Ok so you’ve spent a lot of time debating it over in your head, reading up on stuff and getting stoked off all the travel banter on the internet.
You’ve made the decision.
Your coming to Oz.
First of all *high five* on making one of the best decisions in your life – as you might be able to tell from my blog I’m pretty dam happy down under!
So now your scraping together the cash and trying to get everything in place. This is a massive undertaking and pretty daunting, especially if your travelling alone.
I’m currently feeding muchos advice to my mate Jimmy who’s heading out here in late June – and I thought the answers to all his questions might help you out a bit too, so I’ve typed up this feature article for you.
In Part 1 of 3 I’m chatting about VISAS, FLIGHTS and PLANNING.
So grab yourself a pen and paper and start taking some notes!
You aint getting into Oz without one of these, so get it sorted as soon as you know your departure date. If you get rejected then all else is pointless and you could waste a lot of money.
There are various types of Oz visa. I only really know about 2 of them; working holiday visa [WHV] and tourist visa [TV] so if you’re looking at anything else I suggest you hit it up on Google!
WHV is a 12 month visa that allows you to stay and work in Oz – pretty self explanatory really!
If you’re not planning on working then the TV is probably what you’re after. They come in 3 month, 6 month and 12 month forms and you must be able to support yourself without working during that time.
With all Oz visas the best way is direct through the Aussie Immigration website:
It doesn’t take too long to fill in the online form and your outcome is emailed direct – or you can get it early by checking online in the status section!
Right so the government has let you in, now how the hell are you getting there?
Most sensible option is obviously flying (once they sort out all that volcanic ash!).
The average flight to Oz is now around 22 hours from London, including a stop over.
Who you fly with and where your stop over is is an entirely personal choice. I flew with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong and I must say the flight was pleasant, food equally so and the in flight entertainment was enough to make it go quickly!
But there are quite a few airlines and routes so shop around.
With flights it always pays to do a lot of searching for deals and packages – use a screen scraper like ?!flights.com?! which compare a variety of airlines in one go.
Like a lot of my Oz stuff I booked mine through STA Travel – they specialise in uder 26 travel and have a price matcher in place, so if you find it cheaper see if they’ll beat it!
You’ve also got to bear in mind where in Oz you actually want to land – it’s a bloody big place!
Most people tend to favour Sydney or Melbourne, but I flew to Cairns.
But this does boil down a lot to my next point
Do you have any idea what you want to do or where you want to go once your in Oz?!
If not maybe you should sit down and do some serious research, pick up hundreds of travel brochures and pick out stuff that interests you – sky dive, PADI course, white water rafting, rainforest treks…there’s loads to do!
Buy a massive map of Australia, stick it on your wall and make notes and circle things.
What you actually want to do is a great way to find out where’s best to fly to and from.
I wanted to do a dive course asap so I could use it throughout my trip. So I flew to Cairns and did it on the reef in my second week.
You might want to just do the East Coast in which case maybe landing in Sydney and going up might be the best option.
Once you’re here internal flights are pretty cheap – so don’t worry if you meet some awesome people and everything changes, try and be pretty flexible – but it never hurts to plan a little.
In Part 2 I’ll be chucking you some advice on BUDGETTING, INSURANCE and BANK ACCOUNTS – so subscribe and get it delivered straight to your email – but hopefully it’ll be uploaded tommorow!