A Backpacker’s Experience on A Working Holiday Visa In Australia

Meet Jack. He’s a 25 year old London guy through and through, a guy that loves partying and he’s been in Sydney since March 2015 on a Working Holiday Visa. I get a fair few emails from people thinking of taking the plunge and coming over to Australia on a WHV so I sat down with Jack to find out how he’s found the last 10 months in this county.

Jack left England back in December 2014 with friends and spent three months travelling the South East Asia circuit. He was supposed to go back home in March but instead followed his friends on to Australia on a WHV. They were told by other friends to head to Melbourne and after 8 weeks there, he decided it was too similar to London (ie it was busy, people were in a rush and it felt too much like home). He then made a beeline to Sydney for its famous beaches and to learn to surf.

The main reason Jack left London was because he hated his commute to work. Spending three hours a day on London tubes started to grind him down and he realised a change was needed. Funnily enough, I felt the same and too needed a change from that life.

Even though Jack came over to Australia with friends, he spent his first two months at the exact same hostel I first stayed at when I did my WHV back in 2006 called Wake Up! I would recommend this hostel until the cows come in because like Jack, it was so much fun and very sociable. After 2 months of partying, Jack got his first job for an entertainment company and moved into a flat by the beach in Coogee, a British backpackers dream!


Good Points About Sydney

So after 10 months away, I asked Jack what he loved about Sydney and his main focus is the beach which has lived up to how he hoped it would. Being able to spend your weekends at beach parties, boat parties and lots of events around the beach is something Jack would have never experienced back in London. Obviously his favourite beach is Coogee for it’s laid back feel yet he loves the waves at Maroubra beach.

Coogee_Beach

Coogee Beach 


Bad Points About Sydney

Jack has realised Sydney is small, well definitely a lot smaller than London. It’s easy to stay in the suburb you live in and Jack has it all in Coogee but I find you need to get out and explore what Sydney has to offer as there’s a lot more out there than just the beach.

Another point Jack made was about how Sydney nightlife isn’t great. For a 25 year old British male, going out partying is a big deal and unfortunately because of the strict lock out laws (don’t expect to get into a bar/club after 1am) and the uber strict bouncers, Sydney isn’t as laid back about drinking as you’d probably imagine. A good point Jack made was not to expect to go on a pub crawl in Sydney. It’s better to spend the night in one place because the bouncers will otherwise interrogate you like there’s no tomorrow. Back when I used to go out drinking, I remember going to a pub with some friends and we were asked so many questions by the bouncers going into our second pub. We were asked questions like; how many people were in the previous pub, how many drinks had we had so far, where was the last pub we went to and so on. It certainly puts a downer on the night.

Another thing Jack has realised is he misses the culture in London, being able to go to a gig at any time and of course he misses the buzz London has.

LONDON-NIGHT-LIFE

London at night


Meeting New Friends

Jack has a lot of British friends in Sydney and most of them are friends of friends that have moved out to Sydney. He did however make some great friends whilst staying at Wake Up! Hostel when he first arrived who he still hangs out with. When it comes to having Australian friends, Jack can only say they are only people he works with. Spending most of his time in Coogee surrounded by other backpackers, he’s not really been around Australians to immerse himself into the culture. It’s interesting because the majority of British people I know in Sydney only have British friends.

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Jack with some of his friends playing Australian tradition of Lawn Bowls 


Has Jack Changed In The Last 10 Months?

Jack went back to visit friends and family in UK for 2 weeks over Christmas recently. I asked him if he felt different going back and after spending his life living with his mum, he said he realised how much he’s now grown up. Now living independently in Sydney, Jack has learnt how to handle his money, clean up after himself and do his own washing. His mum was certainly shocked to learn this!

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Getting A Job

When Jack was living in Melbourne, he got a fair few jobs mainly from Gumtree working as a gardener, a tradie and also in a call centre. He reckons it’s easy to get work as long as you’re open minded about what you are doing. The minimum pay is $16.87 compared to $7.25 the US pays. Jack now has his career back working in Digital and has been lucky enough to get sponsored meaning he can stay in Australia.

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If you’re thinking about coming over to Australia on a WHV but unsure if it’s for you, why not look at my London Vs Sydney post or my Working in London Vs Working in Sydney post? It might help you out!

A more detailed post on how to prepare for a year on a Working Holiday Visa to Australia will be coming to you soon!

Let me know in the comments below if you are thinking of coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa or have already done it.

Thanks for reading,

Londoner IN Sydney signature

A Backpacker’s Experience on A Working Holiday Visa In Australia
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  • Giulia Sampogna

    That’s nice interview. I love it. So luck he got sponsored. I came for my first working holiday visa and felt in love for Australia. Couldn’t find much about WHV than I decided write a blog all about this 2 years working in farms, just to help Brazilians (with Italian passport hahaha) to find jobs and get the second year. That’s great that you write about this, it’s so hard to find information about it. xxx

    • Fernando Tortorelli

      Nice report Giulia! In about 4 months I will be arriving in Sydney for my first year of WHV (italy). I’m brazilian 🙂 I’m sure I’ll fall in love with this amazing country and I hope to get a job soon as I arrive. Best regards! See ya!

      • Giulia Sampogna

        Hi Fernando I am brazilian as well. After have a look in my blog likewanderlust.com, there is all information about WHV in Portuguese 😉 (how to find job, how to get the second year, etc). If you need anything let me know. See you!

  • Jamie Lux

    Great post! Finding an expat job in Australia isn’t easy and I’ve actually found myself without a job in Sydney more than once. Here are a few tips I wrote to survive without a job in Australia: http://www.myjobinaustralia.com/how-to-survive-in-australia-without-a-job/