Australia is a seriously popular destination for working holidays and I’m not ashamed to be one of those people to have upped and left home to go and have some fun. I had a lot of time to sort out everything I had to before I left the UK (you can check all that out here), but there’s nothing to be done about some aspects.
So here is a list of everything that you need to get sorted once you arrive. Don’t worry though, it can all fit in around heavy drinking sessions and wandering aimlessly around getting lost but be prepared for the fact that you might have to hang around in the same place for a couple of weeks – Australia is old school and most stuff still comes through snail mail post!
Get a Bank Account
Obvious one if you haven’t done it before hand. ANZ allows you to set it up before you reach Australia but as far as I am aware, the other main banks – Westpac and Commonwealth don’t. So if you want to bank with these guys then you will need to sort it when you get there. Make sure you have your passport and a copy of your visa on you as they will probably ask to see them.
get your bank card
Sounds obvious but remember that this type of stuff comes through the post so you are going to have to wait for it. This also means committing to staying in one place until you get it. I was lucky enough to know someone who lives in Brisbane (where I landed) and was able to use his address as my base so I was able to move around without worrying. However, as I banked with ANZ and set it up before Ieft the UK, my card was ready for collection on the day I went in. Winner!
Apply for your Tax File Number (TFN)
A Tax File Number is a unique number issued by the Australian Taxation Office and it relates to your taxes and superannuation account (more about that in a minute). Basically, you have to have it in order to be able to work. It’s easy to apply for one on the Government website but the number will come through the post, so once again, you’re going to be waiting on that!
Apply for a TFN here
Set Up Your superannuation Account
Put in simple and English friendly terms, your ‘super’ is your pension account. Your employer will pay into it and you will not be able to access it while you are in Australia. I have set up my Super account through my bank as it’s best to have one account that all your employers will pay into rather than having a new one set up for each job. It will just make it easier to claim it back when you leave the country.
Certain countries have agreements set up with Australia to cover the cost of essential medical care. A Medicare Card will help to pay for basic stuff but you will still need to make sure you have decent travel insurance to cover anything bigger if it should happen. To apply for one you will need to fill out one of these forms and take it to your nearest service centre – a search to find this can be done here.
Get a local phone number
A little pre-warning for your here- phone contracts are expensive. Like way more expensive than the UK for a SIM only deal (called pre-paid). There are cheaper deals out there but the data allowance is small and it only goes up to a decent amount when you pay significantly more. The biggest phone providers are Telstra and Optus. It will be worth spending a little bit of time seeing what deals they have on and what will work for you. Having an Australian number means you won’t be paying crazy international fees!