Lunar Eclipse This Weekend

Source: www.news.com.au (click on the link for the full story)

Early Saturday morning, the night sky will feature a rare blood moon lunar eclipse and it will be the longest such event in roughly a century. Even better news, Australians are expected to be among those with the best view of the slow-moving astronomy event.

The event will kick off at about 3.15am (AEST) on Saturday, July 28. The moon will start to turn red from about 5.30am.

 

 

Australian Backpackers Guide to The Climate In Australia

Australia is a huge country and has different climate zones.

First of all, don’t forget Australia is on the Southern Hemisphere, which means that summer and winter is opposite from the Northern Hemisphere.

Spring = start September

Summer = start December

Autumn = start March

Winter = start June

 

 

 

 

 

The Australian ‘Alps’ and the Tasmanian mountains have a mountain climate and the highest peaks are usually covered by snow all year-round.

The northern part of Australia

There is a tropical climate, which is hot and humid in Summer (December/January) and quite warm and dry in Winter (July/August)

The ‘middle’ part of Australia

Here you have the outback that exists of desert and bush. In summer temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius and sometimes there is no rain for months/years.

The ‘southern’ part of Australia

            In summer daytime temperatures are usually between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius

In winter daytime temperatures are usually between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius

There is a cooler climate, which is cool and mild in Summer (December/January) and cool and rainy in Winter (July/August)

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ACT = Australian Capital Territory

This territory has a continental climate. Relatively mild and wet in summer and cold winters.

Highest temperature – January 1939 = 42.8 degrees Celsius (Acton)

Lowest temperature – July 1971 = -14.6 degrees Celsius (Gudgenby)

 

NSW = New South Wales

The state has a temperate, humid subtropical and oceanic climate. In the South East cool to cold weather all year round and snow in winter.

In the southern half of NSW generally warm to hot in summer and cool in winter.

North West NSW very hot summers and cooler and drier winters.

Bordering to QLD hot and humid summers and mild winters with sunshine.

The coldest region is the Snowy Mountains.

Highest temperature – January 1939 = 49.8 degrees Celsius (Menindee)

Lowest temperature – July 1994 = -23 degrees Celsius (Charlotte’s Pass)

 

NT = Northern Territory

The territory has two climate zones.

In the Northern part (including Darwin) - a tropical savannah climate (high humidity and wet season (Nov-Apr) and dry season (May-Oct).

In dry season it is warm and sunny nearly every day.

In wet season there can be tropical cyclones and monsoon rains.

The Central region is arid/semi-arid, with very hot summers and relatively cool winters.

Highest temperature – January 1960 = 48.3 degrees Celsius (Finke)

Lowest temperature – July 1976 = -7.5 degrees Celsius (Alice Springs)

 

QLD = Queensland

Due to the size of the state there are different climate zones in the state.

Far north and coastal – hot humid summers

Hinterlands and south east coast – warm humid summers

Central West – hot dry summer, mild winters

Southern West – hot dry summer, cold winters

Inland South East – warm summer, cold winter

Highest temperature – December 1972 = 49.5 degrees Celsius (Birdsville)

Lowest temperature – June 1961 = -10.6 degrees Celsius (Stanthorpe)

 

SA = South Australia

Most of the state has an arid/semi-arid climate.

The couther coastal parts have a Mediterranean climate (mild wet winters and hot dry summers).

Highest temperature – January 1960 = 50.7 degrees Celsius (Oodnadatta)

Lowest temperature – July 1976 = -8 degrees Celsius (Yongala)

 

TAS = Tasmania

This state has a climate with four seasons.

Highest temperature – January 2009 = 42.2 degrees Celsius (Scamander)

Lowest temperature – June 1983 = -13 degrees Celsius (Butlers Gorge)

 

VIC = Victoria

In Victoria there is a semi-arid, hot (North West) and mild climate (along the coast).

Highest temperature – February 2009 = 48.8 degrees Celsius (Hopetoun)

Lowest temperature – June 1965 = -11.7 degrees Celsius (Omeo)

 

WA = West Australia

The south west corner of WA has a Mediterranean climate and the rest a hot arid/semi-arid climate.

The Kimberley has an extremely hot climate (monsoon) and a very long dry season.

Highest temperature – February 1998 = 50.5 degrees Celsius (Mardie Station)

Lowest temperature – August 2008 = -7.2 degrees Celsius (Eyre Bird Observatory)

 

Below info is from the website of Bureau of Meteorology (http://www.bom.gov.au)

October to April - maximum and minimum temperatures

May to September - maximum and minimum temperatures

Australian Backpackers Guide to Public Transport

(Public) transport

Every state has their own transport companies and therefore there are different ways to get around. Of course in most cities you can still buy paper tickets or pay with cash on public transport. In most cases, it will be cheaper to buy a 'transport card' to use while travelling locally.

If you are looking for ways of transport to get from one place (state) to the other (state), or if you are looking for a hop on hop off bus or a great train trip or you want to rent a campervan/car, please contact the staff of the Australian Backpackers Work and Travel Programs and they will help you out.

 


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New South Wales

If you travel a lot in New South Wales, the best option is to buy an Opal Card

This is a card on which you can put money and use it for buses, trains, light rails and ferries.

You can buy an Opal card in various shops (newsagencies and convenience stores) and at the stations.

Opal cards you can use for travel on public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra. Just add value on your card before you travel and tap on and off.

You can still by single trip tickets if you wish on most services, however prices are more expensive than using an Opal car.

No matter how much you travel with an Opal card you never pay more than your Daily, Weekly or Sunday Travel Caps.

Daily $15.40

Weekly $61.60

Sunday $2.60 (yes...just $2.60 for all Sunday, even the ferries and trains)

When you have paid for 8 trips in one week (counting from Monday to Sunday), you will only pay half price for the rest of the trips you do that week.

When you want to go to the airport you can also use your Opal card. Please note you will pay an additional station access fee on top of your fare (which is $14.30).

For all info on transport in NSW: http://www.transportnsw.info/

How much will it approximately cost you?

Peak hours are on Sydney trains Mon-Fri from 7 am – 9am and 4 pm – 6.30 pm.

Peak hours are on intercity trains Mon-Fri from 6 am – 8 am and 4 pm – 6.30 pm.


Victoria

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If you travel a lot in Victoria, the best option is to buy a MYKI card (similar to the Opal card in NSW).

This is a card on which you can put money and use it for travelling on Melbourne's trains, trams and buses, V/Line commuter train services and buses in Seymour, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, the Latrobe Valley and Warragul.

For all info on transport in VIC: http://ptv.vic.gov.au/

In Melbourne there is a Free Tram Zone, where you do not have to pay for any public transport. Keep this in mind before you buy a Myki card that you might not need. If you start or finish your journey outside the Free Tram Zone your journey is not free.

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South East Queensland

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If you travel a lot in South Queensland, the best option is to buy a go card.

You can use this on all TransLink bus, train (including Airtrain), ferry and tram services in South East Queensland (Brisbane, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast regions).

TransLink also operates in Cairns, Mackay, Toowoomba as well.

Regional you have qconnect (bus services).

For all info on transport in QLD: https://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/go-card


North Queensland

Check TransLink (also operates in Brisbane) - https://translink.com.au/cairns.

For in the Cairns suburbs, the public transport service, Sunbus, operates throughout Cairns; from the northern beaches to the southern suburbs via the CBD. 

Private bus lines operate services covering Port Douglas, Mossman, Kuranda, the Atherton Tablelands and Mission Beach.

For all info on transport in QLD: http://www.sunbus.com.au /

 


South Australia

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If you travel a lot in Adelaide - South Australia, the best option is to buy a metrocard.

You can use this card on the bus, train or tram.

For all info on transport in SA: https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/

  


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West Australia

If you travel a lot in Perth - Western Australia, the best option is to buy a SmartRider.

For all info on transport in WA: http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/


Northern Territory

When travelling a lot in Darwin or Alice Springs, you might want to consider buying a Tap and Ride card.

For all info on transport in NT: https://transport.nt.gov.au/


Australian Backpackers Guide to How Much Costs...

If I go shopping today, how much will things cost (in a supermarket) ... looking at the ‘cheap/affordable’ items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Bread (white - 1 loaf sliced) --- $1.00
  • Cheese (1 kg) --- $7.50                                             
  • Avocado (1 piece) --- $2.20
  • Bottle of Coca Cola (1 litre) --- $4.60                                 
  • Box of (free range) eggs (12 eggs) --- $4.00
  • Case of Corona beers (24 bottles) --- $64.00
  • Bottle of whisky --- $35.00
  • Cigarettes (cheaper brand- 25 cigarettes) --- $27.00
  • Cucumber (1 piece) --- $3.20
  • Smoked salmon sliced (300 gr) --- $13.00
  • Apple (Granny Smith - 1 piece) --- $1.00
  • Shampoo (350 ml bottle) --- $6.00
  • Rump steak (1 kg) --- $25.00                                          
  • Milk (2 liters) --- $2.00    
  • Bottles of water (8 bottles 1.5 l) --- $6.30                                                
  • Can of tuna --- $1.00
  • Instant coffee (500 gr) --- $15.00
  • Bag of pasta (500 gr) --- $2.00             
  • Toilet rolls (6 rolls) --- $4.00                                             
  • Jar of peanut butter --- $1.90
  • Night of accommodation 6 bed dorm --- $18.00 - $45.00 per night
  • Diesel fuel (1 litre) --- 1.53 (average)                                             
  • Unleaded fuel (1 litre) ---$1.62 (average)

They have many supermarkets in Australia. Coles and Woolworths are the biggest ones, but you also have Aldi and IGA. See if there is a fruit/vegetables market where you are, as you might be able to buy more veggies and fruits for a cheaper price here.

