Top 5 Things to do After You’ve Arrived in Australia
You’ve arrived! Welcome to Australia! Now it’s time for the fun to begin…
You’re first week in Australia is going to be busy one, and to get you organised (so you’ll have more time to enjoy your new surroundings) we’ve created this page featuring a list of the Top Five Things You Need to do Once You’ve Arrived in Australia. We’ve also provided links to all our most useful pages that can help you find your feet once you've landed including:
- How to get Around Australia
- Essentials to Employment what you need to work in Australia
- The Most Popular Backpacker Jobs in Australia
- Training and Courses That You May Need to do in Order to Work in Australia
- How to Get a Second Year Working Holiday Visa
- Top 5 Highest Paid Jobs!
- Genuine Experiences of Backpackers in Australia
- Tips on finding work
Top Five Things to Do Once You’ve Arrived:
- Get a Sim Card (and a phone card for when you want to call home)
- Find somewhere to live
- Open a Bank Account, if you haven’t already
- Get a TFN
- Sign up to Medicare
Buy an Australian sim card as soon you can so you can start making calls. You will also need to have a phone number to put on your resume, so the sooner you get one the sooner you can start applying for jobs.
If you plan on moving around quite a bit, or if you plan on living in regional Australia at some point, then you really need to pick a provider with the best mobile coverage. Telstra and Optus are the best providers for Australia-wide mobile coverage. However, there are plenty of remote parts of Australia where there is no service at all, in which case you may need to buy a phone card, which can make calling from a landline a lot cheaper.
Phone cards can save you a lot of money when it comes to calling home. Some call cards will let you call home for as little as 1 cent per minute (usually with an additional 50 cent connection fee.) There are lots of different types of phone cards you can buy and some are more expensive than others depending on what country you are calling. Tip! Always check which call card is the cheapest for your own country as they are all different.
Backpacker hostels are fun, but they are far too expensive to live in full-time, especially in Australia, so you will want to sort out somewhere to live as soon as possible. Renting can also be expensive in some parts of Australia, so it’s best to start off with a house-share until you find your feet. Websites like Rent.com.au and Gumtree are some good places to start for somewhere to rent.
You should open a bank account within the first few days of arriving in Australia - it will save you a lot of hassle later on. All you will need to bring with you is your passport. However, if you wait until 6 weeks after you arrive in Australia, you will need to bring more forms of identification such as a birth certificate, driver's licence, credit card or bank card – you probably won’t have some of these with you, so it’s a lot easier to open a bank account as soon as you arrive. After you do have that sorted out though you migh want to send some money from home to avoid paying poor exchange rates.
It’s best to get your Tax File Number (TFN) sorted out as soon as you can, as you will need it before you start working. If you don’t have a TFN before you start working, your employer is required by law to tax you a massive whopping 46.5%. Save yourself the money and the hassle and get your TFN before you start work.
A Medicare card allows you to receive medical treatment for free or at a reduced rate, so it could save you a lot of money if you do fall ill. However, only backpackers from certain countries who have a recipricol agreement with Australia can benefit from the scheme. Those countries include: UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Malta, Belgium, Slovenia and Netherlands.
To apply for a Medicare card you will need to have
- Your passport
- A valid visa
- And, you may also need to provide identification showing you are enrolled in your country’s national health scheme.
Visit the Australian governments Medicare website for more information on how to apply for a Medicare card.
Australia is huge, so getting around can be a challenge. It can also be expensive! If you plan on moving around Australia a lot you definitely need to look into different modes of transport. There are heaps of ways to get around, from taking a Greyhound to flying from city to city to even buying or renting your own wagon or campervan and driving yourself. Each mode of transport has its own advantages and disadvantages. Check out our Getting Around page for the best options for getting around Australia.
Finding a job in a new country can be a daunting task. Check out our Essentials to Employment page, which will help you understand what you need to do in order to get working in Australia as quickly as possible and hassle-free.
A lot of Australia’s fruit simply wouldn’t be harvested if it wasn’t for backpacker, so as you can imagine, backpacker are important to Australia’s economy. This means that there are plenty of jobs for backpackers in Australia. To find what the most popular backpacker jobs are, check out our Jobs for Backpackers page.
Certain jobs in Australia require some training or completion of an online course, for example, if you want to work in hospitality you may need to do an RSA course. Check out our Training page for more information on which jobs in Australia require training.
Is one year in Australia not enough for you? Want to stay for a whole other year? Well, you can simply by doing 88 days of specified work.
You may want to think about doing your specified work sooner rather than later. Many backpackers in the past have left it until the last minute and ended up missing out on getting their second year working holiday visa. For more information on getting a second year working holiday visa, check out our Second Year Visa page.
To help you prepare even more for your big trip downunder, download your free copy of our Tips from Backpackers Living and Working in Australia, which features real advice from real backpackers, who have been there and done that: