Changes to the WHV—Why Are We Still Waiting?

If you’re coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV), then you’ve probably seen that there have been some changes made to the working holiday visa, however, they’ve yet to be implemented.

Because it’s been a while since we went over a few of the changes, let’s take a quick look at what these changes to the working holiday visa will be.

Changes to the Australian WHV

The rate of 15% for every dollar will be introduced; this is down from 19%. However, the normal tax rate will remain in place for anyone earning more than AU$37,000.

In the past, no one could work for an employer for more than 6 months, period.

Now, you can work for the same employer for 12 months, as long as it’s in a different region on a different premise.

This is great news for people hoping to stay with the same company.

The application fee for the working holiday visa has dropped from AU$440 to AU$390—anything that gives us more money to travel is excellent news for all of us.

Changes to the Australian WHV

The age limit will also increase from 30 to 35.

The conditions you need to qualify for a working holiday visa (WHV) and the countries eligible for a working holiday visa will not change.

For example, you can’t have held a working holiday visa in the past, you have a valid passport that integrated with the working holiday program, you’re between 18 and 25, you’re a visitor that wants to spend your holiday in Australia, you have the money to support yourself (around AU$5,000), have enough money for a ticket back (included in the previous point) and you aren’t accompanied by kids.

These changes are great news for everyone and we were excited to see them implemented come January 1, 2017 like promised. Unfortunately, this still hasn’t happened. Why these changes to the working holiday visa haven’t occurred yet is quite puzzling.

There hasn’t been a policy change, so it’s possible it’s just government logistics that are holding it back. It’s also strange there’s been no word on why these changes haven’t occurred yet.

If you’re waiting for these changes to the working holiday visa to be enacted to apply, just keep watching this space and we’ll let you know as soon as they have.

For now, we have no idea while we’re all still waiting and hanging in the balance. In the mean time, I suppose we can just start planning our trips to all the amazing places we want to go and see on this working holiday adventure.

Changes to the Australian WHV

5 Travel Apps You Should Have When Traveling Australia

When traveling it’s important to stay on top of things and use every bit of technology you can to make your travelers easier and smoother.

From keeping track of your bookings to not missing the trams, these five travel apps for Australia will make life so much easier. Let’s not miss any flights, shall we?

apps to travel Australia

TripIt

TripIt is one of the best apps out there for people who travel quite a bit. Whether you’ve booked a flight, a train, a hotel or even a show, simply forward the email to TripIt and they’ll make a little itinerary for you.

No more scrolling frantically through your emails thinking, “but what is my booking confirmation number??” With TripIt, it’s all in one easy-to-access place and it will simplify your life more than you ever even thought you needed.

The Backpacking App

This app is so convenient if you’re looking to backpack Australia. It will help you find the cheapest places to sleep, eat and do for an authentic Australian experience without breaking the bank. It also includes maps and day planners, just to simplify your life a little bit more.

This travel app for Australia is absolutely crucial to helping you save money, plus it’s free so there’s no excuse.

WikiCamps

This app is perfect is you’re planning on camping. You get a list of nearly all campsites around the country and it will give you various facts that you need to know.

From the basic information to where there are roadside rest areas, which camps are accessible for caravans or camper trailers, whether it’s pet-friendly, has power, water, toilets, WiFi, the list truly goes on.

This is your all in one app for making camping seamless and avoiding situations where you’re driving and realizing you don’t have any adequate to actually, you know, sleep. It costs a bit of money, but it’s well worth the investment if you’ll be doing a lot of camping.apps to travel Australia

TramTracker

If you’re visiting Melbourne this app is so necessary. While the trams and other transport tend to run relatively on time, this real-time tracker will make sure never miss another tram for the rest of your time there, unless of course you planned it badly.

Simply select your stop or choose from nearest locations and get a list of all the trams coming, what model they are and track them stop by stop until they reach you.

Australia Bushwalking

Like to hike? Great, than this is the app for you. It costs $4.49, but this travel app for Australia is a great add to your survival kit. It features 90 walks from around the country and will tell you about them, how to do them, what you’ll see, their difficulty and the highlights.

We wouldn’t want you to get lost, so this is a great app if you plan on doing a bit of walking out in the wilderness.

