Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

So tell me about Australia.

ThisThis Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm Canadian, and I've been thinking about getting a "working holiday" visa to live in Australia for a year. I don't really know much about Australia other than that I've heard Aussie women find Canadian accents hot. And that airplanes leaving from Sydney have some chance of crashing on magical islands.

I have some questions, and would appreciate any information the Australian PAers (or anyone else) could provide.

1. Restaurants. I often work as a waiter or a bartender - in Canada people usually tip their waiter about 15%, and serving tables can be a pretty decent paying job. Is that how it works in Australia?

2. Rent and living. How easy would it be to find an apartment to share? In Sydney is there a large student population where people are looking for flatmates? What's rent like? When are the times people usually move in and out (In Canada it's typically start of September or May, with mid-year replacements in January)?

3. Place to live. Sydney seems the obvious choice, but what about other places?

4. Seasons. January is the middle of summer there right?

Thanks.

This on

Posts

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Australia doesn't have a tipping culture per se, but conversely waiters are actually paid at least minimum wage.

    The Company: The CYOA game that anybody can join at any time - running now!
  • plufimplufim Dr Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Seasons-wise, it's the opposite of what you'd be used to, so we're currently mid-spring. Weather tends to be warmer and drier, but that's somewhat dependant on where you stay.

    I hear rent can be pretty tough in Sydney, although if you're looking to share-house, it shouldn't be so bad.

    What are you looking for though? Each city has it's own pros and cons. Even Adelaide (Which I say without irony, as I live there and get tired on being shat on by the eastern states all the time).


    Also, people will try to tell you everything here is going to try and kill you. This only true if you intend to go outside. Seriously though, the danger of our wildlife is completely played up to tourists for our own amusement. Brown snakes, blue ringed octopusses, and red back spiders.... yeah, they really are that deadly.

    3DS 0302-0029-3193 NNID plufim steam plufim PSN plufim
    steam_sig.png
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Try to not live in Melbourne. It is cold there.

    The Company: The CYOA game that anybody can join at any time - running now!
  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited October 2009
  • plufimplufim Dr Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Don't forget to consider Perth, btw. May be small, but it's warm, there's good money there, and the live music scene is excellent.

    3DS 0302-0029-3193 NNID plufim steam plufim PSN plufim
    steam_sig.png
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    If you don't like live music though, you'll die of boredom.

    My Dark Souls 2 Diary Day 6 and 7 Updated
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    - people don't tip unless something ridiculously special has happened. there'll often be a spot on the receipt for it, but it's just a way for the restaurants to trick tourists into giving money when it's neither expected nor necessary. if you want to work in service, don't expect tips to present a significant portion of your income

    - sydney has a very tough rental market. you can probably expect to pay $250-$300 per week for a decent room not too far from the city; you could go higher or lower, obviously, but anything much less would have some serious... compromises. fortunately, a modest week of a few days retail or waiting work would quickly make that amount up

    - sydney is excellent and beautiful and i wouldn't live anywhere else in australia; good food, good pubs, good shopping, good beaches, gardens and transport. the harbour is sublime. look into other places, though - if you like your cafe culture and arts, melbourne might be an idea

    - our seasons are backwards, yeah. expect it to get over 40 (c) in the summer and hover in the high single digits in winter. depending on where you are, of course

    sig_zps00ca6d07.jpg
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This wrote: »
    I'm Canadian
    Try to not live in Melbourne. It is cold there.

    Canada is generally far colder than Melbourne. Wiki says that Melbourne's average low in the winter is 6C -- that's warmer than even Victoria/Vancouver. Because of this I would say that Melbourne is not cold for a Canadian.

  • NPNP Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    As a neutral (American) observer who has been to both Sydney and Melbourne, I would have to say that Sydney is nice, and Melbourne is awesome, and it will never get cold enough for a Canadian citizen to even notice that winter has started. Also, don't trust anyone from Sydney who says Melbourne sucks or vice versa, they got some serious rivalry issues going on, they are both pretty good places to end up (but my vote is for Melbourne, it feels more lively for some reason).

  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Basically Sydney and Melbourne are the best places to live. Sydney is the most expensive in terms of rent in Australia followed by Melbourne. If you want to do bar work I'd highly recommend Melbourne, we have a fantastic array of great bars in the CBD. In terms of tipping you're not going to get tipped 15% standard as a waiter. If you do a great job you might get 10%, significant tips are definitely not the norm Australia wide. If you want to live at the beach Sydney would beat Melbourne, but better than either would be Gold Coast for that specifically. If you want to go to heaps of sporting events Melbourne wins that race.

