A lot of people have messaged me over the year asking me why I decided to move to Australia, and how I managed to get set up and sorted. I applied for an Australian Working Holiday Visa so I was able to live, and work in the country for one year.
Once your flight ticket is booked it makes it a lot harder to back out of this amazing decision (Make sure you leave yourself enough time to apply for an Australian Working Holiday visa as you cannot get into the country without it).
Getting Set Up
It was completely surreal at first but as soon as it kicked in that I was ACTUALLY going, I had a lot of things to sort out, or so I thought. In fact, there’s not that much you can actually organise until you are there.
I applied for my Australia Working Holiday visa through the Visa Bureau which saved me a lot of hassle when I arrived to Australia. The company set up your Tax File Number (TFN) which you need to work in the country, and they open up a bank account for you with Westpac Banking.
Westpac is the only bank that allows you to open an account from overseas which means you can get things set up before you arrive in the country and transfer any money you have into the account, ready for your arrival. The Visa Bureau also provide you with a phone number for Whatsapp so that you can contact them if you ever need a hand with something.
You can of course save yourself a few pennies and apply for everything on your own accord. Above I have attached a handful of useful links to help you get set up. To apply for your TFN number you must provide an Australian address. The Visa Bureau use their company address but if you’re applying for it on your own you may have to wait until you arrive. Another option is to use the address of the place you plan on staying for your first week (a hotel, hostel or friends house) and hope it arrives on time. Aside from your visa, TFN and bank account, most other things such as finding a job, somewhere to live etc. can all be done once you land.
Finding a Place to Stay for Your First Week (or Two)
Luckily for me, my friend from home was moving over to Australia with some of her uni friends so I was able to tag along. We booked into Wake Up Hostel for our first week which I would highly recommend, especially if you are a solo traveller. They have an event on every night, from pool night, quiz night, to wine and cheese night (be warned that this is a backpacker equivalent and is actually goon and cheddar). If you don’t know what goon is yet, you will as soon as you get here.
They also do walking tours during the week, one to see the famous Bondi beach and the other is a tour of the city. Everyone at Wake Up makes you feel so welcome, making extra effort with anyone who is by themselves. The place is so clean, and it probably the nicest hostel I’ve stayed in – it is worth the money.
If Wake Up is a little bit over your budget, there is YHA around the corner but it isn’t much cheaper. In fact, most DECENT hostels in the city are around the same price ($35-40 p/night). Don’t be fooled by a really cheap deal, there are a lot of nasty hostels in Sydney.
While you are staying at a hostel, you will meet so many people and make 100’s of friends. You will be so busy with all the activities they provide, and the excitement of being in a completely new place will kick in. Be aware, that although this is probably one of the most amazing weeks of your life, you also need a few hours to get down to business. Finding somewhere to live can be so stressful and the earlier you start looking, the less time you will end up staying in a hostel..
I would love to hear your stories about how you got set up in Australia! Comment below if you wish to share 🙂