Setting up in a new country is probably the most stressful part of the whole moving process. Especially when you’re moving to a country where the time-difference is 11hours from home and you can’t call your mommy because she’s asleep in bed and it’s probably 4am. But, Melbourne surprisingly delivered, thank God.
So, this is how you ‘do’ Melbourne.
the boring stuff
-About £400 for Working Holiday Visa.
Got mine granted almost automatically, super easy to do online.
You have a phone call from someone in the Australian Visa Bureau, they’re basically your contact and help you understand Tax File Number, Superannuation and all the weird Australia visa nonsense.
They make this so easy, by letting you set up an account before you even enter the country and just activate it when you go into any branch.
They also show you how to use their app while you set up your account – don’t forget to ask what info you need to transfer money between countries!
Bring a passport.
A network I recognise! Hallelujah! Also had a deal with 1000 UK minutes and 90 Irish/European minutes. $50. Easy*.
*Easier if you get your phone unlocked before you leave for your trip!
getting around Melbourne
This wonderful invention is necessary for any transport in Melbourne. It’s a card that you top up with money, however, when it’s out of money – you’re screwed, because you can’t just pay the tram/train driver. You can pay the bus driver and top up on the bus or in the train station, just trams that are difficult!
I got mine from the Visitor’s Information Desk in the centre of the CBD (Central Business District. AKA ‘town’ ‘the city’) and I’m pretty sure they rip you off big time, you can get them in any 7/11 store, for $6. You can also top them up there too.
The centre of the city also has a ‘Free Tram Zone’ which you don’t need the card for, it’s also handy if you’re feeling super lazy and don’t want to walk the fifteen minutes back to the hotel…
the thing that will make you want to cry
Welcome to the soul-destroying topic of house-hunting. I hope you never have to experience three gruelling weeks of finding a place to live, like I did.
My advice for you:
– Stay away from Real Estate people, they’re all crap, have no concept of time (I was flaked on twice) and openly insult you to your face.
– I was lucky enough to be put up in a hotel, but there are so many hostels around Melbourne, don’t put yourself under a time restraint if you don’t have to.
– Some websites that helped me out:
- Airbnb.com.au (mostly for short stays)
- Facebook: Fairy Floss Real Estate
Fairy Floss is where I found my home, and though it took me S O. L O N G. (I contemplated giving up and going homeless for about an hour until my sanity kicked back in), I’m kind of happy it did. The house is amazing and I’m living with wicked housemates AND A DOG, which, let’s face it, was the biggest perk. (Her name is Tilly.)