Planning 1 year in Oz

Mar 25th, 2003, 07:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 266
Planning 1 year in Oz

Hello All,

In a short while, my wife will be able to retire from her job (at age 48!), the kids will be out of the house and we are looking to change our lifestyle. We've been to Oz on short trips (3 weeks and less) but this time, we'd like to take a year and really get to know the country. We're American, in our mid/late 40's and fairly active.

I have a couple of questions regarding housing and work. Our ideal plan would be to base ourselves in a larger city/town for a month or two and spend the time visiting the surrounding region. Would we have difficulty finding a place to stay for 4 to 8 weeks at a time at a reasonable rate? Hostels aren't quite our style but we don't need 4 star hotels either. A simple 1 bedroom apartment/flat would do nicely.

Also, I know that foreigners aren't allowed to work without the proper permits but how would one go about picking up a few extra dollars without breaking any laws? I was thinking about perhaps working a week or two on a farm in trade for a place to stay or something along those guidelines. It would be a great way to get to know the local people as well as save a few dollars at the same time.

Anyone who has done anything like this - please pass along your thoughts!

Thanks in advance,
John in Miami
JohnInMiami is offline  
Mar 25th, 2003, 08:58 PM
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G'day John in Miami
There are some schemes for young people who wish to work for their meals and accommodation but I don't know how young/old you have to be for that. However that can be a bit of a problem sometimes in that there is a place on the mountain here which did that for a couple of Japanese chaps and the accommodation they would have had there would have been dreadful. Most of these places are farms though and the accommodation is great.
If you are thinking about coming to S.E Queensland to see the Gold Coast/ border ranges area and northern NSW I could sure do with some help in return for accommodation as hubby is not as active as he would like and the garden jobs keep piling up. Even getting time to sit on the ride on mower seems a problem. So if you want to get in touch with some really wonderful areas in Australia and help out in return for lodgings in a lovely setting then email me direct on [email protected] as I would only be too happy to accommodate you and your wife and make sure you see the the real Australia other than the main tourist arears.
lizF is offline  
Mar 26th, 2003, 02:15 AM
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Hi John, just a thought about accommodation - lots of caravan parks have cabins which would be reasonably cheap for you - roughly A$50 a night. Some have shower and toilet in the cabin and they are all self-contained so you could cook if you wanted to.
Also, I think if Australian immigration at the airport thought you might work here illegally, they could send you straight back home. Don't want to scare you, but be careful what you say.
KayF is offline  
Mar 26th, 2003, 03:46 AM
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If you check out the L J Hooker website, they have a number of holiday rentals in various areas that are reasonably priced.
KathyNZ is offline  
Mar 26th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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I think you have to consider that you're stay will be limited to 6 months under a tourist visa. Only sponsored workers or young working holiday makers can stay longer.
mpoll is offline  
Mar 26th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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Okay - you've gotten past that and you can stay 6 months - that's great - you can probably sublet an apartment/condo in any city you would like and move around every few weeks. I've recently looked at places in Sydney for a 4 week stay and this is a service I have found. I haven't rented from them and it seems that they want a minimum of 4 week stay which suits us fine. The e-mail address is: I'm certain that there are many other services like this around for people like us who want to come for at least a month. Please keep us posted on your plans and let me know how Liz is to work for :^ ) cause I might want to do the same in Queensland.

Good luck to you and remember there's others who wsant to hear what you discover.
Mar 27th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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Posts: 1,603
I thought that I had added a post to this but it has not appeared and now I can't remember what it was that I wrote.
Oh yeah! There are ways around the 6 month visa limit as my rellies did just that for a considerable longer time but if you don't want to fuss with Immigration the easiest way is to factor in a trip to Bali, Vanuatu, New Caladonia or NZ in the middle of your stay and then come back for another 6 months.
Here is a web site for home exchanges and rentals which may help in finding some good medium term accommodation:
These home exchange often have places which are the second homes or holiday homes which people rent out for a few weeks at a time. If you find this site useful then there are others specifically dealing with Australia.
As for working for me LN - this is a list of requirements:
You are not drop dead gorgeous ( 'cause I will get depressed and need treatment)
You are not slim and tall ( same as above)
You have to be good fun. ( like people who make me laugh)
You need to like food, little fluffy dogs and talking parrots - the latter requirement is because when the parrots come out to play you won't get a word in edgeways anyway.
Finally you need to have the wish to see more of the Australia I know and which is not seen by tourists.
lizF is offline  
Mar 27th, 2003, 08:18 PM
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Well, I did some poking around and found there are ways to get around the 6 month limit, but there are reams of paperwork to fill out and many hoops to jump through. I think the easiest way would be to stay for 6 months, go to NZ for a month or two then come back. For those wanting details on Aussie visas, the website to go to is

