Monday, 28 January 2013

My Working Holiday in Melbourne- Part 1

On visiting Australia as a tourist less than a year ago (more on that HERE) I absolutely fell in love with this country; I had an amazing time with friends in Sydney and Adelaide and more fun than is probably healthy travelling up the beautiful East Coast to Cairns, though it was the wonderful city of Melbourne that I saw myself returning to.

<3 This City

I was told by a friend that Sydney is like a glamorous trophy girlfriend, but Melbourne is the woman you spend the rest of your life with- a metaphor I think fits perfectly. Almost a year later, here I am in the bosom of my 'wife' on a Working Holiday Visa, (£240 in GBP atm) seeking full-time employment and a fun house-share for at least the rest of the year, and I'm one happy camper (well, lodger) for choosing to do so.

Aussies are like Northerners without coats on; they're friendly, they like to drink and they will go out of their way to help you (or so I have found). Luckily I have fantastic friends and their accommodating families who are letting me stay until I find my feet, and I've almost been having too much fun so far to sort my life out; getting to know the best places to eat and drink (more on that coming soon), attending the Tennis Open, exploring the city and its laneways, its suburbs and shopping districts, making friends and even going wake-boarding on the Murray River during an Australia Day camping weekend- yeah mate!

Having fun at the Open in the freebie and photo-op rich stalls :)

I have however done the basics, all in my first trip to the mall:

  • I got an Aussie phone number ($30/month for a pretty good Optus deal, do this first!)
  • I set up a Commonwealth Bank account (needs a $50 deposit to get it going for a $6 charge)
  • I applied for a Tax File Number (you need this for finding a job but it's super easy to apply for online)
  • I registered for Medicare (similar to the NHS but you pay a portion of your fees; Britain has a 'reciprocal agreement' with Australia so we get cut-price healthcare too).
Now my building-a-life activities include adding jobs to my rapidly-growing Seek shortlist, signing up for recruitment agencies for some temping work while I find The Job (TBC), and prowling Gumtree and house-share sites to find a friendly, non-creepy bunch of people I can move in with on a short-term basis. If you're staying in a hostel first you might meet like-minded peeps who you can find a house together with, just make sure they have some degree of personal hygiene first!

Moving to Australia for a year or two needn't be stressful if you adopt the laid-back vibe of those who surround you once you get here. Be prepared, do your research and keep on top of your to-do list once you get here and everything will (hopefully) fall into place, or so I hope :)

Apparently it's snowing in the UK. SHAME :p


  1. Thanks for sharing such a nice blog. Melbourne is a really a nice place. One can enjoy here with their friends,spending holidays. of course , you get a chance to mix up with peoples, friends, enjoying clubs and like minded people your area

  2. Melbourne is the attractve city in australia .Here are many beautiful places .I hope your holiday in melbourne with full of joys.
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