Before you go to Australia, it's going to be helpful to understand the types of documents you will need for backpacking. Learn which documents you will need for backpacking and how to keep them safely when you travel.
If you are opening an Australian bank account you will need to take an up to date bank statement with you. No matter which bank you're opening your account with, you will need a statement to 'activate' your new account when you arrive! Learn about taking a statement with you and why it's important for backpacking in Australia.
Driving in Australia can make a backpacking trip really fun. It will give you the freedom to explore in your own time and has some definate advantages for backpackers. This article is about taking your actual driving license and getting an international driving license (I.D.P) if you need one.
To better your chances of getting work in Australia, think about creating/storing some employment documents. A Resume (C.V) with a covering letter and some copies of any qualifications/certificates you may have would make a good impression on a new employer. Learn about creating a employment portfolio to get more bacnk work in Australia.
Organisation and personal management are of key importance when you're backpacking around Australia. A personal ograniser and a small set of stationery will be useful from the start.
You can use it for storing your resume/qualifications and travel itinerary, writing down notes for appointments (addresses, times, dates, phone numbers), keeping contacts (e-mails, blog pages, mobile numbers), carrying maps, writing travel journals etc..
When you go to Australia, one piece of equipment you're bound to take with you is your camera. With it you will be showing friends and family back home all the great things you have seen and places you have been to, uploading pictures to your blog or trading them on an instant messenger and over all making a record of your experiences for the days ahead. Saving these moments is priceless, learn how to keep your travel snaps safe!
Your passport and visa are the most important documents you have when you're planning a backpacking trip to Australia. Keeping them safe and ensuring that they are valid for the duration of your trip is essential!
Your passport is particularly important because as well as using it to enter Australia you will need it at every stage of your trip (i.e, booking accommodation, opening/activating your Australian bank account, identification for working in Australia, etc...).
Your current passport should be up to date and have plenty of pages left for stamps and other visas (especially if you're on a world tour or continuing on elsewhere after Australia).
Keeping it in a safe location is obviously important. One worthy investment is a money belt, not just for your passport but all your valuable items (see section Carrying Cash Safely While Backpacking Around Australia).
A scanned copy of your current passport will be helpful too. If you ever have to get a replacement, the details of your passport will be required by the consulate for them to issue a new one (more in a moment).
One of the requirements the Australian government makes clear is that your passport has to be valid throughout the entire time you're in the country. That is, your passport has to still be valid after your visa has expired and/or you have physically left the country.
A lot of people will be going on to other countries after Australia, so make sure your passport will be valid for the entire duration of your trip including an extra period of 12 months before your passport needs to be renewed.
It should be mentioned here that a lot of other countries around the world also require you to have a certain amount of time left before your passport expires to allow entry into the country.
Also, people on a working holiday visa might apply for a second working holiday visa which allows you to spend another year in Australia and your passport will need to be valid for that period aswell.
If your passport has only a few years left on it before it expires, consider getting a new passport before you travel so you will have a good amount of time left to use it.
It's worth scanning your passport and saving a copy to be left with your Appointed Person before you go.
If you loose your passport on your travels you can get a copy of this scan forwarded to you so you have all the information (contained in the passport) which you will need for the consulate to process a new one.
When you scan your passport, the most important page is the one with your photo on it because this is where all the reference details are as well. If your visa is a stamp or sticker in your passport make sure you get a copy of that at the same time.
First of all think back to the last time you had it and ask everyone in the immediate area where you think you lost it (or it was last seen) for any clues, somebody might have seen something.
If you're staying in a hostel, or were in a shop etc... when you lost it, ask the people in charge if anything has been handed into them. If you have just reached a new destination (and think you may have lost it getting to your current location) contact the people in the place you were last, this includes any transport services you may have used along the way.
If all else fails and you still can't find your passport it's time to call the police and notify them of the situation. Don't waste any time in doing this, it's ideal to contact the authorities on the same day as it happens.
When you do, make sure you take all the contact details of the person dealing with the case. It's advisable to get the police station name and location, the name and direct contact number of the officer in charge and everything else that may be helpful for future reference.