These travel apps for Australia are so helpful and will make sure your journey is as smooth and as amazing as possible. After all, this is Australia; anything to keep you from being eaten by a giant snake should be seen as crucial.

5 Top Tips To Study In Australia

Traveling Australia is amazing, as is doing a working holiday, but one option out there for many that gets forgotten about is actually choosing to study in Australia. Although we’ve written about why it can be a great idea to choose to go to Australia instead of studying immediately, studying in Australia can be just as amazing.

To make sure you get the most out of your experience, these tips to study in Australia will make sure you have a great time and utilize everything at your disposal.

study in australia

Pick A Fun City

Australia has so many awesome universities to choose from, so factoring a city that you love is just as important. Are you a beach person? The Gold Coast might be the right decision for you.

If you’re an art or coffee lover, Melbourne is more your scene. Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Adelaide; truly the list goes on.

Do your research and find out what city appeals most to you and then apply for schools there. You will be there for a few years, so make sure it’s somewhere you know you’re going to enjoy in a location you know you’ll love to be in.

Get A Part Time Job

Not only is getting a part time job a great way to earn a bit of cash, but it’s also another great way to meet people and make friends. Sure, you’ll find friends at university, but by getting a part time job you’ll be more exposed to more people from different walks of life.

Studying is all about broadening your horizons so why not do that and make a bit of extra money, too?study in australia

Take Advantage Of Uni Social Clubs

Just like getting a part time job to meet people, utilizing any of the social clubs through your uni is another great way to meet people with similar interests. Uni social clubs are big in Australia so there’s no doubt you’ll find some you’ll really love.

Pick A Local Focused Study Subject

While this isn’t a necessity, it can be a great idea to choose a study subject that is important to the city you’re studying in. This offers some real-life experience and full-on immersion you wouldn’t get otherwise.

If you were studying agriculture, than a uni in a more rural area would be a great option. Alternatively, if you were studying art history, than perhaps Sydney or Melbourne would be a great choice for you.

Pick A Great Uni

Of all the tips to study in Australia, be sure you pick a uni that’s right for you and has the qualifications you’re looking for. While everything else is important, this is your education so make sure you’re making the most informed decision you possibly can.

Studying here can be great fun and an amazing choice, and with these tips to study in Australia, you’ll be making the most of this awesome, once in a lifetime experience.

Applying for the 457 Visa? These Changes Suck

The newest changes to the 457 visa is really sad news and although there are plenty of people who supported the changes, there are still tons of us who think it wasn’t the right decision.

Sadly, these changes are just making it so hard for foreigners to come work in Australia and this will not only affect the economy, but it will also take away from the vibrant, international and multicultural society that Australia has become.

Applying for the 457 visa is going to be harder than ever, with stricter requirements on pretty much every front and no reward of permanent residency at the end.

However, if you will still be applying for the 457 visa, it’s important to know who’ this is going to affect and what you can do about it. As much as we’d love to see more foreigners in Australia, it’s important to know what’s now allowed, what isn’t and knowing exactly where you stand with the law.

applying for the 457 visa

So you live here already. Now what?

If you have already applied for the 457 visa and been approved and currently work in Australia, these changes will not affect you.

Although the changes do suck, the bright side is previous applicants and current workers won’t be penalized and have to adapt to a new program that they weren’t expecting when they arrived.

Not perfect English skills?

If you’re applying for the 457 visa as a foreigner from a country where English isn’t the native language, you may be in danger of not being approved for the visa under the new, stricter English language rules.

Currently, there aren’t any specifications on what you’ll need to pass in order to be approved but we’ll be sure to keep you up to date should anything change.

What if you have applied for the 457 visa and not yet heard back?

If you applied for the 457 visa and have not had a decision yet but you applied under the pretense of the old rules and you’re no longer interested, you may be eligible for a refund. If you choose to proceed, we wish you the best of luck. applying for the 457 visa

Universities are going to struggle with hiring.

The new rules for applying for the 457 visa affects universities probably the most of anyone. Currently, the new rules stating you must have two years of experience in your skilled expertise means universities won’t be able to hire Ph.D’s or other high-level academic professors and researchers because technically those years don’t count as work.

