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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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Grad Scheme vs. Gap Year: Why You Should Travel After Uni

Ellie is one of the Brand Ambassadors for STA in Durham, so expect to see her out and about promoting travel deals and events, as well as shouting about it on Facebook. She’s an adventure-lover and answering the age old question of “what should I do after Uni?”. Here’s her take on the argument:

If you’re graduating, it’s got to that stage in the year now where everyone is thinking about that looming reality on the horizon: Real Life. Lots of people are sneaking off to interview for big companies with acronym names, some are spending almost as much time on their grad scheme applications as their degrees and the question everyone seems to be asking at the moment, is the slightly terrifying, “So, what are your plans for next year?”

But I’m not ready to deal with all that yet. My most detailed current plan is to have no plan. So I’m going to make the case for gap year over grad scheme in your first year after your degree. No job? No problem…

1. You Probably Need a Break…


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What can I get out of a working holiday in New Zealand?

A working holiday in New Zealand is a fantastic way to gain work experience abroad and earn a few dollars while you do it. It gives you the flexibility to fund your trip while you explore the country and in the process make some great mates! It may sound scary but it’s not as hard as you think. The visa process is really simple, great value compared to other countries and STA can help you every step of the way. The experience of working in New Zealand is invaluable. Here’s what you can get out of living and working in one of the most beautiful countries in the world:

1.Make new mates


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60 Day Adventure Week 4: Wine & Cheese & Tubes, Oh My | 60 Day Adventure | STA Travel

This week started out with a trip to the Hunter Valley for a wine tasting day. Picked up nice and early again by our very friendly tour guide, Ronnie, and off we went. Unfortunately it was a rainy start to the day, but a perfect day to taste some wine at the cellar door! As my wine knowledge was zero, I was especially looking forward to learning all the tips and tricks to tasting and knowing about wine.

Travelling north from Sydney, our first stop was the McGuigan Winery. On entering we were treated to a quick tour of their wine-making facilities and then escorted through to a lovely bar where the tasting commenced. What a beautiful selection of wine we had, very spoilt indeed. I learnt the proper way to judge the alcohol content – the “legs” as they say – and how to get the most flavour out of it when sipping. My dad would be very proud!

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60 Day Adventure Week 3: waves and whales

This week started off with an epic Jet Boat ride with Oz Jet boating around Sydney Harbour. It was a perfect day for this activity: nice and warm, blue skies. Arrived in the afternoon and was straight into one of their massive waterproof red ponchos: I had a feeling I might get a little wet, but this confirmed it! In we all got and off we went.

Started with a nice relaxing cruise out of the harbour and then the g-force suddenly kicked in and the engine roared. Wow, what a feeling! I’ve never been so fast on the water before and just as you hit full speed the driver puts his hand in the air and counts down with his fingers: 3, 2, 1.. He puts full lock on the steering wheel and you fly around a 180 degree spin, stopping with a huge wave made by the turn flying over your head. Soaked but awesome!

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