If you have reason to believe that your passport has been stolen make sure they know about it, be very polite but insist that the officer gives you a crime number to support your case.
A crime number is essential to getting a replacement passport and making an insurance claim. It's a numerical reference which the police allocate to each crime that is reported. This number enables them (and you) to keep track of the case and you will need it to support your insurance claim.
To get a replacement passport you will need to contact your consulate. A consulate is an office or department of representatives for foreign governments who provide assistance to their countrymen while abroad.
There are usually a number of consulates in each host country (in this case Australia) and you may have to visit them as part of the process. For this reason, you will need to find the closest office to your location (more in a moment).
The actual process of getting a replacement passport will require you to download or collect some forms to be filled in and returned along with some documented ID.
You may also have to get counter signatures from somebody who has known you for a certain amount of years (to verify your identity), take 2 photographs of yourself (of specified dimensions) and attend an interview.
Of course it's possible that the process will vary depending which country you're from, however you can find everything you need on your consulate website or by contacting them at one of their offices.
In terms of cost, a replacement passport is not cheap and you may require your Appointed Person to make the payment for you.
If you're making an insurance claim, chances are you will have to pick up the bill yourself and wait for the insurance company to issue a refund later on. Time wise, as long as the application is successful it should arrive within weeks but if there are any holdups you could be waiting a lot longer.
You can find a full list of all consulates in Australia at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website this one link has every single office in the country.
A visa is either a document, a stamp/sticker in your passport or in more recent times, a reference code to the information it contains which is electronically stored. It indicates that you have been authorised to enter Australia within and for a certain time period. It also provides information about your intended activities and specifies what you're allowed to do.
If you have a stamp or sticker visa it will be contained within your passport and on it will be all the details which are required by boarder control. When you make scans of your passport be sure to scan the visa page at the same time.
This type of visa is usually used if you get a replacement passport and need to update your status with the immigration department (whilst already in Australia). It's slowly becoming obsolete though because with a lot more visa applications being completed online these days, the e-visa is now the most widely used.
The e-visa is becoming increasingly popular these days for a number of reasons. It's not a physical document and so avoids all the usual pit falls surrounding a stamp or sticker. It's linked to your passport details for use by the Australian Customs Control and contains all the same data as a stamp or sticker.
After a successful online application for your visa the Immigration Department will send you confirmation by e-mail along with the reference number. Write down the reference number once for yourself (to go with your passport when you travel) and once for your appointed person to look after.
An ETA is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia. It's similar to the e-visa in that it's not a physical document. ETA information is accessible by airlines, travel agents and Australian border agencies.
You don't need to visit a departmental office to submit an application and you won't receive a stamp or label in your passport. However, you will be provided with a confirmation for your records.
Your visa is usually stuck inside your passport and the most likely way of loosing your visa is by loosing your passport as well. If this occurs, when you make an application for a new passport, it will be delivered with instructions about how to get a new visa put into your new passport.
This involves taking your new passport into the local immigration office where they will issue you with a replacement. It's not difficult to do, it just takes time.
A mobile phone is a necessity for anybody spending time in Australia. Even if you're only staying for a short period it's still highly advisable to get an Australian SIM card and compatible mobile phone.
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...
When you're out on the trail anything can happen and it's advisable to take measures to protect yourself in case of an emergency. Learn about different types of backpacker insurance.
When you go to Australia you're bound to take your camera with you. With it you will be showing friends and family back home all the great things you have seen. Learn how to keep your travel snaps safe.
Learn how to set up an Australian Bank Account and transferring your money to Australia, see how to create a financial contingency plan for emergency situations and find some helpful tips on budgeting.
Unless you have booked your flights months in advance the dates you choose will make all the difference to the cost of your flight. Pack weight is also something to consider for your journey.
When you go to Australia it's important to have somebody you can trust at home to help you out when you need to get things done. Read our guide about choosing an appointed person before you go.
There is quite a lot of preparation you can do to maximise your chances of getting work when you need it. Work can be easy to find as long as you know where to look and take every opportunity you get.