Travel planning and getting around
Probably the biggest difference between the three countries’ working holiday programmes is the ‘holiday’-side of things, as these countries have very different climates, landscape and therefore travel conditions vary considerably. Many people don’t actually travel that much on a working holiday visa because you can always get a tourist visa when your work permit runs out. However you do it, I would highly recommend travelling extensively in all three places, because each one of them is amazing in its very own way.
In Australia, the weather is good all year around albeit in different parts of the country. The best thing to do is aim to be south during the Australian summer (winter in Europe) and to head north for their winter (the European summer). This way you’ll get the best of the beautiful, sunny Australian weather all year around. Australia is very big so whilst you might choose to drive all of it, it’ll take a lot of time and cost a lot of money. However, because of the sheer amount of backpackers downunder, getting around is relatively easy anyhow. There are plenty of busses, the Greyhound bus offers a hop-on, hop-off ticket for long distances, it’s easy to meet travel buddies online or in hostels and internal flights are cheap, even when booked on relatively short notice and during high season. It’s also fine to be spontaneous because accommodation and transport aren’t scarce.
New Zealand is probably easiest to travel around, simply because it’s much smaller than both Australia and Canada. Travel conditions are relatively similar to Australia, with lots of possibilities available, and it is also absolutely feasible to see both the north and the south island driving one’s own vehicle in around six weeks. Buying a car is easy and car insurance is surprisingly cheap. For both Canada and New Zealand, travelling over summer and working over winter is definitely the best idea. This way, you can see more and enjoy the spectacular scenery at its best.
Getting around in Canada is a little trickier and more expensive. Internal flights and trains are considerably more expensive and as the distances are very long, driving one’s own vehicle means lots of time spent behind the wheel and lots of money spent on petrol. The only cheap way to get around is the Greyhound bus, which sadly doesn’t offer a hop-on, hop-off ticket in this part of the world. However, there are several websites where travellers can publish and find ads for rideshares and this is working very well, especially over the summer months. In the winter, some places are shut down anyway so in Canada, I really wouldn’t recommend doing a lot of travelling in winter.