You want to travel to Australia, but you lack the organisation skills needed?. Are you confused by the abundance of data and steps to take online?
Don’t worry, I’m here to support you. In this article, I will be sharing with you my experience on my year-long Working Holiday Permit journey in Kangaroo Country.
I’m going to tell you about my stay right now; it’s a unique feedback about how I organised myself, prepared for my trip, and experienced it. Of course, you are free to plan your trip however you like, to travel as you like, and to work however you like to pay for it all.
Many young individuals, especially from Western Europe, go to Australia for a Working Holiday experience. So let me start by assuring you that you will never be “alone at the other end of the planet.”
Australia is an attraction due to its spectacular scenery, the laid-back Australian lifestyle, and the lovely beaches. You feel the want to apply for this scheme!
How can I obtain my WHV?
All individuals in possession of the Working Holiday Visa are permitted to combine travel and employment while on Australian soil. The sole limitation is that you may not work for the same employer for more than six months in any part of the nation. You may work for as many businesses as you choose.
All you need to do to get a WHV is submit a visa application on the official website for Australian immigration; applications are accepted all year round, and the acceptance rate is quite close to 100%.
The next step is to register to set up an account, answer a lot of questions about your health, criminal history, and other matters, and then pay a fee of AUD$510 (about USD $360).
The next few hours will pass until you obtain your visa by email, and then you’re done. I have obtained my WHV within 2 hours of application. The visa is valid for a year from the day of your admission into the country, and you have 12 months to depart.
Conditions for obtaining a WHV to Australia
You must be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of your application. It is the date of your application that counts and not your departure date.
You must hold a passport from a country or jurisdictions that are eligible for a WHV to Australia. Most countries are in Europe, North America and some Asian countries. Check if your passport is eligible.
Also you must be outside of Australia at the time of application otherwise your visa application might be rejected.
The Australian government mandates that WHV applicants have a minimum of AUD$5000 in savings. This is roughly equal to $3500 USD.
You will need to present a bank certificate when you arrive in order to prove that you can cover your first costs in Australia during the first few months. This is important to remember since Australia is an extremely costly country where money can be spent rapidly.
4) Travel Insurance
This item is only highly recommended and not a requirement. However, it is crucial for you to go with enough insurance, particularly given how costly healthcare is in Australia. I personally went with World Nomads since it provides unique WHV travel insurance. I have purchased the coverage for 1 year and chose the Backpacker option.
The visa is valid for a full year. You may, however, submit an application for a second visa (1 additional year). You must fulfil all the requirements for the 1st WHV in addition to having worked on Australian soil for 88 days or 3 consecutive months in a particular industry (the most common ones being farms, mining, and construction).
How to prepare your trip to Australia?
An opportunity to learn a new language exists when you spend a year away from home, but not only. You get more self-awareness, the ability to adjust to a new environment and way of life, as well as independence.
This experience will be a tremendous personal enrichment from which you may profit whenever you return, whether you choose to spend your WHV travelling or working.
Working or Exploring Australia
The purpose of such a visa is to mix the two, which is what I have done myself. I spent five months on the road and seven working. I keep saying it, but because living in Australia is so costly, you will have to work unless you go with a budget of $15,000 USD.
I was able to survive with about $5,000 when I first set foot in Australia for three and a half months before I had to start working as fruit picker in the west of Perth (WA).
You should decide whether you want to work or travel first and design your agenda accordingly.
I suggest to start working as soon as you can, save up and explore the country afterwards. This will help you avoid ending in a bad situation financially.
Plan your itinerary in Australia
I initially compiled a list of the items I had to see in order to organise my itinerary. I also planned my route according to the seasons. All I needed to do was map out my route after taking these factors into consideration.
I started my Australian experience in Perth with the intention of driving a van across the west coast (I managed to work in Western Australia) before moving on to the east coast in search of another employment. I have various posts in this blog if you want to read more about my itinerary.
Moving around: Van? 4WD? Rent or buy?
Once more, everything depends on what you want to see and how far you have to travel. I made the decision to purchase a van, which I did in Perth for the price of 5000 AUD (I departed with a girlfriend, so each of us paid 2500 AUD, or $1600 USD).
However, the rental will be more advantageous for you if you stay for fewer than three months. In terms of the vehicle, a 4WD will cost more but provide you access to more places and remote bush areas. Also, you have complete control of your itinerary.
Minor worries upon leaving
Here are some explanations to help you better comprehend your arrival in Australia. It’s normal to feel a bit anxious before departing and to ask yourself a lot of questions.
Remember to unlock your phone so that it can accept an Australian SIM card. Once there, just visit a TELSTRA store (Australia top SIM cards provider) to get a prepaid card. I chose Telstra because their network covers the majority of the Australian territory (I was able to have internet access even in very remote areas).
In terms of type, I chose a sim card with 2.5GB of data, unlimited calls and texts, and $5 for international calls at a cost of AUD$30 per month. Then, you may top-up your card each month.
Westpack is the most well-known and helpful bank for WHV holders. Go to an agency when you arrive to create an account; it will become operational after your foreign money have been transferred.
To be able to receive your salary, you must have an Australian account. Check your International bank’s transfer options carefully before departing because the fees might occasionally be quite costly.
The TFN (Australian Tax File Number)
The TFN is a number that you must give to each of your employers in order to be able to pay your taxes directly at the source and then be repaid when you leave the country. It is necessary to have this number in order to work in Australia.
To submit your TFN application when in Australia, you must visit this website and answer the questions the Australian Tax Office asks (civil status, visa situation, etc.).
Please be aware that the receipt time for receiving your TFN number by mail is three weeks, and you will need to provide an address. I have provided the address of the backpacker (hostel) and was checking with the reception on the mail arrival.
Locate a van
There are a lot of advertisements on the Gumtree website (Popular in Australia for ads). Joining the Facebook pages of backpackers in Australia will provide you access to a wealth of knowledge and a lovely community.
Last but not least, word of mouth may be really useful (that’s how I found my van). Get to know as many people as you can, and you’ll undoubtedly find a vehicle that suits you.
Don’t forget to have a mechanic check it out before you buy it; it’s better to spend $150 on inspections than $1500 on repairs 2 weeks later.
Apply for a REGO (Australian Vehicle Registration)
Your car must have a registration certificate, which also includes third-party insurance. Be cautious because REGO regulations vary from state to state and are determined by your licence plate.
Let me give you an example: if you live in Perth and you purchase a car that is registered in Sydney, the laws of the state of New South Wales will be applicable (the state of Sydney).
The requirements for the state of Western Australia are the most straightforward; aside from the procedure of reporting your car, there is nothing more you need to do. For my part, this is also one of the reasons I chose to settle in Perth.
It is necessary to check the validly of your driving licence in Australia before you arrive. Personally I’m a holder of a French driving licence, and I was allowed to drive in Australia accompanied with a translation of my Driving licence in English.
I suggest you check with the embassy of your country of origin in Australia for tips about driving there. I’m aware that the majority of driving licences of the western countries are valid in Australia (with an English Translation if the official language is not English).
Looking for work as a WHV holder
Leave with enough money saved so that you won’t have to worry about finding work right away. You run the danger of having your experience end. It is simpler to locate a job locally than it is from abroad, so don’t try that either.
Additionally, you may explore the area or use the Gumtree website. Before leaving, write your resume in English to save time. Finally, don’t worry; finding a job in Australia is rather simple, or at least simpler than it is in other countries.
I have found my farming job through a Job agency that your can find in all big cities in Australia. Usually farmers are always in need of labour and send requirements to those agencies.
Additionally, I highly recommend asking the Hostels receptions, as they always have vacancies for jobs within their establishment or for farming jobs.
Choose the right accommodation upon arrival
For your first week of trip, make reservations for lodging in abroad. This will spare you further anxiety and provide you the freedom to complete all the tasks (TFN, vehicle search, bank, etc.) without worrying. You will meet a lot more people if you stay at a youth hostel, which is what I recommend.
Luggage or Backpack?
Stupid but appropriate query. I really suggest the backpack. I departed with a suitcase, which I later switched to a 95L backpack. Compared to the bag, the suitcase was considerably too big and less useful.
Australian Holidays necessities
For your Australian vacation to be a success, you must make certain preparations. websites, apps, and advice for mobile devices. I’ve listed my necessities here.
It is a crowd sourced data base about camping. The programme you must have for your Road trips. It costs 7.99 AUD$ (about $5 USD) to obtain it. All freecamps and campsites in Australia are listed on Wikicamp.
Additionally, all the necessary details like water sources (toilets, hot or cold showers), costs (free and paid campgrounds), conveniences (wifi, electrical outlets), as well as places of interest (national parks , points of view, etc.).
The goal of this website is to establish connections between persons and travellers. The idea is straightforward: in return for a few hours a day of work (gardening, cleaning, babysitting, etc.), you will receive food, housing, and laundry services.
I absolutely enjoy the idea of living like an Australian family while yet saving money. Simply register for a membership on the website to have access to this service. A two-year membership is 30 AUD ($20).
Through this website, I was able to find an assignment for blueberries picking in Tasmania.
What items should your bag contain?
Bring warm clothing if you want to take a road trip; Australia isn’t constantly hot and sunny; that’s just a myth. However, there are other little items that are crucial while going on an expedition, such as a clothesline, detergent, a Swiss Army knife, or a travel guide.
It takes some planning to go for a year in WH in Australia, but if you follow these rules, you’ll be happier with your decision. The ability to customise your itinerary, employment, and accommodation follows. You are in charge. However, remember that nothing ever goes according to plan—part of the flexibility of a road trip isn’t it?
It’s normal to feel a bit nervous, but in the end, you’ll realise that it will undoubtedly be one of the most wonderful events of your life. You only need to decide to go and the most difficult part is over.