Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

Before I arrived in Australia, I wrote a blog post, 10 Things That Worry Me About My Australian Working Holiday (And Why I’m Going Anyway). It seems I had a lot of expectations and concerns before I arrived here. Now, six months on, I feel that I’ve been here long enough to address each of those points. So, here we go.

Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

1.Worry: The long flight

Yes, the flight here was long. In fact, I left the UK on a Tuesday and basically didn’t arrive here until Thursday… However, once you’re here, you’re here and it’s practically obligatory to break up the flight back home with a trip to Asia.

2. Worry: The Wildlife

Ok, to all the people scaremongering about Australian wildlife- please stop. Before I came, people made it seem like I’d be coming across poisonous spiders and finding snakes down the toilet on a daily basis. In fact, I’ve hardly seen more than a couple of spiders here, and that includes all the time that I spend on camping in the jungle and being outdoors 24/7 on Fraser Island. What’s more, in Melbourne I have seen nothing dangerous whatsoever.

3. Worry: Missing people at home

Of course, I miss people at home and if Melbourne was closer to England, it really would be the ideal place. However, I have made a lot of friends here too, people that I’ll now miss when I leave here.

Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

4. Worry: Not finding a job

Like I mentioned in my last post, not only have I managed to find two internships and two jobs here, but I’ve actually been getting more work experience here than I ever have in my life. In terms of money, Australia hasn’t been as expensive as I thought however with paying rent and not compromising on having fun, It’s generally more a case of money in vs money out than actually saving up lots.

5. Worry: The prospect of living in a hostel long term

I loved the hostel that I stayed in Melbourne called United Backpackers and I made some great friends there. In all honesty, I probably would have stayed there the whole time if it hadn’t have worked out so much cheaper to flat share.

Finding a flat is so easy on the Facebook pages like Fairy Floss for backpackers and in hindsight, I’m so happy that I did get my own place. I love having more space than in the hostel and I’m so lucky with my flatmates too. My favourite thing about my flat here is that it’s in the heart of the city, right over the road from the market so I can pick up fresh bread and fruit on an almost daily basis. I’m not embarrassed to say, me and friend still go back for a drink at our old hostel bar from time to time though.

Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

6. Worry: Not knowing what clothes to pack

I actually think I did quite well with packing and easily could have survived on what I brought here. However, of course, I’ve ended up doing a lot of clothes shopping out here. Now my biggest concern is not being able to fit in all into my backpack when I leave.

7. Worry: A hot Christmas

I’m not going to lie, Christmas was weird. Having a hot Christmas was an interesting experience and I was so lucky to have such a lovely group of friends here to celebrate it with. Going out on Christmas Eve and going to the beach the next day was a laugh, but I wouldn’t want to miss another Christmas away from home. Having a hot New year on the other hand, was fantastic.

Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

8. Worry: Not being able to drive

Now I’m in Melbourne, it would be nice to have the freedom to drive and take road trips to places like the Ocean Road and the Yarra Valley by myself. However, Australia was not without its road trips for me. I was very lucky that I ended up travelling with people who could drive so I got to do plenty of road trips including a fantastic five-day campervan trip.

To be honest, when it comes to the east coast, a car isn’t really necessary as you can do it all via Greyhound bus, which is how the majority of backpackers get around anyway.

Australia Working Holiday: Expectations Vs Reality

9. Worry: Balancing travel and work

I am really happy with the way I did Australia. I backpacked the east coast shortly after I arrived, flying up to Cairns and working my way back down to Melbourne. This worked well as the weather was better at this time, I had money saved and I got the wanderlust feeling out of my system. Now I’m in Melbourne, I am working a lot but I enjoy it and I have enough time here that I’m able to explore the city well too.

10. Worry: Not being able to get tea

Australia has two things, great coffee and great tea. There have been no tea issues here, in fact, they have Twinings just like at home (which is good because I ran out of my supply that I brought from home about a month in). In fact, the funny thing about Australia is that they have many of the same brands as at home, and contrary to what some might say, I really can’t taste a difference between Vegemite and Marmite…

So, six months on, it seemed I needn’t have worried. A working holiday, like most things in life, just ends up working itself out. 

Are you going on a working holiday and do you have any questions or concerns? Comment below and let me know. 


  1. It’s interesting reading about ones country from the perspective of a foreigner. The wildlife thing to me is the weirdest. I live in the bush and do see snakes occasionally but with mutual respect it’s not an issue. Anyway I’m glad you had a good time 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s