Changes to the Australian Working Holiday VISA

As you may have heard through the media and industry publications, the Australian Government has recently announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program to help support regional and rural communities.

Changes to the WHM visa program include:-

  • From 5 November 2018, expanding the regional areas where subclass 462-visa holders can work in agriculture (plant and animal cultivation) to qualify for a second year of stay in Australia. Currently only those who work in Northern Australia are eligible.
  • From 5 November 2018, increasing the period in which subclass 417 and 462 visa holders can stay with the same agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) employer, from 6 to 12 months.
  • The option of a third-year for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders who, after 1 July 2019, undertake 6-months of specified work in a specified regional area during their second year.
  • Over the coming weeks, offering an increase in the annual caps to a number of countries that participate in the subclass 462 visa program.
  • Increase the eligible age for subclass 417 visa applicants from Canada and Ireland to 35.

How will these changes address regional workforce shortages?
The key focus is on providing farmers with immediate access to workers in key parts of regional Australia. The changes aim to increase the number of Working Holiday Makers available for seasonal work needs.

Employers will be able to retain trained and experienced employees doing agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) work for up to 12-months, rather than the previous 6-months.
The availability of a third-year visa will attract working holiday makers to work for longer in regional Australia.

What does plant and animal cultivation include?
Plant and animal cultivation includes most agricultural work, such as:-

  • the harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
  • pruning and trimming vines and trees
  • general maintenance crop work
  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • immediate processing of plant products
  • maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce
  • immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
  • manufacturing dairy produce from raw material.

What additional parts of regional Australia will be included in the expanded arrangements?
From 5 November 2018, this will be extended to regional areas in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and all of Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania. Details of specific postcodes will be published on the Department’s website shortly.

Are any changes being made to the subclass 462 Northern Australia initiatives?
No change is being made to the existing Northern Australia concessions:-

  • subclass 417 & 462 visa holders can continue to work with one employer in northern Australia for up to 12 months in Aged & Disability Care; Agriculture; Construction; Mining; and Tourism & Hospitality
  • subclass 462 visa holders can continue to complete specified work in northern Australia in tourism and hospitality or agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, to become eligible for a second year visa.

How long will subclass 462-visa holders need to work in the additional regional areas to get the second year?
Participation in the second-year program is voluntary. Subclass 462-visa holders need to complete a total of three-months (88 calendar days) of specified work to be eligible to apply for their second-year visa. They may combine work completed in any existing specified industry and location with new industries and locations to meet the work requirement.

What types of work completed will count towards third-year eligibility?
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:-

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.

Steffi's Surf Camp Experience

Never in my life would I have imagined myself standing on a surfboard given the fact that I’m not much of a sporty person – especially not in the water, so I was really excited that my internship at WTC gave me the amazing opportunity to visit Surf Camp Australia for 5 days.

My journey started on Monday morning at 9.10 at the Wake Up hostel where we were picked up by already super motivated staff members of Surf Camp. We were a group of around 30 that was chosen to go by train as there was no more capacity on the bus, but that didn’t spoil our fun. I soon made friends with some fellow group members on the ride there which took about 3 hours. Once we arrived at Gerringong station, there were already vans prepared to pick us up and drive us to camp. 5 minutes later, we joined the rest of the group that had arrived by bus at the common area of the camp. We were given a short induction about our schedules, food and a few simple rules at Surf Camp. After that we split into groups of 6-9 and were given our rooms.

The rooms at surf camp are designed as little huts around the common area, so you could just sit at the porch and still be a part of the whole group sitting in the middle.

Soon after, we had our first surf lesson! But before you can surf, you have to get your wetsuit! My roommates and I had great fun putting them on each time, as it can get quite tricky when they are still wet from the last time you have used them. But once you’re in, you’ll feel much warmer, so we left the upper part around our waist for the most time. After putting on sunscreen provided by the team, we embarked on out first lesson.

Over the course of 5 days, there were 8 surf lessons in total, almost all of them started with a theoretical bit that we could then directly put into practice after. The first lesson was obviously focusing on safety in the water, the parts of the board, but we were also already taught how to stand up on the board (in theory). I was surprised when I first went into the water as I expected it to be freezing cold, but the wetsuit really helped keeping all the cold out. After being smashed in the face by a few waves, I managed to catch a wave and ride it lying down – and even just that feeling was amazing! The next day I was able to stand up on the board and catch a few more waves than day 1. As time went on, we were taught some tricks, how to slow down/speed up on the board and how to turn. Surfing sure is a feeling that is one of a kind.

