First Steps in Australia
If you want to live in Australia under a Working Holiday Visa (WHV), there will be some additional expenses before you arrive, such as the WHV itself. You will also need some funds before you arrive, to set you up before you find work.
The Australian Government suggests $5,000 AUD per person and to be honest, I don’t think this is an overestimate. Australia is expensive, that been said when you do start to earn; you do earn a relatively large amount in comparison to most other countries.
But you do need to prepare for that time when you are looking for work. I have written a book that I has heaps of hints and tips before you leave and it has helped loads of other travellers, you can check it out Australian Backpackers eBook here.
Before you arrive you can expect the following costs:
- Flights: Between $1400 – $1900 AUD (depending on departure destination and season). For the best deals on flights, check here.
- Travel Insurance: About $600 – $900 AUD per year (depending on your country of residence). I am a big fan of World Nomads Travel Insurance. Read my story why here.
- WHV: $390 AUD (reduced from $440 as of January 1st 2017…awesome!)
- Funds as suggested by the Australian Government: $5000 AUD. It is rare, but they do check occasionally.
TOTAL: $8190 AUD ($6200USD, €5600, £4800)
Now you have arrived!
Welcome! The adventure starts here. You are in Australia! Did you get a really cheap flight here? If, not and you want to know how to get a $200 Flight to Australia here.
But, anyway, what to do now? Don’t worry, I have you covered with these simple tips and bit of information. It should help you get on your way and help you get some of the logistics of your arrival in Australia sorted.
To get an arrival package or not?
You may have seen some companies that offer to organise and assist your arrival to Australia. They offer some services that are free in any case, such as bank accounts and tax file numbers.
The advantage is, they can help you meet friends and sometimes offer some parties and they can also make those administrative services a bit more fun.
If you decide to go down this line I highly suggest A good agency dedicated for backpackers that I highly recommend to speed up the process is Jobs4Travellers who will also help with jobs.
To make it even sweeter use the promo code MYAUSTRIP1 for a 10% discount on standard membership – reduced to $31.50, or use MYAUSTRIP2 for 10% discount on the “Ozzie Starter Pack” that includes TFN and bank account set up – reduced to just $50. I think this is a great deal.
Until you settle
Your accommodations all depend on what you want and what your expectations are. Do you want a big, party hostel or a small, cosy hostel? Maybe you even want a hotel!
My preference has always been smaller hostels. It always feels easier to make friends with other independent backpackers that are visiting Australia – I know that might seem odd as it would seem a bigger hostel would be easier, but that hasn’t been the case in my experience.
But, hey, have a look for reviews and pick a hostel for what you want for your experience. Hostels are great until you settle, and you get loads of advice from other travellers.
The best places to book in my opinion are
- Booking.com (my number one choice for accommodation bookings)
Once you are settled
Shared housing is very common in Australia for locals and backpackers alike. You normally pay a bond, and then pay each week.
If you are looking for a shared house, check local notice boards or Gumtree, which is the number one place online.
Opening a Bank Account
It is really easy to open a bank account in Australia. All you need is your passport and an address, you can use your hostel or it can even be an overseas address.
I think it best to get a bank account with no fees! Some are free and some charge fees, so why would you choose one with fees?
Some of the major banks are
In my eBook, you can read my number one tip for the best bank in Australia. It is a free bank that also includes some really fantastic goodies with the account! Hint: It is not one of the banks listed above. To find out the bank I mean, get my eBook.
Tax File Number (TFN)
If you are working in Australia, you will need to get a TFN. Again, this is very easy process. I think the best way to get your taxes filed is by doing it online. You can do this direct from the ATO website.
If you are coming from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta, or Italy you should be able to able to get a Medicare care as a backpacker or traveller, which offers some great health benefits.
If you are from one of these countries, you can apply for a Medicare card from a Medicare office or online.