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Backpacking questions

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Backpacking questions

1. Posted by hmaar6 (Budding Member 8 posts) 8y

Planning on going in July, i have an Ozzy passport so between here and the UK i could spend any amount of time i wish.

Various questions below, would love some good answers to them - Thanx in advance.

What time scales are best to plan things?

Is it best to plan say a few days ahead, then re-plan when you get there? Or do i get to Sydney and literally plan it all to the day?

What if i get somewhere and want to stay there? Do i just saddle up and look for a job? How frequent should i plan things?
I'm not a "planner" but worried that i'll get somewhere and there'll be nowehere for me to stay etc.......

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Is it best to take money with you?

Send it first?

Or keep it until you get to Oz, then "take" it from an account in UK?

Which will be the best rate? Where is it best to keep it? Which bank?

I am told to leave it here in the UK until i get to Oz, then move it over?!

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(This is mainly to do with working in Oz!)

1. Do people mind sleeping in your car/campervan etc by the roadside or a quite layby? Or is it frowned upon? Do many backpackers do it?

2. If i get somewhere i wish to see (e.g Fraser Island, Rainbow beach etc) Do i stay there, or stay in the nearest busy town, e.g Brisbane??

3. If i find a job and i'm staying in a hostel, do i just continue to work and live out of the hostel, or do most people find more "appropriate" accomodation. Do many people stayin hostels for long periods or do they move to proper houses etc once work is found?!

4. How do you decide on where to stay and earn, and where to move on? Ideally i would like to see most of the gold coast and Brisbane, so would it better for me to get one place and stick there or keep moving around thus making it harder to find work?!

5. What is an RSA form and where can i get one?!

THANKS

your help on these matters is greatly appreciated. See you all in July!!!!

Az

2. Posted by rach6083 (Budding Member 53 posts) 8y

Lots of questions to answer....I'll try and help out as much as I can.
If you are not on a restricted time scale , then I wouldn't plan much, just move on when you've had enough or met a nice group of people to move on with. There are lots of hostels in Australia and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have a problem finding somewhere to stay. I never did.
I took a small amount of cash with me, and quite a big chunk of money in travellers cheques and then put them into my Aussie bank account, left another big chunk in my English account and transferred as and when needed, however you do get charged for this.
I never had a campervan when in Oz but most people I met stayed in campsites so that they could use the facilities, but Australia has some very rural areas and I can't imagine that it would bother many people if you slept by a roadside or car park. But I'm no expert.
The distances that you are talking about eg. between Brisbane and Rainbow Beach etc are pretty huge even though they dont look like it on the maps. I would definately stay in the smaller towns, its cheaper and you'd have large distances to travel if you didnt.
I stayed in a hostel for 2 months whilst I worked, it wasn't a problem. I suppose each hostel has its own rules, but you normally get a cheaper rate if you pay on a weekly basis.
Jobs wise, it depends on what you plan to do, there are jobs all over Aus for backpackers. Check out hostel noticeboards, backpacker magazines, word of mouth, and agencies for jobs, and if you get a job stick around for a while and save some money, then move on. Remember you can only work somewhere for a maximum of 3 months on a WHV.
I think are RSA certificates are for bar work in certain states. You have to do a course once you've applied for a job at a bar. You have to pay for this.
All the best,
Rachel.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 8y

Quoting hmaar6

What time scales are best to plan things?

All of them, to various degrees.
At the highest level, try to know where everything is in relationship to each other. Have a list in your head of which things you absolutely want to see and do, what time of the year would be good for doing them, and string them together in some kind of logical ordering. You shouldn't be afraid to change this ordering, or to remove and/or add items from this mental list, nor to backtrack if you find yourself realizing that places you visited before turned out to be absolutely awesome. But it's good to have so you have a "default" next thing to do to fall back upon if you ever find yourself just wanting to get out of a place or unwilling to plan. Just a basic harness to add a sense of structure to your travels.
At the next level, know the exact destinations you're going to visit during the next 2-3 weeks. Figure out how you're getting there (bus? train? plane? car?), how much that'll cost you, if there's anything in between you should stop for and check out, if the place has any events happening that'll mean all hostels will be booked full and you should book accommodation right now, what all there'll be to do at that next place (so you know if you're likely to leave after two days, and should figure out the next destination too - or are likely to go and stick around for a month or two), etc. This is the level where you read every word in your lonely planet for a destination - plus the previous and next chapter, just to see what all else there is to do. Generally speaking, I always like to have my hostel booked at least 3-4 days in advance. If your plans change, you can always cancel your booking, but at least that way you're guaranteed of a place to stay, and don't have to worry about it, and can focus on everything else. Again, don't be afraid to ditch these plans. Maybe a destination you thought would make a good stopover en route to somewhere else will turn out to be absolutely awesome, and you'd like to spend a week (or a month) there. If so, just go for it.
At the lowest level - well, it's often handy to know what you're going to do the next day, so you can wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose. But on the other hand... Meh, just go with the flow. Do whatever you feel like. When arriving in a new destination, definitely set out on your own and go explore. Don't start out with a tour or visiting all the obvious touristy highlights, but just see where your feet will take you. You'll wander through some very boring streets, undoubtedly - but you'll also get to see things no other tourist sees and sniff up the real atmosphere of a place. And there'll be plenty of time to do the tourist thing some other day.