This would massively hurt Australia because it should be able to offer its students the best of the best, and excluding people doing intensive, high-level education and study is a poor decision to say the least.

Unfortunately, applying for the 457 visa is going to become difficult and perhaps not such an attractive option for lots of people. If your job is no longer listed, you probably won’t have any success in applying for the 457 visa anymore.

We’re so sad to hear this news and we think it’s really crap, for lack of a better phrase. Despite these changes, we hope to still see foreigners in Australia because it only makes the country better and stronger.

Changes to the 457 Visa Facts you Need To Know

If you’re looking at moving to Australia, you may need to reconsider your avenue of getting your visa due to the recent changes to the 457 visa. Although many countries, Australia included, have changed visas over the years, these changes to the 457 visa are pretty dramatic and could post a bit of a problem for lots of people.

The 457 visa is the most commonly used program for migrants to Australia, as it allows employers to sponsor overseas workers. While only on a temporary basis, this has been a great program.

It has allowed foreign workers to work in Australia for four years in a skilled job where there are few Australian workers.

Although this is sad news, it’s important that we’re all aware of exactly what these changes to the 457 visa entails. So, what’s going to change?

changes to the 457 visa

The 457 Visa Is Being Replaced

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember about these changes is that really the 457 visa is being entirely replaced by a new program.

While it’s still going to most likely remain a 457 visa, nearly every provision is going to be changed.

Four Years to Two Years

The biggest change to the 457 visa is going to be the fact that now foreign workers will only be allowed to stay for two years instead of the four.

There will still be a handful of skilled jobs that may remain at four years, but the vast majority will be decreased to two.

This will include jobs such as cooks, hospitality managers, event organizers and more. Seeing as these tend to be the jobs that attract the most people, it’s pretty unfortunate they’re doing away with the four year program for them.

No Permanent Residency At The End

Another big change to the 457 visa is going to be that foreign workers will no longer be able to apply for permanent residency at the end of their two (or possibly four) year tenure in Australia.

This is pretty sad news and a little unfair to people who have put their valuable skills to use in another country.changes to the 457 visa

Fewer Skilled Jobs

The list of skilled jobs you can get hired for on the 457 has been decreased by nearly 200. This is a massive amount and is really going to cut down on opportunities for foreigners to work in Australia.

Stricter Standards

Overall, there are going to be stricter standards on the 457 visas now. Potential workers will need to have higher levels of English skills, meet more qualifications when doing a background check and will need to provide two years of experience in the skilled job they want to work in.

Although these changes to the 457 visa are supposed to be recruiting the “best and the brightest” for Australia, it’s really just a way to keep foreigners away from Australian jobs.

This is sad news, but don’t let these changes to the 457 visa keep you from attempting to visit or try to work in Australia.

changes to the 457 visa

Why Backpackers Wages Are So High in Australia

If you’re thinking of backpacking in Australia, probably one of the things at the top of your list to figure out is how much you can actually make.

After all, backpacking can’t possibly work if you aren’t making enough money to sustain yourself.

While talking money isn’t always the most fun thing to do, it’s a good idea to not just understand what the backpacker wages in Australia are, but to understand why they are that.

An informed traveler and backpacker makes a better traveler and backpacker—no we didn’t just make that up.

Backpackers wages in Australia

The Economy

The economy in Australia right now is booming and that means that there are lots of jobs and there are plenty of companies willing to pay for your work.

We won’t get too technical, but essentially the idea behind the high minimum wages in Australia is that the government support the idea that people should be paid based on their economic needs rather than the market price for their labor.

While you don’t need to know the nitty gritty of this, the upshot is the economy is doing great and employers can afford to pay you well for your work.

Backpackers wages in Australia

Demand

As we mentioned briefly in the previous point, the demand for jobs is really high right now. More and more restaurants, stores and shops are opening and thriving, which means there’s even more work out there for people to do.

Because there’s also such a high rate of backpackers in Australia, it also means that places are turning over work pretty consistently since most of their workers are casual backpackers.

This is great news for backpackers’ wages in Australia as well.

All of these various aspects mean that all of this work and lots of backpackers in a thriving economy is why your wages can be quite as high as they are.

