Backpacking Essentials

You’ve just arrived in Australia?
Or you’ll arrive soon in Australia?

Whatever your answer is, now it’s time for the fun to begin…;-)

We have created this page featuring a list of the things you need to do either you have arrived or you’re about to begin your journey of a lifetime! We have also provided links to all our most useful sections that can help you find your feet once you’ve landed.

Your first week in Australia is going to be busy one, and to get you organised (so you’ll have more time to enjoy your new surroundings), we have few information for you:

  • Get a Mobile SIM Card


Buy an Australian SIM card such as Amaysim, as soon you can so you can start making calls. You will also need to have a phone number to put on your resume (so the sooner you get one the sooner you can start applying for jobs) and mobile number is must while opening your bank account for the security on to your account.

We recommend Amaysim. Did you ask why?

  1. Its cheap to make calls within Australia, 12c (cents) per minute with no connection (flagfall) fee and international starts from just 6c (cents) per minute with no connection fee.
  2. Powered by Optus 3G Network – covering 97% of Australians and second biggest network in Australia
  3. Its a pre-paid
  4. No hidden or extra charges
  5. Popular among backpackers
  6. You can buy SIM card from our reception or from any supermarket around Australia

If you plan on moving around quite a bit, or if you plan on living in a very remote or regional Australia at some point, then you really need to pick a provider with the best mobile coverage and that is Telstra. However, there are plenty of remote parts of Australia where there is no service at all, in which case you may need use local landline service for making calls and that can be expensive.

  • Open a Bank Account, if you haven’t already


We recommend Commonwealth Bank. Why?

  1. You can open your account instantly up to three months prior to arriving in Australia
  2. Transfer money from anywhere in the world and view your balance online before you arrive
  3. No monthly account fees for the first 12 months. Please note, conditions do apply.
  4. Debit MasterCard® ready to collect when you arrive in Australia and can arrange pickup from branch itself if you know which city you will be arriving.
  5. Over 4,000 ATM’s around Australia
  6. For further details and to apply, please click here.
  • Get a Tax File Number (TFN)


It’s best to get your TFN sorted out as soon as you can, as you will need it before you start working. If you don’t have a TFN before you start working, your employer is required by law to tax you a massive whopping 46.5% approx. Save yourself the money and the hassle and get your TFN before you start work. You can apply for a TFN on the web however you can do it any time  but only after entering Australia. To apply, click here.

  • Sign up to Medicare


A Medicare card allows you to receive medical treatment for free or at a reduced rate, so it could save you a lot of money if you do fall ill. However, only backpackers from certain countries who have a recipricol agreement with Australia can benefit from the scheme. Those countries include: UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Malta, Belgium, Slovenia and Netherlands. To apply for a Medicare card you will need to have, your passport, valid visa and, you may also need to provide identification showing you are enrolled in your country’s national health scheme. Please visit the Medicare website for more information on how to apply for a Medicare card.

  • Lodging your Tax Return


Most people need to lodge a tax return and we recommend Taxback.com. Why?

  1. No Refund = No Fee – Pay nothing upfront
  2. Refunds paid to any Australian or Overseas Bank Account
  3. Once you apply, they will email or call you
  4. Service Fee: $99.00+ – Standard Tax Refund, $99.00+ – Standard Superannuation Refund (Optional) and $30.00 Overseas Bank Account Transfer (Optional)
  5. To lodge your return, click here.
  6. For more info, visit Taxback.com website