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Finding Long Term Accommodation

Sydney appartments

If you are a backpacker wanting to work or are looking to spend a length of time in once place, you will need to find long-term accommodation. It is important to find a permanent address so you can set up a bank account and start looking for work (a permanent address looks much better on your resume than a hostel address would.) Luckily there are several options available to you which I will outline below. From there you will have to find the option which best suits you and your budget.

Long Term Hostel Accommodation

There are many hostels that cater for long term residency. It is a popular choice for backpackers who don't mind sharing toilet and kitchen facilities with other residents.

Centrally located hostels in big cities can make finding, and travelling to and from work a lot easier. Rates are usually affordable, generally being the same as most rental accommodation in the area.

Ofcourse you must be prepared to share your personal space with other backpackers around you. You should be prepared to get woken up in the night, so if you're working and need to be up early you should take some quality ear plugs!

Because of this most people only stay until they are able to find more appropriate long term accommodation.

It is worth remembering that as with all accommodation, it might be harder to find somewhere when there is a big event on such as the Melbourne Grand Prix, Australian Open, Christmas and New Year. If you are planning on arriving at these times, remember to book in advance so you won't end up panicking at the last minute!

Find Out More:
The best place to start looking is on the backpacker hostel websites themselves. There, you should be able to find out all the information and prices you need.

Hostels »

Sharing and Renting

Sharing or leasing/renting a flat or house is the popular choice amongst backpackers when looking for long-term accommodation. It provides a stable environment from which you can search for jobs and then commute to work. It is perhaps better to search for accommodation after securing a bank account and mobile phone

Sharing a flat or house is probably the cheapest and best option for long-term accommodation. In the cities there are always adverts for housemates on notice boards and in local papers. On most occasions you will need to commit to a minimum stay of about 3 months and put down a safety deposit in case you damage anything. Prices for house shares vary according to whether you are looking to live in the city or a smaller town, however general city prices for house shares can be anything from A$100 upwards per person per week, but the norm for the city is around A$150. This price can sometimes include bills as well, so it's worth looking around.

Leasing a flat or house is more serious. If you find a place to lease, you will then enter into a legally binding contract to stay for a certain length of time. If you leave before this, you may have to pay a penalty fee. You should also take into consideration that you may have to provide evidence that you are financially stable. However, the benefits of being able to move in with all your mates and having more control over your environment, are very appealing and popular with backpackers especially in the larger cities.

Prices for privately renting an apartment per week are more or less the same as a house share, but you will have to pay all bills and probably a cleaning charge when you vacate the premises.

Find Out More:

A good place to start is to ask at your backpacker hostel reception. They should be able to point you in the direction of the appropriate local papers or magazines to buy.

On the streets:

Do a bit of exploring around the town or city and you're bound to find adverts for house shares. Best places to look are hostel notice boards, notice boards in and around internet cafes, even fliers on lamp posts.

Finding a flat or house to lease is probably slightly harder, but can be done by going to estate agents, or literally pacing the streets stopping at apartment blocks and asking at reception if they have any flat for rent. It is important to check that the apartment is furnished. Most apartments are 2 bedroom so a maximum of 4 people can share, so find friends quick!

Online Sources:

Syndey Newspapers:
  • Sydney Morning Herald - Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Manly Daily - Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • The Wentworth Courier - Wednesdays
  • The Southern Courier - Tuesdays
  • Mosman Daily - Fridays
  • The North Shore Times - Fridays
  • Inner Western Courier - Mondays
National Papers and Magazines:
  • The Word
  • British Balls
  • TNT Magazine

Travellers Houses

Traveller's houses provide perfect accommodation for backpackers who are in the process of finding a job and would prefer not to commit to a lease agreement before finding one. The houses are specifically for travellers and can be seen as a cross between hostel and shared accommodation. You don't need to worry about paying the bills as everything is included, plus it will come fully furnished.

Find Out More:
Visit the following websites for more details:

Couch Surfing

Some backpackers like this way of travelling. Basically you sign up on one of the following websites and find people in your area who don't mind you kipping on their couch. It could be a bit risky so it's not recommended for girls on their own, but it could save you some money in the long run, plus you get to meet some interesting people!