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If you are planning on coming to Australia on a working holiday visa then you’ve already made one of the best decisions of your life but you’re probably stressing out over one simple issue: “how much money should I take to Australia?”

When applying for your visa, the Department of Immigration suggest that you have “about $5000” which isn’t exactly precise. Is $4500 enough or does it have to be over $5000 or what?!

The easiest answer is, the more money you have then the better your entry to Australia will be. If you can save up long enough to pass the $5000 guideline then you’ll be very comfortable when you arrive in Australia but try and get as close to $5000 as possible if you want the least amount of fuss entering Australia and living your first few weeks here.

One of the contributing factors will be whether you plan to travel first or work first once you arrive. If you plan on travelling straight away, you’ll be spending money before you get a chance to replenish. If you work first, then you can continue to save during your time in Australia.

No matter what anyone says on a forum or blog (like this one) there is no right or wrong way to travel. In Australia or anywhere else. People will tell you to go alone, go in a group, go to Sydney first, travel the East Coast first, get a job straight away, go and do you farm work ASAP…..

Whatever you decide, you have made the decision and you live with it. There is nothing wrong with seeking help and advice but, ultimately, it is up to you! Plans can change, pretty easily, so make sure you keep your options open from the outset.

I’ve heard stories of people landing in Australia with less $500 to their name and if, upon your arrival, you are asked to prove your funds you could be sent home from Australia before your adventure begins. The Department of Immigration guidelines may seem strange but if you can’t prove that you can support yourself in Australia, you risk being sent home.

To prove your worth (in bank account terms, not like some medieval knight or something) you have to get a printed bank statement from your financial institution of choice. It is best to have a statement from the seven days before travel so if you are called upon to prove your funds, you have them right there.

If you have access to a quick loan from the bank of Mum and Dad (or any other loving family member) you can pop the money into your account, get a bank statement printed and then transfer the money back once you’ve received the statement. You prove your cash, then give it back basically.

Strictly speaking, this may not be entirely the spirit of the law and you will have to be able to survive in a pretty pricey country. Once you arrive in Australia, the money starts to seep away faster than you’d think so make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities.

As an example, if you are looking at the cheapest hostel you can find in Sydney you are looking at $23 a night. That would be $161 for one week of (not the best) accommodation. Then you’ve got to pay for your food and fun stuff to do so the bargain basement you could probably get away with $200-$250 a week just to live in Sydney.

Sydney is an extreme example (it’s more expensive than the rest of Australia) but it gives you an idea on what to expect upon your arrival and how much money you will need if you plan on staying in Sydney. Plan accordingly for any of the major cities – Perth is a similar price to Sydney and Melbourne isn’t much cheaper. Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Darwin offer a little bit of relief but not too much.

Don’t let this put you off, pretty much everyone in the UltimateOz office is proof that backpackers can find work and love their time living, working and travelling in Australia!

Just be realistic. If it takes you three weeks to find work, will you be able to afford it? If you want to travel, how much is it going to cost right off the bat? If you want to do your farm work, how are you going to find it and how much money will you need to get there and stay there?

Many backpackers arrive in Australia with the misguided dream of finding work 20 minutes after they land and earning a fortune. The wages are higher and it is a little easier than finding work in Europe but it isn’t easy and you won’t walk into a job.

At Ultimate Travel, we give you the best chance of finding work with our TAW service and our helpful, informative staff who have been there and done it! We can help you find work, help to guide you with your CV and cover letter but, it is still up to you to put in the hard yards!

Australia is a country that will surprise you due to its expense. If you have just come from South East Asia (Ultimate Thailand, anyone?), you’ll fall off your chair every time you order a beer! If you plan ahead, are realistic and start saving now you’ll be absolutely fine when you arrive in Australia!

Get planning for the best trip of your life!!

How much money did you arrive in Australia with? What would be your top-tips for backpackers looking to head to Australia on their own adventure? Let us know in the comments section or on Facebook!

So you’re thinking of coming to Australia – great! When you’ve finished your UltimateOz Sydney package, you may want to make your way up to Cairns (especially in Winter … that’s where the hot weather is!) You may be asking yourself, “What is there to do in Queensland?”  But, what you should be asking, is what isn’t there to do?! And the answer is simple – there’s not a lot that you can’t do in Queensland! Queensland offers some of the most beautiful things you could ever hope to see … and here is just a few of our favourites!

The Great Barrier Reef

Well, to begin with, we have one of the seven natural wonders of the world right on our doorstep! Whether you dive, snorkel or take a glass bottom boat, the Greta Barrier Reef will take your breath away. There’s more than 1200 miles for you to explore! Want the ultimate selfie? Snap yourself swimming with your new friends – there’s plenty of sea turtles, rays, tropical fish and you’ll probably spot the odd shark along the way too!

The Daintree Rainforest

About 100km north of Cairns, you will find the Daintree Rainforest waiting for you with lots of activities on offer. Fancy surfing through the jungle? Take a Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour and fly through the trees while sitting comfortably in a zip wire harness … the best seat in the house!

Or, if you fancy something a little bit closer to the ground, go croc spotting on a Daintree Wildlife River Cruise or take a walk through the forest at night to see the mysterious locals that only come out to play when the sun goes down.

You can camp, do a spot of off road driving, ride horses on the beach, kayak along the rivers … the possibilities are endless! Whatever you fancy doing, there’s something for everyone!

Atherton Tablelands

Remember Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’ video? (No? Google it!) Right in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands is ‘that’ waterfall! Swim up to the waterfall and don’t forget to pose for a pic doing the famous hair flick at Millaa Millaa Falls!

And that’s not all you can do on this tour. Take a day tour around some of the most amazing spots in the area. From waterfalls to volcanic craters and lots of amazing scenery in between you’ll end the day with a huge beaming smile on your face!

