Thinking of travelling to Australia on a working holiday visa but not sure where to begin?? Purchase a travel pack where its left in the hands of an expert.
I’m no travel consultant or have any educational experience in travel but I have gained extreme knowledge from my own personal travel out to Australia on a 417 working holiday visa. After almost 2 years of backpacking Australia I have learnt a great deal of tips & tricks that have got me through my time here on the 417 working holiday visa.
I would like to share these excellent lessons learnt over my time travelling Australia to share with you, who may be anxious about taking these steps to booking the trip of a lifetime.
Through the use of my travel package, I will show you the following:
- 417 Working Holiday Visa information and guidance on how it works, costs, and visa application.
- Flight assistance to suit your needs.
- Websites to find cheap flights & guidance with best airlines.
- How to save for your trip ahead? – Estimate on how much savings to bring.
- Packing Tips.
- Guidance on cities within Australia so you can make your personal decision on where you would like to base your new home abroad.
- Hostels / Accommodation recommendations- What areas are best to stay in?
- Job advice- Recruitment agency contacts, recommendations to online groups, CV / resume help.
- Regional work- What it involves?, Is it for you? and help finding the work?
- Guidance on 2nd WHV – How you get your 2nd year visa, where you apply and how long the process takes?
- Food / Bars recommendations.
- Itinerary Planning- Can do a personal plan for your trip ahead with costs outlined.
- 1:1 video sessions to gather background information on what you expect for your trip ahead.
- Have my 100% faith to plan your trip for you and giving you the reassurance you will need leading up to your trip of a lifetime.
Once you have purchased your plan I will contact you to find out your thoughts and what you want then I will prepare a personal plan to suit everything you need for your trip ahead.
NOTE: This will be a detailed travel package for you uniquely and may not be suitable for others.
Terms & Conditions:
- Please be advised that I need at least 4 weeks notice prior to your planned / estimated departure date.
- If interested in an Australian 417 WHV Planning Package – Please note to get the full potential out of this plan, I would recommend purchasing a few months prior to your trip.
- Payments are non – refundable.
- If you choose to cancel your services at any time, you will suffer a loss of moneys paid.
- First contact will not be until I receive payment in full.
- Please note each guide will be suited for your own individual trip & will not be suitable for everyone.
- There are packages to suit other currencies- contact me to discuss further pricing.
- Once you purchase your package please allow at least 3 days before first point of contact is made & allow a further 2 weeks to receive your full personal guide.
- If you refer a friend and they purchase a guide they will receive 25% off.
Please provide me with your name, email address and contact number upon payment therefore I can reach you straight away and begin helping you plan ahead.
“Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless”
I hope to see you on the other side 🌏
Emma @ The Flawed Journey
Hi guys and welcome back to my blog. I’ve been trying to post this blog for the past few weeks but I’ve just been so busy with getting settled and back into routine since I arrived back to Sydney!
On my last post I mentioned I would be heading to do my 3 months regional work for my second year visa so on this post I’m going to talk about my experience and give you lots of advice for those who are interested in staying in Oz for another year.
I received so many DMs from people on Instagram interested in where I did my farm work, my thoughts on it & advice so I hope this blog helps all you out!! I’m extremely grateful for your messages because I try to help as many people as possible with my experience.
I arrived around the end of October to Innisfail which is roughly 1 hour outside of Cairns. I stayed at Innisfail Budget Backpackers Hostel which is a working hostel so you stay there and they provide you with the work. Luckily I arrived on a Saturday and started my work on the Monday morning so it was great to get stuck in straight away with no hanging around.
You always have the worst thoughts towards a new situation or place but I was actually excited because my 2 friends were there at the same place so I had company already. The hostel itself is very basic but has everything you need and the area is just a small town but again has your basic commodities like laundry, food shopping, K- MART!!! haha
Being 100% honest my first week was so tough as the work is very different and not something you think your body can handle until you get used to the work it gets easier. Each day is different and I just always tried to stay sane with the friends around me and make a laugh out of the situation. It helps to think of it as a temporary situation and push each other by counting down your weeks.