When you want to know how much money you will spend per week, look at your spending pattern and don’t forget that you have to sleep every night and eat food every day.

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If you like to go out and party every night, you can of course go to all happy hours in the bars and pay $5 for a beer or wine, but if you go to any other bar and not the happy hour ones, count on about minimum $9 for a beer or a glass of wine. In most places you need to pay an entree fee when you go to a club on weekends (this can vary between $10 and $40).

If you want to hire a car, stay in motels or hotels, do sightseeing and eat out every day, think about spending on average about $140 per day.

It is always cheaper to cook together, go camping or stay in hostels and don’t go out every night. If you do this you should be able to get around with less than $75 per day.

Hiring a campervan is already possible from $25 per day. This is already cheaper than a dorm room in a hostel, and also includes your transport as well. There are many free campsites and also the ones where you have to pay are not too expensive (you also often have the choice between powered and unpowered site).

If you are interested in getting a quote for a road trip you are planning on doing, fill out our quote form and our staff will get in touch with you.

Happy shopping!

 

Australian Backpackers Guide To What To Do When It Rains

What to do on a rainy day?

It does happen…rainy days while you are travelling in Australia (the 6th of June in Sydney...check!).

You thought when you booked your ticket it would be sunny and warm every day and you would chill out at the beach, get a golden brown tan, walk around on flip flops and in shorts every day or have a BBQ in a park every other day… wrong (sorry, that was cruel)!

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately the clouds get angry too in Australia, so you need to find something to do. If you are not working on those days and you do want to make the best of it, check out our tips below.

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1.       Stay in bed

Of course the number one is staying in bed. You wake up in your dorm room and you already hear the rain smashing against your window.

You don’t want to get up and decide to stay in bed anyways. A lot of the other tips are all do-able from your warm and cosy bed.

 

 

 

 

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 2.       Go to the pub or a café

Okay, this one is a hard one to do from your bed, but might as well be a good option to get out of your bed and maybe do number 3 in the meantime as well.

Find some other people in the hostel who also look bored and are not sure what to do.

Get off your phone and turn your notifications off (just for maybe 1 or 2 hours no WhatsApp, Facebook, texts) and enjoy the time to meet and talk to new people. There is this saying ‘Strangers are just friends you haven’t met’…today is the day to find out.

Ask if someone wants to join you to go to the pub close to the hostel (maybe even share an umbrella) or of course, if it is real early in the day, go to a café and have a coffee.

 

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3.       Do your laundry

While you are in bed or out for a beer or a coffee, why not take the time in the meantime to do your (well-needed) laundry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 4.       Write finally your emails or send postcards to your friends and family

Your friends and family keep on asking how you are doing, and because you are such a busy backpacker with lots of stuff to do, you never can seem to find a moment to write an email to your family and friends back home.

See, also this you can do from your bed. Grab your laptop/tablet or phone and start writing long emails about what you have been doing and what you are up to. To not spend the whole day writing long emails (you might want to try the other tips out too), you can just copy and paste emails to different friends or family members, or why not write 1 email to a big group of people. They will be talking at home about how jealous they are of your travels and adventures (not knowing you write this from your bed while it pours with rain outside).

Or why not finally write those postcards that have been in your bag for ages. It is always so nice (and not to mention personal) to receive a handwritten postcard from someone you love from far away.

 

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5.       Update your blog or journal

And if you are at it, you might as well just update your travel journal (online or maybe you still do the old fashioned thing, and you write it with a pen…what?!?).

 

 

 

 

 6.       Read a book

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You brought your books or magazines for a reason, and you just cannot seem to find any time to read them. Today is the day. And if you finish your book, why not walk (I know…this means you would have to get out of bed) to the bookcase (most hostels have one) and exchange your book for another one (which you can start reading next time when it rains).

 

 

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 7.       Eat or show your mum you do cook

Of course, you are a backpacker, so you also need to eat.

Maybe just a quick sandwich is enough (a slice of white bread with some cheese, or maybe even just a can of tuna), but you might want to have a chat with your roommates and see if they are up for cooking a great meal for lunch/dinner.

You can share the costs of the shopping (you can have great meals for a few dollars, the more people the merrier (and cheaper), and you can have a fun chat while in the kitchen proving to your parents that you DO cook your meals (of course do not forget to take photos). “Hopefully” one of the other people don’t mind to go and walk to the shops to do some groceries shopping.

 

8.       Organise your photos

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By the time you are 1 or 2 months into your travelling you have taken soooooo many photos and you might not even look at all of them later on. If you are planning on making a photo album, take this rainy day to already start choosing the photos you want to have in your album. Make a ‘favourites’ folder on your laptop or in your phone and if you do this a few times while travelling when it rains, you can “almost” have your album ready within 2 weeks when you come back home.

Maybe you can already make an online album, and with one click on the computer you can have it printed and made into an album while you are recovering from your jetlag when you go back home.

 

 

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9.       Talk to other people

Needless to say, but you are not the only one who is annoyed it is raining. Go and walk to the communal areas in the hostel (maybe there is a garden, big kitchen, lounge room or TV room) and see if there are like-minded people who maybe also want to go to the pub or a café with you, or just have a chat (…because you don’t have anything else to do).

 

 

 

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 10.   Play board games or watch a movie

Most hostels have board games in the communal areas. Do expect that there will be pieces missing of most of the games, but who cares…it is raining and you have nothing else to do. Besides board games most hostels also have a selection of DVD’s or a hard drive where you can choose any of the many movies and chill out, relax and watch a movie you always wanted to see. Or maybe this is finally the day to do a “Lord of the Rings” or “Star wars” marathon. Before you know it, you look outside and the sun is back.

 

 11.   Plan the next part of your trip

You have many plans and you want to see everything in Australia. But now you are here, and what is next? You don’t want to spend all your time inside a hostel (even though it might be fun for a few rainy days), but you came all the way to Australia to explore and discover.

So grab your Lonely Planet, Google, talk to other backpackers what their favourite spots are and of course, get in touch (see...you can do this from your bed) with the staff at Australian Backpackers Work and Travel Programs if you are in need of tips/inspiration or check the website.

 

 12.   Go outside anyways

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In your home country you don’t care about the rain, and you would go outside anyways. Why not here. It might be rainy, but…good shoes on (avoid flip flops, as most Australian pavements are made to be very slippery when wet), a rain coat (or a poncho or just a hoodie…whatever floats your goat), sunglasses on (you never know…the sun might come out…Australia has 4 seasons in one day) and go outside.

Go and check out the many free museums, walk in shopping malls, go to libraries, go to bookshops where you can also drink a coffee…and many more options without getting rained soaking wet.

 

See…also rainy days in Australia can be AMAZING!

Enjoy this rainy day…enjoy it till the fullest, before you know it you will be complaining again that the sun is too bright, you got sunburned and it is too hot!

 

Australian Backpackers Guide to Beach Safety

Australia has a coastline that stretches almost 50,000 kilometres and has almost 11,000 beaches.

Check here which beaches are patrolled in Australia: https://beachsafe.org.au/

If you would visit a new beach every day in Australia it would take you over 27 years to see them all.

The most popular beach in Australia is Bondi Beach (of which the TV series Bondi Rescue also played a big role), but there are so many other beaches worth visiting.

 

Whatever beach you will be going to, beach safety is very important to be able to enjoy your time in Australia till the fullest.

Remember…FLAGS

F… Find the red and yellow flags and swim between them

L…Look at, understand and obey, the safety signs

A…Ask a lifeguard or surf lifesaver for advice before you enter the water

G…Get a friend to swim with you

S…Stick your hand up, stay calm, float, and wait for assistance


FLAGS AT THE BEACHES

There are a few different flags that you will find on the beaches.

SIGNS AT THE BEACHES

You might also find the following signs at the beaches.

The signs and flags are there to inform you on something and not just to fill up some space, read and follow instructions to enjoy the best day at the beach.

SURF LIFESAVERS AND LIFEGUARDS

You will see different people on the beaches who are there to make sure you are save.

Lifeguards and surf lifesavers.

What is the difference?

Surf lifesavers are volunteers (trained) who patrol the beaches on public holidays and weekends and during the peak school holiday and summer season (September – May).

Lifeguards are paid professionals who in general patrol the beaches (and lagoons and resorts) seven days per week (this depends on the location).

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RIP CURRENTS
Rips are the number one hazard on Australian beaches. How to avoid them? Swim between the red and yellow flags.

You often hear people talk about the rips in Australia, but what is a rip current now exactly?

Rips can change shape and location very quickly and are often difficult to see. Try to spot them by looking at:

  • Deeper/dark-coloured water
  • Fewer breaking waves
  • A rippled surface surrounded by smooth water
  • Anything floating out to sea or foamy, discoloured, sandy, water flowing out beyond the waves

A rip is the path the water being pushed onto the shore by waves takes to run back into the ocean. Why it is dangerous? People try to swim against the current back to shore and this will make you exhausted. Also inexperienced swimmers can get pushed out to the deep waters, where they cannot stand up.

