Hey, I'm a 23 year old girl from Scotland who has been in Australia since November 2011. I've settled in Melbourne for the next few months as I've found a job and a cheap place to stay. I have done some travelling which has exhasted my funds so I am now lying low for a little to earn some more before I decide where else I want to see before I go home in October. I thought I'd share a few thoughts on my trip so far in case it is helpful to anyone. Whilst in Australia I have travelled to Sydney, Gold Coast, Uluru, Tasmania, Brisbane, Cairns & in and around Melbourne. So...
It is expensive here. Especially when you are not earning. It is also so easy to spend money.
I've found it pretty difficult to get a job with the WH visa. A lot of employers do not want to employ travellers. Seek.com.au is the most useful, but I still found it difficult getting responses even here. You would be better looking for help wanted signs etc if you are looking for casual work. Go in, make an impression & look for places who are employing people like you. If you want to work in hospitality an RSA is highly beneficial. Not having one really limits your options. & remember they may only apply for the state you are in. Courses vary, cheapest one i found was $45 for a VIC one.
Pay is good if you can get yourself a job on the books. Make sure you've applied for a tax file number before you work, you can do it online.
Trust your instincts.
When it comes to hostels I've found cheap can be nasty. It is worth paying a little more if you can for a decent hostel. YHA have a good reputation. My favourite hostels were YHA Coolangatta (a bit out of the way but an amazing chill out hostel, great staff & services, you can work for accomodation & beaches are not hard to find.) & Calypso Inn, Cairns (Friendly, great atmosphere, plenty of bathrooms & the staff cannot do enough for you. Only downside is the kitchens could do with an upgrade.) I've found hostelworld.com extremely hit and miss. I'd definitely stick with more regulated hostels. Many decent hostels will offer you a discounted rate if you plan on staying long term.
Tasmania seems to be so underrated. I loved it. The scenery was amazing. The view from the top of Mount Wellington is one of the best I've seen. Hobart was great. Port Arthur Historics sights are pretty cool if you are interested in some Aussie/British convict history. The scenery is again amazing. I'm gutted I didn't get to see more of Tassie. You won't go short of good seafood. The Lonely Planet Hobart walking tour is worth a go & check out 7 mile beach if you can. I didn't do the North unfortunately but it also look great. I wish I'd hired a campervan and toured it... maybe next time.
The Red Centre is also worth a visit if you are looking for something completely different from the coast or learning about abororiginal life. I had a blast in Uluru.
Travelling alone is daunting, but try to put yourself out there as much as you can. Speak to people, don't be afraid to ask for help & happy travelling