For reference, the most popular casual jobs you’ll find as a backpacker will be in restaurants, retail shops and construction.

Of all the countries you can backpack in, the great news about Australia is that your wages can not only get you far within the country itself, but it can go far outside as well.

If you manage to save a fair bit of money during your time in Australia, when you return home that money will also be just as valuable.

If you instead went and did backpacking in South East Asia, the money you made over there would be enough to sustain you in those countries, but would be pennies in your home country.

This makes Australia a valuable and excellent choice for backpackers. With such high backpackers’ wages in Australia, it’s no surprise people want to come and it’s a great reason why you should pack your bags and come too.

Working in Australia? Tell me your experiences in the comments below!

Backpackers wages in Australia

What’s it like to date an Australian guy?

Dating across countries can be an exciting experience but also means you’ll come across a few instances of culture shock.

Even countries like the UK, the US or Canada might seem very similar to Australia, the people have very different personalities and so there are a few things you’ll need to get used to.

If you decide to date an Australian guy, there are some things you’ll need to adapt to and things you should expect. Whether you are or plan to, here’s what you need to know on what it’s like to date an Australian guy.

Dating an Australian guy

They Love Their Beer

Beer is beloved in Australia; it’s like holy water. And Australian men love their beer. Really, truly love it. It’s kind of like a love affair.

If you’re dating an Australian guy, be prepared for lots of beer consumption at nearly every meal. And also be prepared because beer in Australia ain’t cheap.

They’re Loud!

Australians are jolly people, which is great news because they’re great fun, but it also means that you’re Australian man is going to be Loud, with a capital L. Rowdy, noisy and fun, you might begin to think it’s got to do with all that beer he consumes…

Dating an Australian guy

Be Prepared For Swearing

Swearing isn’t seen as rude in Australia as it is in other countries, so people will typically call each other seemingly rude names just out of endearment.

If you hear your Australian guy doing this, don’t be alarmed, he doesn’t hate your or his friends—it’s just the way they are. Australians are generally just more relaxed about swearwords and speech, don’t let it get to you.

They Like Barbecues

You think you like barbecues? Think again, because nothing will have a love for the barbie like your new Australian man. Burgers, kanga bangas and more—they’ll know how to cook it up.

Australians love hot weather and since it’s hot in many places much of the year, you’ll find you’ll be attending many, many barbecues.

It’s just time to accept that you’ll be eating massive quantities of food when you start to date an Australian guy.

They Will Abbreviate Everything

While some things are stereotypical about Australia, it’s no lie that they love their abbreviations and slang.

If you start to date an Australian guy, you’re going to discover that he’ll use all the ones in the book and sometimes you may have no idea what he’s saying.

That’s ok, just ask and you’ll know for the future. But just don’t make fun of him; he won’t appreciate that.

Dating an Australian guy is fun and exciting and you’ll have a blast, but knowing these few things ahead of time will ensure you know exactly what to expect.

Best way to get off on a good foot? Buy him beer and attend a barbecue together—just kidding! We’re sure he’ll like you if you don’t do that. Probaby. But now if all else fails you know the way to his heart.

Dated an Australian guy? What were your experiences like? Let me know in the comments below!

Dating an Australian guy

What it’s like to date an Australian girl

Dating people from other countries can be amazing because you get to learn all about other cultures and people. Dating Australians is no different, but there are some things you probably will want to know.

Dating an Australian girl should be great fun, but what’s it truly like? We’ve compiled a list of things to expect from your relationship or new Aussie girlfriend.

Dating and Australian girl

She Loves The Outdoors

While this isn’t necessarily true for every Australian girl, Australians tend to love the outdoors way more than other countries.

This is probably because the country has such great weather for such a large portion of the year, plus amazing beaches and beautiful cities, so why wouldn’t you want to be outside.

If you’ve got a really adventurous type, she may even know how to pitch a tent. Isn’t that amazing?

Dating and Australian girl

Summer Is A Favorite

Australians love the summer and girls are not different. Lounging on the beach, hanging out in the sun, it’s all part of the Australian culture.

If you’re dating an Australian girl, there’s a good chance this will be her favorite time of year and there won’t be many times you’ll find her cooped up inside.

