60 things that Saffers should know about Aus.
Here is a list of 60 things that will help you to settle down quickly in Oz. Some are just plain weird but you do get use to them.
1) Australians do have a great sense of humour but, South African jokes do not always work!
2) You will hear and say “No Worries” many times a day.
3) We find Australia expensive, especially when converting to Rands
4) Australia is still expensive even when earning Aus. Dollars
5) Don’t buy a sim card, open a bank account or try to obtain a tax number until you arrive because they cost very little here and each transaction takes no more than about 5 minutes each.
6) If you are heading out to a bar or club you NEED ID, i.e., passport or a proof of age card Australia. No matter how old you look.
7) Ozzie’s stick y and o to words and names like truckie bikie schoolie toolie foodie servo arvo muso smoko hughesy to name a few. Bottle O.
8) A cheap way to transfer money from South Africa or for that matter from anywhere else in the world to Australian accounts and visa verse is to use Currencyfair. They give a far better rate than any bank.
9) A similar money transfer company is OFX (that’s if you are living in the USA or England) previously known as OzForex, which offer great bank to bank transfer rates, well worth checking out.
10) It is advisable to get some sort travel/health insurance before you get here.
11) Ambulances are extremely expensive if you don’t have healthcare or insurance.
12) There are plenty of bottle store drive through’s here. Just don’t get caught driving with your blood alcohol level over the limit (0.05) because then you will be in deep” kak”.
13) The emergency number to call if in trouble is 000. Yep I still have trouble remembering it!!!
14) Australia is 6 times larger than the RSA and it’s only when you get here that you begin to comprehend how big it really is.
15) Hostelz has a great selection of hostels
16) Book with an airline that has a 30 KG+ baggage allowance…, e.g., Qatar, Emirates. That extra 7 kg makes a huge difference. If you bring to much stuff to Aus. then you can quite cheaply send a bag of stuff home with SendMyBag
17) It can be quite hassle getting health insurance, credit cards, income protection, etc. when on a 417 or working holiday visa mainly because you are ‘temporary’ and Australia doesn’t like temporary!
18) Important one!If you are coming on a working holiday visa(417) (only for South Africans with an eligible passport other than RSA) it means you can stay in one job for six months. You can work for the same company for another 6 months but it has to be at another one of their locations, before being either sponsored or getting let go. Many companies do not like this visa.
19) If you have dual citizenship and want to come on a working holiday you need one of the following passports. Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders), Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom.
20) Depending where you are and obviously on the state of the economy it can take 1 – 2 months or longer to acquire a job. So prepare for the worst case scenario.
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21) If you decide to do farm work you probably won’t ever do anything like it EVER again, even if you enjoyed the experience.
22) If on a working holiday visa you can drive on your South African drivers license until your 12 months runs out or Legally according to the government website, until you get residency.
23) When checking out farm work on Gum Tree, make sure it’s legit and has accommodation etc. People have been caught out by regional work scams and by border security for ‘fake regional work‘ sign-offs.
25) You need to do an RSA (responsible service of alcohol) course if you want to do work in hospitality. Shop around and you can do the course for an amount ranging between $20 – $70. It is an online course that you need to do so you can serve “responsible” people alcohol. This is our recommend RSA coarse here.
26) You will probably need a car unless you’re living right next to the train or public transport.
27) Cars and licencing them is expensive! Seriously you won’t get a decent car for under a $1000
28) If you hire a car make sure you are covered if you hit a kangaroo. I had to pay extra but it’s well worth it because they can really damage your car and the chances of hitting one, especially if driving after dusk, are pretty good.
29) Different rules apply for each state so if you are converting your license to an Aussie one after becoming a resident, be sure to read how to apply for a drivers license in Australia.
What Saffers should know about Aus,- Finale
30) Toyota Hilux is still Australia’s best-selling Car? Ute in 2018.(34,424 sold end August 2018). In 2016 it was the first time in history that a commercial vehicle takes 1st place
31) The Toyota Corolla is Australia’s 3rd best-selling Car end August 2018.
32) Man it can get hot here, so wear sun screen every single day in the summer and be prepared to wear a hat or cap.
33) Because summer is very hot and extremely dry like SA, bush fires can flare up anytime and anywhere. There is often a total fire ban in most regions.
34)The eucalyptus (often referred to as the gum tree) is an essential part of Australia’s natural environment. There are 894 native varieties.
35) Flies and mosquitoes are always around and can be pain in the bum. Prevent mozzie and sand fly bites using roll-on insect repellent because they seem to work best!
36) Wait until you get here to buy new summer or winter clothes. There are always great end of season sales at the massive shopping malls.
37) To many Aussies some South Africans can come across as loud and obnoxious. Be prepared to take your time to fit in and please don’t be a “when we” There is nothing more annoying and embarrassing for your fellow ‘cousins’. You have come here because you like the lifestyle and one day become an Aussie, so don’t give us a bad name.
