OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide
Currency Conversion Guide for Backpackers in Australia

Currency Conversion Guide for Backpackers in Australia

Knowing how to convert currencies will be a definite advantage to backpackers in Australia and all over the world. This calculation is a simple but very useful tool which will help you compare costs in Australia.

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The Backpacker's Budget for Australia - Cost Of living In Australia - PART 1

The Backpacker's Budget for Australia - Cost Of living In Australia - PART 1

Budgeting for backpacking in Australia is all about getting the most out of your trip with the funds you have available. In this article we outline how to budget for backpacking around Australia including getting up to date prices for accommodation, transport, essential shopping items and day-to-day living expenses so you can budget your trip with confidence before you go.

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Cash Supply for Backpacking Around Australia

Cash Supply for Backpacking Around Australia

Whatever plans you have made for backpacking in Australia you will need to take some cash with you. The amount you take will depend on what you have managed to do in the planning phase (i.e, prebooked accommodation, shuttle, opened an Australian bank account, etc...). Learn how much cash you will need to take to Australia to see you through the first 2 weeks.

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E.F.T Transferring Money to Australia

E.F.T Transferring Money to Australia

If you're on a Working Holiday Visa or are travelling for extended periods the largest part of your holiday funds will be paid into your Australian bank account (Australian bank account). There are a few ways you can transfer your holiday funds...

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Contingency Funds for the Backpacker in Australia

Contingency Funds for the Backpacker in Australia

Anything can happen when you're backpacking around Australia and if something goes wrong, having a contingency fund will enable you to act quickly when you need to get things sorted out. In the case of an emergency (i.e, your money gets lost or stolen) or even if you simply over spend and just wind up broke, you will need access to money, accommodation, food, transport & identification documents to get everything back on track.

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A Guide to Travellers Cheques for Backpackers in Australia

A Guide to Travellers Cheques for Backpackers in Australia

Travellers cheques can be used to safely transport your money to Australia where they can be 'encashed' at some stage during your trip. They can be ordered in a shop front (bank, post office, etc...) or online which are delivered to you in the post.Learn how to use travellers cheques and why they are good for backpacking in Australia.

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Money Management for the Backpacker in Australia

Money Management for the Backpacker in Australia

In this section you can learn how to set up an Australian Bank Account (Australian bank account), read about transferring your money to Australia, see how to create a financial contingency plan for emergency situations and find some helpful tips on budgeting.

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Opening an Australian Bank Account from Overseas - Australian Bank Accounts Explained

Australian Banking for the Backpacker

If you're preparing for a backpacking trip in Australia opening an Australian bank account is going to be an absolute necessity for your trip! With it you will be booking accommodation, buying day-to-day shopping, getting your wages paid into it, drawing cash out for activities and of course buying things from the shops using EFTPOS (more in a moment).

An Australian bank account can be opened before you go which you can then transfer funds into in advance for when you arrive or alternatively you can open an account when you get there. Both options for opening a new Australian bank account are covered in this article as well as some helpful ideas about how to choose the right account for you.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia Read the Electronic Funds Transfer - Transferring Money to Australia section to get the heads up on how to transfer your money into your Australian bank account. This way you can coincide it with your arrival in Australia ready for when you need it.

The Major Banks in Australia

So, the major banks in Australia are CommonWealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB) and A.N.Z.

Australia is a massive country with a lot of different environments, from huge cities to remote outback towns and during your trip you will experience both. What has this got to do with choosing a bank account? In Australia, if you draw cash out of a rival A.T.M (i.e, you have an A.N.Z account and you draw money from a Westpac A.T.M) you will be charged for that transaction.

Make sure you choose a bank with lots of cash machines all over Australia, so you know you can always find one from your bank and don't have to worry about getting charged. In the cities you will generally find your own branch but in the more remote areas they only usually have one or two of the major banks depending on population size.

