So whats next? Well, we were supposed to stay in Australia for two years with a visit to New Zealand in between. But apparently I am getting too old.
You need to apply for your Aussie working holiday visa before your 31st birthday. So it stands to reason that you can apply for your second year until your 32nd. Not so. You also have to apply for the second year by your 31st. And we found that out after my birthday. In any case, we wouldn’t have been able to do the obligatory 88 days of working in the farming, forestry, fishing or mining industries before then.
Why not just apply for a tourist visa then? Well, as soon as a tourist visa is granted, it cancels the working holiday visa. It may be granted for up to a year, but could just be granted for a few months. So I could end up with a shorter visa. And even if it is the same length or longer, I forfeit my right to work. And the visa people I spoke to on the phone weren’t allowed to say it in so many words (as they cannot predict the outcome of the visa decision), but they strongly advised that I should consider that I had already been granted one year to visit and travel while others are still queuing up. So why grant me another 12 months on a tourist visa?
So why not just apply for a tourist visa when the working holiday visa expires? Well, to be able to afford two years in Australia and a trip to New Zealand, we’d have to work for at least one. And since the second year would be on a tourist visa, we’d have to do all our working in the first year. But there is a chance we never get the second year. And we don’t want to risk working all year and not getting a chance to ride round Australia.
Since we have to be in Europe for our friend’s wedding, we’d only have around 10 days left on our visa upon our return to apply for the tourist visa and organise shipping for the bikes in case we’re not granted it. Very risky, especially since we won’t have any money left to pay for it all.
So with huge disappointment and a few tears we finally decided to just stay the one year. We’d have to give New Zealand a miss. We’d just travel to Canada a year sooner. In short it’s Australia till August, then to the wedding in Poland and then off to Canada. That’s the plan anyways…. But you know what plans are like, they change as you travel 🙂
All this means that we are fast running out of time to see the vast continent and country that is Australia. So we’ve packed in our jobs, moved in with our friends in Coogee and are enjoying a final week in Sydney before finally heading off.
First we’re going to ride north along the cost once more to have a nosy around Nimbin, Australia’s Amsterdam and hippie paradise of a bygone era. Then it’s back south to finally visit our friends in Melbourne. We’re hoping to hop over to Tasmania where we’ve been promised scenic riding roads. Autumn is creeping in and Tassie will be cold but it should be beautiful none the less.
From there we’ll ride the iconic Great Ocean Road and then head north through the red middle past Uluru. On Darwin, around the northern national parks and then perhaps to Perth? But who knows…. that is still very far in the future!
So there you have it. That’s what we’re planning to do. For now anyways. But as things happen and circumstances change so does our plan 🙂