Explore exotic and beautiful places, meet new and interesting people, whilst experiencing & adapting to the laid back lifestyle.
Australia's vibrant cities, tranquil beaches and its sheer variety makes it one of the most desirable backpacker destinations; it can provide much needed homely comforts, yet also indulge a world of change.
I'm currently backpacking around Australia for the second time.
Three months in 2016 left me with a real thirst to return, to revisit Fraser Island, Rottnest Island and the Great Barrier Reef, whilst getting off the beaten path to see so much more!
To see and enjoy such a vast country, you will need money and you will need time, and so, for those considering visiting Australia for an extended period of time, many opt for the 417 working holiday visa.
This allows backpackers to enjoy a balanced life of work and play, and although it may be a little daunting moving to a new city, arranging yourself work and finding a place to stay, rest assured, if you know where to look, it's a stress free process!
I'd suggest that once you've booked your flight and had your visa granted, before stepping foot in the country- set up a bank account and apply for a tax code. Both are simple and take very little time.
Being prepared in advance will allow you access to the Australian dollar from the very outset, this means you'll avoid nasty conversion rates and international card fees.
To get almost any job you'll need a tax file number, which again will allow you to job hunt early on into your adventure, if needs be.
When I first arrived in Australia, I was equipped with a bank account, a tax file number, and after grabbing a famous Melbourne coffee, in attempt to shake my jet lag I set out to get myself an Australian mobile number- doing so will help you secure a job.
Melbourne was such a culture rich city, with amazing food, great shopping and wonderful sightseeing.
Naturally, straight off the plane, and in a new place I over indulged. We stayed in great 'above average' hostels and air bnb's (pictures included).
After living a carefree life the realization soon hit, we would have to find work quicker than we'd first anticipated.
Landing in August meant we arrived in a dreary Melbourne, so it was decided to embark on a week long road trip to Uluru, enjoy the sun, and get a taste for a warmer climate!
After chasing some much needed sun, we ventured onto Sydney, and here I would settle for the next six months.
To begin with I stayed in a real mix of hostels. Some high end, pricier. Others, basic with hardly any amenities. Surprisingly, the smaller, more basic and often less maintained places offered more help in the way of work.
Many hostels offer a clean or work reception for free board. Notably this is more common in smaller businesses as they cannot afford to call in extra paid staff. For those looking to save money whilst looking for more regular, structured work, this can be a real blessing. Again it may have been pot luck but the smaller hostels tended to have more extensive job boards which were regularly updated, helping even the most temporary of visitors secure a job.
Applying for work in a bustling city such as Sydney, really is simple, and on multiple occasions I've had to choose between jobs.
There are so many great websites that have no fees, are easy to navigate and will list hundreds of jobs in your surrounding areas; notably Gumtree, SEEK and Indeed.
Sifting through the websites in one afternoon, I found myself with four interviews lined up and two trial shifts.
With this in mind, it should be noted I arrived in Sydney before peak season. Yet even now, strolling down streets many shops, restaurants and other establishments post vacancies in Windows.
Printing resumes is usually free at hostels, and only twenty cents a sheet at the library.
Walking in personally, also shows you to be a confident individual, with a sense of initiative, separating yourself from a sea of other backpackers.
Another thing to consider is that here in Australia many different industries require a card, license, ticket or qualification for you to partake in work and be legally employable.
For example many European backpackers who at home may serve alcohol once over the age of eighteen do not consider looking into a license for working in hospitality.
However an RSA card is mandatory in clubs, bars, most restaurants and even some cafes. This licence can differ from state to state and so gaining the qualification in New South Wales does not allow you to serve in Queensland.
Once securing a job and owning all the required or relevant paperwork and qualifications you will be pleasantly surprised at the high rate of pay in Australia.
Another positive is that the majority of jobs tend to pay weekly or fortnightly, so you have access to funds quickly which some may find preferable if they want to travel sooner rather than later.
Although this wage is pleasant you should be aware that as Australia can be a massive tourist hotspot that over peak season prices for tours, excursions and accommodation skyrocket.
For a first time Aussie traveler I'd suggest shopping around when looking at activities, tours & excursions.
Although many of the tours on offer do hold an attractive price, with a little pre-planning you can save big bucks whilst creating a more personal trip or day out. For example, many do not realise Sunday travel in Sydney offers huge discounts and you are able to visit the blue mountains for a mere $2.50!
To summarize, Australia is a place where work is abundant in many different sectors. Those who are willing to prepare themselves and look will happily secure a job where they can save to see incredible places and do enriching things.