Most banks will charge a small monthly fee (around $5 per month) for your bank account, but make sure you shop around because there are some that don't (ie, Westpac). Also some banks require a minimum deposit to open your account so check and see how much that will be before you apply. It's all about researching different banks, weighing up your options and comparing the best deals until you find the right one for you.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia When choosing which Australian bank to open your account with, find out how much they charge for transferring money from abroad, i.e. home, and how long it will take to process because they can vary quite a lot!

EFTPOS

A great way to withdraw money in Australia without paying any excess fees is to use the 'cash out' facility using EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale). EFTPOS (similar to 'cash back' in th U.K) is simply buying goods with your bank card at the EFTPOS counter. You will see if a store has one of these because it will be clearly sign posted and even if not, ask somebody if they 'do EFTPOS' because it's quite common. So remember, if you can only find cash machines from rival banks (that you will be charged to use) look for a shop which does EFTPOS and get your cash that way instead.

Many larger retailers such as supermarkets allow you to withdraw cash when you're buying goods with your bank card (i.e cash back) and most banks will not charge a fee for this. There is usually a limit on how much you can withdraw per day for security purposes and the cash you draw via EFTPOS is quite often included in the total daily limit. Check with your bank to find out the exact limits.

Recommended Australian Bank Account Requirements for Backpacking

When you're backpacking in Australia you're almost definitely going to be making payments online/over the phone and in shops. For this reason it's very important to open an account which comes with a AUSTRALIAN DEBIT CARD and an ONLINE BANKING facility. Although this may seem obvious, even some of the major banks issue cards that don't have either of these capabilities!

So at the very least you will need the ability to make payments via EFTPOS, book by phone and manage your money online. Make sure you know exactly what your new bank account comes with before opening an account.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia For your own security, get a bank account which has a paperless statements option and enable it straight away! This way there is no chance of statements being read by anyone but you. When you actually activate (physically open) your account in Australia (more in a moment on account activation) you can ask the clerk to use the branch address as the place you want your statements sent to initially, it is not advisable to use a hostel address.

Below is a list of recommended bank account requirements for backpackers in Australia...

  • A debit card that allows you to make payments with EFTPOS, online and over the phone.

  • Access to your account online 24/7 with a paperless statements option.

  • An account with minimal or if possible NO monthly fee.

  • Lots of A.T.M's all over Australia (especially in the more remote locations).

  • An account with the least possible charges for transactions abroad (transferring money internationally).

  • An account with security alerts by phone (in case of fraudulent activity).

  • Find out how much money is required for the deposit to open the account.

  • Find out how long it takes to transfer your money from your account at home.

Which type of bank account should I open?

The account of choice for backpackers in Australia is what they call an 'everyday account'. Take a look around at the best deals offered by each bank and compare them against each other. Ideally it should include all of the things listed above for hassle free banking. If you're emigrating, you may wish to get a 'saver account' with it but, for most people backpacking in Australia just one account will do.

How do I open an Australian bank account before I go to Australia?

To open an Australian bank account before you leave home you need to apply online. It works by applying for an account ahead of your departure date which you will then be required to activate in person when you arrive in Australia.

After applying online, you will receive your new bank account details which you can use to transfer your money into before you leave home (preferably at least two weeks in advance). When you arrive in Australia, you take the relevant identification/proof (ID) into the bank to activate your account and pick up your card/internet banking details. For ID, you will need an original bank statement from your bank at home (see section Bank Documents for Backpacking Around Australia) and your passport.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia When you arrange a branch to activate your new account in, it's advisable to choose a branch which is close to the hostel you will be staying in when you arrive. This way you can get there easily and activate your account without any stress.

So to oppen your new account, find the website of the bank you wish to use and follow the instructions they give you. Westpac offer a service with some good perks on the 'everyday account' which would be ideal for the backpackers in Australia. You can find more information at their website http://movingtoaustralia.westpac.co.uk/banking-in-australia/everyday-bank-accounts and apply for an account if you want to.

