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My girlfriend and I have purchased one way tickets to Australia - flying into Melbourne in January.

The plan is to visit relatives first in Melbourne, then rent and travel around Australia in a Camper Van for 3 months, settle somewhere, get a flat, freelance/work, save up - then travel on the way back (a conversation for another day).

We've since thought (for economic reasons and we're both keen on surfing etc) - to purchase a Camper Van over there and sell when we leave. Is there a way to do this?

Also - I'm lucky as I can freelance with my current company - is it possible to rent places out there say, a month, 2 months at a time, so we can explore and settle as we go?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First off, while proof of onward travel is not a technical requirement for arrival in Australia, rocking up with (I presume?) a tourist visa that doesn't allow working and a one-way ticket is still going to raise some eyebrows at Immigration. I hope you have your story sorted out for this!

Russell already answered the car purchase bit, so I'll address the rest:

Actually renting housing in Australia is a massive, massive pain in the patootie that involves prolonged house hunts, handing over reams of documentation and hoping to win the application lottery; it's not worth it for stays of under six months, and as unemployed non-resident foreigners you'll be a few rungs below al-Qaeda members on the desirability index anyway. Your practical options are thus a) short-term rental sites like Airbnb and Stayz, or b) house sharing offers of varying levels of dodginess on Gumtree (the Oz version of Craigslist).

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There should be no problem in principle in buying a vehicle in Australia. I live in NZ and have bought and hired vehicles in Australia. The purchase was some years ago, but there should be no hard and fast barrier. Aspects like insurance may need care. Having documentary proof of a good insurance record in your country and your drivers licence will be required.

What aspects of buying a vehicle are you uncertain of in particular?

Prices are high compared to NZ. You'll need to check affordability before you travel.

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While there is nothing stopping anyone from buying a vehicle in Australia, the vehicle must be registered before it's driven on public roads. Depending on your residency status, you may not be able to register the vehicle or transfer its current registration to your name, as most (if not all) States require proof of ID which usually also requires proof of residence. If you're in Australia as a temporary tourist, that may be problematic. You would have the same problem upon resale. It should be noted that New Zealanders tend to get an easy time since they are treated like another State of Aus. –  GreaseMonkey Oct 12 '13 at 9:13

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