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STA Travel Blog

Top 10 budgeting tips for your trip to Australia

One of our staff members, Rachael, just got back from her two-year trip to Australia, so we asked her to compile a list of budgeting tips that she has collated from her time there.

BODYSydney_ Australia

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The ultimate guide to regional work

In order to get your second working holiday visa in Australia you must complete 88 days of regional work, which can be anything from farming, fruit picking, fishing, pearling and mining. So how do you get through the whole thing without giving up and going home? Rachael is here to give you her survival tips from her own 88 days of farm work.

Okay, so your back will ache, your hands will be raw, you’ll never be able to look a banana (or whatever fruit/veg you’re picking) in the face again, and will no doubt start assuming that work boots paired with sweatpants is a winning look, but after all of that (plus lifelong friends, unrivaled poker skills, an insane suntan, spectacularly ripped calf muscles and money in the bank…) you’ll qualify for a second working holiday visa. Which basically means an extra year in Australia, and who doesn’t want that. This is your ‘I’m a celebrity/survival island’ moment. Embrace it.

I did the 88 days of farm work, which you could actually class as 90, thanks to a couple of tomato picking days in Bundaberg! The majority of my time was spent at a family-run macadamia farm in Dorroughby, 30 minutes from Byron Bay. Yes, farm work is hard, there’s no doubt about that – it’s not meant to be easy, but it’s definitely worth it. When I look back at my time on the farm, I don’t shudder (although I occasionally do when I see a bag of macadamia nuts or cherry tomatoes in the supermarket) but I think about it with a sense of accomplishment and happiness. It was a totally different experience, one that I probably won’t ever get again.

Just gathering some nuts #macadamia #farmwork #australia

A post shared by Rachael Porter (@rporter90) on


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A day in Melbourne

Our Student Ambassador Katya from RMIT University has moved to Melbourne from Newcastle and shares her top tips on where to go in the city

Forget Sydney, London and New York – Melbourne is the most livable city in the world and this is why…

Best Bars
No.1 – The Croft Institute - 21 Croft Alley, Melbourne
Hidden down a laneway in Chinatown, The Croft Institute is a wonderfully, creepy science lab- inspired bar. Even the toilets look like a mental asylum!
Open 5pm – 1am (Mon –Thurs), 5pm – 3am (Fri -Sat), closed Sunday

Image: wa2up.com
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11 reasons to visit the Gold Coast

Hanging out on the beach all day getting your tan on, or grabbing a surfboard and hitting the waves – this is the epitome of the Australian dream. One of the places where you can do all this and more is the Gold Coast. Need further explanation as to why you should visit? You greedy thing, you. Here’s our 11 reasons to get on a plane/in a campervan and get yourself to the east coast of Australia!

Beaches that are out of this world

Image: Gold Coast

If beaches are your thing, the Gold Coast has got you covered. The coastline stretches for 57 kilometres (35 miles) and you can pick from 20 different beaches; what better excuse to take a 20-day holiday than visiting a new Aussie beach every day? Surfers Paradise is probably the most well-known of them all, and is highly distinctive as the skyline is practically on the beach. Then a little further South of Surfers you will find yourself on Mermaid Beach, unfortunately it’s not named after the abundance of mermaids nearby (we were sad too), but it is known for its laid-back appeal, which can be great if you’ve been going crazy in Surfers Paradise for the last few days. You can also take a trip down ‘Millionaire’s Row’, look at the fancy mansions and maybe have a little cry about how much you want one. South of Surfers you’ve got Burleigh Heads, which is famous for its surfing spots (or just for ogling the surfers!), and if you move even further south you’ll find yourself in Coolangatta, another top spot for surfing and a great place to visit if you love the old-school charm of a seaside town.
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7 day road trip: The best of Victoria!

Cover Victoria’s highlights in 7 days! Coastal drives along the Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles, bushwalking in the Grampians and gold panning in Ballarat. You may or may not hit gold but this road trip will leave you enriched.

Day 1 – Melbourne to the Yarra Valley

Drive time: 1 hr
Yarra Valley

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