5 Things to do on the first day of your Australian WHV
So you got the visa, you packed your bags, and you said goodbye to your life back home. Now you’ve stepped off a plane to embrace a new life down under for the next year or more on a Working Holiday Visa. You’ve navigated your way to your hostel, which may be your home for the next few nights or even the next few months. What next? Whilst you’ll be filled with excitement about exploring (I know I was!), there are some formalities that need to be taken care of as soon as possible. Here are five things to do on your first day in Australia.
1. Pay the bank a visit
Hopefully you’ve been organised and set up your bank account online before leaving home. Even so, you’ll need to visit your local branch to show ID and collect your new bank card. Everyone has an opinion on which banks are best for WHV travellers, but I have always gone with Commonwealth and had zero issues.
2.Grab a new sim card
You’ll need an Australian phone number for when you start applying for jobs, so pop into your local Telstra or Optus shop (personally i’m on Optus prepaid and that works for me), and get yourself connected with a new plan.
3.Find somewhere to live
Some travellers are happy to stay in hostels long-term, and others aren’t planning to stay in their first location long enough to require anything more permanent. However, renting a room in a house or an apartment can be a cheaper option with increased space and privacy. If there’s no free wifi in your hostel, head to the library and find your new home. Going directly to letting agencies can be extremely competitive in some parts of Aus, so Gumtree and local Facebook groups are often your best bet. Try to arrange some inspections over the next few days.
4.Get yourself a job
If you want to start earning $$$ straight away, you’ll need a job. Facebook groups, Gumtree, and job sites such as Indeed or Seek can be helpful for this. Depending on what kind of job you’re after, you may require some form of certification, for example bartenders will need an RSA and labourers will need a white card. In most states the RSA can be done online so you may even be able to do it before you land in Aus, however some like Victoria require you to take the class and test in person once you arrive.
5.Get a tax file number
In order to get paid, you will also need a tax file number. In order to get this, you will need an Australian address. You can use the address of your hostel, however remember to pop back and check the post if you leave. You can still apply for jobs without this, however it may cause issues when payday comes. It can take up to a month to arrive, however if you call the tax office they may be able to tell you your tax file number over the phone sooner than this.
Now you’re all set to live and work down under for the next year! You’ll find yourself settling in in no time and having the time of your life. You may decide, like I did, that you don’t want to leave.