Guys looking for some advice.
I will be travelling to OZ in a few months and I have seen STA travel offers to set you up a bank account & tax code for a cost. Is this something that can be obtained over there with little effort, or is this something that is worth paying to have done for you so you have it ready when you are there?
It's superbly easy to do yourself, and absolutely not worth paying for.
For the tax file number, you have to wait until you're actually in Australia, after which you fill in the forms on this website. Have the TFN sent to your hostel. Should generally arrive after about a week. (A bit more information here.)
For the bank account, you can open one online with several major Australian banks (but will still have to go to a branch office once there to show ID and pick up your debit card), or you could open one when there (in which case the card can be sent to your hostel, and you can just tell them not to send you any bank statements; the first two weeks after arriving, you just walk in with your passport, AUD $50 for an initial deposit, tell them you're there on a WHV and want to open an account, fill in some forms, and be done 15 minutes later). For a basic account for backpacker purposes, the differences between the banks are nearly imperceptible, so it doesn't matter much which one you go with, as long as they have a decent number of ATMs in the places where you expect to spend most time. I've personally used ANZ, which I didn't hate (about the best you can say about any bank), and would avoid WestPac, since they tried to astroturf this forum a couple of years ago, and I like the poetic justice of that backfiring. CommonWealth and NAB are also big enough to be worth considering.
Thanks that's been a great help
Hey what's happening,
Setting up an account couldn't be easier!
I went with commonwealth because they are quite big so will have a few atms dotted about so easier to draw your money out.
Jump on the website, go to open an account, put your details in, click submit and its done. I got a text a few days later telling me my card is in the branch and ready to collect, I'm fairly certain that you can only open an account no more to three months prior to arriving there.
Hope this helps man!!