3 months workcation in Australia

Old Sep 4th, 2022, 11:32 AM
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3 months workcation in Australia

Hello all,

Looking for some advice! My wife and I have never visited the south pacific, and are planning on spending a month and a half in NZ followed by up to 3 months in Australia from Feb 2023 onwards. We will be working on the weekdays 4 AM - Noon (Sydney time) to sync with PST and have the rest of the day and weekends for going around the place we are in. We want to go across the east coast of Aus from Melbourne up till Cairns or Port Douglas. We want to experience the cities (Melbourne/Sydney) as well as the natural wonders (Great barrier reef, whitsundays beaches, sunshine coast etc). We like to get the feel of the place we are living in, but not interested in things like museums.

Currently planning on spending 3-4 weeks with Melbourne as a base, 2-3 weeks Sydney and then move up the coast from there slowly. Need suggestions on the following -

1. How should we ideally divide the trip? Which cities or places to stay should we consider? Should have good internet speeds and with enough culture to spend a few weeks worth of weekday afternoon/evenings.
2. What are the must do activities on this entire journey?
3. Any other suggestions?
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Old Sep 4th, 2022, 07:51 PM
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Boring as it is, I'd check whether you're allowed to work in Australia, even if it's remote working. Many countries officially don't permit this and I'm not sure what Australia's stand on this is. Travel insurance will also be expensive. Health care here in Australia is under huge pressure.

For the order of visiting places, check the weather. For example, typically Melbourne is hot and dry in Feb/Mar so I'd prefer to be further north (or maybe south) at that time. The weather varies a lot from north to south.
Internet in cities is fine, in rural areas can be patchy depending on your telco. Telestra has the best coverage but an Optus reseller (e.g. Amaysim, Vaya) will be a lot cheaper.
To work out where you'd like to visit, grab some photographic and guide books from your local library. Your question is too open and there's heaps to see and do, all of it spread out over a huge distance. Or make a proposed rough itinerary and people here can critique it?
Short term accommodation in Australia is expensive and, in my observation, much more expensive than it was just a couple of years ago. Demand is high and prices have risen accordingly.
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Old Sep 4th, 2022, 09:01 PM
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My first thought too was do you need a visa? If immigration think you might be working and you don't have the right visa you could be sent straight back. Same for NZ, check their rules too.

February is the last month of summer and will be hot just about everywhere and hot and humid/wet in the far north. By March/April it will be much cooler in the southern states but still warm up north. The wet season in the far north of Australia runs from about November to April and is generally hot and humid with tropical heavy rain, usually not all day, just bursts of rain. Of course you can't guarantee the weather but that would be typical.

Check online when school holidays are in each state and also Easter dates. During that time, everything will be heavily booked. You could drive up the coast from Sydney to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast (check mileage, it's a long way) but there might be a one-way drop off fee for the hire car. Also hire cars are harder to get than before covid, so book ahead. Then maybe fly from one of those places or Brisbane up to Cairns. I'd suggest staying in Port Douglas. I think it's much nicer than Cairns. If you are on a budget though, Cairns would be better.

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Old Sep 4th, 2022, 10:43 PM
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You should research 'Condition 8101' (my guess there is something similar for New Zealand). Per Cond. 8101 only occasional work 'incidental' to the holiday is allowed on a tourist visa. That means checking e-mail now and then, the odd zoom call -- that sort of thing. Regularly working on-line is not allowed on tourist visas. For that you would need to get a Temporary Skills Shortage visa for which you probably don't qualify.

If you enter Australia for an extended time the border agents will likely ask how you intend to support yourselves - without a good answer they may put you on the next plane home. You'd also need proof of full medical insurance.

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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 12:14 AM
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Also, in terms of where when, check stinger season in far north Queensland. From memory it's about October to end April but I'd double check that. During stinger season, you should only swim in pools or in netted beach areas. That doesn't mean you shouldn't visit at that time of year but you need to be aware of restrictions on swimming.

I hope you can organise to come. We've a lot to offer - beautiful scenery, relaxed lifestyle, great food, etc, etc.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 08:14 AM
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I hope you like heat! We lived in Australia for seven years and damn near died in Jan-Feb.

A word to the wise - assuming all works out visa-wise, make sure your accommodation has good air con!
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 02:31 PM
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Mel, we don't have aircon in our home in Melbourne. But I agree that Jan/Feb are the hottest months here. But, as you'll know, it's very patchy. The old cliche about having four seasons in every day is true. Those runs of 40C days rarely last more than a few days, and the last couple of summers have hardly happened.

OP, I hope you'll let us know what you decide.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 03:19 PM
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dreamon - we had so called evaporative 'air con' the first four years we lived in Perth and it was absolutely miserable, hence my warning. It was pretty useless. But then again, we weren't in the ice box of Melbourne, lol. Our last three years in a house with proper AC was wonderful by comparison.
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