A quote every backpacker in Australia should take with them on their travels!'Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail'
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Backpacking in Australia has become one of the most life changing experiences anyone can still encounter. In recent years Australia has become more accessible and is now the number one destination for a working holiday or a must stop destination in any round the world trip.
Everyone traveling to Australia with the exception of New Zealanders require some sort of Visa. Basically, these will fall under two categories for most, either a Tourist Visa of a Visa with work rights. Your length of stay and your passport will determine the visa you apply for.
There are two types of Tourist Visa's ETA's which are basically an electronic Visa and a Stamped Passport Tourist visa. Tourist Visa's allow visitors to stay in Australia for 3 to 6 Months. Tourist Visa's do not allow the Visa Holder to work while in Australia.
The Australia government also has a Working Holiday Visa Program with 19 countries - if visiting under this visa, you'll be able to work and stay for a period of up to 12 months. Applicants need to be aged between 18-30.
If your are planning to visit more than one country during a gap year or round the world trip, check out MouseTours Travels Mark and Judy of MouseTours Travels can't decide on one little corner of the world to concentrate on. With a click of your mouse, travel with them to the corners of the world.
Travel adventure stories and helpful tips inspire you to take your dream trip to Australia or... anywhere! Answers to questions... Where to go? How to choose? Can custom tours be affordable? What to pack? Do you need shots? What is a visa? Do you need one? What about foreign money... and the language? What about driving? Learn from our experiences! Happy travels!
Australia has a lot of casual work for backpackers both in the city and in regional Australia. When staying in the city the best thing to do will be to register with Recruitment agencies as you'll probably get better rates of Pay. In regional Australia jobs can be part of experience of travelling around, Fruit Picking is available in a lot of small rural towns, and accommodation can be on the farm or in a Hostel.
Some rare opportunities come available on cattle ranches, however these are mostly in Outback regions. Be aware that just having a work holiday visa does not automatically permit you to work, employers will ask for a Tax File Number (TFN) and an Australian Bank Account which can only be applied for and setup when in Australia. Here are some Top Tips for finding work!
Backpackers will obviously have their own ideas of places they wish to visit before they arrive, whether you intend to scuba dive on ningaloo reef, stroll around Uluru at dawn or surf at Bondi Beach it will require some sort of pre travel planning. However a lot of the hostels and travel companies offer better deals when you are in Australia, my top tip is to wait until you arrive and have a chat with some other travelers and to find out their experiences and make your decision then.
Check Out My Top 10 Places to Visit in Australia.
Most Backpackers in Australia will stay in various Hostels throughout their stay, although if you intend to stay in one of the cities for a few months, renting an apartment with other backpackers might turn out to be a cheaper alternative. There are three main Hostel Chains in Australia, YHA, VIP and Nomads each offering extensive facilities. There are also plenty of other independent Hostels to choose from.
Hostels in Australia are more than just a bed, it's a great way to meet new people, exchange travel stories and swap information on work and cheap tours around the country, and you'll be surprised at how much good insider knowledge can be attained. Also, hostels in Australia might be considered as cheap accommodation but some do offered fantastic facilities e.g. swimming pools, games rooms, bars and airport shuttle facilities.
Getting to Australia can be a long and arduous journey for most people due to the remoteness of the country. It is also an expensive journey, travelers should look out for cheap flights were possible or look into to booking round the world (RTW) flights were possible as these can turn out to be pretty good value. I'd recommend the following Airlines having used them myself traveling to and from Australia.
Getting around is something else every backpacker in Australia will have to put some serious though into. Australia has a number of airlines that fly domestically covering all major cities and most large town, you can also catch smaller propeller planes to some remote regions but these can be a bit more expensive.
The Bus and train service is also a good way to experience Australia, there are both private and state run companies and a lot of tour companies that offer packages to more tourist destinations.
My personal favourite is to travel around Australia in a campervan (either privately bought or hired), this way you get to travel at your own pace and route. Driving yourself allows you to take roads that buses and trains don't travel on, this is what traveling is all about.
The Australia climate varies due to the enormity of the country itself. Deserts cover a large proportion of the country, there are also ski resorts in Australia and a lot of people are unaware of this. Rainfall can be plentiful in some regions were others are in drought. Tropical North Australian is also prone to cyclones and also has a rainy season. With this in mind travellers will need to come prepared with correct gear but mostly be prepared for dry and sunny weather.
The Four Seasons
If you are planning to be a backpacker in Australia and would like to learn more about the Australian Climate, check out Australian Information Stories a great site providing extensive information on climate, flora and fauna.
I'd strongly advise investing in travel insurance for Australia. Australia is far away from most travellers home country that any loss of possessions could seriously spoil your holiday
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