Magnetic Island

Everyone who has been to ‘Maggie Island’ remembers their time on the island fondly! So much to do and see packed on to this island, you’ll wish you had an extra day … no matter how long you stay! Have you ever wanted to cuddle a koala? Or hold a baby crocodile? You can at Bungalow Bay Koala Village … if you’re really brave, you can do your own Bushtucker Trial! For those of you wanting a bit of action, there’s  watersport options galore or, if relaxing is your thing, pick a hammock on the beach and watch the world go by. You can take a stroll through the island markets, or head up to Horseshoe Bay to watch the sunset. Take the Forts Walk to see the sights (you might even spot a wild koala or two along the way!) Maggie Island can be as action packed or as chilled out as you like – you really do choose!

Whitsundays

Been wondering what it would be like to sail a maxi boat around the Whitsunday Islands? Or have you been thinking it would be nice to live on a catamaran for 2 nights? Or would you rather sleep on a historical tallship? Whatever tickles your fancy, we can arrange it for you! Take your chosen vessel and visit some amazing spots that the Whitsunday Islands have to offer, including the amazing Whitehaven Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Snorkel or dive the reef, swim with the turtles and watch out for wild dolphins! Best of all, you’ll share this with your wonderful crew and come back to shore with lots of new friends!

Fraser Island

Three days on this island and you will never want to leave!  Swim in lakes so fresh, you can drink from them! Float down fast flowing creeks, visit the famous Champagne Pools (a natural jacuzzi anyone?), climb to the top of Indian’s Head and look out for rays, turtles and sharks, drive up the beach alongside wild dingoes … and that’s just one day! The 4wd tour allows you to experience some of the best off road driving on offer in Australia and you can camp in the only campground we’ve ever known that comes with its own nightclub! You’ll make friends for life on this trip and you’ll never get tired of reminiscing with them about Fraser Island!

Brisbane

About 300 days of the year are filled with sunshine in Brisbane, meaning you can take full advantage of all the wonderful things Queensland’s capital has on offer! Head to Southbank for Streets Beach, the only beach in Australia that can be found in the middle of the city. Hire a bike and cycle through the Botanic gardens, or take a free guided tour with the people who know the city best! If you’re on a budget, but you fancy seeing some live music, check out The City Sounds, Australia’s largest free live music program. Every week, you can find music to suit every taste, from Alternative to Reggae, Acoustic to Jazz.  Check out their Facebook Page. Once you’ve spent the day exploring, filled your belly in any of the huge number of restaurants/cafes on offer, get your gladrags on and sample the nightlife! From ‘Birdees’ in the Valley to ‘The Junction’ in Brisbane West or ‘5th Element’ in the West End, you’re guaranteed a great night out!

If you’re looking for things to do in Queensland and want to visit any of these places or do any of these things, let our Ultimate Oz team know and we can get it all arranged for you. From accommodation to travel to activities, we’ll help you sort out every last detail! Once you’ve done and seen all this, you really will leave thinking ‘There’s nothing like Australia!’ (That’s if you ever leave!)

 

Everyone’s talking about Australia Day, ‘the celebration that inspires the nation’, but what’s it all about?

Well, if you want the short version, Australia Day is when we all get together and celebrate just how wonderful our country is … although, every day is Australia Day at Ultimate Oz in that case!

Basically, in 1788, Captain Cook (not to be confused with Captain Hook!) came along and settled with the First Fleet and 26th January became the anniversary of the foundation of a new colony. Over the centuries, the significance of that date has evolved as the country has grown and prospered. Today, the celebration embraces the way Australia has become multicultural, it honours all ethnic backgrounds, all racial differences and all politic perspectives. Modern day Australia day celebrations are about diversity and tolerance in our Australian society.

So whoever you are, wherever you’re from, regardless of why you’re in Australia, you play a part here and Australia Day is your celebration too! There are events everywhere! Why not check out what is happening where you are:

 

 

Our Ultimate Oz crew will be celebrating all things Australian in Ultimate style (obviously!) … What will you be doing?

Australia Day in Brisbane leaves you spoilt for choice! With everything on offer, you’ll be in for a jam packed, fun filled day if you want to get to everything. Here’s a snippet of what you could be getting up to but be sure to check local sites for events as there are far too many for us to fit on one page!

Australia Day Festival

Southbank is where it’s at for some of the best Australia Day celebrations in Brisbane. The South Bank Parklands will be buzzing with excitement all throughout the day! There’s the traditional flag raising ceremony , the RAAF flypast and the twenty-one gun salute to kick things off with a bang (literally)!  A day out filled with fun, food and friends, finishing with Fireworks … what more could you ask for?!

Check out where you need to be here.

Australia Day on the Green

Also at Southbank (so handy if you want to pop over to the fesitival at some point)! Head towards QPAC between 12and 7pm for some great Aussie food and a nice cold beer with your friends while you listen to some free live music!

Take a look here for more information.

Aussie Beach Party

If you fancy getting out of the city for the celebrations of Australia Day, head to Moreton Bay for an Aussie Beach Party. Entertainment, food, live music and markets will keep you occupied for a while. Enter the Sandcastle Competition, get a free temporary tattoo (of the Australia flag?) or join the Lamington Eating Competition! All this and so much more!

Take a look at the full program here.

Australia Day Cockroach Races

Looking for something a little quirky and different to do on 26th January? Well, you have that right here! Known to attract crowds of up to 7000 people, the cockroach race is described as ‘historic’! It will certainly make for a different story a new experience (unless you’re a seasoned cockroach race enthusiast?!) Please please please let us know if you go along to this!!

Check this out for more details!

Let Ultimate Oz know what your favourite part of the day was! Have a great time!