There are many different things to consider when planning a working holiday in Australia. Here’s some details on the most common questions YHA is asked.
WORKING HOLIDAY VISA
Who can apply and how long can they stay?
You must be aged between 18 and 30 (inclusive) at time of applying, and travel to Australia within 12 months of applying. The Working Holiday Visa entitles you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months and work for up to six months with each employer.
What does it cost?
Can I stay longer than 12 months?
You can apply for a second year Working Holiday Visa if you complete three months of ‘eligible work’ in ‘regional areas’ during your first year. Check the website below for specific details.
Full details and application form: www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/working-holiday.htm
• It’s not likely you will find a job before you arrive in Australia. Make sure you budget for a few weeks or more without work.
• Have version of your CV (‘resume’) ready before you arrive. Save it online or on USB. When you arrive, print copies of your CV to hand out at shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.
• Research Australian job websites before you arrive.
• Fruit picking is available around the country. The Harvest Trail website has all the information you need, including when and where different produce is in season, current vacancies and details about working conditions. www.jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail
• Don’t give up! There’s lots of work available but also lots of people just like you looking for work. You never know when it will be your lucky day.
Can YHA hostels help me with finding work?
All YHA hostels have notice boards that may include local jobs currently available and contacts for companies that help with finding work.
Some YHA hostels also offer have daily contact with local businesses who hire contract workers, and some even have a job search centre to support backpackers looking for work.
Find out more here: http://www.yha.com.au/travel-advice/working-holiday-in-australia/
How much does a hostel cost?
This depends on the hostel, location and room type. Shared accommodation ranges from $25-44 a night. Private rooms range between $80 and $160 a night.
Are any meals included?
Meals are not included as part of the regular room rate, however ‘bed & breakfast’ options are often available. Some hostels like Brisbane City YHA and Adelaide Central YHA provide free pancake breakfasts. Most YHA hostels also often have cheap food nights such as BBQ or pizza for around $5.
Many cheap eating options are available around Australia for less than $10. The cheapest option is to cook your own meal in the YHA hostel’s fully-equipped kitchens.
ePacks and other hostel specials
YHA offers 10 and 15-night ePacks – which are prepaid accommodation packages that can be used at over 85 YHA hostels around the country. Starting from $27 per night, they are a great way to save money. These can be purchased at any YHA hostel reception desk.
Many YHA hostels also offer special packages including weekly rates, ‘bed and breakfast’ and premium Wi-Fi options. You can find these on the ‘specials’ tab on each hostel’s page on www.yha.com.au. Ask your hostel if they offer special accommodation rates for longer stays.
Peak season – when to book ahead
The peak season for the northern part of Australia, such as Cairns, Darwin and Alice Springs, is during the Aussie winter. The most pleasant time to visit these places is April through to September. We recommend booking accommodation and tours well in advance for June, July and August for these locations.
Australia’s summer is the most popular time to visit the southern states and do the famous East Coast tour. December – February is the busiest time for Sydney, whereas Melbourne and Adelaide are also very busy in March due to events and festivals.
If you want to spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney, try to book your hostel at least 9 months in advance. Accommodation sells out fast!
No matter where you are, weekends, public holidays and any event periods will generally be busy.
Australia is so large that its climate varies widely. It can be hot and sunny in the north whilst it’s cold, and even sometimes snowing, in the south. Most of the continent is desert or semi-arid. Only the south-east and south-west corners have temperate climates similar to Europe. The northern part has a tropical climate and a wet season. It can help to plan in advance which parts of the country you visit at which time of the year, to make sure you are going in the best season.
TRAVELLING AROUND AUSTRALIA
YHA lists a variety of tours and activities at www.yha.com.au/travel. The Uluru Rock Tour and Kangaroo Island Super Special are two of the most popular – check them out and you’ll see why.
Australia is a huge country. Sometimes flying will be the best option. The cheapest airlines are usually Tiger Airways and Jetstar. Book early and you may get a bargain. Pay attention to baggage limits or your costs could increase at the last minute!
Bus & Coach
Coach travel is a popular option for getting around. Greyhound Kilometre Passes work well on a working holiday – you select how many kilometres of travel you want, then you can use their network as much as you like until your kilometres run out. www.greyhound.com.au
Buying a car or van is an option, particularly if you have lots of money and enough knowledge. Don’t forget the distances can be huge so your car will need to be able to last the distance.
There are a number of backpacker companies that have buy back schemes, which can make having your own car more affordable.
Countries with Working Holiday/Work and Holiday Visas
Working Holiday: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom.
Work and Holiday: Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, USA.
How can I keep in touch with family and friends?
YHA hostels all have internet access, most now with free Wi-Fi (premium services also available).
Unlock your phone and take it with you! Australian SIM cards are available at the airport, phone shops, super markets and more. Rates vary, but SIM cards without credit are available for as little as $1. There are good prepaid options including calls and internet data.
Now you are ready to go! Don’t forget to book your first YHA hostel before you leave.