    Someone said Melbourne is cold, which isn't really true, our weather is erratic. We had the hottest day on record for any capital city last february so cold our summer will not be. You're likely to get plenty of 35C+ days in summer at any of the state capitals excluding Hobart.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • KafkaAUKafkaAU Western AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'd definately say live in Melbourne.

    Perth is a nice place to live, but not to visit. Too far from anywhere to do anything.

    steam_sig.png
    Origin: KafkaAU B-Net: Kafka#1778
  • ThisThis Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    plufim wrote: »
    Don't forget to consider Perth, btw. May be small, but it's warm, there's good money there, and the live music scene is excellent.

    Tell me more about this. I am a musician and like to perform in bars when I can, and get paid for it. I also act - I would assume for acting Sydney would be the place to be, does anyone know much about the theatre or film scene?

    What I'm looking for really is an adventure, to live somewhere new for a while. I would like to be able to make enough money to live and feed myself, but my standards are in that area are low - student level.

    $350 per week for rent - yowza! That's more than I pay in a month here for a shared 2-bedroom apartment (i.e. the apt. is $600/month split between two people). Of course I don't live in Toronto or Vancouver. I'm sad to hear about the absence of tips, that will make things more difficult for me.

    I don't know a single person in Australia, what do you think would be the best way to find people to share a place with? Stay in hostels for a bit and meet some people? Look for students who are looking for housemates? When do the semesters start, i.e. when do leases tend to start and end?

    Thanks so much for all the info, it's appreciated.

  • AvicusAvicus Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Waiters make much more here than they do in the US or Canada. I was working at a random restaurant/bar and was getting paid approx $18 an hour.

    stephen_coop.gifkim_coop.gifscott_guitar.gif
  • blahblah Registered User
    edited October 2009
    Tips are dependent on where you work, most places you won't see any. The more up scale, the more tips. $50 to $100 in tips was not uncommon for me at one point. The place also paid me under the table. Was awesome. To serve liquor in my state (South Australia) you need to do a responsible service of alcohol course, not sure about other states. It can be done completely over the internet and takes only a few hours at most. If you have a decent amount of experience in customer service getting a job should be a breeze.

    Rent in Adelaide is cheap as shit. Its the outcome of having one interest rate for a country that has very different levels of growth. I pay $150 a week for a nice sized 2 bedroom shared house in a good suburb, only 5 minutes from the city. You'd have little trouble finding a $50 a week shared house of questionable quality though.

    I reckon you'd meet most people through uni, unless you're very social. All universities start around early February. Oh, make sure you go to one of the better universities in whichever state you go to. The University of Adelaide has an awesome social atmosphere, events, pubs etc University of South Australia on the other hand has none of that. I really can't stress that part enough.

    Maybe consider staying at a college (Yanks call them dorms I believe)? The ones here are nothing like the American Pie movies and I highly recommend them for meeting people. Plus you get a room in the city and alright meals.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2009
    Serpent wrote: »
    This wrote: »
    I'm Canadian
    Try to not live in Melbourne. It is cold there.

    Canada is generally far colder than Melbourne. Wiki says that Melbourne's average low in the winter is 6C -- that's warmer than even Victoria/Vancouver. Because of this I would say that Melbourne is not cold for a Canadian.

    Yeah, you should be warned about the heat. Brisbane isn't a bad place to live (rents are certainly much less insane than Sydney; you can expect to pay around 350/wk for a two or three bedroom house or flat in most parts of the city, and this can include some really nice places), but its very hot and humid for most of the year and you might find it hard to adapt if you don't have air conditioning. Any further north and you may die :P Christmas is summer.

    We're having increasing problems with water and electricity supply - not enough to interrupt it, but utility prices are rising. Food and fuel are a bit more expensive than other countries too, but wages are good so its not that awful on balance. Don't let the large numbers freak you out.

    Service industry workers are paid a proper wage (call it ~$20 an hour on average? I used to get that filling supermarket shelves, I figure table waiting can't be much different), so tipping isn't common but does occur in some establishments. It won't form the basis of your income, but it can be a decent bonus depending on where you work. Employers may try to screw you over because you're on a work visa; this is not ok. Make sure you know your rights if you come here. The government websites are very informative in this respect, and us locals can always help you find info and resources.

    The capital cities are... pretty cosmopolitan, I suppose, but it can still be pretty parochial. Which is me being polite; Australians are big on casual 'ism without realising what dicks they sound like. Active discrimination is no more common than anywhere else in the western world, but people often say quite offensive things that wouldn't fly elsewhere, and they really don't get why anyone would have a problem. You kind of need a thick skin in daily interactions.