38) Smoking in OZ is an expensive business. It costs about $18 – $22 (R180 – R220) per packet so try to quit before you arrive.
39) Sunday is a drinking day and is known as a Sunday Session or Sunday Seesh. Oh yes, booze is very pricey in Oz.
40) Superannuation (super) is money that your employer sets aside for you (in a Superfund) every time they pay you, and it’s usually about 9%. For most Aussies it’s a pension saving. Think of it as saving account for when you leave Oz and go home or continue your travels (although the government takes 35% tax).
41) Make sure to keep track of the companies super as you will need all the details when you leave, i.e., if you do farm work make sure you keep track of everything as it will pay off in the end. If you decide to stay, then your working holiday time will count towards the date you can naturalize as an Australian. I.e. 4 years from the date you get permanent residence less the holiday working time.
42) The government has finally made an official ruling on the “Backpacker Tax”, which will affect all working holiday visa holders (417 and 462) From January 01 2017 it will be 15% on earnings up to A$37,000.
43) At the end of each year, you can claim loads of tax back!If you are leaving you can also claim your superannuation back, but you must be leaving for good. A percentage of your super will be taxed. Read about the working holiday tax guide.
44) You will probably need a car unless you’re living right next to the train or public transport.Cars and the licencing them is expensive! Seriously you won’t get a decent car for under a $1000
45) You will love the lifestyle!Australia has a great lifestyle. BBQ’s, beach’s, the sunshine and an overall healthy vibe. Remember to wear sun cream!
46) If you are thinking of bringing your cat or dog then you will need to start the procedures a minimum of 6/7 months prior to your pets departure from SA. There is a 10 days quarantine period upon arrival in Australia.
47) Are you deciding whether to move to Australia (read our 11 secrets that make moving to Oz easier 2017) or not?? Why not just do it, what’s the worst that could happen?
48) Aussies (male and female) call each other mate, matey, buddy no matter what your status is in life. Very similar boet or boetie, sussie etc.
49) Some companies will tell you that they will sponsor you only after three months’ probation. Sometimes these companies don’t end up doing this and you can end up working hard to no success. If they promise sponsorship get it in writing or have some evidence. My nephew was caught out like this but luckily managed to find another job. They honored their sponsorship commitment and he and his family naturalized on Australia day in Jan 2017.
50) Important tip – When filling out your TFN form with a new employer, the answer to the question “Are you a resident for tax purposes?” quite often is “Yes“. Use the tool on the ATO website that to determine the correct response. Take your time to do this; it will save you loads!
Note: you are not breaking any rules by selecting “Yes you are a resident for tax purposes”.
51) It is estimated that there are between 50 – 60 million kangaroos in Aus. There are around 50 species of macro-pods (kangaroos, wallabies and their kin) in Australia many more than the 34 species of antelope in Southern Africa.
52) There are three recognized subspecies of koala bears based on where in Australia they reside. One type of koala is from northern Queensland, one type is from New South Wales and one type is from Victoria.
53) The Australian Koala Foundation estimates that there are less than 100,000 Koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000. In April 2012, the Australian Government declared the Koala as ‘VULNERABLE” across the entire state.
54) Australia has over 2,400 species (about 400 more than SA) of spiders, some which are highly venomous. Records reveal no one has died from a spider bite since 1981.
55) Australia has some 140 species of land snake, and around 32 species of sea snakes have been recorded in Australian waters. Some 100 Australian snakes are venomous, although only 12 are likely to inflict a wound that could kill you. South Africa has between 130-160 land snakes, so you should feel right at home here.
56) Australian species of birds are quite well known and thus the number of described extant species is stable at around 828 (Christidis and Boles 2008)
57) In 2013, it was estimated that the number of feral camels was 600,000 prior to culling operations, and around 300,000 camels after culling, and increasing 10% per year.
58) Compared to SA this is a crime free country. If you apply common sense and take care of your personal possessions, then you will have “No Worries’. I have on a few occasions left items lying around in public places and when returning a few hours later I find them in the same place, untouched. Aussies respect your stuff and know you will be back to collect them.
59) No need to panic because Beef Biltong and Droe wors is pretty much available everywhere. I make my own beef biltong and have also used kangaroo meat which is pretty good. To me it tastes like bush buck!
60) Always close to my heart here and in SA, it’s whale season June to November. Like SA people come from all over the world to see these magnificent animals do their thing off the Australian coast.
Get the hang of some of these ” What Saffers Should Know About Aus.” points and you will be well on your way to becoming a true blue Aussie.
This does NOT prevent you from rooting for the Proteas, Springboks or Blitzbokke when they tour here. I mean, let’s stay REAL!!
South Africans to Oz Resources that you may be interested in.