8 issues I want I’d recognized earlier than transferring to Australia on a working vacation visa

Again in 2017, I took a flight from Bangkok to Melbourne, Australia. Accompanying me was my trusty, tatty backpack – predominantly stuffed with swimming shorts, duty-free whiskey and sand – two thousand Australian {dollars}, a barely pink glow from the 6 sweltering months I had simply spent in South East Asia and a crinkled print-out of my shiny new visa – subclass 417, or the Australian Working Vacation Visa.

I recall the hole feeling in my abdomen as my aircraft landed. I’d by no means lived and labored wherever apart from my house metropolis, London, and I didn’t actually know what to anticipate. Backpacking by means of Asia was one factor, however organising a brand new life, solely by myself, on the opposite aspect of the world was frankly terrifying.

Now, 5 years on – as a seasoned working holidayer and traveller – I want I might converse to that anxious, sunburnt man and supply some pearls of sage recommendation. However I can do the subsequent neatest thing. In the event you’re considering of embarking by yourself Aussie journey, right here’s the whole lot I want I’d recognized earlier than I acquired on that aircraft:

You may earn good cash

In the event you’re working legally in Australia, you’re entitled to the minimal wage. Whether or not you’re working at a farm or in a restaurant, you must obtain no less than $18.93 an hour  (£10.72 or 13.75 US$), which compares very favourably with many different nations.

There’s one other potential bonus, too, for travellers on the lookout for versatile work. In the event you’re a ‘informal’ worker, ie. one with no fastened, assured working hours, you’re entitled to a ‘informal loading.’ This provides 25% onto your hourly charge, bringing your minimal wage as much as $23.66. Not unhealthy for a ‘vacationer!’

As you in all probability know, to ensure that working vacation visa holders to get their second yr visa, they have to full some type of agricultural work. Individuals assume that this implies fruit selecting within the blazing solar, however there are many different choices on the market, from cooking, to cleansing to mining.

You will have additionally heard a couple of horror tales surrounding the damaging exploitation of Working Vacation Makers by unscrupulous farmers. Corruption and unlawful abuses nonetheless proceed, however the authorities has been cracking down lately. Take a look at the Visa bureau web site for Specified Work Listings so you realize the place that you simply work operates the whole lot safely and pretty.


You do not have to be a barista, both

Earlier than embarking on my travels I labored as a copywriter in London. I did a couple of freelance gigs as I backpacked, however didn’t have a lot hope of proactively growing my profession while down underneath. I assumed that the one locations that will rent a nomadic Englishman have been espresso outlets, retail shops, bars or farms. However I additionally knew that it wouldn’t damage to try to apply for positions extra in step with my career.

In the event you’re not on the lookout for farm work or retail work, don’t be dissuaded by what you’ve heard about WHV jobs. Contract work is your pal, and in my expertise so long as you converse English and have strong expertise, you’ll be simply as employable as you have been again house. After two weeks of fretful looking out I landed a copywriting job with one of many largest on-line retail corporations in Australia, and spent 6 very gratifying months working, saving and travelling. After that I labored at a number one artistic company the place the work was enjoyable, difficult, surprisingly properly paid and contributed considerably to my C.V. The work’s on the market in the event you preserve a proactive perspective.

Sponsorship can be an possibility for these seeking to keep completely. In case your employer likes your work, they could supply to sponsor you to remain within the nation, which might in the end earn you residency so long as you stick to the corporate for two to 4 years.


Be sure to’ve acquired sufficient within the financial institution to get began

As talked about above, the wages in Australia are increased than many developed nations. The minimal wage is outstanding, and if you will get some temp work that’s extra in step with your profession then you definitely’ll discover it simple to save lots of sufficient cash for your entire adventures. That being mentioned, Australia is an costly place to stay, and in the event you assume it’s advantageous to show up with a couple of hundred bucks as a result of you realize you’ll quickly be discovering work, assume once more. That cash will disappear rapidly and also you’ll be left stranded. Consuming out is all the time tempting in Australia however is extraordinarily costly – as, I’m afraid to say, is beer. Be sure to have a good sum of money with you once you arrive, and all the time have an emergency fund for once you’re in between jobs.


