OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide
How to use International Phone Cards - Backpacking in Australia

How to use International Phone Cards - Backpacking in Australia

For calling international numbers (i.e, contacting people at home) a phone card/ticket will often provide you with the best rates. Phone cards/tickets both perform the same task (cheap international calls) and are used in exactly the same way. Learn how to call home with low costs.

READ MORE
Communications For Backpacking Around Australia

Staying In Touch - Communications For Backpacking Around Australia

It's always a good idea to know as many ways of contacting people as possible when you're backpacking around Australia. In this section you can learn lots of useful ways to keep in contact while you're in Australia and how they can be particularly useful for backpacking in Australia.

READ MORE
Writing a Travel Blog about Australia

Writing A Travel Blog About Backpacking in Australia

For anybody who would like to share their experiences with the friends/family at home a 'blog' is the perfect medium. A blog will provide you with your own space on the web to create and publish content for others to view and respond to by posting comments on your page.

READ MORE
E-mail Setup for Backpacking Around Australia

E-mail Setup for Backpacking Around Australia

Storage space is quite an important factor to consider when choosing which provider to go with. Why? Because you can use an e-mail account to store your media safely when you travel. Learn how email can be useful for backpacking other than sending mail.

READ MORE

Using Mobile Phones & Australian SIM cards while Backpacking around Australia

Using Mobile Phones while backpacking around Australia

A mobile phone is a necessity for anybody backpacking in Australia. Even if you're only staying for a short period it's still highly advisable to get an Australian SIM card and compatible mobile phone. At the very least, having a number you can be contacted on and use to make emergency calls is an absolute must!

Other than keeping in contact with your friends/family, most people will need a mobile phone for arranging activities, getting work opportunities and making bookings amongst many other things.

Who provides the mobile phone networks in Australia and how do I get an Australian SIM card?

There are 3 main network providers in Australia Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone. Each company offers different deals on prepaid or contract phones which you will need to research and compare. As usual the coverage varies between networks but the main 3 are generally quite good in the more densely populated areas.

It should be mentioned at this stage that there is almost no advantage to getting an Australian SIM card until you arrive in Australia. Getting a SIM card is easy, simply visit a shop in town and get one from one of the big three companies mentioned above. They have shop fronts in all the major cities/towns in Australia, so once the jet lag has worn off, take a walk into town and get one.

SIM cards can also be ordered online but it means you have to wait for it to be delivered to the hostel (or wherever you are staying). Unless you really need to get your SIM this way, take the simple option and visit a shop in town instead.

Should I Take my current Phone or shall I buy one when I get to Australia?

Whether you take your phone to Australia or buy one when you get there all depends on how you use your phone, how often you use your phone and how much time you will spend in Australia.

For example, if you are going on a working holiday visa and use your phone a lot (i.e, phone calls, texts, facebook or other data apps), the best thing to do is get a 12 month contract when you arrive. This way you will have all the usual functions you use and get the best rates for your money.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia There are a 4 main advantages to buying a phone when you arrive in Australia, first it saves pack weight/space, second the charger will have an Australian plug on it, third you can guarantee it's compatibility and fourth, if there is a problem with the phone you can get a replacement.

On the other hand, if you are only in Australia for a short period of time (i.e, round the world ticket) or only use your phone occasionally, the best thing to do is take an unblocked 'world phone' (more in a moment) with you and get an Australian SIM card when you arrive. This way you can top it up (or as they say in Australia 'recharge') without any ongoing contracts or extra costs.

Most modern phones are capable of using multiple band frequencies to enable roaming functions. The best being the quad band or what is sometimes referred to as the 'world phone' because they can operate on all the major cellular frequencies used around the globe. Learn about GSM frequency bands at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_frequency_bands).

If you have (or can get) a mobile phone which has been 'unblocked' (made available for use with any network) you may wish to take it with you to save on extra expenses (i.e, buying a new phone). Of course you will still need to check for band compatibility but unblocked 'world phones' can definately work on Australian networks.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia A good network option for backpacking in Autralia (or round the world) for making cheap international calls is the Lebara SIM. Lebara provide international SIM cards which are perfect for making cheap calls home from your moblie phone. One added bonus is that calls/texts made to the same network (Lebara to Lebara) are free! You can get a free SIM card from the Lebara website.

Remeber that if you have an 'unblocked' world phone you can always swap SIM cards to take advantage of better rates! For example, if you get a top up SIM (pay as you go) in Australia to use for better rates nationally you can also have a Lebara SIM when you want to call home (internationally) and swap them around when you need to.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia If you decide to use your existing mobile phone (or any other electrical devices from home) the plug socket will most likely be different to those found in Australia. In which case you will need a plug adaptor to charge or make use of the items you take with you (see Plugs, Adaptors and Voltage).

