Getting into the Christmas Spirit Aussie Style

Sydney’s Countdown to Christmas

If sunshine at Christmas is an alien concept and you are not feeling festive just yet, here are a few yuletide celebrations to get you into the mood to celebrate!!

From Sunday 1st December - Enjoy Christmas Carols under the branches of the Martin Place Xmas Tree (daily from 6pm).

5th December - See the Christmas lights at St Mary’s Cathedral form today until the 25th December.

5th December - Sip a mulled wine and get all your gifts wrapped up in one go at the Rocks Christmas markets.

7th December - Pyrmont Village Christmas Concert.

23rd November until 9th December - Visit the Pop-Up Christmas Carnival at Olympic Park and enjoy games, eateries and festive fun.

14th December - Carols in the Park at Mascot Memorial from 6.30pm.

14th December - Green Square Christmas Fair 6pm to 10pm.

17th December - Carols and Christmas celebrations at Town Hall in Sydney - $19.

25th December - Christmas Day Buffet Lunch Cruise 12pm to 3pm - $169.


The MORE you give the BETTER you feel!

We all want to do things that make us feel good, and giving your time to help others has got to be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.

It’s an opportunity to give yourself a high five, but most importantly you can give back.

Volunteering can help improve your confidence, meet new people, gain work experience and most important of all  -  do something meaningful… I mean, who wants to spend their working holiday just laying on the beach?

Volunteering in Australia provides some fantastic opportunities to get involved in the local community, and add something extra to your gap year. From feeding the homeless to working at events, utilize your skills to help others.


Here are a few ways to get started:–

https://www.volunteer.com.au

https://govolunteer.com.au

https://www.vinnies.org.au

https://www.salvationarmy.org.au

http://www.sydneyhomelessconnect.com

Another option is to participate in the WWOOF program, where you work 4 hours per day on an organic farm in exchange for food and accommodation. You get rural work experience, cultural exchange and the opportunity to live with an Aussie family.


Digital Detox Time

Although the thought of not being “connected” may strike fear into some, there are a few of us that would love the opportunity to break free from tweets, hashtags and emoji’s. Your working holiday could provide you with just that opportunity.

If you have travelled in any rural location in Australia then you will know that Wi-Fi and phone connection can be patchy at best. Apparently the Aussie telco’s don’t realise that it is 2019 and  compared to Europe we are sadly lacking in the digital department.. One of the downsides of being on the other side of the world we guess.

But, for those of you who are brave enough to undertake a digital detox, here are a few places that have rubbish (or no) connectivity, but are pretty awesome on other ways…

Arkaba Station, South Australia


Committed to conservation and improving the lives of it’s over 5, 000, 000 native inhabitants this stunning bushland provides a mountain habitat for the wildlife residents. Plus, it’s not a bad place for humans either… It proudly states that it has no Wifi, telephones, televisions or mini bars.

So, if sober exclusion is what you are looking for, head to Flinders Ranges in South Australia.

Corinna, Tasmania


Located in the Western wilderness of Australia, where the rainforest meets the coast this remote location will allow your soul to breathe, relax while you get back to nature. This remote mining town is the ideal location to unwind, indulge in bushwalks and reflect on the crystal clear water.

Your devices will be useless, but your time spent here will not disappoint.

West MacDonnell National Park, Northern Territory


Mobile coverage is extremely limited, but your mind will be on the landscape and not the latest releases on Netflix. You may be able to find one bar when hanging off one of the ridges, but the chances are Orminston Gorge will take your breath away, so Snapchat will be the last thing on your mind.


9 Foods you MUST try when you visit Australia

Chicken Parma or Chicken Parmigiana
An Australian Staple in every pub and bistro in the country, the chicken parma is an Aussie take on the Italian classic made with eggplant as the hero base. The Aussie version is crumbed chicken topped with ham tomato sauce and cheese served with a side of salad and chips.

We challenge you to find a pub in the country that doesn't have a Chicken Parma on their menu.


Vegemite

This is one of those Australian foods (condiments) that divides nations and probably causes some civil unrest with travellers when they go back home. There is no in betweens here. You either like it or you hate it.

Its a staple in many Aussie homes and usually eaten with toast for breakfast. Vegimite is one of those Salty, Malty and umami tasting spreads. First timers should try it cheese or avocado and a thin layer of the spread to get used to it and mellow out the strong taste. But this isn't for everyone, but if you want to prove your worth being an Aussie you're going to have to learn to love it, even if it means faking it till your last days in Oz.


