Where to Start?

Old Aug 12th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Where to Start?

Hi there,

I'm currently planning a trip to Australia on a working holiday visa. Right now I'm planning to stay a year. I have so many questions and concerns, it's crazy. I don't even know where to start. Literally, what city should I start in? I'm reading guidebooks and searching the web for ideas and I was wondering if anyone on this website would have some advice/suggestions/tips/whatever.


WanderingNess is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2005, 09:36 PM
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Well first of all where are you coming from Wandering Ness ? This will make a difference to where you will start. I guess most people come to Sydney first but not necessarily.Do you mean you want to travel around the country picking up a little work as you go or stay somewhere for a while then holiday somewhere. Give us some idea of what you plan to do.Do you want to work in a specified field or anything you can get etc? If you fill us in alittle more I feel sure you will get lots of help from this forum. Cheers!
Peteralan is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2005, 02:34 AM
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You will find loads of info on the Lonely Planet website, Thorntree area. There are lots of people doing just what you are planning, so I would do lots of reading on that forum. What city would you fly into? You could start off there and then move on once you feel more confident and have met other travellers. Sydney or Melbourne are the usual places to start, Perth is lovely but a little isolated from the rest of Australia and Queensland is very popular with everyone because of the weather and it's attractions!
Not sure what sort of work you want, office work, fruit picking, etc but two good sites for having a bit of a look are -
Good luck and have a fabulous time.
KayF is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2005, 03:36 AM
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Probably the best place to start your trip is in Sydney - you will click right into the backpacking/working holiday network. I have had many au paires over the years who have done the main trail - Sydney - Gold Coast - Cairns - Cape Trib - Darwin - Ayres Rock - Adelaide - Melbourne etc. It all depends on your funds, what work you want to do & your threshhold for comfort in terms of accommodation and transport.
I had one German au paire who started woorking for us 2 days after she arrived in Sydney and never left. She was shell shocked by the hostels etc. Very much into her own company and space - others were very adventurous.
One website set up specifically for backpackers is TNT.
All the best & you have secific questions don't hesitate to post.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2005, 04:06 AM
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Yes start in Sydney as it is the most expensive bit and best to do while you still have money.

Cannot believe what the backpackers live on, wish I could be so disciplined. Some have a budget for 3 months that would not last us a week and we are no 5 starers!
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Ness, no doubt you will head north to Qld, as most backpackers do. I live in the Wide Bay Region, which consists of Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Childers & Bundaberg. There are numerous Backpackers Hostels in Hervey Bay, and a few in Childers, and a lot more in Bundaberg. Our region seems to be a good place for the young ones to get work, build up their finances, and then head north towards Cairns. Kingfisher Bay Resort & Euron Resort on Fraser Island, has accommodation for everyone, including backpackers, in fact, many work on the island, which then allows them on the days off, to travel on the 4WD tour coaches around the island, for free.
Also Childers & Bundaberg seems to have constant work for backpackers picking fruit & vegetables. The largest tomato processing plant in Australia is near Bundaberg. In Bundaberg/Childers region they grow water melons, tomatoes, lychees, macadamia nuts, mangoes, chillies, rockmelon, sweet potato, passionfruit, squash, etc. (I guess with the chilli picking, they would wear gloves)
Most of the Backpacker magazines, that pick up at Hostels, give info on all these places, where work is possible.
Look for them at your first Hostel in Australia.
Most backpackers that I have met, seem to visit the following places...Sydney, south east Qld, then Fraser Island, Whitsundays & Airlie Beach, then Cairns region.
Melbourne & Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Darwin, Broome and Alice Springs.
tropo is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Wow! Thanks everyone for the tips . . . I have some websites to check out!

I'm coming from Canada (Calgary, Alberta to be exact). I still haven't decided if I want to travel and work or if I want to base myself somewhere and vacation around that area, then move to another part of the country and so forth. As for work, I'm sort of an administrative assistant/purchasing analyst in the retail industry currently. I have excellent computer skills and have been thinking about getting temp work in offices. However I also feel like I should get away from all that I know and try something different. I realize that fruit picking can be hard work but I am very interested in trying it. Afterall this is supposed to be an adventure! Got to get out of my comforate zone!

Here are my thoughts so far on my trip . . . leave Canada in March (or May I'm still not entirely sure on that one) head in to Syndey (the flights seem cheapest into there so it won). I'm not sure if I'll try and settle in Syndey for a bit and then work my way up the coast to Cairns or leave right away for Cairns. Now a couple questions about that, how long would that take? Are there buses to go on up the coast and is that the best way? I've noticed a great deal of little towns along the way and would assume there would be hostels in them. I'm thinking a couple weeks to go up and then a couple weeks in Cairns . . . is this resonable?

Again, thank you so much for your advice and I'm going to check out those websites right away!

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Old Aug 14th, 2005, 06:39 PM
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Your itinerary sounds great; I think that I would come in March, NOT May, as the Sydney area is at its best around this time. Spend a few days in Sydney and go and have a look at some points SOUTH of Sydney before you head northward. Canberra is an absolute must, and March will be a more pleasant month than if you try to to it from April to September.

There will be hotels all the way up the coast, and if you wait until after Easter to make your way up there, the school holidays will be over and prices will be cheaper... and, of course, vacancy rates won't be a problem. You can just stop where you choose, without having to worry about grabbing a motel before lunch and then working out what to do wuith the rest of your day.

Remember that one of the mainstays of accommodation in NSW is the country town "pub".... you share a bath with everyone else on your floor, but the rates are cheap, and some of them are rather nice. You can also rent on-site vans at caravan parks.... and, along the coast, there are a LOT of caravan parks. In the height of our summer these are usually full, but as winter approaches you'll be able to pick and choose your van. If you decide to do it this way -- and save a bit of meney -- it might pay you, before you leave Sydney, to buy a pillow, towel, and blanket, because some caravan parks charge for the hire of these.

You'll arrive in Cairns maybe at the end of April or even early May, by which time the warm edge is going off the weather back down south where you came from, but north of Brisbane should still be wonderful... maybe even better than the earlier part of the year.

Alan is offline  
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