Is it best to take money with you?

Send it first?

Or keep it until you get to Oz, then "take" it from an account in UK?

Which will be the best rate? Where is it best to keep it? Which bank?

I am told to leave it here in the UK until i get to Oz, then move it over?!

This generally works out most cost-effective, yes.
As for which bank... they all suck, and they all have high monthly charges for the privilege of giving you access to your own money, with extra charges applying when you withdraw money from a competing bank's ATM. So go with one of the big ones, and try to have as little to do with them as possible.
Personally I went with ANZ, and they were okay.

2. If i get somewhere i wish to see (e.g Fraser Island, Rainbow beach etc) Do i stay there, or stay in the nearest busy town, e.g Brisbane??

You stay there. Really don't underestimate the distances involved in Australia - nor the availability of hostels in even the most remote locations. :)

3. If i find a job and i'm staying in a hostel, do i just continue to work and live out of the hostel, or do most people find more "appropriate" accomodation. Do many people stayin hostels for long periods or do they move to proper houses etc once work is found?!

There's some long-stay hostels, and some people who really like staying there - but most hostels have a maximum stay period of one or two weeks, and generally speaking it'd be a much more expensive proposition to stay in a hostel than to find long-term accommodation.
Share-houses are very popular in Australia. A group of three to six people renting a house together on yearly leases (mostly students, but quite a few travellers, too), with relatively high turnover (and/or people heading to Europe for a couple of months, leaving their room empty for that duration), so there'll always be some places looking for someone new to stay for a couple of months, until the end of the lease.
To find these places, check bookstore notice boards, flatmatefinders.com.au, university notice boards, the thorntree forum, free weekly newspapers e.a.

4. How do you decide on where to stay and earn, and where to move on? Ideally i would like to see most of the gold coast and Brisbane, so would it better for me to get one place and stick there or keep moving around thus making it harder to find work?!

Whatever works for you. I doubt anyone can answer this for you. It largely depends on the type of work you'd be looking for. Do what you feel like. (One thing I'd advice is to find work before finding long-term accommodation, unless you're absolutely positive that a certain place is somewhere you want to stay for a long time, regardless of if you'll have success finding work.)

5. What is an RSA form and where can i get one?!

"Responsible Service of Alcohol". A certificate you get after a one-day course, which is mandatory before you're allowed to do any bar work. See for example here for a list of organizations in NSW which organize this.

4. Posted by SOMV (Budding Member 57 posts) 8y

Fruit or grape picking can be heaps of fun, a great way to make some money, and a great way to meet lots of like minded travelers too!

I once picked cherries in Canada and loved every minute of it. (Mind you, I will never eat another cherry, I ate so many).

Here are some links posted by someone else here already:

http://www.harvesthotlineaustralia.com.au

http://www.jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail

http://www.stonedcrow.com/employment/fruit_picking.htm

Also, don't forget New Zealand! Fruit picking there is a huge industry and they are desperate for pickers!

5. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 8y

I have just checked out one of those links, looks like there is lots of work available which is re-assuring.

One quick question, do you know how much they tend to pay (for picking)? Is in min wage? if so what is this?

Thanks

6. Posted by SOMV (Budding Member 57 posts) 8y

Hi,

At last check the minimum wage in Australia was $13.74 per hour and $522.12 per week.

I am not sure how much you will be paid for fruit picking (it will vary according to fruit anf type of work), but I am sure you will get loads of answers to that question anyway!

Chhers,
Veronika