Just don’t arrive expecting a lot as I seen so many people come and go from the hostel and their first impressions made them leave. At the end of the day everyone around you is in the same situation and living so you all have to just get together like a family and support one another to get through it.
You’re honestly living the most care free life as your only bills are your rent, food & possibly alcohol if you become an alcoholic like I did. This is what boredom leads too! Haha
Rent at Budget Backpackers was $200 per week which included your travel to and from the farm as well.
Other hostels within Innisfail I know are similar priced.
The hostel I stayed at provided flats to those who didn’t want to stay within the hostel, although there was a waiting list. Couples got priority so I only had to stay 1 week in the hostel and then got moved to the flats across the street which are the same price as the hostel living.
You get paid minimum wage which is $23.66 hourly and you get this paid into your account weekly.
You do have the opportunity to make extra cash by working for bars or restaurants within Innisfail at weekends. This is good for people who are willing to save extra to travel & not wanting to spend their wages on drink every weekend lol.
How long to work to qualify for 2nd year visa requirements???
Okay, I have been getting asked this a lot and it is difficult to understand. To qualify for 2nd year visa you only need to complete 13 consecutive weeks of work without missing a week. You need to complete 10 hours per week so if you only work 1 day which is 10 hours long you’ve completed 1 week.
However you also need to ensure you finish on the same date you started for example I started on the 29th October and I finished on 29th January.
Some people get confused on where 88 days come into this but I believe it would take 2 extra weeks if you were to count it as days.
For your own sake ensure you ask your farm before you start if you will be working 88 days or 13 weeks.
My Job (this sh*t is bananas)
I worked on a small family owned farm which was mainly bananas but they also grew dragon fruit. I worked maximum 3 days on my farm which was difficult to save money as my earnings basically covered food & rent.
My job was banana packing so I simply checked the bananas passing by on the banana wheel for bruises or defects, weighed the fruit and ensured the fruit wasn’t packed under or over a certain weight, placed the bananas into a bag and sealed the bag by using a tape machine.
Pretty basic job and very repetitive even worse when your listening to the same radio station that plays the same dreaded songs all day long for 3 months straight. I got my day in by keeping a strong mindset and reminding myself daily why I was doing this.
Some days were more difficult than others as the weather was either extremely hot or extremely stormy, luckily I mainly worked indoors in the banana shed however you did have tasks that would require you working outdoors in the heavy rain and cyclone storms.
The guys work was a lot more difficult than the girls they worked out doors within all weather conditions, from heavy cyclone rain to 44 degree heat. They also work 5 days per week so earn that bit extra than the girls.
Their jobs were to hump the banana bunches from the tree’s which weighed roughly around 80kg and looked about the same size as a human. They brought the bunches to the shed via a trailer and this is when the girls came outside and helped the guys by hanging the bunches up and un-bagging the bananas before they went through the washer.
Is it worth it???
110% worth it!!! You have a love / hate relationship with the situation but now looking back on it I know I will never have that experience again in my life!! It’s such a crazy situation you put yourself in working in blood, sweat, rat piss & seeing all sorts of crazy shit like bats, rats, spiders & snakes on a daily basis just became the norm to me.
You work extremely hard and the farmers are so lovely but really push you to your limits of work to get the job done. Sometimes I felt like I was working in a camp and living in Big Brother as there was always drama in the hostel lol.
It’s mentally draining and sometimes stressful. I came with the intentions of attending the gym everyday to stay in routine but it’s so difficult as your absolutely exhausted from your work day with it being so physically draining.
You build such a strong bond with people around you who make the shit living worth it and make the situation feel normal.
