OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide OzUltra Australia Backpacking Guide
Australian Medicare Service for Backpackers

Australian Medicare Service for Backpackers

Primarily the Medicare system (similar to N.H.S in the U.K) is for Australian citizens, but if you're from a country which participates in the reciprocal health care agreement you may be eligible to join Medicare and gain 'immediate access' to the services they provide. If you're eligble, this is well worth the effort and can be of considerable value if you're backpacking in Australia for longer periods.

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Backpackers Packing Guide/Checklist for backpacking around Australia - PART 1

Backpackers Packing Guide/Checklist for backpacking around Australia - PART 1

Read our helpful backpacking checklist and get lots of hints/tips about what to pack before you go to Australia. Learn about choosing the right backpack, what essentials you will need to take with you and how to travel light when you need to.

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A Backpacker's Travel Insurance Guide for backpacking Australia

A Backpacker's Travel Insurance Guide for backpacking Australia

When you're backpacking around Australia anything can happen and you'll need travel insurance to protect yourself in case of an emergency. No matter how much time you spend in Australia (or anywhere else abroad), travel insurance is a major priority when you're planning your trip.

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Travel Safety while Backpacking in Australia

Travel Safety while Backpacking in Australia

It's important to learn a little bit about travel safety in Australia for you and the people you are travelling with. In this article we discuss travel safety ideas for backpackers in Australia and outline some helpful hints & tips for staying safe on holiday.

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Visas for Backpacking Around Australia

Visas for Backpacking Around Australia

There are some really good visas available for backpacking in Australia. They vary in price and each visa has a set of criteria to meet before a visa is granted. The working holiday visa is very popular because you can travel and work in Australia for 12 months. In this article we share which visas are available, how to apply and how to extend the working holiday visa for an extra year.

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A Backpacker's Geography of Australia

A Backpacker's Geography of Australia

A little bit of research about Australia's geography can go a long way when planning your trip. The weather patterns in Australia can make all the difference to your plans! The monsoon (wet season) for example, can make travel dangerous in the summer months up in northern Australia. In this section you can learn about the weather patterns, states and major cities of Australia.

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Backpacking Australia - Appointed Person - Help from home

Backpacking Australia - Appointed Person - Help from home

When you go backpacking around Australia, it's important to have somebody you can trust at home to help you out when you need to get things done. This will be your appointed person and they will be helping you manage your trip when you're in Australia. Learn how to keep everything in order while your backpacking around Australia.

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Hostels in Australia - Hostel Life of the Backpacker

Hostels in Australia - Hostel Life of the Backpacker

When you're backpacking around Australia on a budget the hostels are an ideal place to stay. Hostels cater for backpackers who are looking for a temporary base whilst exploring the awesomeness of Australia.

They usually have dormitory style sleeping arrangements (split into male and female which suits most backpackers) but quite often they also have private single or double rooms (if required) at an extra cost.

To learn more about budgeting for your trip read our excellent The Backpacker's Budget for Australia - Cost Of living In Australia - PART 1 article.

You can find hostels all over Australia. Hostel standards are all different but you can get a fairly good idea by reading backpackers reviews on booking sites.

Hostel life - Life in the hostels of Australia

Depending on your usual living arrangements, hostel life may take a bit of getting used to in the beginning. Things like sharing the kitchen spaces and common rooms with larger numbers of people than you may be used to or sharing the facilities like the t.v, barbeque's, washer/dryers etc... but it won't take long before it feels like one big happy family.

The people you will be living with have come from all corners of the globe and will give you a very interesting, multi-cultural experience. They will range from the seasoned backpackers to the newly arrived and each person will have a different story to tell.

You will be meeting and making new friends with lots of people who have been drawn to the same place as you who want the same experiences and you will go off on your grand adventures together.

One very endearing thing about hostel life is that, people who have experienced time with others from around the world can understand and appreciate the ways of each culture and bring new light to some of the prejudice which exists. Because of the diversity of culture you can find in the hostels, remember to always be kind and respect peoples wishes.

The cleanliness of a hostel depends on the hostel staff to a degree but the responsibility also lies with the backpackers themselves. It's important to remember that if you make a mess it's only fair that you should clean it up afterwards, this applies to the kitchen areas, common areas, toilet areas and the dorms.

For example, the last thing you want to do is climb over bags or other things when you want to get to your bed, or keep moving dishes to get to the sink. This applies to everybody, a clean hostel is a happy hostel and everyone is in this together.

Storage facilities in hostels

Finding a hostel with a place to safely store your luggage is always a bonus, both for security and saving space in the dorms (though sometimes they may charge extra). Other options for storing your backpack (and other gear) might include the end of the bed or underneath it (if possible), basically anywhere which is clear of walkways or emergency exits.

For food storage there is usually a pigeon hole type arrangement (in or near the kitchen) where you can bag up and store all the bits you have bought. Using an identifiable shopping bag (read our Backpackers Packing Guide/Checklist for backpacking around Australia - PART 1 article) to save any food going missing by mistake. Fridges can be a bit cluttered sometimes so only buy what you will need for a few days, labeling your items as you go.

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia Food does sometimes go missing, weather it's a mistake or theft it does happen. Don't leave single items laying around by themselves, instead keep all your food together tied up in a clearly identifiable bag (non see through) and out of the way as best you can.

Taking the heat - Australia in the summer & Air conditioning

Australia can be very hot in the heights of summer and at this time it's worth trying to find hostels with air conditioning. During the day it's not really much of a problem as most of the time you will be out exploring and having fun (remember your sun screen), but at night time it can be too hot and difficult to sleep.

The same also goes for the cold in the winter, in places like Tasmania the temperature can drop considerably and if there is no heating it can sometimes make things a bit miserable. Try to find a place that has taken care of these requirements, if you can't get the information online give them a call and find out before you book.

Breakfast? Is it included?

Sometimes you can find hostels which provide breakfast in the morning (usually cerial or toast with a cup of tea or coffee). If you're a fairly active backpacker, this is an ideal bonus to grab on your way out the door and saves you the cost of making your own.

Hostel locations - Is this the right place for me?

Choosing the location of your hostel will depend on the places you want to visit and the things you want to do. Wherever you decide to stay, make sure that it's located next to all the services and facilities you're going to need for that part of the trip.

This would include, public transport, the banks, super markets anything you know you will need when you get there (this is especially important when you first get to Austrlia).

Hot Tips for Backpacking Around Australia If you're planning for your actual arrival into Australia it is worth finding out if the hostel includes a shuttle service from the airport (see section Bus Services in Australia - Backpackers Guide).

Most of the time the hostel staff will provide you with a small map of the surrounding area and show you where different things are, but it always a good idea to spend a little bit of time on the web making sure it has everything you need before you book.

The size of the hostel can also change the experience for better or worse. For example, if you're a city fan and love the pace of activity usually found there, a small hostel in the middle of the city will be ideal. There will be a party on the go every other night, people will invite you to go out in the evenings, everyone will be buzzing around doing their thing and for some of you that will be great!

If however, you like a bit more quiet time and space to get away from it all, a large hostel with plenty of room which is further out of the city is going to be the ideal choice. Some of the best hostels of this kind are the YHA buildings (http://www.yha.com.au) which are usually fairly well kept and offer some good facilities.

Either way, you will soon know what kind of environment you like to be in, just be sure to consider which kind of hostel you want to stay in carefully because it will affect the type of experience you have.

Check-in - Timing is everything!!!

When you book a hostel, always be sure to find out when the staff members are going to be available because you will need to meet with them in order to check-in.

Check-in is just a matter of confirming and paying for your reservation after which they will give you your key (or card, or code) and tell you a bit about the lay of the land. Usually some ID (i.e passport) is necessary and a small deposit is required for your room key which is returned to you when you check-out.

When you're booking a hostel make sure you arrive within the 'opening hours'. When you're arranging transport (flights, busses, trains, etc...) to your new destination make sure it all coincides with the check-in times.

For example, if you're leaving home on a flight to Australia and arrive at 8:00pm it will reduce your chances of check-in (which can cause obvious problems).

It's the same for the 'wing it' type of backpacker, who just aimlessly travels about from place to place, counting on finding a hostel when they get there. Not very sensible at all! There have been many rough nights spent unnecessarily because of not taking these few simple steps when arranging accommodation.

Check-out

Check-out is a little less dramatic, all it really means is returning your key and getting your deposit back. When you're planning your route to go somewhere else, try to keep your leaving time within the staffing hours and if you can't, make sure you speak to them in good time about returning the key and getting your deposit back before you leave.

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Employment Documents - Work Resumes(C.V) for Backpacking Australia

Employment Documents - Work Resumes(C.V) for Backpacking Australia

For better chances of getting work in Australia you may wish to create and store some employment documents. A Resume (C.V) with a covering letter would make a good impression on a new employer.

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Backpacking Airport Considerations - Flights Guide – 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.

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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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Appointed Person - Help from home

Appointed Person - Help from 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.

Medicare Service for Backpackers

Australian Medicare Service for Backpackers

The Medicare system is for Australian citizens but if you're from a country which participates in the health care agreement you may well be eligible to join Medicare.

Australian Tax File Number Explained

The good thing for people on a Temporary Working visa is that you can make a claim for all of the employment tax you have paid when you leave the country.

Backpackers Guide to Driving in Australia - PART 1

Driving in Australia will easily provide you with the most freedom to explore. Having your own vehicle you can go anywhere, at any time without the hassle of public transport.

E-mail Setup - Backpacking 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.

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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