4 must-dos when backpacking Victoria, Australia

There’s no doubt that all of Australia is beautiful. Lovely oceans, awesome cities, amazing wildlife and even more. If you’re thinking of backpacking Australia that’s a great choice, but you’re probably hoping to narrow down the necessary sights in each state so you can make the most of your time.

When backpacking Victoria, Australia, you’ll find some amazing things, but to help you we’ve narrowed down the list to 4 must-dos to help you maximize your time.

backpacking Victoria, Australia

Great Ocean Road

Without a doubt, the Great Ocean Road is one of the highlights of all of Australia, not just Victoria.

This stretch of coastal highway has more than just pretty views of the ocean, but incredible natural rock formations that you have to see to believe. From the well-known Twelve Apostles to the Bay of Martyrs, this drive will be unlike anything else.

Although it stretches a little bit further, the main stretch of the road is from Torquay to Warnambool. When backpacking Victoria, Australia this is an absolute must-see.

Crown Casino

Based in Melbourne, Crown Casino is more than just somewhere to gamble your money away (or win big time if you’re actually good at it). Crown Casino owns tons of land, so if gambling isn’t really you’re thing you can have a nice meal, do some shopping and enjoy a walk on Southbank along the Yarra River.

While you should of course be making a stop in Melbourne while backpacking Victoria, you need to make sure you visit this elaborate and awesome casino as well.

Falls Creek

Victoria is a beautiful state and is very different to a lot of other places in Australia due to the fact that it has mountains and it can get snow. When backpacking Victoria, Australia you must take a trip to Falls Creek, the Alpine ski resort in the Alpine National Park.

Not only is the skiing fun, but the scenery is beyond stunning. They tend to get about 4m of snow a year, so you’ll be in for a nice weather change.backpacking Victoria, Australia

Phillip Island

You can’t visit Victoria without taking a trip to see the little penguins. While you can see some of the penguins in Melbourne, Phillip Island has even more of them and a beautiful setting as well.

From pristine white beaches to incredible hiking and food, you’ll never be bored on this beautiful island in Victoria. And hey, seeing wild penguins is going to pretty much be a highlight of your trip.

Of course there’s lots to see, but these are 4 absolute must-dos when backpacking Victoria, Australia and if you see these, you won’t feel like you’ve really missed out on anything.

Get ready to get the full Victorian experience; and no, we don’t mean dressing up like Queen Victoria and talking in a fake British accent.

Must-See Animals in Australia

Australia is home to lots of amazing things from beautiful beaches to incredible food and an even more awesome culture of being outside, barbecuing and more.

However, one thing that Australia has more of than anywhere else is the amazing, unique wildlife. When you come to Australia, you can’t go without seeing some of the staple creatures who are native to this lovely island, so we’ve created a list for you to make sure you don’t miss out. These are the four must-see animals in Australia.

Animals in Australia

Kangaroo

This list really couldn’t begin until we discussed the most popular Australian animal and definitely the most important of the must-see animals in Australia. Kangaroos are pretty amazing and seeing them in person can be a pretty special experience, especially if you’ve never seen one before.

They’re funny, yet somewhat graceful, creatures and probably one of the easiest to find on this entire list. Head out into the bush and you’re guaranteed to spot one. Or a hundred.

Koala

Another one of the must-see animals in Australia and an Australian stereotypical animal, the koala is a must-see if you’re visiting this country. However, your chances of seeing one in the wild are quite a bit harder than seeing a kangaroo. You’re better off trying at some designated wildlife reserves or in the bush in Queensland as they’re easier to spot there.

However, if you just want to see one, a zoo will always work as well. These sleepy, fluffy little creatures are adorable and you can’t visit Australia without meeting one.

Animals in Australia

Echidna

Echidnas aren’t super well-known Australian animals, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be on this list. It’s probably because they’re so unusual that they’re one of the must-see animals in Australia.

Sort of like an anteater, these creatures, with their spiky backs and waddling walks, are pretty cute and certainly a sight to see. You’re unlikely to find anything else like them, so even more of a reason to put them on your must-see animal list.

Wombat

Wombats are another animal in Australia that are adorable and pretty unique. These marsupials are sort of like small stubby bears and are incredibly cute.

They’re known to be relatively docile as long as you don’t scare them, so they’re much nicer to meet than an actual bear. If you want to see one of these, simply head to Tasmania and you’re bound to run into a bunch.