Tim Tams

One of Australia's most beloved biscuit items are Tim Tams. Having a Tim Tam with your afternoon Tea is a must when you're in  Australia. Trust us when we say they're amazing. Not only are they super YUM, but they also have their own way of being eaten. Get familiar with the term "The Tim Tam Slam". There are 3 steps to the Tim Tam Slam. And it goes like this;

  1. Bite off opposite corners off
  2. Dip one of the bitten corners into your team
  3. Suck from the other bitten end like a straw and enjoy a burst of chocolaty goodness as your team makes its way through the Tim Tam.

You can thank us later!

This is one of those chocolate biscuits that makes it onto almost everyone's luggage back when they leave the country and if you're not doing it you can be guaranteed someone you know that has been to Australia will be asking for you to bring back a few packets for them.


Pavlova

Probably Australia's most controversial desert not because of it taste or smell but it's origin. Is it Australia's desert or is it New Zealand's desert? This is one of those questions that will be asked till the end of time just like the baklava... which country should rightfully claim it is one of those questions that will be debated forever.

The pavlova is a meringue desert with a crispy outside and a marshmallow centre usually topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

ANZAC Biscuits

These biscuits are stooped in history and were made to commemorate the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (hence ANZAC biscuits). These were made by wives of soldiers who served in the world war. Since then these biscuits have had a place in Aussie food culture. ANZAC biscuits are traditionally made and eaten on ANZAC day where all Australians and New Zealanders take the day to reflect and give thanks to past and present soldiers.

Meat Pie

The humble meat pie... No the most spectacular meat filled pastry but it's one of those quick cheap eats you must eat at the footy (football) when watching a game. Its Australia's version of a hotdog at the baseball. The meat pie is quite simple. Its pastry filled with minced or small chunks of meat and gravy. The best way to eat it is with tomato sauce.


Burger with the Lot

This is one of those menu items you will get at your local takeaway shop. Hands down beats the burgers from popular fast food chains. These burgers are the sloppy, juicy type with some fillings that may seem out of place but they all work. The standard 'The Lot' burger usually comes with beef meat patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, beetroot, pineapple, sauce and fried egg.

These are the quinte essential hangover burgers if that's your thing.


Kangaroo Meat

Yes, that's not a spelling mistake. You read it correctly, kangaroo meat. A little bit of trivia. The kangaroo is pictured in our coat of arms along with the emu, and with that being said we are the only country in the world that eats an animal on their coat of arms.

Kangaroo meat is somewhat gamey, but for the super health conscious it's a great source of lean meat with very little fat.


Lamingtons

Arguably Australia's national desert or cake the lamington is a simple sponge cake covered in chocolate sauce and desiccated coconut. Some variations also include cream or jam sandwiched between two sponge cakes then the entire thing is covered in chocolate sauce and desiccated coconut.

Traditionally these are also shared and eaten during afternoon tea with a nice cup of tea.

Simple but will easily satisfy any sweet tooth craving you have as a traveller.

Happy eating :)


Third Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program

From 1st July 2019, WHM visa holders who carry out 6 months of specified work in regional areas while on their second Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa or Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa may be eligible to apply for a third visa. Eligible types of work and regional areas will correspond with the requirements for the second visa.

Note: The 6 months work must all be carried out on or after 1st July 2019, so a successful application cannot be lodged before January 2020.

Specified work for the third-year visa are the same as the eligibility for specified work for the second-year visa – see the links below for the list of specified work types:-

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-417/specified-work

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-462/specified-462-work

Please refer to the Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs for any further information on these changes, or anything else relating to either the 417 or 462 visa.

 


Fruit Picking in Autumn

Fruit picking in Australia does not stop when the weather cools down, so here are a few tips on where the fruit picking is this Autumn.

Our citrus fruits thrive in the cool weather with the season starting April/May. For the best chance of regular work head to the Riverina area in Griffith, Sunraysia close to Mildura, Victoria and the Riverland region in South Australia.

See information below from the Harvest Trail website -

These regions specialise in oranges, mainly the winter Navel fruit with is largely destined for export, or the Valencia oranges that are harvested in the warmer months and service the juice trade as well as for fresh consumption. Parts of Queensland also have some significant citrus crops, mainly specialising in mandarins.

Winter Navels start in May or even as early as April, but the best work opportunities don’t materialise until June when the harvest starts to peak. The big advantage of citrus work is that the harvest lasts a long time and work is available almost all year with little moving around.

Typically there is not a lot of rain in NSW, SA and Victoria from May to July so the volume of fruit picking work is not adversely affected.