She’s Headstrong

Australian ladies are headstrong, independent women and they won’t let you boss them around. They’re bosses, which is a little terrifying and also very attractive.

I mean, who doesn’t love a girl who speaks her mind? If that’s your thing than dating an Australian girl is a perfect choice.

They Love Sports

Australian women love sports just as much as the guys. While you may find girls from other countries aren’t wild about their sports, they take it very seriously in Australia.

She’ll probably have a favorite team for everything and you may even learn something from her. Bet you didn’t think you’d be learning about sports from your girlfriend did you? Welcome to Australia.

She’ll Appreciate A Sense of Humor

Australians are lighthearted, fun people. They’re more laidback and they don’t overthink jokes—which sometimes means they may accidentally be offense without ever meaning it in a malicious way.

If you date an Australian girl, you’ll find she’ll appreciate a sense of humor, including politically incorrect jokes.

Although, it may be wise to find out if she likes that kind of thing before you begin your stand up comedy act making fun of people. No point in ending the relationship before it even starts.

If you choose to date an Australian girl you are in for one heck of a ride. It’s going to be fun and you’re going to be outside a lot and you’ll be laughing a lot. Sounds pretty darn great, doesn’t it?

What has your experience been with dating in Australia? Let me know in the comments below!

Dating and Australian girl

How to find a rental as a backpacker in Australia

So you’ve chosen to backpack Australia and that’s an amazing choice, but now you need to start thinking of the details that go along with that to actually make it work.

The most important thing you need as a backpacker is finding backpackers rentals. Not only will you want to be mobile and flexible, but you also don’t want to be signing any leases for 12 months. That and you probably won’t be approved for one anyway as a short-term visitor.

This is where you need to understand how backpacker rentals work and how you can find them.

While knowing someone who knows someone who knows someone’s brother who has a room is a perfectly valid way, here are a few more options that might guarantee something a bit more suitable and reliable.

rentals in australia

Gumtree

Gumtree is amazing for tons of things but it’s also a great place to find backpacker rentals. Think of it as the Australian Craigslist only less sketchy.

There are tons of rooms or apartments listed on there and you’re bound to find something that will suit your needs and wants on there at a competitive price.

Notice Boards

Notice boards can be found anywhere from supermarkets to libraries or just on the street.

Obviously you’ll need to actually be in the city already so if you want something sorted ahead of time this probably isn’t your best bet, but it’s a great way to get more access to more places.

Like jobs, it’s easier to find something when you’re there and can go off word of mouth as well. Especially backpacker rentals, it’s the kind of thing that people aren’t going to pay to put an ad up because they’d rather find someone at no cost to them.

rentals in australia

Sharehouses

The concept of sharehouses exist around the world and they’re a great option if you’re a backpacker.

The great thing about these is you don’t need to be on the proper lease for the house, it’ll already be furnished and come with built-in friends. The downside is usually sharehouses tend to be further outside of the city.

Longstay in a Hostel

Many hostels will allow you to stay there long term and even give you a better rate for it. Others will discount your rate if you work a couple of hours for them as well.

These are great options because they’re usually really inexpensive and you’re in a great atmosphere with great people all the time. The other upside of a longstay in a hostel is that you can stay super central in the cities for a fraction of the cost with no strings attached.

Avoid Leases

We already briefly mentioned this, but as a backpacker you want to stay away from leases.

You don’t want to be tied down and you also don’t want to be financially responsible for anything that might happen to the place or take you away from your trip.

Finding backpacker rentals can be super easy if you know where to look and what you’re after. Just don’t forget to keep an open mind!

Any tips I have left out? Let me know in the comments below!

Australia Seafood Delicacies When Traveling Australia

It’s no secret that Australians have great seafood. I mean, it’s an island, it would be weird if there were no special Australian seafood delicacies.

While you can of course can seafood in lots of places around the world, there are some specific seafood items that are native to Australia or that Australians love.

If you’re a seafood person, these top Australian seafood delicacies should absolutely be on your list of things to consume, other than beer, of course.

seafood in Australia

Barramundi

This giant fish is a much-loved seafood staple in Australia and they’re found mainly off the coast of Queensland. The barramundi is also known as the Asian sea bass and can weigh as much as 60kg.