    Non-capital cities are... small. Fun to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.

    Oh, and we drive on the left. That one's important.

    tmsig.jpg
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2009
    Oh, and most universities have a student guild - their website will usually have a section where shared accommodation is listed. There's also realestate.com.au and domain.com.au's sharehouse sections, and the old standby - paper ads on bus stops in the student districts :P

    tmsig.jpg
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    sounds like the op will be going for a working holiday visa, which pretty much prohibits any serious study as far as i know

    sig_zps00ca6d07.jpg
  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This wrote: »
    I'm Canadian, and I've been thinking about getting a "working holiday" visa to live in Australia for a year. I don't really know much about Australia other than that I've heard Aussie women find Canadian accents hot. And that airplanes leaving from Sydney have some chance of crashing on magical islands.

    I have some questions, and would appreciate any information the Australian PAers (or anyone else) could provide.

    1. Restaurants. I often work as a waiter or a bartender - in Canada people usually tip their waiter about 15%, and serving tables can be a pretty decent paying job. Is that how it works in Australia?

    2. Rent and living. How easy would it be to find an apartment to share? In Sydney is there a large student population where people are looking for flatmates? What's rent like? When are the times people usually move in and out (In Canada it's typically start of September or May, with mid-year replacements in January)?

    3. Place to live. Sydney seems the obvious choice, but what about other places?

    4. Seasons. January is the middle of summer there right?

    Thanks.

    1) We don't tip so much. Waiters in Australia actually get paid a fair hourly wage. I have a friend earning $28 an hour waiting tables, which is probably an upper limit, but most places would pay at least $15-18 an hour up front, plus tips.

    2) It's easy to find share houses anywhere... not so much a place on your own. Most students are finding houses in Feb/March, but there will always be vacancies as people shift around. Again, I've had friends find places to live in less than a week. Rent is pretty cheap in Melb, I'm paying $85 a week for my room, and it's a real good area. I live about 25 mins out of the CBD, but I have friends living on the doorstep of the CBD for $95 a week.

    3) Sydney is a big, dirty, messy city. If you like your cities that way, go for it. Melbourne is much cleaner and much more organised, as well as being much cheaper to live. Bris is a sort of amalgam of the two - confusing streets, bad transport, but very clean and friendly.

    4) Dude, Southern hemisphere. You can figure this out.

    KqOm9Bt.jpg
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    i think $15 an hour would be against the law unless you're 14 or something?

    sig_zps00ca6d07.jpg
  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Live in melbourne. Excellent night life. Excellent shopping. The arts! Lots of great places to see, stuff to do, and you can cheaply travel to the rest of the eastern states if you want to.

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2009
    bsjezz wrote: »
    sounds like the op will be going for a working holiday visa, which pretty much prohibits any serious study as far as i know

    you don't need to be a student to access those sites, usually. But yeah, get the right visa. The student one only lets you work 20 hours a week legally, which I'm telling you right now is not enough to live on by itself. Most students either live partially off savings or work in the greyer areas of the economy.

    tmsig.jpg
  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i think $15 an hour would be against the law unless you're 14 or something?

    Sometimes, you gotta earn a little less than is legal if you wanna eat.

    KqOm9Bt.jpg
  • QliphothQliphoth Registered User
    edited October 2009
    ruzkin wrote: »
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i think $15 an hour would be against the law unless you're 14 or something?

    Sometimes, you gotta earn a little less than is legal if you wanna eat.

    Minimum wage is around $14.30.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    The girls really dress up in Brisbane.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Perth is full of attractive girls. And also boys.

  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Perth is full of attractive girls. And also boys.

    I went to Perth last year. Everyone I met said all the cool people left town for the East Coast and that Perth was for 'settling down in the mid to late 30s'. I was only there for a week which wasn't enough time to be sure of what I was being told. Perth just felt like a very laid back town with nothing to do. All the stores have to close at 5!

    Being on the East Coast has very good travel opportunities. Flights between Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and even New Zealand are short and cheap.

  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Tighter than R. Kelly in his teens. Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Watch out for drop bears and -- especially -- hoop snakes! A little toothpaste behind your ears will keep the drop bears away if you're out in the bush.

    Also, if you end up in Sydney, try to get out of the city once in awhile. The Blue Mountains to the west are amazing. Wollongong, to the south, is also a cool little coastal city. Same for Kiama farther south. I haven't been to Melbourne since I was really young, so I can't help there.

    Go to NZ as well. You'll love it.

    They're gonna bury you, they're gonna finish. They're gonna stand 'em up six by six by six.
Sign In or Register to comment.