Backpacking in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa & Using your phone for Data (internet)

If you are on a working holiday visa (staying in Australia for at least 12 months), consider getting an Australian mobile phone contract. Whether you bring your own phone (and just buy a SIM contract) or buy a phone with a contract, it will be the most cost effective option for living in Australia.

A phone with a good data package will be or tremendous value for backpacking in Australia, with it you can search and apply for jobs, find out what's going on in your area, buy shopping, book accommodation, keep up to date with travel news, and easily stay in touch with everyone back home.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia The OzUltra Backpacking Australia site has been super optimised for mobile access. So you can always find all the backpacking information you need while your 'on the move' with our new mobile site.

As mentioned before, buying a phone with a contract when you arrive in Australia has some definate advantages.

  • 1) It will save space/pack weight when you go to Australia.

  • 2) It will have an Australian plug on it (no need for an adaptor).

  • 3) It will definately be compatible for use in Australia.

  • 4) If the phone is faulty you can get it replaced.

If you decide yo buy a phone with a contract, don't forget, if you don't want to keep the phone when it's time to leave Australia, you can always sell it before you go.

The best place to buy a contract/phone is obviously at the phone shop after you have arrived in Australia. Try to avoid buying online, especially if you are buying a new phone with your contract.

If you won't use much data and don't want to be tied to a 12 month contract, there are some brilliant 'pay as you go' tariffs available in Australia. Check out the cheap phone/recharging option below.

Backpacking in Australia for Shorter Periods or Topping up (recharging) as you go

If you're backpacking on a 'round world ticket' and have a new state of the art phone it's probably best to leave it at home and purchase a cheap unblocked 'world phone' instead. This way with each country you visit, you can buy a local SIM card to use with your phone and top it up as you go.

If you're backpacking in Australia on a working holiday visa but don't use your phone much except for calls & texts, you can buy a cheap phone when you arrive.

You can purchase a mobile phone in various retail outlets around Australia fairly cheaply (some as little as $50AUD or so). It won't be the most amazing phone but it's the practicality that counts.

There is also the possibility that you can pick one up second hand for even less, backpackers leaving Australia quite often sell the things they no longer need before they set off. Try a search on Gumtree for 'mobile phones'.

How does the top-up work in Australia?

Depending on the network, you can usually top-up (or what the Ozzies call 'recharge') your phone much the same as you do at home (i.e, news agents, online, network shop, by phone with a credit or debit card etc...). Each network provider has different rates and charges but the way the credit is applied to prepaid phones is usually the same. It's called the prepaid 'cap' system.

When you top up or buy credit for your phone in Australia you're given the option of how much you want to buy (the cap) and with each option comes the allowance (i.e, amount of calls, texts, e-mail, media, etc...) you have paid for.

For example there may be a $30AUD cap which is advertised with a $450AUD recharge. This means that for the $30AUD you have paid you get $450AUD to spend with your phone (see an example of the Vodaphone prepaid cap list to get a better understanding).

Most network providers have tariffs for international calls which can be prepaid, so be sure to check them out too.

Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Backpackers Guide to Instant Messaging And Free Video Calls

Backpackers Guide to Instant Messaging And Free Video Calls

Instant messaging (IM) is a very good means of communication for a backpacker. It enables two or more people to meet and chat live online either by typing messages or speaking into a microphone.

READ MORE
Top OzUltra Articles Backpacking Australia
Making International Calls In Australia - How To Phone Home From Australia

Making International Calls In Australia - How To Phone Home From Australia

To make calls to international numbers from Australia it helps to understand the different dialing codes required to connect your call. Learn how to call home while backpacking around Australia.

READ MORE

Making International Calls In Australia

Money Management Backpacking Australia

To make calls to international numbers from Australia it helps to understand the different dialing codes required to connect your call. Learn how to call home while backpacking around Australia.

How to use International Phone Cards

How to use International Phone Cards - Backpacking in Australia

For calling international numbers (i.e, contacting people at home) a phone card/ticket will often provide you with the best rates. Learn how to call home with low calling costs when you need to.

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.

Backpacking Airport Considerations - Flights Guide – Australia

Unless you have booked your flights months in advance the dates you choose will make all the difference to the cost of your flight. Pack weight is also something to consider for your journey.

Electronic Funds Transfer - Transferring Money to an Australian Bank Account

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. Learn how to transfer money to 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.

Copyright © OzUltra 2017 | Created by OzUltra Web Design