How to survive when you get stuck in a rip current?

First: Relax (stay calm and float to conserve your energy. The current will not pull you under and your body can float).

Second: Raise (raise your arm and attract attention from lifeguards/lifesavers and others)

Third: Rescue (the lifeguards/lifesavers will be on their way to help you)

If you do feel confident, swim parallel to the shoreline towards the white water, here it will be shallower and the waves will help you get back to shore.

NEVER swim against the rip straight back to shore.

SUN SAFETY

In Australia the sun has very dangerous UV rays and even in the shade (and when it is cloudy) you can easily get sunburnt.

Where in your own country you might be baking in the sun all day in summer, we definitely do not recommend to do the same thing here. It is very easy to get skin cancer if you do that often.

There are a few handy steps to keep in mind when going out into the sun.

SLIP – SLOP – SLAP – SEEK – SLIDE

SLIP on protective clothing (cover as much skin as possible (think of rash shirts when out in the water))

SLOP on a high SPF sunscreen (preferably 30 or higher). Apply this at least 20 minutes before you go outside and reapply every few hours.

SLAP on a hat (something that provides good protection for the face, nose, neck and ears).

SEEK shade. Make use of trees or umbrellas or anything that keeps you out of the direct sun.

SLIDE on your sunnies.

MARINE CREATURES

Everyone knows Australia is a country with many, many, many dangerous animals. However, the change you will see many of them is very slim.

Luckily Australia also has lots of water to share with all the amazing, breathtaking dolphins, whales and turtles.

A few less fun animals should be put on your ‘stay-away-from’ list.

The blue ringed octopus

These animals are commonly found in shallow rock pools of inter-tidal zones, hiding amongst the rocks all around Australia.

How to avoid? Stay clear and do not disturb these environments.

What if? The bite is usually painless. Numbness of the lips and tongue may occur with weakness and breathing difficulties.

  • Contact 000 (emergency) immediately
  • Proceed with CPR if necessary
  • Apply compression or immobilisation bandaging to the area
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Crocodiles

In Northern Australia there are many crocodiles. These animals can be extremely dangerous. And when you see a sign ‘ do not swim, crocodiles’, play it very safe if you want to stay alive and be smart and do not enter.  Also in Northern Queensland there will be parts where no signs will be placed, always be very cautious, as in rivers, lakes and the ocean is where crocodiles live. Only swim in designated safe areas.

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DSharks

Most sharks are harmless to humans, but just to minimise your chances of encountering a shark

  • Do not swim between dawn and dusk
  • Do not swim at river mouths or in murk/discoloured water
  • Do not swim in or around schools of baitfish
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Jellyfish

These two are non-tropical stingers and can be found all around Australia.

The best known is the bluebottle. When your skin touches the tentacles (which is covered in stinging cells), it will inject small amounts of a toxin that can cause irritation and can be quite painful.

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Another one is the hair jelly. This one also has tentacles that can cause a painful sting.

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What if stung by a bluebottle? Wash off any remaining tentacles with seawater (or pick with your fingers) (mostly they cannot sting through the tough skin on your fingers), immerse the sting in hot water (no hotter than can be easily tolerated) and if local pain is not relieved, the application of cold packs or wrapped ice is also effective.

What if stung by other jellyfish? Wash off any remaining tentacles with seawater (or pick with your fingers), apply cold pack or wrapped ice for at least 10 minutes or until the pain is relieved and refer to medical aid for further treatment if condition deteriorates

You also have tropical stingers which you will mainly find in the tropical waters of Australia (Queensland and Northern Territory) and North West Australia and are considered the most dangerous marine stingers on earth.

These stingers have potent toxic stings that can cause serious illness and death in some cases.

How to protect yourself from these stingers?

  • Swim at patrolled beaches and inside the stinger nets (where provided)
  • Look for and obey any safety signs
  • Don’t enter the water when beaches are closed
  • Wear a full body lycra suit (stinger season is generally November to March)
  • Ask a lifeguard for help and advice if you need it

he best know is the box jellyfish. This one has up to 15 tentacles that can extend up to 3 metres in length. Its sting causes severe burning skin pain, often with tentacles remaining in the stung area. Severe stings can cause respiratory distress and cardiac arrest.

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The next one is the Irukandji. They cause an initial minor sting, followed 5-40 minutes later by severe generalised muscular pain, headache, vomiting and sweating. It can also increase blood pressure which may become life threatening.

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What if?

