Last Thursday we arrived in Melbourne, Australia; the beginning of our longest trip in our lives. Melbourne is an amazing city, but we’ll tell you more about this city in a next post. Although the first few days here consist out of exploring the city and the beach, we also had to take care of some business. When traveling somewhere for a long time, it often involves some necessary chores in the beginning. Maybe you are planning to travel and work in Australia with a Working Holiday Visa as well. Then this short article is a useful guide for your first few days.
Things to prepare back home
Please read our previous article How to plan a Worldtrip for things you can prepare at home. First of all, don’t forget you need a Working Holiday Visa if you want to work in Australia. Go here if you’d like to apply for one or if you like more information about it.
Some additions to our previous article that you can already arrange back home; get your Medicare Card form ready so you can immediately bring it to the Medicare Service Centre. A Medicare Card is required for visiting doctors, seeking treatment in a hospital or when you need certain prescriptions at a Pharmacist. The Australian Government has arrangements with The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Malta, Slovenia and Norway for this. When you go to the Medicare Service Centre you need the following information with you:
- Your passport.
- Your Visa number.
- The information from your new bankaccount in Australia.
- If you have a health insurance card, take it with you.
- You need an address where they can send the Medicare Card to.
Furthermore, it is advisable to book an accommodation for the first week(s). This way you have somewhere to crash the first nights and have the time to arrange everything. Hostels in Australia are not very cheap, so make sure to look for a good one beforehand. We booked via Airbnb, which was the cheapest solution we found. Lastly, it’s useful to already open a bank account in Australia from your homecountry, so your future employer can transfer your salary. We’ve opened an account at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and until now it seems as a good choice.
Things to do in Australia
Some things you just can’t do in advance. Of course you immediately want to jump into the fun stuff and don’t worry about a thing. Luckily this is only a short list and really doesn’t take a lot of time:
- Get your credit card/bank pas from the bank that you’ve already opened back home. We only had to show our identifications.
- Get an Australian SIM-card. You do want to be able to make calls, right?
- If you’re going to work here you also need a tax file.
- Get yourself a campervan.
- Have FUN! Until now, our time here mostly consist out of sleeping (recovering from our jetlag), eating and exploring, so you have enough time to enjoy yourself the first week!
Get yourself a campervan
Maybe you’re not planning to travel Australia with a campervan, but it’s very common for backpackers here. It’s the cheapest way to travel and sleep, and you get to stay at the most amazing places! It’s cheaper to rent a van if you’re traveling for 8-12 weeks, but for a longer trip it’s more profitable to buy one. If you buy a campervan you can easily sell it for almost the same price – if you don’t trash it of course. Planning to buy a campervan, like us? We advice you to search for them via Gumtree, where a lot of backpackers sell their second-hand campervans. There are a couple things you need to be aware of:
- Be sure the registration of the campervan is not expired. It’s expensive to get one, but cheap if you only have to extend it.
- If the campervan doesn’t have a registration, make sure the car has a roadworthy certificate.
- I’ve heard you really need an airconditioning in the car.
- It’s advisable to bring the car to the mechanic before buying it, so you’re absolutely sure nothing is wrong with it.
If you have any further questions about a Working Holiday Visa or something else we can help you with, please let us know. You can always sent us a message on Instagram or via our e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org