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5 Important Australia Working Holiday Questions Answered, by Someone Living the Aussie Dream

Embarking on a working holiday in Australia is scary, we understand that, but it’s also tremendously exciting. You can book your flight, and head off into the unknown, or you could give yourself a little bit of a headstart by checking out BUNAC’s group flight option and their Work N Holiday package.

Sarah Hall has done just that and, as someone currently living the dream in Australia, who better to share the answers to five very important working holiday questions…

Exciting, overwhelming and a tiny bit terrifying, these are all words I would use to describe my arrival in Sydney, Australia eight months ago. Stepping out of the airport into the glorious Sydney sunshine and knowing that I had a whole year to explore Australia was insane.

Luckily, I had chosen BUNAC’s group flight option which meant that I had just spent three amazing days sightseeing, drinking and acquainting myself with thirty other ‘BUNACers’ in the buzzing Asian metropolis that is Hong Kong, meaning I was already in great company.

After a week of partying non-stop Sydney style, I knew that I would have to start making some decisions. Prior to booking on to Work Australia I had worried about the important stuff; how exactly was I going to support myself in the land down under? If you’d asked me in my first week in Sydney where I would be in eight months time, I would have been clueless. Taking a ‘let the chips fall where they may’ kind of attitude to travelling has always been my style, but with a little help from friends, family and BUNAC I have been able to successfully live, work and play here in Oz, so in hindsight, I didn’t need to worry at all.

These were my top five worries on arrival and how I overcame them.

Will I make any friends?

There’s one thing Australia isn’t short on, and that is backpackers. No matter which hostel or city you choose to stay in you will meet amazing people from every corner of the globe; as well as this, I had my lovely new BUNAC friends.

Eight months later I am still in touch with everyone, have lived with two of them and meet up with the others whenever our paths cross! A group of us also took on Surf Camp in the second week, learning to surf on a beautiful secluded beach with beautiful Aussie instructors (wahey!) and a whole new group of backpackers to get to know. It was an amazing week, filled with epic nose dives, BBQs and crazy waves, I even took on the waves at Bondi beach with my knew found surf skills, and made lifelong friends whilst working, but we shall come to that later…

Where am I going to live?

Initially hostel living seemed perfect, it meant I could meet like-minded people and hear their travel tips and stories whilst partying non-stop in central Sydney. However, after finding a nine to five job the prospect of being kept up all night by drunken antics meant that hostels started to lose their appeal.

Myself and a fellow ‘BUNACer’ decided to take the plunge and rent a room in an apartment. With the help of gumtree this actually turned out to be pretty easy and after looking at a few questionable apartments, we found a lovely one with sea views, a French couple and a Brazilian guy. Upon leaving Sydney I have spent the last three months staying with a selection of long lost relatives, friends from home who are also out here, other BUNACers and people I have met through work; never be shy of asking people if they have a sofa going spare!

What role will BUNAC play in my working holiday?

Their group flight option is amazing, not only did it provide me with a large group of wonderful friends but it also gave me, and most importantly my mother, peace of mind. The Work N holiday offices which are located in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne are an invaluable resource. So far I have used both the Sydney and Melbourne offices to receive post, use the computers, and to ask advice regarding jobs and farm work. The arrival orientation at the Sydney office was also amazing as it helped to relieve the panic of arriving in such a large country by highlighting the infinite things to do and see in Aus. As well as this, they sorted out all the important stuff such as banking and tax codes. Work N Holiday offer support and advice which is great, but the group flight provides friendship which is the most important component of any adventure!

Which Oz city is the place to be?

It took me a week of being in Sydney to know that this was where I wanted to live and work first, and if you’re going to live in Sydney, then it’s almost a crime not to live as close to one of the most famous beaches in the world as possible.

So began five months of sun, sea, surf, goon, friends and laughs on Bondi beach. Following Sydney, I decided to check out Melbourne, with its laid back coffee fuelled lifestyle I knew I had fallen in love again, and hostel living, although crazy and crowded is so much fun. I have definitely learned that Australia offers some incredible places to live, but I do maintain that it’s the people that make the place! And as for the other Australian cities, I still have plenty of time to go and check them out…

How do I find a job?

Miraculously a job found me, in my first week in Sydney I was walking the streets one morning when a charity fundraiser stopped me and offered me a job, it seemed a bit crazy but I thought, why not! It in fact turned out to be the perfect job for me, it was full time face-to-face fundraising on the streets of Sydney and every few weeks we were given a car and set loose on the small towns of New South Wales. Not only was fundraising an experience like no other, it also allowed me to meet some of the greatest friends I could ask for, not only work colleagues, but the Australians I met and spoke to on the street! As well as this, I’ve also completed half of the required farm work for my second year visa. I never pictured myself harvesting potatoes, but it has been quite the experience so far!

If you’d like some more information on BUNAC’s group flights or Work N Holiday programme check out their website or join in with our Facebook Q&A session this Wed 26th June at 2pm and have all your working holiday questions answered live, and by an expert.
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Showing 22 Comments

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