Administrative procedures in Australia (Phone, TFN, bank accounts)

Administrative procedures in Australia (Phone, TFN, bank accounts)

The plane has just landed, you are already exhausted by the jet lag. Your backpack is certainly 10 times too heavy but what does it matter! You finally go to the promised land!

I would like to say that from now on, everything will be easy and that it will be enough to proudly brand your WHV so that everything goes easily. But it is not (inevitably) the case! You will have administrative procedures to undertake, it is obvious.

In this article I will therefore return to the first things to do when arriving (or even before leaving): administrative procedures in Australia. Show your best smile, I know you love paperwork :).

#1 : The australian number phone

It is important or even essential to have an Australian phone number. This will facilitate your future steps and allow you to be contacted by your future employers. Please note that the phone number is required for almost all paperwork. So in my opinion, this is the first thing to do when arriving.

It is nevertheless very easy. There are three major telephone operators in Australia:

  • Telstra : greater network coverage, convenient if you plan to roam around Australia
  • Yes Optus : less extensive network coverage but good value for money
  • Vodafone : cheap, but network bad coverage 

So everything depends on your needs!

My advice: Do not take Vodafone, other operators’ plans are not overpriced.

My advice # 2: There are often (all the time?) Welcome offers or offers for Christmas or offers for the Saint Idon’tevenknow. So inquire before checking out! Personally I paid 15 dollars for a phone number with prepaid card of 30 dollars and 35 GB of data. I told you it was cheap. I went through Yes Optus. But I am sure that there are also offers at Telstra.


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#2 : The TFN (Tax File Number)

The famous TFN, or tax number you will be systematically asked before starting a job. Indeed taxation in Australia, as in New Zealand, is at the source. You will not make a declaration of income but you will be directly debited on your salary.

To apply for TFN, two solutions:

  • Apply online on the ATO website where you will need to fill out a form to explain your situation. This approach requires having a relatively fixed postal address. You will also be asked for an Australian phone number. It’s usually a week before the reception, but some people are less fortunate and waiting 1 month or more!

It is for these reasons that I chose the other solution:

  • Ask an independent organization. It is a paid solution but very convenient. You apply online. You can do it before you even arrive in Australia. Personally, I did it when I was in New Zealand. You simply indicate your date of arrival on the territory and the process is automatically triggered on D-day. The big +: no need to move to an authorized office or to have a fixed address or a telephone number. The process is done without you having to worry and you will receive the TFN by mail!I received it a week after my arrival, through this organization. Count about 60 dollars for the benefit. It is not given, it is certain, but if you do not intend to have a fixed address during 28 days, it is a solution.

#3 : The australian bank account

It is also essential if you want to work! Know that there are many banks in Australia and that most allow a pre-opening before even arriving on the territory. One more thing I did in New Zealand.

I have chosen ANZ, but many backpackers choose Westpac. It’s up to you!

When you arrive on the territory, all you have to do is go to your bank and ask to finalize your account opening. It is not very long, simple administrative formality. For my part I asked that my credit card be sent to the bank and not to the address I mentioned because I was not sure to be there yet. The card is sent in 5 days, no problem.

My advice: Open a savings account at the same time, it’s usually free, it was free for me, and put 90% of your money on your savings. In case of theft of your card you will be happy or at least reassured to have lost only 10% of your money.

My advice # 2: Also take advantage of this interview to open a superannuation account. Indeed this account will be asked most of the time by your employer. This is a contribution fund for your retirement. You can also open it via your personal online space. It’s up to you.

And done! Not so complicated finally! Of course this is only the basis of the paperwork that you will have to do, I am not talking about the purchase of a car for example. But if you do these three things, you’ll be ready to move wherever you want in the country and find work without the hassle of paperwork.

Hope I helped you. See you soon boyz and gurlz 🙂

Find a job in Australia

Find a job in Australia

Finding a job in Australia is not (anymore) easy. Indeed, according to what I have heard, the golden age of the easy and profitable job in Australia is exceeded. It is still quite possible to find a job in Australia, if we take a hard time and we are alright about the hardness of work.

Of course, I will talk about my personal experience, I was able to find a farm job in just 5 days but many did not succeed at all. We must also be able to count on his lucky star and not hesitate to be mobile throughout Australia.

I was also in Brisbane and I had to do more than 1000 km to go to my future workplace (melon fields). I will spread more about my working conditions in another article.

Tip #1 : The main compulsory courses in Australia

Some jobs require certification beforehand. There are many and they are paying, so choose the area in which you want to illustrate to avoid losing money and especially time. Most training is done in accredited centers or online. Know that you will have enough trouble finding a job that requires certification without it, employers are more attentive. Here is an anthology of the main cereals in Australia:

  • The RSA (Responsible service of alcohol): you figured it out, it will serve you to fill glasses and pock tips as a bartender. It may even be asked if you want to be a waiter since you must often be able to know the legislation in force in the state. Choose, besides, scrupulously your state of passage of the certification which often is valid only in this one!
  • Barista Training: To serve coffee, you will be asked to show your barista certification. A little paper that will prove that you know how to meet the specific requirements for coffee in Australia
  • The White card: the Grail of the backpacker who hopes for a big salary! This will allow you to work in construction. Understand a job outdoors, difficult because very physical but who can pay big!
  • The blue card: this one will allow you to be traffic control course or controller of road traffic. This job also has the reputation of being well paid and much less tiring than construction.


Remember that certification does not give you access to work by snapping your fingers. From my own experience, it is not uncommon for you to be asked for certification + a number of years of experience in the job in question. Make the good choice !


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Tip #2 : The Australian CV

If you thought you could escape, it’s missed! It will be necessary to redo his CV (youpi!). Finally, let’s be clear: it all depends on the job you are aiming for. If you want to work in a farm you are unlikely to be asked for a CV, you will only be asked about your past experience in the field. But for all the rest, I’m afraid he’ll have to bring out your most beautiful professional photo.

My advice: make a different CV by business sector. Employers do not care if you’re a web developer if you’re looking for a server job!

The CV can make 2 pages it does not matter, simple: we want to understand your skills as quickly as possible! Put your availability and VISA directly. As well as of course, all you need to be contacted.Other thing: Australian employers love references and do not hesitate to call them! So if you’re thinking of beautifying reality, do this cleverly little naughty gang!

You can see the one I made here. My main goal was to find a job in farm but having a very limited budget, I still applied to various offers on Brisbane (dish washer, kitchen hand, car washer …) just in case. motivation may also be requested, but not always. Personally, I did not do it, but I was about to start just before I got my taf in farm (phew).

Tip #3 : Where to look for a job?

Very big subject, and everyone goes for his visionary advice. In reality everything depends on what you are looking for! For farm jobs I advise you to watch the Harvest Guide published by the government. This one will give you an idea of ​​the location of the farms that recruit according to the seasonality by location.

My little advice: go directly on the west coast, much less plebiscite than the east, you will have less competition and more chances to find a job on the farm! As for jobs like waitress, dish washer, kitchen hand etc … aim big cities. You will be more likely to find in Sydney. Do not forget that rents are expensive.

Personally, I had targeted Brisbane, but a lot of backpackers were looking for work and could not find it at the time I was there. Always have a plan B and luck is with you!

Tip #4 : Which sites / applications to find a job?

Of course the vast majority of your time will be dedicated to finding a job on the net. To do this, you must target a few sites and essential applications:

  • Gumtree: the equivalent of our good national corner, Gumtree also has references in jobs. You can also post an ad stating that you are looking for a job yourself to maximize your chances. But I can not tell you if it’s really effective.
  • Seek: a job search site. In my own experience, this site is more useful when you are looking for a job rather qualified and not a job of traveler but my faith is known ever?
  • Indeed: the “No. 1” recruitment sites. This is where I found the most offers personally. I advise you to create an email address reserved for job search and to create alerts for ads that may interest you.

Very often, it’s first come, first served since these are jobs that do not require a lot of skills for the most part. Be responsive and spend time!

  • It remains obviously Facebook: it is the first platform for the small jobs in Australia. Many groups are available for job search. There are those which concern the whole Australia (Backpacker jobs in australia for example) but also by region, state even by city! So do not hesitate to search all the possible groups and imaginable! There are also groups reserved for finding farms (AUSTRALIA Fruit picking / Packing / Farms Jobs / 88 days for example). My advice: when you are on a group’s Facebook page, set the notifications so that you are notified of each publication. Yes it’s a bit boring, you’ll get notifications every 30 seconds but as I said: first come, first served!

Many sites and apps will help you find a job on the farm. The application that I think is most useful is Wikifarms: it lists farms in Australia. You can sort them by plantations and especially by season and the most important: phone numbers and addresses are included! Nevertheless the application is paying (around 7 euros on the google store).

Of course, the best technique will remain door-to-door! No matter what job you’re looking for, nothing beats seeing a candidate moving directly. Bring CVs and simply put on a suitable outfit in case you start immediately! I can talk about working hostels and temp agencies, but I have very little knowledge of the subject. All I can tell you is find out before! Post a message on the backpacker groups and see reviews on Google. Go through a third party to find work can quickly turn into a nightmare. (Smile tho :D!)

You will understand, finding a job in Australia is not a part of fun and for good reason: everyone wants to work! Backpackers are more and more numerous in Australia and the law of 88 days does not help! It states that if one works for some employers, in some jobs (mostly farm), a second year of WHV is possible. Eldorado for the majority of backpackers who literally count the days. But this law significantly increases competition, allowing some unscrupulous employers to break wages.