On weekends you literally just party on repeat. Oh and your weekend begins Thursday which is “Thirsty Thursday’s”, “Fancy Dress Friday’s”, “Sandstorm Saturdays” & “Sesh Sunday’s”.
Sometimes the hostel would of been mega crazy and too much for me and I’m not going to lie sometimes I love my alone time. So for me this is where I struggled and especially for those of you have stayed in hostels before you know what it’s like. Drugs are such a big deal too and for me who isn’t interested it can be very overwhelming and difficult to avoid as your living so close to these people and can’t escape from it.
I enjoyed getting drunk on Fridays it was so fun to get super wasted with Themed Fancy Dress and end up in a small shitty nightclub called “Rumours”. This is what I lived for all week at work lmao.
For me I knew I was doing my farm work before I even came to Australia because I have no intentions of going back home and would do anything to stay here. Although if your debating it and not fully satisfied that it’s going to be for you and worth it then I wouldn’t do it because it can be a very overwhelming situation and it’s not for everyone.
If you know you want to do it and stay out here for another year but have only arrived to Australia I recommend travelling and sightseeing a little bit first before you make your mind up. As you could arrive to the middle of nowhere and be like how do I know this is going to be worth it when you haven’t seen anything yet to give you motivation.
Living in Sydney for 6 months before my farm work pushed me and gave me that extra motivation on the farm when times where tough as I knew how much I wanted to come back and live in Sydney again.
Although I do believe this experience is different as a couple as you can push & help each other where as if your coming alone it may be more difficult as you’ve only got yourself and your friends around you to help motivate you.
As an overall experience your time here goes very fast and you have that much fun you don’t see your weeks go in!!!
I mainly recommend the area of Innisfail or anywhere around the East Coast of Oz as you have more options to travel. At weekends i always tried to see something new and visited quite a few places which also got your time in.
Within the area there are a few car hire places and I tried to go away atleast 1 weekend a month to get a feel for the real world again lol.
I visited these places & they are all in the surrounding area of Innisfail.
• Windin Falls
• Babinda Boulders
• Mission Beach
• Ettay Bay Beach
• Port Douglas
• Palm Cove
Applying for 2nd year visa…
When applying for your second year visa make sure to double check the website as there are a few fake websites that try to scam you. Also there are a lot of third party websites that may be cheaper but won’t be as quick at alerting you your outcome of your visa.
You don’t have to apply for your visa straight away but I applied for mine a few weeks before my first year visa expired.
However you can decide to leave the country and complete your second year in another couple of years. You have the option of using it up until your 30 years old.
Also I found out that your 2nd year visa gets refreshed so you can go back to your old job that you worked in your first year and your 6 months will be refreshed.
I applied for my visa on the Australian Government website costing $450. It processed so quickly and I literally got it granted within 5 minutes. Absolutely delighted!!! :))
Here is the link for the website for those who wish to get their visa processed quickly through the Aus Government.
For those of you who are interested in going to Innisfail and staying at Budget Backpackers I have contact of the owner Steve who you can call and make aware when your thinking of arriving. If you arrive during the week he will offer you a free pickup from Cairns Airport. Although this is not necessary to contact as there is work available all year around so you can just arrive whenever.
I hope you enjoyed my blog on my 3 months farm work in Innisfail. I’ve tried to cover everything that I’ve received messages about and I know it’s difficult to relate as most farms and experiences can be different but hopefully this has give you all a fair idea of what to expect and the experience you could have.
Hi guys & welcome back to my blog!!! Ahhh i don’t even know where to even begin with this blog post?!?
Continue reading to find out about my week in Fiji and also a few helpful tips too. I promise by the end of this you will be planning your trip!!
This holiday was absolutely amazing, difinitely an experience that I will cherish forever and it’s now up with my top favourite places that I have travelled!!
So, with it being ozzy winter me and Nathan wanted some sun and also just somewhere to relax for a week as it’s been pretty hectic recently with working and moving into our home in Sydney.
