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Needing some advice from the sage travel veterans of TP!!

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Needing some advice from the sage travel veterans of TP!!

1. Posted by NoFloat (Budding Member 5 posts) 46w

hello guys,

I'm planning on going to Oz to travel/backpack around the country, hopefully being able to visit some of the surrounding countries like NZ, fiji etc. Maybe even go further than that.
I'm planning on going next year like in January time (so i have plenty of time to save and plan etc). I signed up here to try get some more information from like minded people who have traveled/ planning to travel to that area.

so far from the research Ive done i know i need around 3.5k to enter, but am hoping to have at least 5.5k by the time i leave the UK. various websites have suggested that 6k is about right - not 100% sure, does this seem right or is more needed?

I'm planning on initially going for 3 months, but Ive also found out that a subclass 417 visa (working holiday) allows me a maximum stay of up to 12 which seems the best as if i end up loving it there i can work to get extra dosh to stay longer. the only thing with the visa is that i want to buy one now, but on the website it doesn't state whether it starts from when i buy it or when i enter Oz.

flights I'm not sure of either. an ex said that sky scanner is a good place to compare flights to get the cheapest routes - is this something everyone else uses? also I'm assuming it would be cheaper to buy single plane tickets rather than a return (in case i did leave after 3 months).

I've asked a friend if they want to come along with me, they are interested but if they bail I'll go lone wolf lol. but in terms of traveling is it easy to meet people or do you have to be a part of one of these groups Ive seen frequently on this site?

and with the job situation, if i did want to stay longer and work how easy is it to get a job? i know there is fruit picking and stuff, but surely if everyone does it, the job positions must be quite competitive?

lol Ive got tons more questions, but i don't want to bore readers so I'll take it easy! haha

thanks for reading

lee

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 46w

Quoting NoFloat

so far from the research Ive done i know i need around 3.5k to enter, but am hoping to have at least 5.5k by the time i leave the UK. various websites have suggested that 6k is about right - not 100% sure, does this seem right or is more needed?

GBP 6,000 is about AUD $11,200, which at an average minimal budget of AUD $75/day would last you nearly 5 months. So yes, that's a very good amount of money to take along for a three month trip. That minimal budget is based on staying in dorm rooms in decent quality hostels, buying supermarket food to cook your own meals, travelling by public transport to a next destination about once a week, and doing the occasional cheap activity. But you'd have AUD $125/day to spend, so you could throw in occasional restaurant meals, go out at night every so often (careful though; that can really burn through your money), and probably even splurge on some more expensive activities and guided daytrips.

I'm planning on initially going for 3 months, but Ive also found out that a subclass 417 visa (working holiday) allows me a maximum stay of up to 12 which seems the best as if i end up loving it there i can work to get extra dosh to stay longer. the only thing with the visa is that i want to buy one now, but on the website it doesn't state whether it starts from when i buy it or when i enter Oz.

It starts when you enter Australia, and you have one year from the date it's granted to enter Australia. Then, once you have entered Australia, it's valid for one year. (You can find this information under "How long your visa lasts" on the "visa holders tab".) If, during that one year, you do at least three months of "specified work" (fruit picking , construction, mining in "regional" Australia), you even become eligible for a second year Working Holiday Visa.
(Note here: That 417 WHV is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity otherwise. So if you end up staying for only three months and not working, it's a bit of a waste of the visa. It might be better to just go to Australia on a free eVisitor, and - if you decide to stay for more than three months after all - take a short hop over to New Zealand (totally worth seeing in its own right), and apply for a WHV from there.)

I've asked a friend if they want to come along with me, they are interested but if they bail I'll go lone wolf lol. but in terms of traveling is it easy to meet people or do you have to be a part of one of these groups Ive seen frequently on this site?

It's really easy to meet up with fellow backpackers at all the many hostels. Loads and loads of other people in the same situation, happy to swap tales and advice. I personally have never felt the need to then go travel together with those people, so I don't know how easy it is to actually connect enough with someone to do that with, but I do know that (once I left the big cities) I frequently ended up seeing familiar faces further down the road again, because most people follow similar routes.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Feb-2014, at 12:34 by Sander ]

3. Posted by NoFloat (Budding Member 5 posts) 46w

GBP 6,000 is about AUD $11,200, which at an average minimal budget of AUD $75/day would last you nearly 5 months. So yes, that's a very good amount of money to take along for a three month trip. That minimal budget is based on staying in dorm rooms in decent quality hostels, buying supermarket food to cook your own meals, travelling by public transport to a next destination about once a week, and doing the occasional cheap activity. But you'd have AUD $125/day to spend, so you could throw in occasional restaurant meals, go out at night every so often (careful though; that can really burn through your money), and probably even splurge on some more expensive activities and guided daytrips.

bloody hell thats quite a bit then i guess!! more than what i thought, i guess that depends on the exchange rate at the time though? are there hostels everywhere you go then? or only in certain cities?

It starts when you enter Australia, and you have one year from the date it's granted to enter Australia. Then, once you have entered Australia, it's valid for one year. (You can find this information under "How long your visa lasts" on the "visa holders tab".) If, during that one year, you do at least three months of "specified work" (fruit picking , construction, mining in "regional" Australia), you even become eligible for a second year Working Holiday Visa.
(Note here: That 417 WHV is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity otherwise. So if you end up staying for only three months and not working, it's a bit of a waste of the visa. It might be better to just go to Australia on a free eVisitor, and - if you decide to stay for more than three months after all - take a short hop over to New Zealand (totally worth seeing in its own right), and apply for a WHV from there.)

so if i bought the visa now then it would still be valid next jan and start from when i entered OZ? - sorry lol!

so if i got the free visa, and decided to stay longer, would it be less hassle to buy it when im there? i keep thinking that they could tell me to go home first before i bought it. i know it doesn't say that but as this is the first time ive done anything like this im just not sure lol. and why is it better getting a WHV from NZ over Oz?

also, are jobs easy to get for backpackers or does it vary on the time of year?