How do I activate/open my bank account in Australia?

The easiest way to get a new bank account in Australia is to visit one of the bank branches in town. If you have applied online before reaching Australia you will still need to visit the bank and active your account in person. This should be one of the first things you do after you have shaken off the jet lag. Without delay go to your chosen bank and make an appointment with the teller (clerk) to get your account up and running.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia It's not advisable to get your new card and PIN delivered to the hostel or anywhere else that strangers have access to your mail. Instead, when you make your application tell the bank clerk that you want to collect your new card and details from the branch you opened the account in.

If you don't have the time to wait for your stuff to come through, you can get the bank clerk to send it internally to another branch anywhere in the country. So for example, if you know that you will be in Brisbane a week or two after you open the account, you can ask them to send it to the Brisbane branch closest to where you will be staying. Then when you get to Brisbane take your ID with you and collect your new card and details from there.

What will I need to take for ID?

You will definitely need to take your passport and the details of your bank account at home (to transfer the bulk of your money across if you haven't already). They are going to ask for proof of your account at home in the form of an original bank statement (see section Bank Documents for Backpacking Around Australia).

Other than that, when you make your appointment ask the clerk/teller if there is anything else you will need to bring with you and write it all down in your Personal Organiser. Obviously you should include the time/date/location of your appointment, the name of the person you're going to be dealing with and the amount they require you to deposit when you open your account.

Anything else I should be aware of?

They are going to ask you for an Australian address but don't worry if you don't have one. Be polite and explain to them that you're a backpacker who has just arrived in Australia and that you would like them to use the address of the bank branch you're in until you get a place sorted.

Of course as a backpacker, the chances are that you won't ever have a permanent address. So you may decide just to leave things as they are without providing a new address, this way you know your statements will not be sent anywhere which could compromise your security. If you opt for paperless statements it will increase your security and you can check your statements online anyway.

Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Bank Documents - Taking Proof of Identification - Backpacking Australia

Bank Documents - Taking Proof of Identification - Backpacking Australia

When you're travelling to Australia you will need to take an up to date original bank statement with you. It will be helpful to prove funds and identification when you wish to open an Australian Bank Account.

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Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Appointed Person - Help from home - Managing Life in Australia And At Home

Appointed Person - Help from home - Managing Life in Australia And At Home

When you go to Australia it's important to have somebody you can trust at home to help you out when you need to get things done. Read our guide about choosing an appointed person before you go.

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Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Finding Work - Backpacking Jobs & Employment In Australia

Finding Work - Backpacking Jobs & Employment In Australia

There is quite a lot of preparation you can do to maximise your chances of getting work when you need it. Work can be easy to find as long as you know where to look and take every opportunity you get.

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Money Management Backpacking Australia

Money Management Backpacking Australia

Learn how to set up an Australian Bank Account and transferring your money to Australia, see how to create a financial contingency plan for emergency situations and find some helpful tips on budgeting.

Backpackers Currency Conversion Guide

Currency Conversion Guide for Backpackers in Australia

Knowing how to convert currencies will be a definite advantage to backpackers in Australia. This simple calculation is a very useful tool which will help you compare costs in Australia.

Supernnuation Funds - Claiming It Back - Backpacking Australia

As far as a backpacker travelling around Australia is concerned, a superannuation fund is like a savings account you can claim back when you leave Australia.

Supernnuation Funds - Claiming It Back - Backpacking Australia

As far as a backpacker travelling around Australia is concerned, a superannuation fund is like a savings account you can claim back when you leave Australia.

Backpackers Getting Around Australia - Travel Options - Budgeting Tips

There's more to getting around then just travelling from A to B. Australia is a huge country and the way you get around becomes a part of the experience while you explore Australia.

About OzUltra Backpacking »

The OzUltra Backpacking Australia Guide has been complied by a small team of seasoned backpackers who love Australia and share this guide freely for all future backpackers heading to Australia.

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