In between our surf lessons we had plenty of time for another fun thing to do which is eating! The food at Surf Camp was served three times a day and it was a mixture of burgers, hotdogs, pasta, pasta bake and salad for lunch and dinner and granola, toast and fruits for breakfast. There were also always vegetarian and vegan options available.

There was also enough time to relax at the nearby playground (where the wifi was best), listen to music and lay in the sun. On Wednesday, they even offered a yoga lesson to relax the muscles that had been used the days before and I really enjoyed it!

The evenings at the common area were also a great way to relax, have a drink and chat to everyone else in the camp. Some people played cards, some played beer pong with the instructors and others were just sharing their experiences in Australia so far. The atmosphere in Surf Camp for me is almost impossible to describe as there was such a feeling of freedom and cosiness at the same time – you really have to experience it for yourself. After 10pm most of the campers would move to the beach to enjoy the scenery at night time and that is really worth it. The night sky was so clear that you could see lots of stars and the sound of the ocean just made the whole situation even more relaxing.

I might not be the best surfer (..yet), but it sure was an experience I will never forget – and I will surely try surfing again on my own! Looking back, going to Surf Camp is definitely a choice you shouldn’t even think about making – just do it!

All you need to know about the Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most famous horse race on turf, also referred to as “The Race That Stops A Nation”. This is a to some degree very true Some states have a public holiday for the day like Victoria, but regardless of the state you live in you can almost be guaranteed for that 3-5 minute period when those gates at Flemington Racecource open, most eyes in Australia are glued to the nearest TV screen.

What to look out for


Make no mistake, the Melbourne Cup is about much more than just horse racing. While the richest handicap horse race in the world attracts the attention of punters, trainers, and viewers from around the globe, the fashion and culture of the Melbourne Cup is another important aspect of this special event. Indeed, the fashion and glamour of the Melbourne Cup is one of the aspects that defines this event and truly makes it “the race that stops a nation.” The fashions on the field event is one of the other draw cards to the races, with a total cash prize pool of $400,000, and many famous and boutique designers trying to get their frocks and spring dresses on celebrities, the fashion is just as much a part of the cup as the racing.

The Race

The race itself is steeped rich in history and you’ll hear this a lot leading up to the race and on race day it is the “race that stops a nation” with the state of Victoria having a public holiday that day and pretty much every other state will stop what they’re doing for at least 5-10 minutes if not more to watch the race.

The 2018 Melbourne Cup will be run at 3:00pm on Tuesday, 6th November 2018 at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The Melbourne Cup field is made up of 24 horses with no emergencies. Each year hundreds of horses will nominate for the race and based on the balloting system and handicapping it is reduced to 24 after the running of the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day.

Out of the twenty four runners in the Melbourne Cup Field there is prize money for the first ten horses to cross the finish line in a race with a total prize pool of $7.3million dollars

Be sure to do some research if your gong to have a punt on the races. International horses do seem to favour the track more over the local horses in the races based on recent years. But this year the field seems to be tighter than ever.

The field

1. Best Solution (6) (IRE)
2. The Cliffsofmoher (9) (IRE)
3. Magic Circle (17) (IRE)
4. Chestnut Coat (4) (JPN)
5. Muntahaa (13) (IRE)
6. Sound Check (16) (GER)
7. Who Shot Thebarman (18) (NZ)
8. Ace High (22)
9. Marmelo (10) (GB)
10. Avilius (11) (GB)
11. Yucatan (23) (IRE)
12. Auvray (1) (FR)
13. Finche (15) (GB)
14. Red Cardinal (5) (IRE)
15. Vengeur Masque (2) (IRE)
16. Ventura Storm (7)
17. A Prince Of Arran (20) (GB)
18. Nakeeta (3) (GB)
19. Sir Charles Road (14)
20. Zacada (24)
21. Runaway (12)
22. Youngstar (8)
23. Cross Counter (19) (GB)
24. Rostropovich (21) (IRE)

A long weekend at the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most famous holiday destinations stretching along 70 kilometres of coastline and it is home to beautiful beaches and vast rainforests with breathtaking scenery. That’s why it was also the top of my list of places to go to during my stay in Australia. So a friend and I decided to take the chance of the long weekend and fly over from Sydney to the Gold Coast for 3 days. Here are some tips for visiting the Gold Coast:


Domestic flights in Australia are not as expensive as you imagine them to be. Especially if you are flexible with your time and search for the best prices a few weeks beforehand, you will surely get an offer that is within your budget. Alternatively, renting a car to the Gold Coast is also possible as there are some car rental services available around the area.

For accommodation, my friend and I were looking for rooms or apartments on AirBnb and found a quite cheap room in an apartment that was absolutely stunning. Apart from that, there are many hotels or luxury apartments that all are expensive, so finding a hostel rather than that will save you a lot of money.

Essentials to bring to the Gold Coast include swimwear, towels, flip-flops/thongs, sunglasses and lots of sunscreen. As you can tell, most of that is for the beach. If you want to explore the Gold Coast’s hinterland, comfortable shoes and light jackets are recommended.

Arriving at the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast’s International Airport is located in Coolangatta which is, like many airports, a little further (about a 30-45 mins drive) away from the main centre Surfers Paradise. Personally, I would recommend taking an Uber, which will cost you around $40-50 or – the much cheaper option – the public transport. Be aware though that taking the bus or trams from the airport to Surfers may take you more than 1.5 hours.


Once you have checked in to your accommodation, you can start exploring! For a weekend trip with loads of activities and places you want to go, buying a Go explore card is definitely the way to go. You pay $10 a day for unlimited bus, train and tram transport and you won’t have to worry about getting lost in one of the more rural areas and having to pay a higher amount.

For longer stays, you can just get a regular Go card which you can top up with any amount and use it for individual travels.

What to do at the Gold Coast

  • Beaches

The Gold Coast is all about beaches. Some more or less crowded. On its 70km long coastline you can surf, relax, enjoy a day with friends or simply take a dip into the sea. As you can guess, lots of beaches fit in 70km of coastline.

Some beaches are more crowded than others, and some of them might be better for surfing rather than relaxing and vice versa. Here is a guide to which beach fits which needs best:

  • Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise is the most famous Suburb in the Gold Coast. Apart from its beach, it is home to most of the attractions that make tourists come to the area. One of these is the famous Q1 tower with its observation deck on the 77th floor. A lift will take you up there in less than a minute and you will be able to see the city from above and dine at the same time. A day pass to the Q1 costs you $25 and allows you to go up as many times as you wish. You also have the opportunity to climb the top of the Q1 if you fancy a more thrilling experience.

If you have been on Pinterest, you might also associate Surfers Paradise with its famous sign that many people use to decorate their Instagram pages.

What is also big in Surfers Paradise is the night life. There are many clubs around that are also used by graduates from all over Australia to celebrate their graduation (so it might be better to go sometime else).

  • Main Beach

In comparison to Surfers, Main Beach is much mellower. What you will see around the area the most are luxury apartments and resorts close by the sea, but there are also a few nice Italian restaurants and cafes worth checking out. In the centre of Main Beach you can find Sea World, a theme park with marine animals & polar bears, plus shows, rides & interactive tours.

  • Broadbeach/Pacific Fair

In Broadbeach, you can find what was Queensland’s largest shopping centre until a few years ago: the Pacific Fair. The shopping centre has over 400 shops including national and global brands. There is even a free shopping shuttle service operating daily between Main Beach and Burleigh Heads.

  • Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads is a suburb made for everyone. It unites beach, national park, cafes and shopping as everything is within 500 meters of each other.  The park right next to the beach is also a perfect and popular spot for picnics with family and friends and offers you a spectacular view of Surfers Paradise’s skyline.

  • National Parks / Hinterland

Not only beaches are beautiful at the Gold Coast, but also the many national parks that surround the area of the Gold Coast. There are many tours through the national parks you can book and go to, even some with exclusive guided night tours into caves that allow you to spot glow worms.

  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Located right next to the airport, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is an easy place to reach. The Sanctuary consists of an animal hospital and offers Segway safaris through the park, animal encounters, adoptions and photos and bird shows.

If you really enjoy Theme parks, the Gold Coast will literally be a paradise for you. There are 5 of them and they all promise lots of fun!

You can also try to spot some of these cute mascot Koalas for the 2018 Commonwealth Games during your stay:

What's on in Sydney this Spring

All-You-Can-Eat Fried Chicken at Johnny Bird

Fancy some fried chicken? Johnny Bird (also formerly known as Johnny Lobster) is hosting an all-you-can-eat night where you can eat as much of this fried treat as you want for just $30. Also included are fries, mash as well as gravy. For an extra $6 you will get some of Yulli’s Brews beer.

WHEN | September 29, 5pm-10pm
PRICE | $30 per person (includes fries + mash and gravy)
WHERE | Johnny Bird, 48 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest

Manly Jazz Festival

The Manly Jazz Festival is known worldwide to be boasting with music ranging from modern to big band. It takes place the October long weekend and surrounding dates with over 100 free performances in multiple indoor and outdoor venues alongside Manly Beach. Apart from fantastic jazz and blues music the festival offers a workshop with the famous US Drummer Carl Allen for improving and finding musical inspiration for $35. More than 10 restaurants surrounding Manly Beach even offer special menus created for Manly Jazz.

WHEN | September 29, 2018 – October 1, 2018
WHERE | Manly Beach, Manly

Sydney Night Noodle Markets

Sydney alight with the smells, sights and sounds of over thirty sizzling Asian food stalls. Food-lovers will feast on signature dishes and innovative new tastes from your favourite stallholders.

To make things quick and easy, the markets are also cash-free so guests can spend less time queuing and more time enjoying the night. All major cards welcome.

Stallholders include Gelato Messina, Hoy Pinoy, The Original Korean Twist Potato, Mr Bao, Shallot Thai, Donburi Station, Waffleland, Wonderbao, Donut Papi, Eat Fuh, Puffle, Poklol, Chat Thai, Teppanyaki Noodle, The Wagyu, May’s Malaysian Hawker, Bangkok Street Food, Black Star Pastry, Satay Brothers, McHenry Avenue, Grumpy G’s Kitchen, Chinese Dim Sum King, N2 Extreme Gelato, Chur Burger, The Hard Style Kitchen, Thai Riffic plus more to be announced soon!

WHEN | October 4, 2018 – October 21, 2018
WHERE | Hyde Park , Elizabeth Street, Sydney

South East Aboriginal Arts Market

Explore the cultural heritage of South-Eastern Aboriginal Australia in indigenous art that employs traditional and contemporary materials including weaving, literature, ceramics, carving, photography, painting, shellwork and textiles. Not only does the exhibition offer the opportunity to see what real indigenous art looks like, but you are also able to get to know the creators in person and ask as many questions as you want to.

WHEN | October 6, 2018 – October 7, 2018
WHERE | Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh

Sculpture by the Sea - Bondi

Sculpture by the Sea returns to the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach coastal walk as the world’s largest free to the public sculpture exhibition. See the spectacular coastal walk transformed into a 2km long sculpture park over three weeks featuring 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.

WHEN | October 18, 2018 – November 4, 2018
WHERE | Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk

Oktoberfest in the Gardens

Experience the Bavarian tradition in Sydney’s Domain. Oktoberfest in the Gardens Sydney features two massive beer halls and authentic German food stalls. The menu will include German popular dishes such as pretzels and Bratwurst and – of course – lots of beer. You can also expect German live performers across multiple stages.

WHEN | October 27, 2018 from 1pm to 9pm
PRICE | $69.90
WHERE | The Domain (Entry from Art Gallery Road)

Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition

Until the end of January the Australian Museum will host the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition. 99 breathtaking works from finalists of the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest will be displayed at the museum. Subjects of the photographs are the wildlife and nature of the regions of Australia and New Zealand, the Antarctic and New Guinea. The museum also offers workshops to improve your own wildlife and nature shots in beginners and enthusiasts courses. You may also want to join a night talk with Justin Gilligan, AGNPY Nature Photographer of the Year 2017, where he talks about his career in photojournalism.

WHEN | August 24, 2018 – January 27, 2019
PRICE | $21
WHERE | Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney

Doing Sydney's Bondi to Coogee Walk

What could be better than relaxing on the beach all day, doing nothing and tanning in the burning sun? Right – relaxing on four different beaches and taking a stroll alongside the beautiful Sydney coastline while even doing a little for your fitness. The Bondi to Coogee Walk is probably the most famous coastal walk in Sydney – for a reason. Parks, beaches, cliffs and lookouts are all part of the journey. Your Instagram feed will be taken care of for the next 3 months.

Having heard of the walk before, I was excited to hear that I would have the opportunity to join Ana and a group of WTC members on their day trip. The day started off at the Wake Up Hostel, where we picked up everyone that was coming along. We took the train from Central Station to Bondi Junction Station and continued by bus to Bondi Beach. From there on, there was a 3 hour long walk ahead of us. Here are some of my favourite things to lookout for on the Bondi to Coogee Walk:

  1. The Bondi Icebergs

This Swimming Club is pretty hard to fail as you will walk right past it at the very beginning. The Bondi Baths are open all year around and are stunning to look at. Especially when a waves from the ocean come crushing on its edge.

  1. Beaches and Parks

Tamarama, Bronte, and Clovelly – Literally every beach on the way is inviting you to stay and relax for a while. Both Tamarama and Bronte Beach also boast pretty parks with cafes and spots to sit right next to the ocean.

  1. Waverly Cemetery

Even though it is a cemetery, Waverly Cemetery is beautiful to look at. The structure and mostly white gravestones and vaults give this place a certain intimidating yet peaceful vibe.

Other interesting things we came across on the walk include Gordon’s Bay and – surprisingly – the Clovelly Bowling club where we could witness people playing a weird game nobody knew the name of – Lawn Bowls.

By now I have walked the six kilometres four times already, and not once was it boring. There is always something I hadn’t noticed the other times before and that looks different when the weather changes. Personally, I find the walk quite easy to walk . The last bit (Clovelly to Coogee) is the hardest one. There are many steep stairs and an ascent that is a few 100 meters long.

Six kilometres later we arrived at Coogee Beach where Ana and I went to prepare a BBQ for everyone since there are public grills available at the park in Coogee. We surely deserved some burgers after all that walking.

Last but not least, here are 5 things that come in handy on the Bondi to Coogee Walk:

  1. Sunscreen

Going for a tanned look is good and all, but please don’t forget to put on and bring your sunscreen as you will be in the sun for a few hours. The sun in Oz should really not be underestimated – I’m speaking from experience.

  1. Light jacket or scarf

Depending on when you plan do the walk it might be good to bring a light jacket that you can tie around your waist as it can get a little windy sometimes because of the ocean.

  1. Comfortable shoes

This one is pretty self-explanatory since you’re going for a walk. But a pair of flip-flops/thongs for the beach might be a good idea as well!

  1. Water

Hydrate! I recommend bringing a reusable 1 litre bottle as there are some spots on the walk where you can refill it with water for free.

  1. Swimwear

Also depending on when you plan to go you might want to take a dip into the water at one (or all) of the beaches, so swimwear should be on your packing list.

Your 2nd year Working Holiday Visa Guide

So you’ve decided you’re coming to Australia for a working holiday. Then you’ve realised there is an option for a 2nd year visa or you’ve arrived and after a few months of working and travelling you’ve finally settled in, and now you’re seriously considering extending your stay in Australia. This sound like you? Well you’re not the only one facing this dilemma. We have so many young travellers that want to extend their working holiday but all they know is that they need to do farm work.

Here is your guide to securing that crucial 88 days of farm work to be eligible to apply for your 2nd year working holiday visa. You’ll thank us later!

The biggest thing people overlook is the fact that to qualify for the 2nd year working holiday visa is that your farm work and training must be done during your 1st year in Australia. This leads to many people doing a mad dash towards the end of their stay to try and complete their 88 days of paid farm work to qualify and apply for the 2nd year visa. This can lead to a lot of disappointment if you’re trying to do this during peak season and all the farms that offer the 88 days of paid farm work become full real quick.

Things to decide to make sure you’re on top of it

  • First thing is to figure out EARLY if you think you want to extend your visa.
  • Making sure you conduct your farm work in the correct regions (approved rural areas are slightly different for 462 visa holders and 417 visa holders).
  • Make sure you have at least 6 months left on your passport when applying
  • 2nd year visa applications must be made before you turn 31


What you need

  • An intermediate level of English
  • A current drivers license (highly preferable)
  • To be willing to work hard and get your hands dirty
  • To be prepared for a challenge
  • A current working holiday 417 or 462 visa
  • A Tax File Number, Australian Bank Account and Medicare card (if applicable)
  • Appropriate work and travel insurance


If you’re a current Work and Travel Company member most of the things you need we would have done or applied for you.

Once you have all this in order the hard work starts. Finding a farm that will sign off on your farm work hours/days (note: it is possible to complete your 88 days of farm work at multiple farms). The Work and Travel Company team can help you with organising farm training and GAURANTEED 88 days farm work for 2nd year visa sign off.

You do not need to be a Work and Travel Company member to apply for our farm training and guaranteed 88 days farm work program. Click the button below to find out how!

Melbourne must sees and do's

Melbourne is without a doubt a very vibrant city with lot’s of things to offer. During my time in one of the most liveable cities, I visited lots of places and did some pretty cool things. Here are the things you should definitely not leave out on your to do list when visiting Melbourne:

Eureka Skydeck: The Eureka Skydeck is the highest viewing platform in Melbourne. It gives you a breathtaking 360° view over the city. The lift takes you to the 88th level in about 38 seconds.. Tip: go around sunset, so the sky turns pink and the view gets even more amazing!

The rooftop bars: Melbourne has plenty of rooftop bars which you can’t miss out on if you’re visiting the city. Two of my favourites are Rooftop Bar – Cookie and Naked for Satan (Fitzroy). Both places have amazing views over the city and are super relaxed to have a drink or grab something to eat. Go there in the afternoon or at night, or both! Trust me – you won’t regret it!

Brighton Beach: Brighton Beach is known for its colourful beach huts and they make a great place to get your photos taken in front of one (or all) of them.

St. Kilda: This is Melbourne’s seaside suburb. At the St. Kilda pier you can often spot baby penguins and get a clear view over Melbourne city. St. Kilda doesn’t only have a beach, it has Luna Park as well. You can’t leave Melbourne without paying a visit to St. Kilda!

Queen Victoria Market: Melbourne’s most famous market! This market offers a variety of fresh food, clothes, accessories… It’s open on Mondays and Wednesdays, and there are night markets as well depending on the time of the year.

Yarra River: A beautiful river that stretches around the city of Melbourne with lots of great bars and restaurants along the bank. They all have an incredible vibe and give you amazing views, especially at night!

As you can tell, a lot of my favourite places in Melbourne have amazing views and that’s what I love about this city. It’s a place full of charm, culture, great food, live music and cool people!

Heading South to Melbourne

18th of April was a day I had been looking forward to for a long time. You might be asking yourself ‘why’? Is she going on another trip again? Well, you guessed that right, because I am. This time I was going to Melbourne for 6 days. I would spend the first days doing some work and then finishing of with a couple of days off to spend with my friend.

Waking up at 4am in the morning didn’t stop me from being extremely excited about going to Melbourne. I flew down there quite early so I arrived in the city around 8.30 am. I immediately went to the Greenhouse backpacker hostel where I unpacked my suitcase and got ready for my first day.

Once I got settled in my hostel room I decided to explore the city. I actually wanted to visit Federation Square first so that’s what I did. Followed by Birrarung Marr, the Federation Bells and Hosier Lane – known as “graffiti” lane. After visiting Hosier Lane it was time to go to the WTC office in Melbourne and meet my colleagues for the first time.

Josh and Laura are both great,  and I was looking forward to working with them over the next couple of days. After my visit to the office,  I walked around the city a bit more. At night I went to see the fire display at the casino which was very impressive!

The next day I had a day trip planned –  I was going to the Great Ocean Road! The trip started from 7.15am and finished around 8pm. I have to admit it was a long day, but let me tell you: it was definitely worth it! The trip has a couple of stops along the way. The first stop led us to a light house and some incredible views over the ocean. Around 11am we had another stop at Kennet River, where we could see koala’s, parrots, cockatoo’s etc in the wild. Amazing! Around midday we had lunch and then we were ready to finally see the 12 Apostles – something we had been looking forward to all day. Seeing the 12 Apostles was definitely the highlight of my day. They were stunning and it’s just a must see when you’re travelling Australia. We had 3 more stops after that before we drove back to the city. Second day in Melbourne: check!

Friday was the 3rd day, and  Josh and I planned to drive around the city so he could show me around and we could take some photo and video shots. We visited places like the Brighton Beach Huts, St. Kilda, Fitzroy, the MCG stadium, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Botanical Gardens and so on. There was so much to cram into one day.  At the end of the day I joined Laura and some members on the Pub Crawl. We started off at the Asian beer cafe, then went to New Guernica and ended up at Millhouse. 3 great bars, and the drinks were not bad either!

Saturday was the first day of my ‘days off’. I met with my friend and we went around the city to take in more of the highlights! We spent the day exploring this vibrant city, and at night we visited Melbourne’s nightlife including a rooftop bar which was amazing. The bars in Melbourne have such good vibes, and the rooftop bars are really unique.