Liz - we definately plan on spending a couple months in the Brisbane/SE QLD area. We were in the area last August, staying in Brisbane for a couple of days then in the hinterland at Binna Burra. Unfortunately it was very, very dry and a bit cool but we had such a wonderful time that we promised ourselves that we would be back. I'd love to help you out around the place too. My trade is computers but I think I was born to be a handyman. I'll contact you privately when we get a little closer to coming over.

Another question - we have heard about places where you can buy a car and they guarantee to buy it back from you when you leave. Has anyone used one of these places? I'm wondering if it would be better to buy from a known dealer and sell it when we leave but I'm not sure how I'd license/register and insure the vehicle.

John in Miami

JohnInMiami is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:24 AM
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Great John! I can sure take some help with computers as well as I will be setting up an on-line shop in the not too distant future and doing up a web site is sure something I need help with. Little jobs also around the place too would be fantastic.
The dryness has gone from around here. Binna Burra looks like you could be riding though Switzerland, the waterfalls are falling etc etc and today I saw my first Lyre Bird which was a treat.
The time to be around here is anytime except June - September ( or October if its a dry year) I hate it not being green because I love the lush surroundings. Also Binna Burra can be cooler because its a tad higher than we are too - not much but enough.
I would be very, very wary of the buy and we buy it back car cranks.
I was at a wholesale car auction today actually and I think you would probably be better in a buy now sell it situation. One place had Hertz ex rentals, al beit little mazdas, but they were 2001 with about 50 klms on the clock and the asking price was $10,000Au. Even if you got 7K or 8K after one year you would still be doing well. That is just a thought, I might be mistaken about the car dealers/sellers anyway, but it gives you something different to think about.
lizF is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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Hi again Liz:

Well girl, I meet the requirements!!

See you in 2004.

In the meantime I'll continue to pick your and Alan's brains as to planning our next trip.

LN is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:11 PM
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I will hold you to that LN.
lizF is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Hello Liz,
Any need for an experienced teacher(special education)/weed puller???

In case anyone's wondering, I would love to live in Australia for a year. I've gone so far as checking out some teaching abroad programs but seems most of the teaching jobs I'm qualified for are in Thailand (where I know I want to visit but not sure I want to live), the Middle East (I'm adventurous but not sure I'm THAT adventurous...and besides living there might push my mom right over the edge...)If John or anyone else has some ideas, I'm open to it. I've also tried contacting the education dept. of NSW but never got a response...

OneWanderingJew is offline  
Mar 30th, 2003, 01:08 AM
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Debbie, don't give up contacting the various departments in all the States and Territories. You would need to contact the Dept. of Education in each State because they are all sep. Australia is desperately short of teachers at present. By the way Alan J is a specialist Teacher so see if you can catch his eye. I don't know if his computer is up and running again or if he is still required to spend one hour per week at the library for his computer work but I am sure that he would be able to tell you which way to go to get results.
I would also presume that logging on to their web sites for information would be a good idea too.
Anyone who would like some time in my area and who would not mind doing a bit around the place in return for accommodation is surely welcome. I miss not having my B&B for the very reason that I enjoyed meeting people from other places so much and indeed have made some wonderful friends from it. One ex B&B guest couple is getting married here at my home next Saturday and we are having the wedding "dinner" here. I am very excited about that and very chuffed that they chose my place to tie the knot. I have had the pleasure of their company for the last 3 New Years and hope that that tradition will continue, but do remember the requirements as above :0)
lizF is offline  
Apr 1st, 2003, 01:26 PM
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JOHN or anyone else planning a long trip to Australia or NZ: I got this in my mail this morning. Whilst I can't remember listing with these people when I had a B&B I could have done so but they seem to have listing for extended vacations and could be helpful to you. I don't know where in the site they will be but at least you can check it out:
lizF is offline  
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