Just make sure to contain yourself because no, you can’t take this must-see Australian animal home with you.

Australia is so rich with wildlife and there are even more animals that didn’t make this list. Some notable extras though are the platypus, the rainbow lorikeet and the Tasmanian devil. However, these four must-see Australian animals will easily be the highlight of your trip.

Airbnb or Hostels in Australia?

When visiting Australia, you have to decide where you want to stay. If you’re staying in the cities, you’re two main budget options are hostels or Airbnb.

Both are good options depending on what it is you’re looking for out of your accommodation. Hopefully by the end of this article you’ll be able to make a decision on what’s right for you, but at the end of the day, if you’re worried about not liking one or the other just book a couple of days in each and then make your decision from there. No harm, no foul.

Airbnb or Hostels in Australia

Let’s first talk about Airbnb and some of its benefits and downsides. Airbnb is great if you like your own space or you want to meet a local right off the bat.

You can book either through the booking site so it gives you a bit of flexibility. Airbnb is also great if you want something that feels a bit more homely than a hostel. Since it is in fact someone’s actual home, this can help combat homesickness if you’re prone to that.

However, Airbnb has a few downsides as well. It tends to be a bit more expensive than hostels and also sometimes is a bit more out in the suburbs than right in the heart of cities.

The biggest downside of Airbnb is the ability to meet new people, which brings us to the pros and cons of hostels.

Hostels are great options when choosing to travel in Australia for many reasons. The biggest reason of Airbnb is getting to meet new people. Hostels in Australia are great for socializing with people from all walks of life from all around the world.Airbnb or Hostels in Australia

Especially if you’re a solo traveler, it can start to feel pretty isolating if you’re not meeting anyone. While you can always meet people while out and about, you’re more likely to strike up a conversation with someone in a hostel common room than you are at the person standing next to you in line at the museum.

Hostels in Australia are also cheaper than Airbnb, which can be a deciding factor all on its own. If you’re worried about privacy, you have a couple of options with hostels.

You can choose a private room but still have the social aspect of the kitchen and common room, or opt for a smaller dorm room rather than a huge one.

Ultimately, when deciding between hostels in Australia or Airbnb it really comes down to your personal preference and what you want. Hostels are great for meeting people and will tend to save you a bit of money, but if you just want a break from the socializing and a more homely feel than Airbnb is you’re go-to choice.

Whatever you choose, just make sure to read the reviews!

Dating someone back home while travelling Australia alone

Travelling is a great gift and something you should take advantage of while you still have the opportunities, ability and fewer ties to keep you in one place.

While travelling is incredible, there are some things that can make it bittersweet. For example, dating someone back home while travelling Australia.

It’s hard to be away from loved ones and if you’re dating someone back home while you’re gone, it’ll be hard to be away from that person for an extended period.

We get that, it’s tough. To help make this a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of tips to cope with dating someone back home while travelling Australia.

Dating someone back home while travelling

Skype

Honestly, Skype will be your best friend in this circumstance. Sure, writing emails and texting is a great way to stay in touch, but nothing beats seeing that person’s face and really getting to have a true conversation with them.

Skype can be more than just having a chat, you could play games, show each other things you’ve bought or you could just watch a movie together or something. You’d be surprised at how awesome Skype can be at keeping a relationship going from afar.

Write Letters

Letters seem old-fashioned nowadays, but because they’re kind of uncommon, getting a letter feel even more exciting. There’s something really romantic and lovely about sending a real, handwritten letter to someone and getting one in return.

You’d be surprised how fun they can be and not knowing when they’ll arrive can bring some excitement into the relationship. Dating someone from back home while travelling Australia doesn’t need to be all moping and sadness.Dating someone back home while travelling

Consider Mutual Relationship Break

This may sound like a super negative thing, but it really isn’t. Just because you’re on a ‘break’ doesn’t mean you’re going to break up and there’s no hope for you.

Of course, this may totally not be the right choice for you, but giving yourself some space may allow you to experience your travelling more fully than if you felt you were tied down to someone.

The important thing to remember is to still get out there and socialize and have a great time, even if you are attached. Even if you choose to not go on a relationship break, remember it’s ok to have fun and experience things and meet new people without your significant other. If they’re as awesome as you believe, they’ll be happy for you and encourage it.

It’ll be hard, but dating someone back home while travelling Australia isn’t impossible.