On Sunday I decided to sleep in and have brunch with my friend. After that we went to the Yarra River, and had some drinks at one of the riverside bars. By the time we finished our drinks it was time to go to the Eureka Skydeck. We wanted to do this at sunset because we had heard that this is the best time of the day to do it. This was so beautiful, seeing the sun set behind the skyscrapers in Melbourne is stunning.

On Monday I checked out of the Greenhouse hostel. My friend and I had planned to go to St. Kilda and stay in a hostel there for the night. We would then explore St. Kilda beach and  Luna Park which was really cool! The face looks a bit angrier than the one from Sydney – check it out and you will se what I mean.During the day we went to see the Brighton Beach Huts as they are a bit of a novelty and my friend hadn’t seen them before. At night we went out for a walk at St. Kilda pier to see the baby penguins –  We saw 1!

When we got back to the hostel there was Boozy Bingo going on –  now THAT was a party! People from all over Melbourne come over to the hostel to join that bingo and I could see why.

It was time to check out on Tuesday morning and head back to Sydney. My friend and I both agreed that Melbourne is very different to Sydney. It’s a city with a slightly younger vibe, great nightlife and amazing places to see. Bye for now, Melbourne. I will be back!

Shauni`s Surf Camp Experience

If there's one thing you can't leave Australia without doing, it's surfing for sure. Thanks to the internship at WTC I'm currently doing, I got the chance to experience Surf Camp!

Knowing that I had never surfed before and that I was going on a three-day surf camp got me really excited! Monday 26th March was THE day it was all going to happen. I left for Surf Camp with 38 other people at 9 in the morning. After a 2hour drive on the bus (and a good nap) we arrived at Surf Camp near Seven Mile beach. Upon arrival we immediately met most of the surf instructors and got our rooms for the next few days.

After getting our cabins, we got fitted for our wetsuits and went out to the beach for our first surf lesson! At the start of every lesson there's always a theoretical part which we put into practice once we're in the water. You might think theory doesn't sound fun but this was really useful to understand and put into practice the movements you have to make when you're in the water.

As soon as we got in the water everyone seemed to get the hang of it very quickly. Almost everyone could stand up during their first lesson! And if not, then the surf instructors were very patient and helped us all get the hang of it. We didn't just learn new things the first time, but we learned some new tricks every lesson. During your first lesson it's just important to know how to stand on your board and catch the wave but once you're able to do that you learn how to slow down and speed up the board etc.

Seven Mile Beach itself was so stunning. As the name suggests, the beach is 7 miles long. It was very remarkable that the beach was so quiet. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves in comparison to beaches like Bondi and Coogee. You really get the holiday feeling when you're at 7 mile beach!

Speaking of beaches, one of the main things people do on Surf Camp (besides surfing of course) is going to the beach in the evening. That is a-ma-zing! You can see all the stars in the sky and there`s plenty of them. We all just brought a drink, some good music and enjoyed watching the stars. Couldn't get any better, right?

The vibe at the camp was great as well. Everyone seemed to get along with each other and it was all about relaxing, having fun, enjoying each other's company and the obvious one: learning how to surf! After dinner we all have drinks together and play beer pong with the instructors. Living so closely together with other people really makes you feel like a big family![/vc_column_text]


Long story short: Surf Camp is awesome! Like I said in the beginning, you can’t leave this country without surfing and Surf Camp is the best opportunity to do that. You meet lots of people and do great things. Even if it turns out surfing is not your cup of tea, I would still go there for the good food, accommodation and people because this vibe is amazing!

Here are 5 things you should bring on Surf Camp:

Flip flops – you’ll be going to the beach twice a day and you’ll probably be too lazy to put a decent pair of shoes on so you’re  basically going to be living in these flip flops!

Sunscreen– Even though there’s free sunscreen available at camp, it’s always a good idea to bring your own bottle since you’ll be spending the whole day at the beach. You don’t want to come back as a lobster do you?

Swimsuit– You’ll be wearing a wetsuit during your surf lessons but you still need a bikini (girls) or shorts (boys) for underneath or for when you want to go for a swim after your lessons.

Jumper– Although Australia is quite warm all the time, it does cool down in the evenings. Seven Mile beach is 2 hours down South from Sydney which means it’s a bit colder than the city. A jumper for the evenings and especially for at the beach is definitely recommended!

And last but not least…

Loads of enthusiasm! – Bring your good mood because surfing is fun and you’ll be meeting really nice people. Just enjoy and prepare to have the time of your life!