Tips for the newly arrived to Sydney, part 1

Tips for the newly arrived to Sydney, part 1

All prices are in Australian dollars

Australia is a country with many opportunities to work, progress, save and enjoy a good quality of life. But at the same time one has to be careful of several problems and scams that new migrants might encounter when newly arrived. Our experience has been mostly positive due to previous research and taking security and contingency measures. The following are a few tips to make your stay in Sydney with the Working Holiday be enjoyable.

Food tips for Sydney

Budget and plan a menu

60 to 80 australian dollars per week is a good amount to spend for a couple, always cooking at home. To budget well you must calculate how many meals are done per week, including any snacks and drinks.

Every week you should go grocery shopping according to the meal plan and only the budget money should be spent. Perishable goods should be used for the first days of the week, especially on the hot months.

Buy at ALDI

Though there are few branches in Sydney, ALDI is the cheapest supermarket in Australia. Variety is limited, but that does not affect product quality. You can save around 28% compared to other supermarkets.

Lunch specials

A number of restaurants offer special or cheap combos. In the city center (CBD) you can find food for about $8 and in Surry Hills or Bondi Junction the plates can go as low as $4.

Maps and directions

You should load Australia’s maps in your GPS device or mobile phone. It helps to move around easily. The app MapFactor GPS Navigation lets you navigate without an internet connection and previously downloaded maps. You can find paper maps and guides at the train stations or centers of tourist information.

To find transportation routes in Sydney and New South Wales, we recommend using Transport NSW. You enter a starting point and a destination and you get several transport options. You can then print a document with the route, stops and schedules. Public transportation is punctual.

Addresses in Sydney are of the form number + street + suburb (example: 127 Bondi Rd, Bondi Junction). If an apartment number is included the form is unit/number + street + suburb (example: 101/630 George St, Sydney).

Minimum budget

The Working Holiday visa requires $5000. An average couple without their own transportation, expends approximately $650 per week, distributed in the following way:

  • Housing: $375
  • Food: $70
  • Mobile phone: $10
  • Transportation: $60
  • Laundry: $25
  • Health insurance: $80
  • Other: $30

Is important to remember that when renting an apartment, a bond must be paid, equivalent to 2 to 4 weeks of rent.


Having an unlocked phone is best. There are several plans that come with a free or cheap SIM card. At the Sydney airport there are prepaid plans for $30 / month. At the Australian post you can get SIM cards from several companies. Finally, you can buy them online (CMobile for example), but you need a credit card and wait for a week. We recommend Boost Mobile’s $20 / month plan.

The next part will be published in about two weeks.

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