How to find and Apartment?
There are quite a lot of options when it comes to finding an apartment and quite a few good places to look. If your staying in a hostel its always good to check the notice boards, they are often advertising for stuff like jobs, cars and apartments so have a look there and give them a call, you can even go and look in other hostels which your not staying in. There are other places to have a look online, www.gumtree.com.au is probably one of the main ones to find an apartment just search for say shared rooms in Sydney and then call the number and arrange and inspection. Another good website which I found is www.flatemates.com.au. This offers loads of different types of shared accommodation a lot of these are single rooms in a shared house but there are some that are very cheap and have good offers, for this website you do have to create an account, it's free though and then you just message them when you find a good room.
When you are looking for a room always go and inspect it first before you move in and check the terms make sure it includes all bills, WiFi, has washing facilities, oven, cupboard space, good shower etc. Then when you're happy with a place give them the bond and make sure you get a receipt and don't lose it so you know you can get your bond back when you leave and can prove it. Just a pre warning when in the cities be prepared to be a bit shocked at some of the shared rooms you will be viewing, there are some really nice ones and places that are good to live in, but there are some horrible ones like when I was looking in Sydney, I viewed a number of apartments where the sleeping areas were just a living room split up by curtains/sheets, they were crammed in and literally had no space, they were hard to even walk about in. But don't let that put you off as there are some really nice shared rooms that are good to live in. Also when staying in hostels ask around, ask people you meet if they know anyone or have got friends of people you can call this is always helpful and might help you find a nice place to stay.
So a hostel would probably be your first choice when arriving in a new country. They are great for meeting new people as everyone in them is in a similar situation to you, they are also great for partying, getting settled into a new place and getting a feel for the place. Hostels in Australia are pretty expensive and if your staying in them long term it would definitely be cheaper to get an apartment. Dorm rooms in Sydney range from around $20-$40 so your looking at around $175 for a week, you obviously get what you pay for. You may have to pay for Wifi which is another added extra cost. A Dorm room for those of you that don't know is a shared room where you share with other people, ranging from 4 people to 32 people the most common is 8 people dorms they can also be mixed or male and female. Obviously the more people the cheaper the room, but probably less sleep. Hostels have showers, kitchens, toilets, communal/chill out areas and are all in all a lot of fun. I absolutely loved living in hostels when travelling always meeting new people and always something to do and there’s usually a party going on it really is great, but if your working then it can be difficult getting sleep and may not be the best choice but once again it is a lot of fun. A good website for booking hostels is www.hostelbookers.com you just enter the place you want to stay and an arrival date and it will give you a list of available hostels.
Your other choice is to get an apartment. Once again apartments range in prices and styles but you get a lot more flexibility and they are often a lot cheaper. It is entirely up to you what kind of apartment you get, you can get shared room apartments which is where you share a room with other people, this is what I ended up choosing. There are benefits and disadvantages to having a shared room apartment, one is that you are meeting new people again as you have them in your room. It's usually set out with 2 bunk beds in a room so four people and is a lot of fun, also giving you the chance to settle down if your staying somewhere for a while. It allows you to unpack all your stuff into cupboards, usually all bills are included, you get free unlimited Wifi and it's usually a lot cheaper, they range from $100 a week to about $170 obviously the more you pay the nicer its going to be and more room your going to have. With apartments you do have to pay a bond these can also range in price so make sure you have some money which you can use to put down the bond, you do get this when you leave the apartment if it has not been damaged. Bonds are often 2 weeks rent just to give you a rough idea. The other option for apartments is getting your own room this is obviously going to cost you more but gives you a lot more privacy, but then it doesn’t have the same social aspect to it, so yeah it gives you that nice room to yourself which is nice but then your not with people and meeting as many new people and they are more expensive this is why by my choice I would go for a shared room. You can get your own room in an apartment with other people so it would be big house or apartment with say four private rooms which gives you your own privacy and the social aspect to a certain extent once again as you would be sharing a living room and kitchen but again these will cost more. Prices for your own room once again vary a lot depending on location and the room/ how big the apartment is. Again you get what you pay for but it can cost anywhere from $230-$500 per week obviously $500 a week being a very fancy room in a great location and would be a very nice place to live.
The other option is getting a house with a group of people you have met or friends you may have gone travelling with. If there is a group of you all wanting to stay in the same city say 4-8 people you could rent a house and just divide the costs between you all. This can also be a lot of fun just a group of mates sharing a massive house. Once again prices range a lot but it's a good option if you want your own rooms and to share a kitchen and living area. Renting a house ranges on average from $500 to $2000 depending on location and number of bedrooms etc. Once again this may end up costing you a little more but you do get the privacy of your own room and a house to share with your friends.