It's really easy to meet up with fellow backpackers at all the many hostels. Loads and loads of other people in the same situation, happy to swap tales and advice. I personally have never felt the need to then go travel together with those people, so I don't know how easy it is to actually connect enough with someone to do that with, but I do know that (once I left the big cities) I frequently ended up seeing familiar faces further down the road again, because most people follow similar routes.

yeah i dont mind going by myself, but i would like to meet new people on my travels, and perhaps some backpacking mates to travel around with.

thanks for the info so far! very helpful indeed!!

lee

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 46w

Quoting NoFloat

bloody hell thats quite a bit then i guess!! more than what i thought, i guess that depends on the exchange rate at the time though?

It used to be way better still 5+ years ago; but yes, compared to the last few years, the exchange rate has been getting pretty favourable again. Do note that I gave a "minimum" budget, and that it's super easy to spend way more than that if you're not careful. But as long as you're budgetting and watching your expenses, it'll really last you for quite a while.

are there hostels everywhere you go then? or only in certain cities?

Effectively everywhere you'd want to go. There's a huge backpacking culture in Australia. To get a bit of an idea of how wide spread hostels are, see this list of YHA hostels (YHA is the biggest international backpacker association; known globally as hostelling international). And there's way more independently owned hostels than that still.

so if i bought the visa now then it would still be valid next jan and start from when i entered OZ? - sorry lol!

Correct.

so if i got the free visa, and decided to stay longer, would it be less hassle to buy it when im there? i keep thinking that they could tell me to go home first before i bought it. i know it doesn't say that but as this is the first time ive done anything like this im just not sure lol. and why is it better getting a WHV from NZ over Oz?

You do have to leave the country in order to apply for a WHV (you have to be outside of Australia between when you apply and when it's granted). Hence my suggestion of hopping over to New Zealand; it's close by, easy to get into (no need to get a visa in advance), and flights there tend to be relatively cheap.

also, are jobs easy to get for backpackers or does it vary on the time of year?

It mostly varies by type of job. I have no recent experience with what the situation is like; not the best, probably, but most backpackers tend to do just fine with finding work, so as long as you apply yourself, I wouldn't be too worried about it. Always better to have an in demand skill, of course (IT, nursing, construction), or to have previous experience with typical temporary jobs (bar work, etc) to make you stand out from the crowd.

thanks for the info so far! very helpful indeed!!

You're very welcome. :)

5. Posted by NoFloat (Budding Member 5 posts) 46w

You do have to leave the country in order to apply for a WHV (you have to be outside of Australia between when you apply and when it's granted). Hence my suggestion of hopping over to New Zealand; it's close by, easy to get into (no need to get a visa in advance), and flights there tend to be relatively cheap.

the evisitor doesn't state that i can enter/ leave as many times as i like. is this why it'd be best to do that when i definitely know i want to stay longer?

Also, with that hostel list, would i have to book each one before i go? which leads me to ask are there specific routes to follow around OZ that have hostels that back packers follow?

cheers

lee

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 46w

Quoting NoFloat

You do have to leave the country in order to apply for a WHV (you have to be outside of Australia between when you apply and when it's granted). Hence my suggestion of hopping over to New Zealand; it's close by, easy to get into (no need to get a visa in advance), and flights there tend to be relatively cheap.

the evisitor doesn't state that i can enter/ leave as many times as i like. is this why it'd be best to do that when i definitely know i want to stay longer?

I think either I'm misunderstanding you, or you're misunderstanding me, but:
The eVisitor does allow you to enter and leave Australia multiple times:

You can stay for up to three months during each visit during the 12 months from the date the eVisitor is granted.

However, that's irrelevant if you're intending to travel to Australia for three months (for which you just get the free eVisitor), and then during those three months discover that you want to work/stay longer, for which you fly to New Zealand (where you don't need a visa), from where you apply for a WHV for Australia, which will be granted within the day (a week or two at most), and so will be what you enter Australia on when you return there a couple of weeks later (that you also hold an eVisitor is irrelevant at that point; the WHV takes precedence), from which point onward you can stay for a full year.

Also, with that hostel list, would i have to book each one before i go?

That depends on the specific hostel and time of the year. If you want to spend New Year's in Sydney, you should book around April of the year before, but definitely no later than August to find anything decent at all. Melbourne during the Australian Open also requires booking a couple of weeks in advance. Adelaide during WOMAD the same. And in general, during "high season" in any location, it's worth booking a couple of days in advance, otherwise you might have to spend an hour going from hostel to hostel before you find one with a free bed. But other times, you can mostly just show up if that's the way you prefer to travel. Up to you, really. (Me, I tend to book everything a week or two in advance, just because I like knowing for certain where I'm going, enjoy doing the research to pick the option I like "best" everywhere, and know that if my plans change, I can usually cancel for free up to 24/48 hours in advance.)

which leads me to ask are there specific routes to follow around OZ that have hostels that back packers follow?

Up or down the coasts in one direction, mostly; although which specific places along that route people stop at varies wildly - and in the southeast, there's quite a bit of an inland route, too.