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Travelling Australia alone

Travel Forums Introductions Travelling Australia alone

1. Posted by frasercurrie (Budding Member 6 posts) 2y

Hi

I'm a 19 year old hoping to begin traveling Australia at the end of this year (November/December 2014) and hoping to get some information on lots of things so I hope you can help me!
Firstly, I'd be getting my working holiday visa so that I have the year to do it so Im able to take my time seeing everything. Does anyone know if I applied for my visa around May time if this affects when I have to go, or if I would just have to indicate when I plan on going in the application?
I was also wondering what the best route would be for me to take? I was thinking of maybe beginning in Melbourne and gradually making my way up the east coast until I get to Cairns, where I would fly to Darwin. It's here I'd hope to see some of Kakadu national park and was also considering (since I'm most likely going on my own) paying for one of the tours that would take me in a group to the likes of Alice Springs/Ayers Rock. I don't even know if these tours exist or if I'm going about this all wrong though? Or if there is even a right or wrong way of traveling..
I'd also like to go to Vietnam/Thailand maybe whilst I'm over and was wondering if I needed a separate visa to do this, and if this is something I would need to organise before going or could just do on a whim.
Finally, does anyone know what the minimum amount of money I would need would be? I'd be willing to work if I had to and even do the 3 months farm work/fruit picking to get my second year visa but would like to be going feeling comfortable and not having to worry about money too much.
I wrote this essentially to just get some reassurance about going if I'm honest, I appreciate I've mentioned a lot so any pointers any of you could give me on anything I've asked would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1818 posts) 2y

You can apply for an Australian visa upto 12 months beforehand. It starts working the day you arrive in Australia.

Australia is a BIG country so long distance it is often better to fly rather than spending endless hours on a bus. Often it is cheaper to buy such flights before arrival.

The tourist industry there is well sorted out so either book online beforehand or visit a travel agent when there.

Vietnam you will need to apply for a visa online beforehand. Make sure you let them know it is not for one month as that costs $30 extra. Most only stay for so many days or a few weeks.

Thailand you get upto 30 days in the country without the need of applying for a visa. Leave and come back, and you get another 30 days.

You can book a flight to Australia with a stopover in Asia on the way out. From Thailand you can book AirAsia or one of the other budget airlines to Vietnam.

How about Cambodia? I found that better than Vietnam, and it is only a short distance east of Bangkok. $20 at the border gets you a visa. Take some passport sized photos with you. US dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Money? Take as much as you can as Australia is an expensive country, especially for accommodation. Look into prepaid credit cards. Don't expect to just fall into a job immediately as so many others will be looking for jobs too.

Some ideas:
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http://www.downundr.com/jobs-and-work/fruit-picking-and-harvest-work
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http://nomadsworld.com/jobs/home/12-general/36-fruit-picking-seasons-in-australia
.

Buy a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Australia. It will tell you everything you need to know.

3. Posted by frasercurrie (Budding Member 6 posts) 2y

I would be open to the idea of going to Cambodia. Someone I know also traveled there and recommended it, so would definitely consider going there instead of or as well as Vietnam. I wouldn't expect to fall into a job straight away, that's why I'm just going to save as much as possible. Thanks for all the info and the links as well!

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 2y

Quoting frasercurrie

Firstly, I'd be getting my working holiday visa so that I have the year to do it so Im able to take my time seeing everything. Does anyone know if I applied for my visa around May time if this affects when I have to go, or if I would just have to indicate when I plan on going in the application?

As Cyberia said, you have a year from the date your WHV is granted to make it over to Australia. The visa application process does ask when you intend to enter Australia, but this is just an indication for them so they know roughly how that varies over the year, not something you are in any way beholden to. Generally a WHV is granted within a couple of hours, up to a couple of days at most, so you could wait until much later before applying. (I'd generally get the visa at around the same time as when booking the flights.) There are many third party services to get the visa, but the official site of the Australian Department of Immigration is the only direct source, and would be my strong recommendation for using.

I was also wondering what the best route would be for me to take? I was thinking of maybe beginning in Melbourne and gradually making my way up the east coast until I get to Cairns, where I would fly to Darwin.

There isn't a single best route; generally it's a good idea to avoid the north between December and March, since that's the "wet season", but beyond that anything goes, really. The route you describe works pretty well. It's good to have it as a "default" for when you don't want to think about where you're heading next, but don't be too hung up about it as a plan; fully expect circumstances to change as you're travelling. If you discover you really like a place, stick around longer. If you hear about an awesome place you missed, backtrack. If you feel the urge to fly to the other side of the country and go do something there; go with it. The longer you'll be on the road, the more you'll develop preferences for what to do and how to do it.

It's here I'd hope to see some of Kakadu national park and was also considering (since I'm most likely going on my own) paying for one of the tours that would take me in a group to the likes of Alice Springs/Ayers Rock. I don't even know if these tours exist

Tours of varying length going from Alice Springs to Adelaide via King's Canyon and Uluru are very common, and advertised in all hostels in that region. Might be an option for you by the time you get there, but it'd be just as possible that you'll run into fellow backpackers doing something similar independently, and could use another person in the car to share the cost of gas. Definitely keep your options open. :)

Finally, does anyone know what the minimum amount of money I would need would be? I'd be willing to work if I had to and even do the 3 months farm work/fruit picking to get my second year visa but would like to be going feeling comfortable and not having to worry about money too much.

For Australia, the minimum amount of money you'd need to be eligible for the WHV is AUD $5000 (about 2700 GBP or €3200). At an average daily budget of AUD $75 (a decent budget for your average frugal backpacker lifestyle; staying in dorm rooms, cooking your own meals, travelling by public transport), that amount of money would last you about two months. That basically means you'd have to start earning money pretty swiftly. So more is definitely better. The average amount to take, from what I see coming by here in the forum, is about twice as much, which gives a pretty decent buffer to get some travelling in before you have to start working. (Also, if you find a place you like and want to stay at for a while, doing cleaning at the hostel in exchange for your accommodation for free is a great way to stretch your money.)
It's ridiculously easy to blow through your money while in Australia, though. So many tours and expensive activities, and the high costs of going out... So you'd need way more to really be able to feel comfortable without needing to work, nor having to keep an eye on what you're spending.

5. Posted by frasercurrie (Budding Member 6 posts) 2y

I think I do need to keep my options open. As long as I have a rough idea of where I want to start and some places to visit along the way I also like the idea of just going along with it and seeing where I end up. Since I'm going at the end of this year I'm starting to save now, hoping to go with at least £5000. Thanks for all you're help!

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