After researching and finding out how cheap fights were to Fiji we paid $590 AUD each for return which is roughly £320 WOW!!! There were no second thoughts we booked this instantly (joys of blowing the joint account).
Fiji is only a 4 hour flight away from Sydney!! We flew directly into Nadi International.
Thankfully everything ran smoothly once we arrived to Nadi Airport. We were greeted before customs by Fijian men playing guitars and singing which was just so cute.
On the other side after collecting our luggage we were then greeted by our hotel rep with a name sign who was picking us up from the airport and took us directly to the hotel. This meant that there was no confusion or stress involved.
A taxi fare to/from Nadi Airport to any of the town’s in Nadi is roughly 10-15 FJI Dollars.
We booked our hotel through Booking.com which I highly recommend I use it for every destination I visit!!
We stayed at Bamboo Travellers Beach Resort, for 7 nights it cost $450 AUD which is roughly 680 FJI Dollar, in British pounds this is only rouhly £250 so its very cheap for a week!!
The room was pretty basic and had everything you needed which is just to (sleep). However the staff, restaurant and bar was brilliant!! The vibe was great it was a young age group and very quiet which made me love it even more. The food here is delicious which helps if you just want to laze around the hotel.
Bamboo was based right on your own private beach only for hotel guests. There were various activities such as riding horses on the beach, kayaking and paddle boarding. You also had the option to get a massage on the beach!!
You have a bar within your resort and also have the option of exploring other hotels in the area to relax and have a drink at night.
Or you can watch the sunsets which I’m a sucker for!! Pink skies.
Most nights me and Nathan drank on the beach watching the sunsets!!
There were also Fiji Dance & Fire shows on the beach infront of the hotel. They were great entertainment and so talented!
We stayed close to Nadi town which I would highly recommend if you come to Fiji. This is because if you stay in a resort it’s further out of the town and this way you will not get to experience the real Fiji Culture and lifestyle.
The location is very ideal as it’s only a 10 minute drive from the Airport and beside the hotel is various restaurunts and shops where you can buy liquor.
We stayed in Fiji for 7 nights and honestly I wish I did 10 nights but maybe that still wouldn’t of been long enough?!?
I already want to book the next flight back there. You’re probably wondering why???
Well I’ve never met more warming friendlier people than Fijians. They honestly don’t have a bad bone in their body. They stop what they are doing to get to know you and you could be there for hours talking to these friendly people.
They call their lifestyle Fiji Time as they believe there is no need to rush anything you need to do or anywhere you need to be will happen when it happens. They have a very relaxing lifestyle and this is why they are so happy and positive.
When visiting some of the local Fiji villages I learnt that everyone knows everyone and they all come together as a family and share everything they own as a whole (how lovely). They call eachother sisters/brothers there is no such a thing as cousins, nephews/nieces.
In the Fijian villages I learnt that they are very strict and in each village there is a chief which sets the rules and he is the only one in the village allowed to wear a hat. Everyone in the village must obey the chief and I got told some young people when they turn into teenagers cannot deal with the strictness so they leave the village and move into town with friends.
What did I get up to?!?
We arrived to our hotel late in the afternoon and were exhausted as we were up from 5am so obviously we took a nap and just chilled around the hotel to get to know our surroundings.
There was expected rain fall this day so we were prepared and booked a day trip, we booked this through the travel desk at our hotel.
It cost 99 FJI dollars each which included various stops in a few towns in which you got to experience how the Fijians live day to day.
First stop was at a farmers market were we tried local fruits my favourite was soursop it was very sweet and tasted like a custard apple!! Unfortunately I was too busy eating so I didn’t bring my phone out to take pics here but this is what soursop looks like!!
We then progresssed on to some souviner stores until we reached Nadi Town and stopped off at Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple.
We had a group tour and learnt a lot about the Hindu Religion, it was very interesting.
You were not allowed to take any photos inside the temple but the art was amazing!! Before you entered the temple you had to wear a sarong and take off your shoes as a sign of respect.
It costed millons of Fiji Dollars to build this beautiful temple!
After the temple we continued our day trip to another small town which had the Gardens of the Sleeping Giant. Here you can see the mountain shaped as a sleeping woman! Unfortunately because of the rain it was quite cloudy so we felt we didn’t get to fully experience it here.
After this tour we finished up at the Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pools this was a fun experience (plenty of giggles). The hot springs are run by the local villagers which use the funds from tourists to better their village! (How amazing?)
Basically we covered our entire bodies and slopped around in this warm gooey natural mud pit then walked through the village until it dried into our skin.
When it dried in we scrubbed it off in the mud pools and then relaxed in the geothermal hot pools which were natural springs. We then ended the day by getting a couples massage by the local villagers this cost only 20 Fijian Dollars each and it was super relaxing.
We went to the world’s first island beach club. Malamala was unbelievable to just chill on a private island all day sipping on cocktails.
We also booked this through our hotel travel desk and it only cost 150 FJI dollars each but it included a $50 bar tab each and you could also kayak, paddle board and snorkel around the beach club.
It took roughly 30 minutes to get here by boat from our hotel and the views on route were something else!!
The pool was amazing everything was just so blue and for being on a Saturday it was not over crowded which made the day better!
For the first time ever i tried kayaking with Nathan when I asked him he actually almost fainted that I was getting in the water hahaha. For anyone who doesn’t know me one of my biggest fears is water and I cannot swim!! So this was a massive achievement for me and in result we did not tip over and had a really good stable balance so I’m super proud. It was also very fun I would advise anyone to try if they haven’t already!!
The food at Malamala was tasty I ordered coconut peri peri chicken and Nathan ordered sushi which came out in a coconut also! Everything is about coconuts in Fiji.
The rest of day was spent on a sun lounger taking in these breath taking views.
We relaxed infront of our hotel appreciating that our resort was on a beach. Catching rays and sipping on coconuts of course!
We then took a stroll for dinner to a restaurant we found on TripAdvisor that was only a 5 minute walk away from our hotel.
Awesome Grill was beautiful we actually ended up here 3 times as the staff were so friendly and of course the food was delicious!! We tried the burgers and then bbq chicken pizza (twice).
When we return we will definitely be coming back to Awesome Grill it had a quiet chill vibe!
This day was incredible and topped the holiday!!! I would highly recommend the tour we booked through, they are called South Sea Cruises.
The day trip cost 260 FJI Dollars each which included pick up/returns from your resort, ferries transfers to Mana islands then you get a private cruise to Modriki Islands where the famous Tom Hanks movie was filmed “Castaway featuring Wilson”.
Throughout the day on the cruise you get unlimited soft drinks and alcoholic (I had to suffer due to recently finding out I’m allergic to anything which is not a spirit alcohol drink).
For lunch you got a bbq on board which was delicious!!
Throughout the journey the staff made the trip extra special by playing some fijian music on their guitars and we enjoyed how helpful and friendly they were throughout the tour!
On route to the islands we sailed past the island that the Australian Survivor TV show is filmed!!
When stopping off at the islands they were private and you spent roughly 1 hour on each. It was really relaxing and amazing to take in these moments!! I still can’t believe I was on the same beach that Castaway was filmed. It was so so beautiful.
After seeing all the surrounding areas we stopped off for a swim and Nathan enjoyed diving off the boat & snorkeling whilst I soaked up the rays on the front of the boat!
Finishing up the day we went to a Fiji village which had roughly about 500 people living here. When entering the village we were greeted to enter the church and Nathan got to experience being a chief were he had to sit at the front of the room and try Kava.
Kava is what Fijians drink as they are not allowed to drink alcohol in the villages. It comes from the root of the pepper plant. The locals say Kava makes you relax and very sleepy lol. It looked like muddy water so I wasn’t brave enough to try!!
We walked through the village and all the locals were very friendly just doing what they do daily washing their clothes etc. We walked to the end of the village were the school was.
All the kids stay in dorms within the school grounds and it was very overwhelming to see this is how they live and they are so grateful and warm hearted. They waved and greeted us all by saying “Bula-Hello”.
After this we boarded our cruise back to the islands and had a few further stops to swim in the beautiful blue waters.
Today we explored around Port Denaru which is roughly a 10-15 minute drive from Nadi. There is a shopping centre here which has a lot of souviner stores to browse around and buy gifts.
We ended the day by having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.
Me and Nathan are obessed with the Hard Rock restaurants anywhere we go we ensure we dine here!! The food is so yum and gives me mega Florida blues! If you haven’t already tried the bacon/cheese potato skins you need too.
Today being our last day we catched the last few rays of sunshine and had breakfast at our hotel.
We then decided to end the trip by taking a walk into the town which was roughly a 40 minute walk from our hotel.
We had heard there was a Burger King newly opened and we were dying to try it as there is none in Australia it’s known as “Hungry Jacks” but it’s a totally different taste! It was great to be reunited with a whopper burger & onion rings.
With this being our final night of the holiday Nathan wanted to take me out for dinner (how romantic).
We were craving mexian food and found a beautiful mexian restaurant in a resort near Port Denaru called “Mamacita”.
Although the menu was better than I expected and I wish I could dine here everyday!!
The resort was over crowded and very busy so the atmosphere wasn’t what we were used to. We expected a Mexian vibe like music but there were a lot of kids and noise!
After the meal there was a Fiji warrior show which was cool!!
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit the Capital of Fiji which is Suva. It was roughly a 3 hour drive from Nadi.
Another thing we missed out on but will do when we return is Cloud 9. This costs roughly 229 Fijian Dollars which includes a $60 bar tab to spend on board.
Cloud 9 is a floating platform paradise sailing through turquoise blue waters with a stocked bar and pizza restaurant. It has sun decks and a dj to entertain. The photos actually look fake!!
Summing up the holiday I would definitely recommend this a destination to travel as a couple but not as a family.
It’s very romantic and I feel like there isn’t enough to do for kids so they would get bored easy but adults could live here!!
Anything to be aware of??
Anywhere I’ve travelled…especially Thailand a lot of the locals try to rip you off and try get every penny you own off you. It’s not like this in Fiji, the locals are very caring and make you feel at ease.
However if you are trying to get a taxi I advise you order one through your hotel reception like we did as they get you the taxis that are priced by meters which are a lot cheaper!! Outside the resorts there are a lot of taxi drivers who try stop you and will over charge you as they have their own prices so make sure to haggle with them before you get in the car!!
On the local beaches and streets there are a lot of stray dogs. This was my only fear on this holiday as I’m scared of large dogs but these dogs don’t know how to behave or interact which worried me. There were a few times the dogs faught amongst themselves and it was scary to watch. So if you’re travelling here just try to stay well away from them to be on the safe side.
When the sun begins to go down you will notice in the mountains and even on road bys there is a lot of smoke this is because the locals burn sugar canes and rubbish!! When we first seen it we were a little worried and thought there were volcanic mountains close until we asked a local so don’t panic!!
Personally this was amazing to experience with the person I love and we have ticked off another destination on our bucket list.
I feel like a piece of my heart will now forever be in Fiji so a trip back will be happening for sure.. soon I hope!!
Whilst travelling you don’t only learn so many new things but also have the opportunity to met some awesome people which make being so far away from home a little easier!!
Surprisingly we met a lovely girl from Belfast and it was very funny to hear the strong accent again as we haven’t heard it in a while lol.
Sadly this comes to the end of my blog on my trip to Fiji. I hope after reading this blog all of you book a flight to Fiji!!