Nevertheless, you may be lucky and get paid work by the hour at the legal rate! Keep hope!

I found myself a job quickly, I will tell you all this in my next article! See there boyz and gurlz 😀

Buy / sell a van in New Zealand

Buy / sell a van in New Zealand

As many backpackers, we decided to buy a van when we arrived in New Zealand.
So between what we knew and what we learned on the job, here is a short recap so you can buy and sell your future home on wheels with confidence.

Tip # 1: Where can we find van ads?

It is extremely easy to find van ads of all kinds in New Zealand. The reason is that many backpackers travel this way since it is the most comfortable in terms of cost and freedom of movement.

So you will have the choice:

  • Facebook’s Marketplace: Widely used in New Zealand as in Australia, it will probably be the cornerstone of your research
    The van / car sales groups on Facebook: there are no less than a dozen, so you have the choice! (New Zealand backpacker cars, New Zealand backpackers buy or sell, campervan …)
    Most sellers are very responsive since they need to sell quickly often because they have a fixed start date
  • Bulletin boards: in the backpackers you will often have bulletin boards with job offers or van sales!
  • Trade Me: New Zealand website full of all the ads you will need
  • Car Fair: These are weekly gatherings that bring together car salesmen of all kinds, not just vans. It’s free for buyers so it can be worth it.

Note however, that Facebook remains the platform most used for the purchase and sale of van. It is certainly through that you will find your friend on 4 wheels.

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Tip #2 : Self-contained or not ?

In New Zealand, there is a certificate for vehicles certifying that your vehicle is “self-contained”. To put it simply, it allows authorities to know if you can live independently in your vehicle. Many rules are to be respected so that the van obtains this certification (bed, toilet, can of 25 liters of water …).

Many free camp (free campsites) are reserved only for self-contained vehicles. The official reason being that people who do not have the necessary equipment could damage the site by spilling dirty water, urinating outside or other …

To know if a camp is reserved for SC (self-contained) or not: you can check on Campermate or Wikicamps. Feel free to read our article on essential applications in New Zealand.

So, the question is, should I buy a more expensive self-contained vehicle that allows me to sleep in many more camps? We would tend to tell you a big yes! In our experience, those who buy a non-SC vehicle end up regretting it or at least are much more restricted in their movement. And here the usefulness of van travel is somewhat undermined. So yes, it is necessarily more expensive, but it is better to take a SC vehicle at the base price cheaper than the last van fully equipped but not SC.

But it’s up to you of course!

Tip #3 : The WOF (Warrant of Fitness)

The WOF, you will hear about it! It’s the equivalent of our good old technical control, happiness. Know first that it is valid for 6 months for vehicles dating from before 2000. If you want it to last 1 year, you will need a van after 2000-at the time the article is written well sure-.

It costs about fifty euros and can be done in many accredited centers. They are pretty picky from what we know especially about rust, real gangrene in New Zealand.

When looking for a van, pay attention to the expiry date of the WOF and carefully check the vehicle before buying it.

Even without really knowing you, the hotspots to check are:

  • Rust, under the car most often
  • Tires: New Zealand’s roads are hard on tires!
  • The brakes and shock absorbers that often take a hit also during a road trip
  • The lights: headlights, flashing …


Of course you are not safe from surprises during your trip so to maximize your chances, you can ask for a mecanic check (about 140 dollars) before the purchase. Do not hesitate to ask if the seller has a complete maintenance booklet to reassure you and facilitate future resale.

Never forget that you will have to sell your van! Keep all the bills!

Tip #4 : The REGO

Rego is a tax that you will have to pay for driving on New Zealand roads. It is also a point to check when buying a vehicle even if it “enough” to pay to extend a rego. You can extend it by 3 months, 6 months, 9 months …

The price is sixty euros for 6 months and you can do it in many approved institutions (post, center AA …) or on the internet if you have a postal address. But if you are in your van, it’s a safe bet that no!

Tip #5 : The D day 

You have found the van of your dreams and you are going to visit. To make sure everything is normal, take a look at Carjam, it’s a site that will give you the history of the vehicle through the license plate. You check everything that has been mentioned before and definitely everything is perfect!

But how is the change of ownership?

In New Zealand, the change of ownership is frighteningly simple. All you have to do is go to a post (yes, yes). The seller will fill out a form and you will yours. They each make a page. You will then pay 9 dollars and voila!


Tip #6 : The best time to buy / sell your van

The period is extremely important when buying a van in New Zealand. Know that prices can easily go from single to double depending on the time of year.