  • Contact 000 (emergency) immediately
  • Provide emergency care including CPR if needed
  • Treat the sting by pouring vinegar onto the affected area
  • Seek medical aid and transport to the hospital

 

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Australian Backpackers Guide to Writing a CV

How to write an Aussie CV?

Whether you have no work experience yet and you just finished high school or you have years of work experience in your home country, you would need to have your CV ready if you want to work in Australia.

We advise you to make sure you have your CV ready to go (in English) before you arrive in Australia, so when you arrive you can start applying straight away. Our jobs officers are here to help you with writing your CV as well.

Your CV should not be more than 2 pages in general and your objective has to be straightforward and in general a short story about who you are, what your skills are and your availability.

Below we have posted a few examples on what your CV can look like. Obviously there are many different ways to write your CV and you might want to make a few different ones for different kind of jobs (hospitality or labour work or customer service etc.).

Contact details

When writing down your contact details always make sure you have an Australian mobile number (employers will not likely call to an overseas number to invite you for an interview).

For your address (only if you are a member with us) use our address (and write down it is a post address). You do not want to change your address every time you will change hostels and this will also make it unclear for companies to see where you are.

For your email address, always put your email address on your CV. If you opened an email address years ago and back then you thought it was very funny to use the email address 'Ilovestrawberrycakesinwinter@gmail.com (for example J), you might want to get a new (more professional) email address.

Add a photo? If you are applying for face-to-face/customer service related jobs it is definitely a good idea to put your photo on your CV. Try to stay away from selfies, drunk photos in the bar or photos with other people in it. It doesn’t have to be a professional passport photo, but something that makes you look representable.

Personal statement

In the personal statement you write a short paragraph just to get the employers attention so they will read the rest of your CV. In short you need to write why the employer should hire you (without literally writing 'you should hire me'). Your personal statement could be different per position (one you would write for hospitality might be different than one for construction jobs).

When you can only work for 1 month do not write you are available for 3 months. Companies are pretty good scanning through interviews if you are speaking the truth (gained over years of experience with working with backpackers), but also because you don't want to waste your time applying for jobs you do not get or waste the companies time.

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Education

Write your education in your CV. Always make sure the last school you have done is at the top. As most studies always start between Augustus and September and finish in July, you can just write the years when you have done these studies.

You do not necessarily need to put in your primary school, as long as you have your high school (and if possible higher education after this) in your CV it is all good.  Do keep your education short, as employers will be more interested in your work history than your education.

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Work experience

The same as with education, make sure you put your last job (most recent) at the top and your oldest one at the bottom. Employers are more interested in what you just have done then reading about your part time job you had 10 years ago.

Many people love using bold text in CV’s to have some things point out a bit more. Keep the bold text for your job titles and not for company names. When reading a CV the bold will be most clear to read, and companies do not have any feeling reading a company name of a company they never might have heard of. If you write your job title in bold, at least this will say something to them, and then (if interested) they can always read the company where you have worked at. So keep in mind that Australian companies might not know the companies you have worked for in your home country, so make sure the job title is clear (preferably in bold letter type).

When writing your CV try not to lie. It sounds a bit lame, but it has happened with someone who wrote on his CV that he spoke fluent German and when he worked in the company he had to work with a German colleague (who hardly spoke English) as his new boss thought it would be perfect for him to work with the German guy since his German would be fluent.

You can always make your jobs sound 'cooler' and 'nicer'. When you worked in a supermarket and you were stacking shelves and help customers if they had questions, were you not really being a 'sales assistant'? 

Depending on your experience it is best to put as much in your CV as possible. Even if you do not have any experience and just finished high school, you might have had part time jobs/summer jobs such as flyer delivery, babysitting, helping out at farm, helping family with painting a house, etc. Try to be innovative in describing your previous jobs, so the employer can see that you might not have had that job before, but you do have the skills that could make the job work.

For example if you are applying for a job in a bar and you have no experience, you can write that you have had experience in other jobs with for example 'cash handling', 'customer service', 'dealing with enquiries' and so on.

If you are looking for a job where they expect you to work hard (this could be on a farm, but could also be as a removalist or maybe any other construction job), you can write down things that would show you don't mind getting your hands dirty. This could be from helping your parents with gardening, feeding animals, to painting houses, to love to ride dirt bikes and hiking.

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Skills and qualifications

In this paragraph you put down your skills, such as languages, IT skills, but also if you have your driver's license, your RSA/white card, tractor license, First Aid or any other certificates that might be handy. 

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Hobbies

You do not have to write everything you like to do on weekends or on holidays, but sometimes mentioning a few things could be helpful when applying for jobs. If you apply for a summer camp job it might be very good to mention you love babysitting and you have played soccer for over 5 years.

Volunteer jobs are always a good way to show on your CV.