Be aware this type of work is not for the faint hearted! You will be climbing up and down ladders with a bag of fruit on your back. Most work of this type is paid by “piece work” which means that you will be paid by the weight of the fruit you pick, i,e a set rate per barrel or box. An employer must always let you know how much you will be paid, so ensure that you have this information before you get started.

Happy Picking!


Workers needed in Melbourne

Hi Member's,

If you will be in Melbourne on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May and would like some work. Please contact our Melbourne team on 03 9080 6420 or email Josh on josh@worktravelcompany.com.au for all the details and to get placed into the role.

Hurry we have  multiple positions available but they are still limited so first in best dressed.


What is ANZAC Day and what does it mean?

What does ANZAC stand for?

ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

What is ANZAC Day?

ANZAC Day, which falls on 25 April each year is one of the more important patriotic events in the Australia calendar. Apart from Australia Day, ANZAC Day is the only other day that is celebrated for celebrating something of Australia and its past.

ANZAC Day is celebrated in respect of the troupes that were deployed from Australia and New Zealand who made the journey together to Gallipoli in 1914 when Britain declared war which automatically placed Australia and New Zealand in favour of the Commonwealth. On this trip they bonded and faught together on the battle lines. Fast forward 100 years and this bond today is known as the ANZAC spirit.

What does ANZAC Day mean today?

Today ANZAC Day is a day for Australians as a day of remembrance and a day to pay respects and say thanks to the the service men and women who had given their lives to protect Australia and New Zealand but also to give us the free nations we have today. Today ANZAC Day has 2 particular events that happen all over the country. The more formal event which is the Dawn Service which happens in a more formal setting usually at war memorials around the country followed by a more social event which are usually street parades with past and present service men and women in most Australian cities and other towns.

Other Events on ANZAC Day

Apart from the Public Holiday we all get on ANZAC Day another many Australian’s look forward to is visiting the local RSL and some pubs to have a drink and play a game that started all those years ago on the battle field called “Two-Up”. The game is illigal these days but for one day in the year it is made legal for some fun and for traditions sake. Two up is a coin game with two coins and wager with other spectators whether the coins will land on heads or tails.

That’s the crash course on ANZAC Day.

Enjoy the 25th of April!


How powerful is your passport?

Hold your passports, we have new passport powerhouses!

Over the past few years there have been a lot of movement in the travel space but nothing more important than the changes to the power of the passport one holds. As the aspiration and desire to travel and see different places on this planet fuelled by social media influencers and the wanderlust lives they live it becomes more apparent how important the passport you hold is.

The Henley Passport Index has put together the list of most powerful passports in the world. The Henley Passport Index is based on authoritative data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and bases its rankings on how many countries a passport entitles a traveller to enter without having to pre-apply for a visa.

The latest rankings sparks good news for the local Asia -Pacific region but also shows the inroads many Asian countries are making in terms of development.

Dr Christian H. Kälin, group chairman of Henley & Partners said “Historical data from the Henley Passport Index over the past 14 years shows an overwhelming global tendency towards visa openness and that most countries remain committed to collaboration and mutually beneficial agreements.”

Top 10 from the Henley Passport Index:

1. Japan, Singapore, South Korea — 189 (destinations)
2. Germany — 188
3. France, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Sweden — 187
4. Luxembourg, Spain — 186
5. Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, US — 185
6. UK, Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland — 184
7. Czech Republic — 183
8. Malta — 182
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand — 181
10. Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia — 180

Countries from Europe continue to have the most powerful passports in the index with European nations dominating the top 10.

On the bottom of the list and the countries with the least travel freedom were Iraq and Afghanistan with passport holders only able to travel freely to 30 destinations closely followed by Somalia and Syria at 32 destinations.

Check out it if your passport also offers the power for a Working Holiday visa to Australia here

To see the full Henley Passport Index click here


Your guide to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

If you didn’t know already, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the longest running celebration of the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex) community in Australia. The most famous being the street parade that starts on “Oxford Street” and ends on ANZAC Parade.

The extraordinary showpiece shines the light on everything LGBTQI from the lives some live, culture, communities and creativity. It’s one of those things that everybody visiting or living in Sydney during Mardi Gras week should experience at least once. The parade has it all, out of this world floats, more glitter and sequins than any outdoor festival you’ve been to, amazing costumes (and in some cases the lack of clothing – but hey, its mardi gras).

Come with an open mind, a smile, be in the mood to have a laugh, your dancing shoes and expect big crowds. Oh, and expect a big night!

For more information, maps, vantage points and general information on what’s happening on Mardi Gras visit  http://www.mardigras.org.au/events/parade

Photo credit to images above: Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras