Before we talk about what you should do if you’ve just moved to Australia, you should know that this page may contain affiliates. However, I will never recommend resources which I do not find helpful or useful to myself. For more information on what this means please see my Disclaimers and Policies page.
When you first arrive in Australia, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. That’s understandable, you have just moved across the world. But it is normal to just feel plain excited and want to get out and explore. As you should. Arriving in a new country is thrilling! But at some point, in the early stages of arrival, set aside a day to do a few practical things. This will help get your year off on the right foot. These are quick and simple but nonetheless important.
The First Steps After You Have Moved
- Get an Aussie Sim Card: Australia has three main phone companies (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone) with some noteworthy differences between each of them. These differences relate to cellphone service and price. Choosing the best phone company for you involves a bit of research and a rough plan for your year.
- Pick Up Your Bank Card: If you set up your bank account before you left, then upon arrival you should just have to head into the bank to finalize the process and pick up your card. Since we did ours ahead of time with Commonwealth Bank, our cards were ready for pick up right away. All we had to do was bring our passports, Canadian Social Insurance Numbers and our hotel address. Once your bank account is established, you can begin transferring money over.
- Set Up Your Australian Tax File Number: If you plan on working during your Working Holiday Visa, you will need a Tax File Number. This is the equivalent to a Canadian SIN number and required for payment. A travel companion did not do this and found herself unable to receive a pay check until after more than a few weeks of work had passed.
- Line up some long term accommodations: Hopefully, you have planned out where you still stay for the first few weeks. But, if you plan on remaining in the city you landed in for awhile, make sure you have a place to stay that you can stand. Airbnb has provided us with nice long-term options (Sometimes they offer a discount for longer stays too). Other options for finding accommodations include: hostels, Facebook groups travellers in Australia, and Gumtree.
A possible fifth step is to consider if you want to do a second year visa. If I could do things differently, I would have done my farm work immediately to get it out of the way. It can be harder to do later, or you may feel more rushed for time (Like I do right now).
In any case, most importantly, enjoy yourself! You are here for an incredible opportunity. Congratulations, you have moved onto the next chapter of your life.