Working Holiday Makers face a few key questions before book their trips and tours to Australia. We caught up with head honcho of RatPack Travel Sammy to get a few key tips on how to secure the best rates and packages for backpacker tours and people coming to Australia.
Essential Guide On Booking Backpacker Tours to Australia for Working Holiday Makers
1) Do you work first or holiday first?
Easy Q, save up enough money to at least travel for a few weeks when you first arrive – hit either the East or West Coast – road trip around and see some sights… it’s so common for people to arrive in Sydney or Brisbane, find work and before they know it you are living for the weekends and are living a very similar lifestyle to what they left behind in their home country. If you road trip first you can then search for a job in the place you like the most.
2) Is Agricultural work worth it?
100% – don’t get me wrong it is DAMN hard and certainly ticks the ‘character building’ list. I think it’s vital to appreciate where your food comes from and completing 90 plus days farm work for your 2nd year visa will certainly teach you that. TOP TIP – just be savvy about choosing the right farm and the right location. Avoid places that are notorious for underpaying Backpackers. Like for example Bundaberg.
I completed my farm work on the Sunshine Coast. The hostel set up was great and we got paid an hourly wage of $19 (2012).
3) If you’re travelling first would you recommend booking with an agent before arriving?
Yes, BUT pick the right agent that is best suited to you. I’ve saved some people over $1000 on the information I was giving them on what not to book, rather than what to book. There are some companies out there that charge hundreds of dollars to open you a bank account when you arrive and put you up in a hostel for a few nights at the start of your trip! Don’t be fooled… anything you can easily do on your own we will tell you about – for FREE.
We sometimes send 4 or 5 draft travel plans to get the ball rolling. It’s also important to know that it’s not necessary to book everything in advance, some things like hostels you can book as you go.
However, often the better rated and cheaper BackPacker tours for the main activities like Fraser Island / The Whitsunday’s don’t depart everyday so it’s great to see how you can best utilise your travel dates.
4) The East Coast is usually the ‘route of choice’ but now Qantas fly direct to Perth. Is Perth and WA worth it? Which tours to do you recommend in WA?
YES, YES, YES – On my roadie I stayed in a quirky town called Freemantle. It’s just outside Perth and has an amazing laid back vibe. Perth it’s self has a small CBD but plenty of places to go and discover. Rottnest Island off the coast is a MUST. You can jump on a short ferry, hire bikes for the day and visit some BEAUT coves it’s a snorkeler’s paradise.
Tour wise, if you want to be in a group then there are organised trips like the ‘West Coast Cruiser’ among others that are GREAT. The West Coast for me though is all about doing it by camper van! There are HEAPS (Aussie SLANG) of Freedom Camping spots which make it affordable and the coastline is EPIC.
If you would like us to run an online price comparison for a camper van / provide you with discount on an organised tour then hit the link below:
5) Securing jobs. How easy is it to find work? What quick tips can you offer?
Don’t bother sending emails months before you arrive. Aussie is a little old school in that way. Print out 20 + CV’s and go from bar to bar looking for work! Having lived in Oz/NZ for the last 7 years having a face to face personal approach has always worked best for me.
6) What are your thoughts on an extended stopover before your working holiday? Which destinations or tours do you recommend?
This is a still a relatively unknown little gem … fly into Bali and then take a domestic Indonesian flight across to Lombok. Rent a scooter and do the southern coast it is amazing… it’s nowhere near as ‘touristy’ as Bali and it’s up there on my all time favourite destinations.
And finally what’s your top 5 Aussie Bucket List Destinations or must do activities?
The East Coast Australia Tours is on the tip of everyone’s tongue – for good reason as it is EPIC but that is a given destination to hit. So in no particular order…
1) Kakadu & Litchfield National Park (WOW)
2) Rottnest Island, WA (as mentioned above a snorkel dream)
3) Uluru & Kings Canyon (the Red Centre)
4) Kangaroo Island (ps time has stood still on this island – it’s like going back 50 years)
5) The back streets and laneways of Melbourne & the Great Ocean Rd (in the summer – winter is COLD)
Thanks for reading …
Sammy – Owner & Operator of RatPack Travel