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References

It is highly unlikely that Australian companies will call overseas companies for a reference when you have worked there. You can always write down 'available upon request'.

You do not need to add all your reference letters in your CV. If you do have them, make sure you have them digitally and when a company asks for it, you can always email it to them.

After reading this, do you need our help with checking your CV? Do you need help finding a job in Australia? Do you want to have some help finding a job for your second year visa? Check out our package 2 that might be perfect for you.

If you have any questions at all, just contact our staff to help you out.

If you write a CV in Word, there are many templates to write a CV in here

Australian Backpackers Guide to Driving in Australia

Australia is a huge country, and many people will agree that driving in Australia is one of the greatest things to do with all the freedom of the world (Australia).

Of course there are many ways to travel in Australia; by plane, hop on/hop off bus, trains, express busses, and guided tours. If you want any information on this, do not hesitate to ask the staff at the Australian Backpackers Work and Travel Programs.

If you are looking for FREEDOM, ADVENTURE and did we say FREEDOM…fill out the quote form and we will help you find the best available and suitable campervan for your road trip.

See below some information we have put together on driving in Australia.

Distances

As we mentioned, Australia is a big country and many people underestimate the distances from A to B. When you look online and see that the distance from Sydney to Brisbane is ‘only’ 915.8 kilometres, you will easily be driving a few hundred more, since you will stop/detour/take a wrong exit/do some sightseeing.

If you have the time and want to enjoy your trip, we recommend that you do not drive more than 150/200 kilometres per day. You also want to explore some of the best that Australia has to offer too while you are here. Take your time and take it easy…most likely you will be doing this only one time in your life, so you might as well soak up all the adventure and culture and nature while you can.

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Driver's license

You need to have your driver’s license on you as proof, and if this is not in English, it would need to be accompanied by an international driver’s license. If your driver’s license is not in English and you would need a translation, there are a few companies where you can have your license translated.

Keep left

In Australia, people drive on the left side of the road. If you drive on the ‘other’ side of the road in your home country, don’t worry too much. It might take a little bit of getting-used-to, but within no-time you will be very comfortable driving on the left side (you might have to get used again when you go back to your home country). Also keep in mind that you have to take roundabouts in the other direction as well.

In cities and towns it is very easy, as there are signs everywhere and you can follow traffic. It might be harder when you are on a long stretch of road with no other traffic, and you suddenly start to wonder on which side you must drive.

Seatbelts and child restraints

According to law, seatbelts must always be worn when driving and this is the same for all passengers in the car. For children under 7 years old, they must be in a child restraint appropriate for the child’s size and weight.

Obey the road signs

You should familiarise yourself with the road signs in Australia and make sure you obey them.

Most road signs will be familiar as to your own country, but there are a few signs they might not have in your home country (the kangaroo and koala ones for example).

At some traffic lights you are allowed to turn left at any time, which is not common in many other countries. Always STOP first and check if save to start driving.

See here the road signs they have in Australia.

Speed limits

Speed limits are very strict in Australia.

The speed limit is the maximum speed permitted on that road and you must not drive above the speed limit at any time. Some roads do not have visible speed limit signs, but speed limits still apply. You should be especially careful in residential areas and in school zones. When driving in school zones, you cannot drive any faster than 40 kilometres per hour. If you do speed and get caught (by speed meters or police) penalties will be very high, and a waste of your money (you rather use it for fun things). This is the same for driving through a red light and other offences. You would not do this in your home country either, so just drive according the rules and then it will be most fun and safest for everyone.

Alcohol and drugs

As in all countries, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are extremely dangerous. If you get caught in Australia while being under the influence, the penalties will be very high.

There are a lot of RBT (random breath testing) stops by police at any time of the day. Also when you are in the outback and you think you are okay to drive, don’t get in the car, as also there when you think nothing can happen, it is still unsafe and dangerous.

The legal limit is set at 0.05 blood alcohol concentration. The amount of alcohol how it affects your body is different per person, but to stay under the 0.05 definitely have no more than 2 drinks. In Australia if you are on a L or P plate, your blood alcohol level must be 0 at all times, and you cannot drink anything before driving.

Mobile phones

You are not allowed to hold or use your mobile phone while you are driving. Recently they installed cameras above the roads to check on people using their devices while travelling. The use of mobile phone includes: receiving calls, texting, playing games and even web browsing.

Stop, revive, and survive

Australia is a big country and you will often find yourself driving hours straight. Not only is it a long drive, but some road might also be ‘boring’ and you will get tired.

There are many rest areas along the roads (about every 80-100 kilometres on main highways), so pull up after a few hours driving maximum, stretch your legs, get some rest, so you will be save to drive again. Many accidents in Australia happen on the roads due to people who are tired and fall asleep behind the wheel.

