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Working in Australia and New Zealand

27 April 2005
Working in Australia and New Zealand

Do you fancy a stint in the land Down Under? Australia has become a hugely popular destination for those wanting to live and work abroad. There are work restrictions but plenty of expatriates have overcome these to work in hospitality all over Australia.

Upsides

  • The weather is fantastic
  • There's a real focus on outdoor activities, which means you could take up any one of a number of sports - yes, even beach volleyball
  • At Christmas, plan on a beach barbeque, as it's the height of the Australian summer.

Downsides

  • You are a long way from Blighty - your friends and family won't be able to visit that often, and your trips home will be few and far between.

General facts
Official name:
Commonwealth of Australia
Population: 19,978,100
Capital: Canberra (population: 327,000)
Languages: English, native dialects
Currency: Australian dollar
Ethnic mix: Caucasian (92%), Asian (7%), Aboriginal, others (1%)
Religions: Christian (Anglican, Catholic), others
Land area: 7,617,930sq km (2,941,285sq miles)
Climate: Pleasant, with two different zones. In the north, above the Tropic of Capricorn, conditions are primarily tropical - think wet summers and dry winters. The summer heat is intense in all of Australia's desert regions, with temperatures above 120ºC the norm. In the south, weather conditions are temperate and include four seasons. Note: the seasons are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere.

Where to find out more: General facts: www.cia.gov/cia;/publications/factbook/geos/as.html
Government site: www.australia.gov.au/
Melbourne newcomers network: www.newcomersnetwork.com
Site to help you find work in Australia or New Zealand: www.workingin.com/
Australian government site with details on work permits: www.immi.gov.au/allforms/working.htm

New Zealand

New Zealand offers stunning scenery and friendly people on two very different islands, North and South. North is home to Auckland and the capital, Wellington, while the south is home to Christchurch and is also where the activity-driven Kiwis spend their time doing everything from skiing to parachuting to hiking to zorbing (rolling downhill in a padded ball).

There are restrictions in getting visas to stay in NZ, but university-educated young people with talents that are in demand can often get the points required to stay.

General facts
Official name:
Dominion of New Zealand
Population: 3,785,600
Capital: Wellington (population: 165,000)
Languages: English (official), Maori (official)
Currency: New Zealand dollar
Religions: Christian (Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic), others
Land area: 268,670sq km (103,733sq miles)
Climate: varies widely from north to south - check NZ sites for an idea of where you're going. Note that New Zealand seasons are the opposite of those in the northern hemisphere.

Upsides

  • If you're an outdoors type, this is definitely the country for you. There are summer and winter activities and, not surprisingly for an island nation, they're mad on sailing, but also rugby and cricket. If there's an activity that hasn't been invented yet, the Kiwis will probably do it first.
  • If you think you'll miss the seasons in Blighty, then head for the south island, which has distinct periods of cold and hot.
  • There is a relaxed way of life, but they're serious about hospitality, so it's not a backwater - think Pacific Rim cooking with the ability to get fresh ingredients.

Downsides

  • As in Australia, you're a long way from home, if you are unhappy or need to return for any reason
  • If you do get paid in NZ dollars, check the exchange rate - it may take a while to save up the money to travel onwards, if that's your intention.

Where to find out more:worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/ciamaps/nz.htm
www.govt.nz/
www.tourism.net.nz/
www.purenz.com/
www.workingin.com/

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