Of course, everything is a question of offers and requests. Everyone wants to enjoy the summer and sell before the arrival of winter. Prices explode when the demand is strongest, that is to say from October to December. Then prices begin to fall in January and are lower and lower until June.

The must is to buy in June and sell between October and January.


This is an event that should not be taken lightly! The choice of van will determine the rest of your trip. We had no problem for the duration of the trip (or almost) but we are very lucky! Some backpackers have to work to pay for repairs or just go home … So be careful, scams are relatively common and remember that you will live in this block of junk for the next few months. Choose a van that you like, that looks healthy and … cross your fingers!

The 3 tips to know when you arrive in New Zealand (and that will save you a few dollars)

The 3 tips to know when you arrive in New Zealand (and that will save you a few dollars)

Here are 3 tips to save money when you arrive in New Zealand.

Number 1: The transport card

When you arrive in New Zealand, you will surely land in Auckland, the economic capital of the country. The opportunity to discover this city of 1.6 million inhabitants (out of the 4.7 million inhabitants of the country!) Looking like a modern American city. The best way to discover the different neighborhoods of this city which extends over 3 100 km2 (30 times larger than Paris) is the use of public transport made up of buses and trains. For this, we advise you to apply for the AT Hop card directly at the ticket counter and, for only $ 10, you will be able to travel in Auckland at a lower cost (at least 25% discount). For a round trip between Lynfield and the center of the city, you would get $ 6.60 instead of $ 11 at the regular rate. The card has other benefits like free wifi in some trains, buses and ferries for example. So do not hesitate 😉

Number 2: The culture of wwoofing

What is wwoofing? WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a network of organic farms established in England in the 1970s and now spreading around the world, including New Zealand. Its goal is to connect farmers with volunteers (often students, travelers, or people interested in organic farming) so that they can, in exchange most of the time of the lodging and the cover but also of the discovery of other cultures and new encounters, participate in the life of the farm and help farmers without financial compensation. A good way to travel cheaply and make beautiful meetings.

For more information, over there.

Number 3: Apply for IRD and open a New Zealand account

If you want to work in New Zealand, you will need an IRD number and a New Zealand account.

In the country of the kiwis, the tax is at the source, that is to say directly taken from the income. The IRD number allows the Ministry of Finance (the Inland Revenue) to directly identify you and apply the correct tax rate. If not, your employer must apply the maximum tax rate of 45% of income. It is therefore essential to your arrival to make the request (free). It can be done directly online and you will receive your IRD number by email within 2-3 days depending on the number of requests in progress.

The New Zealand bank account is also an obligation to receive your salary. It will also be very convenient to buy or withdraw money without having additional taxes applied by some banks. We chose the Kiwi Bank that allows you to open an account quickly and manage it online. This bank is managed by kiwi mail, so you will have the opportunity to go to the counter in most cities.

In conclusion, it is possible to save a few dollars as soon as he arrives in hobbits country. We also strongly urge you to check backpackers’ facebook groups, which are often rich in good tips and advice.

Feel free to give us your tips for saving money on the trip 🙂

Travel Apps to have in New Zealand

Travel Apps to have in New Zealand

Here are our favorite free travel apps for traveling to New Zealand.

CamperMate and WikiCamps New-Zealand

These two travel applications are quite similar and can locate the various campsites and free camps in New Zealand as well as public toilets, showers, gas stations, laundromats, free wifi etc. A must-have if you travel in van for example. Traveler communities are very active and data is regularly updated. We have a preference for WikiCamps that allows you to download the cards and use them without any connection.

Available on Iphone and Android.


Maps.Me is a totally free GPS navigator allowing you to use offline maps by downloading them in advance. Convenient in New Zealand where areas without telephone networks are numerous. Maps.Me also allows access to “Points of Interest” such as hiking trails that would not be available on other GPS. Its database is updated daily. The application also has all the features of a classic GPS application with navigation system depending on the type of trip (by car, bike or on foot) and search filters (restaurants, gas stations etc.)

Available on Iphone and Android.


Gaspy is a kiwi application to find petrol stations offering the cheapest fuels around you. Its operation is collaborative and relies on its large number of contributors (more than 100,000 times installed) which constantly provide information on the price of fuel in the stations. A free travel app and very convenient to make significant savings.

Available on Iphone and Android.

MetService NZ Weather

“In New Zealand, you can have four seasons in one day”. This kiwi expression sums up well the changing weather conditions in New Zealand. You can wake up with a beautiful sun and 2 hours later be in a storm and 2 hours later be in a fine rain for finally, with a little luck, find the sun at the end of the day. MetService is the application of kiwi weather services and allows to see in real time, the evolution of the weather conditions. It is certainly the most reliable application and is also very well designed. Very practical to prepare his hikes or surf days.

Available on Iphone and Android.