Wildlife

Unlike maybe in your home country (all depending where you are from and where you live), but in Australia there is lots of wildlife on the roads. For example; kangaroos, koalas, emus, wombats and foxes. Cattle might also just be grazing on the side of the road and they suddenly might want to cross.

Always drive with a safe speed, so if you see any animals crossing, you can reduce your speed easily. Do not suddenly turn your wheel violently, as you will also bring yourself in danger by rolling off the road.

Between dusk and dawn is when most animals will be awake and want to check out your headlights from close up. When an animal sees your headlights, it will freeze and that is when you might hit them.

Many highways have signs along the roads with animals that you might pass, as well as telephone numbers in case you see any injured animal.

If you do happen to hit a kangaroo, always check its pouch is there is a Joey (baby kangaroo) in there. If so, contact the nearest wildlife rescue organisation.

Road conditions

Australia is a country with many sorts of roads going from sealed, to gravel to unsealed roads. If you want to go off-road, make sure you are driving a 4WD. If you do attempt this with your 2WD, you might end up having to pay for a new gearbox, undercar work or any other problems you might encounter (such as getting stuck).

Avoid speeding on unsealed roads, and check for changing surfaces and holes in the road. If there is a sign that says the track is closed, do not enter, as there might have been bushfires, floods or cyclones that have changed the road conditions. Never cross flooded roads, as many have very strong currents that can sweep your campervan away in a second.

In case of any emergency contact the emergency phone 000 or State Emergency Service (SES). Only call 000 in case of an emergency, and they will get you in contact with the fire brigade, police and/or ambulances.

Breakdown

When you rent a campervan, you will have 24 hours roadside assistance with the rental of your campervan.

If you break down in the outback, do not leave your vehicle. Your campervan will give you shade and protection from all different sort of weather conditions. Call the roadside assistance and/or your rental company and wait for help.

E-tags and toll roads

Australia has a few toll roads in the major cities. You will not be able to pay with cash at a toll booth, and you would need to pay the toll with an electronic tag or pass. If you do not want to set up a pass before you go, you have 3 days to pay the toll when you have used the road. Along the roads there are signs with the number to call to pay. You can also search online for the specific toll road and get in touch. Do not forget to pay, as the admin fees will be charged after the 3 days already.

There are toll roads in NSW, VIC and QLD near the big cities. In the other states there are no toll roads.

Road trains

Road trains or so-called articulated trucks are trucks that can be up to the size of over 10 cars behind each other. These trucks will go slow up the hill, but will increase their speed going downhill again. When you want to overtake a road train, keep in mind that wind rushes occur when passing the road train and might pull you on the wrong side of the road.

Also allow plenty of room before you overtake, as some road trains sway a bit, and because of the long size of it, keep in mind you will be taking over for a ‘long period of time’, don’t lose focus after passing half the truck already.

Bicycles

When driving your campervan or car, note that when you pass a bicycle rider, you must leave AT LEAST 1 metre between your campervan and the bicycle rider. There are penalties for not following these rules.

It is not uncommon that you will find cyclists on the high way. Don’t get scared and make any sudden movements, but just use your common sense and keep on driving save.

Driving into the outback

If you want to go into the outback and experience the full Ozzie nature as it is, make sure…first of all, you have a campervan/car that is made for these roads. It can be very remote if you suddenly breakdown hundreds and hundreds kilometres away from the closest town.

Before you leave first check where you want to go and calculate how long it will take you to get there. Take into account breaks, overnight stops, toilet stops, refuelling and detours you might take.

Also have you campervan serviced before you go. If you have rented a campervan, the service should have been done and should be all good for your trip. There are a few rental companies that have additional 4WD insurance and or add-ons when you rent a campervan (such as a satellite phone).

Give your details on your trip and when you expect to arrive to the police station or friends/family, so when you do not show up at a certain time, they can go and see if you got stranded somewhere.

Make sure you check the weather conditions and road conditions before you take off. In the rain season, it could be that many of the roads you want to take are flooded and not accessible. 
Also make sure your phone is charged.

When driving make sure you have good equipment with you; first aid kit, water for drink (and emergency water), (extra) food, spare wheels, rope, shovel, GPS, matches/lighter/maps and a tool kit. You can decide to hire a satellite phone, most will be about $20 per day (excluding calling costs), but it might save you, so is not a bad thought to get.

Driving a 4WD can be very exhausting (especially if you are not used to it), so make sure you have had enough sleep and that you stop regularly to stretch your legs or swap with your friend for driving. Try to drive only during the day, as during dusk/dawn time animals will get on the roads.

There are websites per state with road reports. Check them out, before heading out.

ARE YOU READY TO DRIVE IN AUSTRALIA?

Do this driver’s knowledge text to see.

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