Before getting there
Get a Working-Holiday Visa, with a one year validity (WHV class 417). This Visa will allow you to work for a maximum of 6 months for the same employer, anywhere in Australia.
Once in OZ
- Buy a SIM card
There are three main providers in Australia: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. In my opinion, there are really expensive, from 30 AUD up to 60 AUD a month for unlimited texting, calls and a few Gb. However, it is possible to get a way cheaper SIM card with subcontractors, such as Belong. You can get as cheap as 10$ a month for exactly the same services. Belong uses Telstra coverage, such as Scarlet uses Proximus coverage in Belgium. You can either order one online, or buy one at supermarket, such as Coles.
- Open a local bank account to get money from work and avoid the withdrawal fees with Visa/MasterCard.
We opened our accounts at Wespac because they provide free accounts for the first year (after a year, you would have to pay 5 AUD a month). You can open a current (called Choice) and Saving accounts (called Saver). Interest rate is 2,51% for the five first months and 1,8% after (but still it is better than ours in Belgium).
- Apply for a TFN (Tax File Number), to get refunded when you will leave Australia. You can get as much info as you want on the government website over here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/.
Do not get tricked by scams and agencies who offer to do it for you for a fee. Applying for a TFN is totally free of charge and takes up to 28 days.
Tip: If you get a job within these 28 days period of time, your employer will obviously need it for taxes purposes, but you can directly call them to get it in one day over the phone.
- ABN (Australian Business Number). Some employers will ask you to get one to hire you because it is financially better to them to hire you as a Sole contractor. https://abr.business.gov.au/
- Apply for jobs. There are several websites where you can apply :
Many employers ask you to send a text to apply for a job. It is so unusual and never happens in Belgium! Better get that SIM card asap right?
- Backpackers Tax rate: 15%
- A room in a shared accommdation in Perth will cost you about 150-250 AUD/wk (100-160€) for a couple.
- Bus rides are expensive: 2-3 AUD/pp (~1-2€), you get 2 hours to travel within the same perimeter. Get a « SmartRider » card for 10 AUD/pp (6€) (plus another 10 AUD/pp to activate it) to have 10% off, up to 20% with auto-load.
- McDonalds menu: at least 10 AUD/pp (6€)
- Cheap restaurant: at least 15 AUD/pp (10€)
- Self-cooking: 2-5 AUD/pp (1-3€) (vegetarian/with meat meals)