Our favourite travel blogger, Rachel DiMattia, relives her joyous memories of Australia with the Australian Working Holiday Visa.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to live and work in Australia for one year on the Australian Working Holiday Visa. It was the best decision I have ever made for travel, work, and fun! Australia is a fantastic place to spend a year (or two, if you are from a country that has a two-year agreement with Australia), and here is why:
- The actual, physical beauty of Australia. Australia is MASSIVE and there are SO many gorgeous sights to see. This country has it all: rain forests, deserts, beaches, cities, and one of the seven wonders of the natural world: the Great Barrier Reef (which you can scuba-dive or snorkel around simply by booking a tour). Whitehaven Beach is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, and I truthfully do not think I will ever see another beach anywhere in the world that is more stunning than it.
- The pay. Pay in Australian is significantly higher than in other countries around the world. Compared to the United States, the minimum wage is $10 per hour higher. If you decide to work as a waitress, you are likely to be paid around $22 per hour (or more) and possibly even more per hour on the weekends. Depending on the type of place that you work, you may collect tips as well. The pay is much higher for all jobs than what I am used to as an American, so it is a really great place to earn money, no matter what job you find.
- The safety aspect.Sure, bad things can happen anywhere, but it feels very safe in Australia. There are very strict (and enforced) laws regarding weapons and violence, and the crime rate is much lower than where I am from: the United States. I feel very comfortable walking around in the cities in Australia, and people seem to have a more peaceful attitude than where I come from.
- The weather is awesome! Winter is much milder than in the Northern Hemisphere, and you can always escape the colder winters by heading north. Queensland, the Northern Territory, or upper Western Australia are pretty warm all year round, so you can spend your winters in one of those states if you are interested in chasing the sun.
- You will meet people from all over the world. Many countries have the Australian working holiday visa agreement, so lots of young people from around the world take advantage and come to Australia to travel and make money. Eligibility is for people between the ages of 18-31 years old, so if you are in that age range and decide to do it, you will meet people your age from nearly everywhere. Even if they do not have the visa, there are many travelers year round that come to Australia to see the sights and escape the cold.
There are other countries that offer similar visas (like New Zealand and Canada), but I think that the Australian working holiday visa is the best because of the reasons I mentioned above. There are so many resources to help you figure out how to adapt once you arrive, and because there are so many other travelers in Australia, there are many people that are new to the country, so it should be an easy adjustment.
Read More: 10 Things to do in Melbourne, Australia