That is a lot of fish to feed people. Barramundi will always be fresh in Australia because of the close proximity, but the way its served will vary greatly.

You could have a whole barramundi served to you, or have it over a bed of lettuce in a nice white sauce. Are we making you hungry? Great! Get out there and eat some barramundi.

seafood in Australia

Tiger Prawns

You’ve probably seen tiger prawns before and perhaps you thought, ‘holy cow that is one giant shrimp.’ The tiger prawn can certainly look a little terrifying, especially uncooked, but it’s still an Australian seafood delicacy that you must try.

Tiger prawns are typically found in northern Australia, but you can eat them or purchase them pretty much all around the country. Nothing better than tiger prawns in a garlic butter sauce.

Tiger prawns are also typical at surf and turf restaurants or combined with rib eye steaks and chips.

Abalone

You may have never heard of an abalone before so this may be the true Australian seafood delicacy you’re looking for.

A type of snail in the mollusk family, you’ll definitely be going out of your comfort zone to try one of these bad boys.

Tasmanian Oysters

Sure you can get oysters around the world, but you can only get Tasmanian oysters in Australia, making it a much-loved seafood staple in the country.

The Tasmanian oyster industry is currently one of the most thriving and vibrant fish farming sectors in Australia, so it’s time you became a part of that and tried this awesome seafood delicacy native to Australia.

Fish Yourself

There’s nothing more rewarding than going fishing, catching something awesome and then grilling it up to eat. You’re in Australia, so why don’t you try fishing yourself and see what you catch. Your dinner will never be fresher; we guarantee it.

Seafood is a big deal in Australia so if you’re visiting you should definitely make an effort to try these amazing Australia seafood delicacies.

When you travel to a country, it’s best to try anything and everything and hey, if you don’t like it, it’s an experience, right?

What seafood are you looking forward too? Let me know in the comments below!

seafood in Australia

4 Great Places to Travel in Queensland

When it comes to traveling in Australia it can be hard to pick just one destination, but luckily for you getting around the country is pretty easy so there’s no need to.

Because of this added traveling ease, it can make it feel very overwhelming! I mean, the whole country is stunning so how do you pick between all of the amazing places?

To make it a bit easier for you, we’ve curated 4 great places to travel in Queensland. One of the most gorgeous parts of the country, these places in Queensland will make you forget about the rest of Australia.

Places to Travel in Queensland

Cairns

Although totally underrated, Cairns is a beautiful city and has some of the best wildlife and more.

You might not think Cairns has beautiful beaches, scenic railways, a rainforest and amazing wildlife, but it does and that makes it an excellent place to travel in Queensland.

As an added bonus, if you go a bit outside of the city you’ll also find lots of coffee plantations so if you’re a coffee addict than this is totally the place for you. Or not. Depends how you look at it.

Places to Travel in Queensland

Whitsundays

It’s hard to imagine a more gorgeous, heavenly place than the Whitsundays. Stunning white sand beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, crystal clear and aqua-colored water, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.

With about 7,000 km of coastline, 150 islands and the Great Barrier Reef (unlike anything else in the world) this is a unique and breathtaking place in Queensland that you must travel to if you’re in Australia.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and if that’s not cool enough for you, there are beautiful beaches, dream-worthy lakes, great hiking and fantastic food.

While of course Fraser Island isn’t somewhere you go if you want to be around cities and beaches together, it’s an amazing place to go and just relax in a beautiful setting.

Magnetic Island

You may be wondering about the name of this island and it comes from the fact that in the 1700s people noticed the island messed with their compasses, however, no reason has ever been discovered for that.

This intrigue only adds to the beauty that is already has to offer.

With incredible fishing and hiking, the seafood is also to die for. And if you’re into adventuring and exercising, they host the yearly Magnetic Island Adventurethon in March/April.

Queensland is a beautiful part of Australia, but these places to Travel in Queensland top all of the lists. Get a taste for wildlife, cities, food, and incredible views to last you a lifetime.

What do you think? Have I missed anything? What are you most excited about? let me know in the comments below!

Places to Travel in Queensland
Magnetic Island….paradise!