could buy an old caravan 1970's or early 80's and car that's say 10 years old for about $7000. If you bought a new 4WD caravan and a new 4 wheel drive it would cost $140,000
Upside - good facilities, electricity, lights, cooking facilities etc great if you want to pick fruit.
Downside - higher setup cost, need a couple people to make it worthwhile, not cool, selling when you leave
Australia recognises drivers licenses from the following countries
|Finland||Isle of Man||Portugal|
Australia drives on the left hand side of the road the same as the United Kingdom. Those travellers from Europe I would advise to get a sticker or something to remind them they need to drive on the left. Over the past few years there have been an increase in fatal accidents where Europeans have been involved in head on accidents where it has been found they were driving on the wrong side of the road. In Australia quite often you maybe the only person on the road please remember to drive on the correct side.
Cost of mobile phone calls are going to be a lot more expensive than what you are used to. There are plenty of pre-paid deals around where you can get a local SIM. One thing to consider is the size of the country if you’re going to tour around the country or if you go in the outback, you may find areas with no coverage.
The network with most coverage in country areas is Telstra Next G which is 850MHz it’s a 3G network. There is a 2100 MHz network where you will get acceptable coverage when you consider the size of the country and your phone generally will work on this. If you have an older 2G 1900 MHz will work too.
Car Registration & Insurance
Once you buy a car you also need registration and at a minimum 3rd Party liability insurance but preferably Comprehensive insurance for your motor vehicle.
3rd Party Property insurance insures the car of the other person if you are involved in a collision.
Comprehensive covers both your car and the 3rd party if you’re involved in a collision.
Excess is the amount you pay before the insurance company pays the remainder of the cost.
For instance if you have a $500 excess and the cost of repairs are $900, you pay $500 the insurance company pays $400.
Anyway if you’re not familiar with our laws ask plenty of questions before you buy a policy because this is just a quick guide to give you a little background information.
Again you will be paying more than what you are used to and again with Mobile Broadband you will find access not great outside of towns/cities. The best coverage again is Telstra Next G Mobile Broadband and guess what? Yes it pretty much the most expensive. So if you can’t live without your laptop chances are you’re going to have to pay anywhere from $30-$100 per month the cheaper plans have less downloads.
Greyhound Bus Passes
Greyhound Australia have a number of different bus passes and there are a lot of passes so there is likely to be one to suit you if you are not planning on buying a car.
The different types of passes are kilometre passes as the name suggest are good for however many kilometres the pass is for. They range from 500 km to 25000 km.
There are day passes either Standard Day Passes which are 3-30 Days and you have unlimited travel up to a set kilometre limit.
Flexi Day Pass you have a certain amount of days that you can travel from 3-30 days and you have 60 days to complete the travel days that you can use. There are limits of kilometres that you are allowed to travel
Explorer Passes are quite often a 1 year pass where you can choose which parts of Australia you would like to see and then gives you unlimited travel on that route.
There are ways that you can get discounts off of Greyhound Bus passes and I'll show you the biggest no-brainer to save you money if you're going to be buying a Greyhound Bus pass. But I'll come to that in a minute.
The Aussie Discount Saver Card is ideal for people who are going to travel through Australia on a working holiday.
The card gives you discounts for:
and yes you guessed it Greyhound Bus Passes.
So here's the no brainer offer I was going to give to you please hit this link