WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA
Arriving in a new country for the first time is always exciting, but it can also be a little bit daunting, especially if you're travelling solo. However unlike in some countries, where catching public transport or taxis can be very confusing and finding your way around can be difficult, it's pretty easy to do these sorts of things in Australia.
Below is our guide on some of the main things you'll have to do when you arrive in Oz, to help you have the best start to your working holiday, gap year or backpacking adventure.
GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT TO YOUR
The best way to figure out how to get from the airport to your accommodation is to contact your accommodation before you leave home and ask them.
If you're heading into the city centre, then you can catch the train from Sydney and Brisbane airports and the bus in Melbourne and Perth.
If you're travelling with other people then get an Uber.
When you arrive in Australia you'll need to get yourself a local SIM card.
There are three main providers in Oz - Vodafone, Optus and Telstra, and they all have pretty similar deals. A decent plan will cost you around $30 a month. Depending on the time of day you arrive, you should be able to sort out your phone at one of the phone shops at the airport.
OPEN AN AUSTRALIAN
If you're going to be working in Australia then you'll need to open an Australian bank account, as employers will not pay into a foreign bank account.
There are four main banks in Oz - Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank.
You can open an account online and have the card sent to your accommodation. Once your account is open it's a good idea to download the banks App so you can easily keep an eye on your money.
SORT OUT YOUR
Australia has an excellent healthcare system called Medicare. And it has a reciprocal agreement with a few countries to provide free emergency health cover, rebates on visits to the doctor and subsidised medicine.
To get these benefits you'll need to enrol in Medicare when you first arrive, which you can do here.
GET EVERYTHING SORTED
TO WORK IN OZ
If you're taking a gap year or a working holiday and are going to be working in Australia then there's a few things you'll need to sort out before you start work.
You'll probably need your resume (which we recommend you do before you leave home), you'll need appropriate work clothes and maybe need to do a training course, an Australian bank account, a Tax File Number (which you can apply for here) and knowledge of how to find a job.
Check out our Working Holiday package for Australia.
THE BEST WAYS TO
MEET NEW PEOPLE
One of the best things about going backpacking in Australia is that you'll meet lots of people and make some great friends. The best ways to do this are by chatting to people in your hostel dorm room or common area, booking a tour, or by doing our Oz Intro working holiday arrival package, where you'll have an instant group of friends.
And try to stay off your phone when you're in a social situation. You didn't travel all the way to Australia to spend your time on Facebook or TikTok.
GET OUT THERE AND
EXPLORE THE CITY
You don't need much money to get out and explore. You can buy a weekly travel pass for public transport, or even better, explore on foot.
All Australian cities are very safe, even at night. And there's an almost unlimited amount of things to do that are either free or don't cost much. If you get out and explore you'll discover just how awesome the cities in Oz are!
TimeOut has excellent city guides for Australia.
PLAN & SORT OUT
If you've checked out our Travel in Oz page you'll hopefully have a bit of an idea as to where you want to go and what you want to do. Then once you arrive in Australia you can make a plan and book everything. We recommend you book all the things you really want to do when you arrive (you can book them open-dated), that way you know that no matter how much money you spend on other things that you'll definitely get to do all the amazing things you want to.
If you would like some help planning your travels around Australia then just get in touch with us. We'd love to help!
SOME MONEY SAVING TIPS
Here are a few useful tips on how to save some money when you're on a budget..
Hostels are cheaper if you book them for a week at a time.
Most backpacker bars do cheap deals on certain nights of the week.
Buy food and cook meals with people you've met at your hostel.
It usually works out cheaper to book tours as a package.
Use a refillable bottle and drink water.
Get on the goon! (Which is boxed wine and is the go-to cheap night in for nearly all backpackers in Oz!)