There are lots of ways to keep the relationship going and just remember, if it’s meant to be it’ll work out, no matter what obstacles may seemingly stand in your way.

Just remember, traveling is the best education and you’re there to have fun. Your other half will understand this.

Why You Should Study In Australia

For some people, they don’t want to sacrifice their education to go traveling or maybe they’ve already pursued further education, done a bit in real life and think they want to go in another direction.

If either of these, or any number of other things, are the case for you, than choosing to study in Australia might just be the answer you’re looking for.

While studying in Australia isn’t for everyone, it could be an awesome middle ground for you to explore something different but do something productive as well. Do you need more convincing? Here are some reasons why you should study in Australia.

australia for study

Great Quality of Unis

Australia has so many top notch universities to choose from and that alone makes it a great choice. There’s the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the Australian National University, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland and even more. Some of these universities rate at the top of world lists, so you would be spending your money wisely.

It Has A Great Lifestyle

Regardless of where you’re from, nowhere is quite like Australia. The outdoor lifestyle, it’s laidback, Australians love their barbecues, you can eat kangaroo meat and even more.

Coming to study in Australia could be a great way to experience other cultures but still pursue your career and your future, all while having great fun.

australia for study

It’s Great For Non English Speakers

Sure, Australia universities are great for English speakers too, but Australian universities area a great place for non-English speakers.

The reason for this is because Australian universities offer top quality instructors to teach international students English and also tend to offer the best value for money as well.

In addition to that, living in an English speaking country is the best way to pick up a foreign language and learning English opens so many doors, making studying in Australia an excellent option for those who aren’t fluent yet.

Australia Is Awesome

When it comes down to it, Australia is just simply awesome and that makes it a great place to come study. Of course the lifestyle, the food and the people are all great reasons to come, but it’s also a great country to explore.

You have beautiful beaches, forests, stunning mountain ranges, the outback, and fascinating and unique wildlife, among many other things. These all add to the draw of Australia and many of these things you can’t experience elsewhere.

Choosing to come study in Australia can be a big step, but with everything this country has to offer it might just be the right decision for you. And if you do choose to go study in Australia, know that the Australians will welcome you with open arms.

Why You Should Get the Working Holiday Visa in Australia Now

If you’re on the fence…

If you’re worried about getting a Working Holiday Visa and “putting off” your job, you should keep in mind it will allow you to explore Australia without postponing your career.

You can check out a lot of different job fields, or build some experience in your working field. You’ll also have something to add to your resume when you get back!

Concerned about your budget? Don’t worry about it! You’ll have the opportunity to make money instead of just spending it, and the money you earn when you’re working will help you support your future travels.

You’ll also be able to make more local friends by working, and get a better cultural understanding of Australia since you’ll be staying longer. It’s hard to really get to know a country in only a week or two; with the Working Holiday Visa, you’ll have a year to explore and travel.

get the whv now

Are you convinced?

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to get your working holiday visa, it’s here; you only live once, and uni can always wait! With all the changes that were just made to the visa for 2017, it just got easier to work and enjoy Australia.

The Australian Holiday Working Tax just changed – the rate is now 15% for every dollar earned, starting in January 2017. With this new rate, it’s easier than ever to come and enjoy Australia, especially with the tons of jobs available.

Previously, you could only work for one employer for six months on a working holiday visa. Now, you can work for the same employer for up to 12 months, as long as the last six months are in a location and region.

All these new changes can help you further your career, and you can find lots of well-paying job opportunities. You’ll also gain a lot of great work experience for when you return home, and have something new to add to your resume.

In addition, the application for the Working Holiday Visa is now $390 AUD instead of the previous $440! It may only be a $50 difference, but that’s $50 more that you can add to your travel fund or savings. get the whv now

And finally…

The age limit for the Working Holiday Visa has gone from 30 to 35 years old. This is a great opportunity for anyone who missed the deadline the first time around – it’s not too late!

These changes have made it easier and more valuable to get a Working Holiday Visa, so it’s easier than ever to travel without compromising your career.

You can build your resume, get work experience, and try out new jobs, all while travelling and experiencing Australia over a longer period of time.

If you have been wanting to travel but don’t want to postpone working or furthering your career, the changes to the working holiday visa have made it easier and more valuable to get a Working Holiday Visa. Make sure to get your Working Holiday Visa now, in case things change again!

A good agency dedicated for backpackers that I highly recommend to speed up the process is Jobs4Travellers and 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.

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.

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