Hi there, my partner and I are planning a trip to Oz (maybe New Zealand & Fiji) in January 2010. I have some questions that I would like help/opinions with. Thanks very much.
We are going over on a working holiday visa (first) and intend to stay out there for 12 months. Plan to buy a campervan (as seems the cheapest way to travel). Some of these questions will inevitably make me sound dumb (I’m not honestly – just apprehensive!)
1. Any recommended websites for buying a campervan - we've been looking at travellers autobarn, who offer car insurance and warranty with buying the campervan which seems like a good idea?
2. I know you get a “pink slip” when buying the vehicle and you have to register it – how does the process work? And how much is registration? I presume at the end of the 12 months we would have to get the van serviced etc. and get a pink slip in order to sell it?
3. Do you have to park up at a campsite (and pay) every night or can you park it up generally anywhere?
4. I assume I can drive for 12 months on my UK licence (I’m 25)?
5. As we are leaving in Jan 2010 where is best to start (to get the best weather all year round!)
6. I assume the main sort of jobs would be fruit picking? (which we are more than happy to experience).
7. In relation to opening a bank account in Australia – I have had a look around the Australian banks and have seen the charges etc that they come with. When opening an account from here before arriving in Oz (I know once you arrive you have 6 weeks to go to a branch and show your ID etc.) – obviously as we intend to travel/live etc. in a campervan we are not going to have a residential Australian address – Does this cause a problem? and how does it work for getting your ATM/credit card – do they just issue it to you on arrival at the bank or do they post it somewhere (and if so would we have to book into a hostel to get the card posted to that address)?
8. General budget? Not going until Jan 2010 so can save more money but just wondering based on the info I’ve given how much you would recommend we take with us? We are thinking about £20,000 (£10,000 each) for the year (and hope to top up by working here and there). Perhaps more is more realistic though?
9. One way ticket to return ticket – whats the better option?
10. As Christmas/New Year time will be our final stop – where is best place to be for New Year?
Can you tell I’m a first timer at all this!! Any information would be greatly appreciated!
Hey Bex, I'll try and answer as much as I can:
1. Depending how much you know about cars/campers you could try buying one privately, check out carsales, the tradingpost and even ebay for some deals. I think travellers autobarn offer a buy back though?
2. Depends on what state you buy your camper in, in NSW (Sydney) car registration is renewed every year. The vehicle is inspected at an authorised mechanic to ensure it's roadworthy, if it passes then you have to pay for the pinkslip (registration) the greenslip (compulsory 3rd party injury insurance) and for the inspection. The cost of the pinkslip and greenslip will depend on the make and model of your vehicle and your age, my Jeep 4x4 costs about $800 for the pinkslip and greenslip and I also choose to pay for 3rd party property insurance (another $300 or so). The actual inspection costs about $30. Usually you try to buy a vehicle that is already registered for as long as possible, as chances are it is more roadworthy because it has been inspected recently. You don't have to re-register your camper at the end of 12 months, but it will be easier to sell if you do.
3. It will depend on your location and discretion. Usually in and around cities free camping is frowned upon, you might get some odd looks from locals and even asked to move on by police. In national parks and around attractions there are usually camping areas that can cost as little as $3 per person. When you're on the road and miles from anywhere you can usually pull off the road and camp for free, it's best to stay out of sight of the road so you don't attract too much attention. A good book that details free/low cost camping is "Camps Australia Wide" I think they're up to volume 5.
4. I *think* you're right
5. In January I'd start down south. Generally dec-feb is the wet season in the northern area of australia and it can be very humid and quite possibly flood.
6. In remote areas there are quite a lot of retail/shop assistent jobs, check for signs up in windows as you pass through. Fruit picking is pretty seasonal.
7. Sorry can't help with this one.
8. When I was touring I *think* I spent about $800 a week, mostly on petrol. You'd have to check my recent posts though as I don't remember off the top of my head.
9. No idea.
10. Sydney, but it's very popular, expensive and usually booked out early.
Hope this helps!
Bank account: Ireckon if you arrange an HSBC credit card before you arrive you should be good. Then you should be able to open a normal account with HSBC here once you arrive.
No account keeping fees with HSBC and access to a a wide range of ATMs with Westpac bank free of charge (HSBC don't have many ATMs here).
And Sydney for New Year and Christmas. Christmas on the beach of course!
(See the other thread for accommodation)
Good point about the credit cards, although I found even though HSBC is worldwide it didn't offer me much help with transfers from one account to another...rubbish!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Just a bit more on a bank to use when in Oz. Bank fees would have to be the absolute worst thing when dealing with banks. And HSBC doesn't charge them in most cases for a normal account.
Not promoting them: just stating the facts
Thank you very much for suggest a information about travelling to Oz. I am planing to visit Oz in my next vacation . It is a really beautiful country.
7. You don't need an address! I thought I would have that problem when I first opend up an account (Commonwealth). When I told them I didn't have an address I got told it was fine. They're very used to backpackers in Australia so they just wished me luck finding a place to live! . You'll just have to go and pick up ur card at the bank and they'll call you when it has arrived! A friend of mine had to leave the town she was in when she opend up her bank account (NAB) and she just got her debit card sent off to another branch in the town she was going to.