There are some really good visas available for backpacking in Australia. They vary in price and each visa has a set of criteria to meet before a visa is granted. The working holiday visa is very popular because you can travel and work in Australia for 12 months. In this article we share which visas are available, how to apply and how to extend the working holiday visa for an extra year.
A little bit of research about Australia's geography can go a long way when planning your trip. The weather patterns in Australia can make all the difference to your plans! The monsoon (wet season) for example, can make travel dangerous in the summer months up in northern Australia. In this section you can learn about the weather patterns, states and major cities of Australia.
When you go backpacking around Australia, it's important to have somebody you can trust at home to help you out when you need to get things done. This will be your appointed person and they will be helping you manage your trip when you're in Australia. Learn how to keep everything in order while your backpacking around Australia.
When you're backpacking around Australia on a budget the hostels are an ideal place to stay. Hostels cater for backpackers who are looking for a temporary base whilst exploring the awesomeness of Australia. Learn about hostel life in Australia and some great tips on where to stay.
Primarily the Medicare system (similar to N.H.S in the U.K) is for Australian citizens, but if you're from a country which participates in the reciprocal health care agreement you may be eligible to join Medicare and gain 'immediate access' to the services they provide. If you're eligble, this is well worth the effort and can be of considerable value if you're backpacking in Australia for longer periods.
Read our helpful backpacking checklist and get lots of hints/tips about what to pack before you go to Australia. Learn about choosing the right backpack, what essentials you will need to take with you and how to travel light when you need to.
When you're backpacking around Australia anything can happen and you'll need travel insurance to protect yourself in case of an emergency. No matter how much time you spend in Australia (or anywhere else abroad), travel insurance is a major priority when you're planning your trip.
It's important to learn a little bit about travel safety in Australia for you and the people you are travelling with. In this article we discuss travel safety ideas for backpackers in Australia and outline some helpful hints & tips for staying safe on holiday.
Survival is something we are all quite used in our daily lives and travel safety seems to rely on the same basic set of skills. Vigilance, common sense and good preparation are going to be your greatest allies when travelling abroad and will ensure a safe, enjoyable, holiday.
Travel safety is always affected by a range of factors including...
Your location - Cities, airports, suburbs, outback, inside or outside
The people around you - Travel companions, activity providers, employers, coworkers, general inhabitants of society
The activities you are doing - Hiking, bungee jumping, working, partying in the city, camping out, road tripping
In most cases your travel safety is directly related to the decisions you make. There are of course those things that can happen which are outside of your control (i.e, actions of others, changes in the environment, unexpected circumstances) which can change things (more in a moment).
As your journey unfolds you will start to develop a system of routines and precautions which will eventually become second nature. It will be like your own backpacking philosophy that continues to improve as you draw on your experiences and educate yourself about the ways of the world.
When you are travelling, be aware of everything going on around you which could affect you or anyone you're travelling with. If you're in the airport watch your luggage, if you're in the city look out for moving vehicles, if you're in the outback be mindful of the wildlife.
Basically, being vigilant means, keeping an eye on your surroundings and looking out for any potential dangers or sudden changes in the immediate environment.
Common sense is using your foresight to consider the possibilities of what may happen based on the actions you take. Be considerate for yourself and those around you and make all decisions based on good solid reasoning.
If you're planning a journey, give yourself plenty of time between change overs. If you're out partying, move in groups and keep in contact with each other. If you're heading into the bush, drive slowly in the day time and make camp well before dusk.
Preparation requires the research, planning and organisation of all the things you will need to ensure your own safety during each phase of your trip.
Of course you can't be prepared for every outcome, but you can be prepared for the most likely events which can take place.
If you're driving through the outback, let your Appointed Person know your intended route and take lots of water. If you're in the city, take a map and the contact details of the place where you're staying. When you're making your backpack up, include a small medikit and some travellers cheques (see sections Money Management Tips For Backpacking In Australia and Backpackers Packing Guide/Checklist for backpacking around Australia - PART 1 for lots of great tips).
Regular communication with your friends and family is fun and interesting for them but is also a clever (and necessary) aspect of travel safety for you. Regular contact will serve two very important purposes...
1) Everyone will enjoy learning of your progress and can be at ease knowing you're happy and well.
2) If there are any problems (i.e, someone goes missing) people are aware of the most recent locations you have visited which will increase the chances of rescue.
Of course there are a multitude of ways to stay in touch (i.e, phone calls, e-mails, blogs, instant messaging) and it's always best to use as many different methods as possible (see section Staying In Touch - Communications For Backpacking Around Australia). Don't forget to include all your family and friends, but most importantly your appointed person.
Although you should contact people at home regularly, it might not be a good idea to call at the same time, on the same day, every week (i.e, every Sunday at 2:00pm).
If for some reason you don't make that phone call, the people at home could become worried unnecessarily. Of course worry can be caused by lack of communication as well, so be sure to strike a good balance and not leave it too long in between.
There is one VERY IMPORTANT exception however, if you're travelling great distances or through remote locations you must ALWAYS tell your appointed person at the very least...
a) When and where you will be starting your journey.
b) The date you intend to arrive at your new destination (or next check point).
c) The exact route you will be taking (with contact check points in between if possible).
So if you were going to be driving through the outback for example, and you calculated that this trip was going to take you 2 days or so until you arrived at the next destination (where you can make contact).
You need to share this information with your appointed person and tell them to notify the authorities if they don't hear from you within an agreed time after you intend to arrive/contact them.
It's highly advisable that you do everything you possibly can to ensure you own safety in the outback, many backpackers lives have been saved by taking these types of precautions.
So we have outlined some of the basic concepts of travel safety. In part 2 we will go into greater detail about how to stay safe in the city and the outback.
If you're going to be driving in Australia it's worth finding out what you will need to get on the road. This article explains how to get started and has some handy tips for backpackers driving in Australia...
Your passport and visa are the most important documents you have when it comes to travelling. Learn how to keep them safe and how to get replacements if you ever need them.
Whatever plans you have made for backpacking in Australia you will need to take some cash with you. The amount you take will depend on what you have managed to do in the planning phase (i.e, prebooked accommodation, shuttle, opened an Australian bank account, etc...). Learn how much cash you will need to take to Australia to see you through the first 2 weeks.
Storage space is quite an important factor to consider when choosing which provider to go with. Why? Because you can use an e-mail account to store your media safely when you travel.
Read part 2 of our travel insurance, lots of helpful tips to point you in the right direction and get you one step closer to your backpacking Australia adventure.
Read part 2 of the travel safety for backpackers guide. More on staying safe in the city and some essential information for planning a road trip into the outback.
Instant messaging (IM) is a very good means of communication for a backpacker. It enables two or more people to meet and chat live online either by typing messages or speaking into a microphone.
Knowing how to convert currencies will be a definite advantage to backpackers in Australia. This simple calculation is a very useful tool which will help you compare costs in Australia.
For better chances of getting work in Australia you may wish to create and store some employment documents. A Resume (C.V) with a covering letter would make a good impression on a new employer.