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STA Travel Blog

Hello Australia!

Meet Pippa. Former STA Travel Customer Service Manager, European travel addict, and the manager of our new Working Holiday Heroes in Australia. (Essentially, the nice people in our Backpacker by STA Travel stores who help you find your feet, hug you if you’re homesick, and help explain what-the-hell-a-tax-file-number is). Having just migrated permanently Down Under from the UK, we figured who better to talk us through the whole Australia working holiday thing.

The whole visa thing. Is it as complicated as it sounds and when should people be applying?

Unlike the scramble for Canadian work visas each year, Australian working holiday visas aren’t limited to a certain number, so you can apply at any point. But really, the sooner the better to avoid a last-minute meltdown! From the date you get your visa accepted (and remember, you have to be outside of Australia at this point, so you can’t go into Oz on a tourist visa and then change your mind), you have 12 months to enter the country.

The process can be as quick as one week, but can take up to a few months if you need to provide more information to the embassy. The guys at STA Travel in the UK can help you get everything set up.

What’s the oldest you can be to get a working holiday visa?

Currently, it’s 18 to 30 years old. As in, you have to get your visa accepted before your 31st birthday. However, there has been talk about the Australian government changing this to 35 years old, so watch this space…

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New Zealand Campervan Dos and Don’ts

Today’s blog comes from our resident road tripper Hannah “Jeffers” Jeffery who isn’t actually that keen on Dire Straits. Honestly. 

If you have a secret thing for trailer trash, questionable driving skills (more sheep than people = empty roads) and musical tastes that shouldn’t be inflicted on coach loads of other travellers, then you’re the perfect candidate for a campervan trip! Kidding, it’s quite clearly all about the epic driving routes, mind-blowing landscapes and wilderness campgrounds and only a tiny bit about the Dire Straits playlist and roadside pie shops. However, before you scream “roadtrip” and bundle your motley crew of travel buddies into a van, there are a few things you need to know about campervanning in NZ.

With the help of our lovely friends at Mighty, Britz and Maui – the purveyors and experts of all things campervan –  we’ve come up with some not altogether unhelpful dos and don’ts.

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We Know Because We Go: New Zealand – South Island

Meet Sarah, an STA Travel Expert based in Glasgow, who this year got to check out the sights of New Zealand as part of her fam trip*. With a Kiwi Experience pass in hand, see what Sarah and you too could get up to whilst exploring this adventure haven!

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4 ways to get down with the locals in New Zealand

Want more than just a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand’s tourist attractions? Why not take your journey to a new level and get down with the locals!

New Zealand provides a copious amount of bewildering backdrops, inviting culture, flourishing forests, delightful people and second to none road trips. All of this also allows for social interaction and a scrapbook full of perfect, harmonious memories. So seek out a deeper and more meaningful interaction with New Zealand and its people as you get involved with the environment and those adventurous Kiwis.

A post shared by Yukari Mellish (@yucacarina) on Feb 28, 2017 at 11:02pm PST

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8 reasons why travelling by bus is the best way to see New Zealand

So, you’ve journeyed to the other side of the world and saved up a small fortune for your trip. Now you want to explore the full 990 mile length of New Zealand, but you’re not sure how. If you’re not that confident taking on the New Zealand roads, can’t drive, flying solo or just simply don’t want to have to bother with lots of route planning, a hop-on hop-off bus is for you. It’s easy, flexible, relaxing and super convenient. Here are our top reasons for travelling New Zealand by hop-on hop-off buses.

1. Stress free

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