Do a highway journey

One in every of my greatest regrets once I arrived in Australia was not having the ability to drive a automotive. Rising up in London, I aways relied on public transport to get round, which was extra handy and cheaper than driving. I might legally drive a bike however this wasn’t precisely sensible.

However Australia is huge, empty and exquisite, and except you’re taking trams by means of the centre of a metropolis, driving is greatest solution to get from A to B. I nonetheless went on some memorable highway journey adventures – cruising down the Nice Ocean Highway or tenting within the Grampians – however it could have been good to share the load so my mates weren’t all the time behind a wheel.

Talking of which, why not take a Contiki journey throughout Australia? It’s a good way to see all the long-lasting sights with out having to drive all these miles. (Plus you’ll meet loads of new mates additionally on WHVs, so it’s excellent for getting arrange in a international land).


Maintain monitor of your tremendous

Working Vacation Visas was once much more financially beneficial. Lately the federal government – feeling the warmth of immigration debates – has began to make it far dearer to stay and work in Australia briefly. At present the tax for Working Vacation Visa holders is a flat 15% once you earn as much as $37,000, which isn’t too unhealthy. Plus, your employer is legally obliged to pay ‘tremendous’ or ‘superannuation’, which is a contribution to your pension or retirement fund. Once you go away Australia you’ll be able to declare this accrued money again, however sadly it’s taxed at a whopping 65%.

Nonetheless, it may be a big amount of money to return house with. If, like me, you’re working for a lot of completely different employers, you’ll have completely different tremendous funds which are tough to maintain monitor of, and an actual nightmare to assert as soon as you come back house. Be sure to keep on prime of all this as you go alongside. Make a remark of your tremendous membership numbers, or ask your financial institution to consolidate your supers into one fund. This can make claiming your cash a breeze once you return house. I got here again with a round $4000, which helped me get arrange once I returned to London.


Discover different lands

Australia is an unlimited land filled with wonders and surprises for every type of travellers. Environmental range, fascinating animals, world class seashores and quirky cities make it an ideal place to discover over the course of two years. However you don’t should restrict your self to Australia. Though extensively considered being in the course of nowhere, Australia is an ideal launching pad to discover Asia and Polynesia, notably in the event you’ve come from America or Western Europe.

I saved and spent a month in New Zealand, which quickly turned considered one of my favorite locations. That journey would have set me again hundreds of kilos and numerous air miles had I carried out it from the UK; however from Melbourne it was only a transient flight that value about 200 bucks there and again once more.

From Tasmania to Bali, there are many attention-grabbing locations to take a look at on this a part of the world, so discover as a lot as you’ll be able to.


It is not all the time scorching

Arriving in a wintry Melbourne from the smouldering cauldron of Bangkok was a little bit of a shock to the system. Though by no means hitting the sub-zero temperatures of a British winter, Melbourne felt decidedly frosty in contrast the sun-drenched months I had simply loved.

It didn’t assist that the one garments I had on my particular person have been vests and swimming shorts.

Except you’re residing it giant on the Gold Coast you received’t be getting wonderful climate all yr spherical. Sydney and Melbourne are seasonal, with Melbourne particularly being sufferer to some relentless rainfall and winds. Pack accordingly.


But it surely principally is

In England you don’t actually get to stay on the seaside except you’re a millionaire or sleep in a shack. So once I arrived in Victoria I used to be surprised that you might discover inexpensive seaside properties. I lived for some time in a spot known as Bonbeach, the place my backyard consisted of stretching white sands and the glowing sea. Once I walked onto my balcony within the morning I might spot the silhouettes of dolphins arcing on the horizon, and once I returned from a protracted working day I used to be all the time assured a spectacular sundown.

I believe again to the man who boarded that aircraft in Bangkok and the way a lot I modified in only a yr. Australia is a land of boundless adventures and alternatives, and is stuffed with gregarious, hilarious and welcoming folks. I got here house much more assured in myself, with a promising profession (and a much better tan). So right here’s my most urgent recommendation: in the event you assume you need to do it, simply do it. We are able to’t develop if we by no means do issues that terrify us.


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