Hi would just like peoples experiences and advice about travelling oz alone...
Planning to go to Australia for a year in Feb 2010 on my lonesome! I'm hoping to buy a camper and just drive...
I am planning on saving up around £8-10k over the next year to be able to go out and enjoy myself! will probably end up getting a bar job to meet people and earn a bit of cash too.
I am wanting to learn to surf and just live it up for a year...
Now then, question time....
1) Route to take?... I am not too bothered about where to start and finish but i would like to start at a good place to find a camper van. any suggestions? will be getting one way flights out and deciding when to come home and where from when i'm out there!
2) What to take?... anything specific i will definitely need?
3) Money?... whats the best way to carry/handle money?
4) Jobs?... Getting a bar job or fruit picking? easy enough???
Think thats all i'm sure i will have more Q's over the next year... Thanks in advance for replies!
Hello Jaryd, welcome to the forum!
I'm Australian, so here are some answers for you which I hope you find useful. I'll follow your numbering.
1) Basically, stick to the area south of Sydney in the summer (September-April), and head to Queensland, Northern Territory and the northern parts of Western Australia in winter (May-August). This will ensure the largest amount of sun and the minimum amount of rain.
2) You can buy everything in Australia, and due to the weakened state of the Australian dollar, it is good for visitors at present. There are some things that are necessary in Australia, such as sunscreen and insect repellant - but they are both cheap here, so no need to bring them along with you. If you are bringing electronic items, buy an adapter from your home.
3) International ATMs abound, and so do currency exchange places that accept travellers cheques. So whatever your preferences are for carrying your money, Australia will fit in. Just a word of advice, don't change money at airports, the rates are awful - try any of the banks instead.
4) There is an Australian government website
that gives more information fruit picking. The booklet that the government issues, "The National Harvest Guide"
, (in PDF format on the Internet) is a superb initiative.
All excellent advice. I'd just add that travellers cheques seems to be a more expensive way of carrying money - i'd suggest a credit card as the main source of access - try to set it up with you bank to have NO FEES - its is possible.
Getting jobs are fine - you just have to get your CV prepared in advance - have it printed, get your TFN number - which you can do online, get an aussie mobile number and JOIN all the recruitment agancies you can before you arrive - if you work hard for a day or two and are not too fussy about what job you get - then work is plentiful!!
btw - don't worry too much - you are gonna love it!!!!
Barwork is easy, print out a CV with a detailed account of past experience. I'm not sure if you have ever worked behind a bar before, but knowing your way around behind a speed well will put you above most people that come over here and look for work in bars.
Your profile doesn't say where you're from, so i'll guess by the beer in your hand for your profile pic that you're American. If you're Canadian, sorry.
What to bring.... nothing you can't live without. One thing I did was bring over a US fitted power strip so I didn't have to buy tons of converters for my US fitted adapters. Do yourself a favor and save yourself the money, you can buy most stuff over here when you need it.
Most banks have easy set up accounts for foreigners, I use Commonwealth and I like em'. One thing about banks here though, they all have pretty steep fees, so now that going in. I'd say:
short stay -> use an ATM (Bank America is part of a Bank ATM alliance, lower trans. fees)
long stay -> bank account over here (most US banks will charge $35 for an international wire trans to an Aus bank acct, banks also make it easy to get the information to set up the wire)
What kind of trip are you lookin at takin'? living here or backpacking?
im doing a very similar trip leaving either jan. or feb. only i have aussie friends who want to go in the camper too.
put your savings in a nationwide account in the UK. the dont charge for atm withdrawals abroad.
Ah, now I want to go back to Australia!! I spent 2007 in Oz, and loved every minute of it. It's a beautiful country with wonderful people.
1) Route to take: stay south in winter and go north in summer, as Travel Camel said.
Although, it could be interesting if you manage to catch the tail end or start of the wet season up north...those storms are pretty wicked! Just be prepared to get stuck for a few days waiting for floods to subside! 😊 If you're visiting Uluru or anywhere in the outback in ridiculously hot summer, may I suggest investing in some sort of fly repellent (Lone Dingo in Alice Springs sells it) or one of those silly mozzie nets people wear on their hats. Those flies are aggravating. And November is flood time in the Red Centre...which is a wicked time to be there as the locals go nuts over the rain. After living there for 4 months of not a single drop of humidity, I too joined in dancing in the rain.
2) Make sure to put on extra sunscreen in September through to the end of October, because the sun will be HARSH. I'll spare you the scientific details why, but you'll burn in no time. But no worries, just pick it up when you get there. I dunno if you're into camping, but from my experience a lot of camping stuff was rather pricey. Perhaps compare prices online, factor in the exchange rate, but I'm pretty sure that with the pound, everything will be cheaper in Oz.
3)If you can keep your money in the UK and pull it out overseas without huge fees, awesome! I opened up a bank account when I got to Perth, wher I stayed a few months to work. It made it easier because paycheques were direct deposit into my new Aussie account (I used NAB), so I didn't have to worry about fees back home. I advise against using a credit card to pull out cash, because the interest rate skyrockets!
4) If you have a car, it's super easy to get jobs outside of the city (or at least it was in '07...I'd imagine that still is the case). In the cities it's great too, but higher competition and sometimes lower wages (Perth at least).
I'm jealous...have fun!!!!
How ya gohn mate? I got a campervan and went up the eastern coast from Surfers Paradise to Cape Tribulation in October. It was expensive but well worth it. My friend came with me and we drove for 2 weeks and wish we had waaay longer to explore. Australia is amazing. You could probably drive around, find work for a few weeks, move on. You don't need to bring a thing...I bought everything I needed there. It was effortless!
You should consider hiring a wicked camper if you're wanting a van that's going to get you noticed 😊
Although they are very popular amongst alot of backpackers on the east coast - they are great convo starters as everyone of them is spraypainted with a different design. See: http://www.wickedcampers.com.au/
I would also like to recommend the Splendour in the Grass festival at Byron Bay which is held in late July/early august each year and is AMAZING fun - very wild and loooooose 😊 Here's the link to this years just for a geze: http://www.splendourinthegrass.com/news.php?NewsId=7 There's heaps of summer festivals in oz it's soooo popular these days 😊
There is so much too see and do in Oz, and we have all the facilities/amenities u need so don't worry~!
You may like to investigate if you are able to get an RSA certificate from home before you come over if you are wanting to do bar work straight away - pretty sure its a legal requirement - 'Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate'
If you have any other questions relating to specific places/events/attractions in Australia feel free to ask as i'm a seasoned aussie travel and try to do as much as possible here because you're only young once - and i'm afraid i may stay overseas too long and miss out on all the things to do here at home while im young...
Enjoy your trip!! Happy planning...
Nationwide is changing it's policy from May so be warned all!!
I'm going to be on my own there too in Feb. to surf. Everyone keeps telling me its easy to meet people, and prob esp at the beach. Maybe I'll see u in the water!
Matt- where can you buy adapters?
The easiest place to pick them up, and the cheapest, are some of the little asian grocery stores in the CBD. You'll be able to find them in any densly populated area. If you don't find yourself in such a place, Dick Smith and JB High-Fi are two major electronics stores here, you'll definitly find them there (but at a mark-up).