Australia advice please

We are planning to visit Sydney and Melbourne next winter for around 5 weeks and hoping to get house-sits for most of the time. We have enough Avios points for our flights but need to book a year in advance which is why I am researching this now. There seems to be a lot more house-sits over Christmas than in November but we thought November might be a better time to travel before the holiday season and before it gets too hot. Any advice or thoughts from locals or sitters who have been there in the winter?

Hi @Londongal November is a time when not as many people will require sitters as they either have kids still in school which doesn’t finish until the end of November for private schools or mid December for state schools or others are preparing for Christmas at home. People typically don’t travel until Christmas. The long summer school holidays are December/January in all states (over summer). Your best time for increased sits are during school holidays. If you want to avoid the heat come in winter during the June/July school holidays when many southerners from Sydney and Melbourne head north to Queensland for the holidays. You will get some good accommodation deals in November as it’s a quiet period before the mad summer holidays peak season. If I were you I would come over the Sept/Oct school holiday period as spring is beautiful here and lots of people need sitters to cover their school holiday travels. Each state has slightly different school holiday dates so I suggest you Google the 2023 dates for NSW and Victoria.

Hello, we are UK based and fly to Australia next weekend. We have five sits so far, first of which is Nov 8th, the last starts Feb 28th (we have a six month visa). They are in Queensland, Sydney and Perth. We started by securing a Xmas/NY sit back in late April and worked others around that. Flight wise, we found it cheaper to fly the first two weeks of November. Happy planning your trip.

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We are booked in New Zealand from November - Feb and have been looking to go to Australia afterwards March -May ish, We have applied for a few but have had no luck getting accepted so far. Somehow, for us, Australia seems more difficult. We still have a couple of sits pending so fingers crossed. We are thinking to join Aussie housesitters to boost our chances as we need to have booked a flight out of New Zealand before we arrive!

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@Londongal there are so many housesits in Australia, but you might need to try the more local platforms. We were solidly booked around the country for 18 months (with about 7 days unaccounted for) in 2019/2020. It’s a very big thing over there. Try Aussiehousesitters and Mindmyhome and when you apply, explain to them that you are experienced and paste some reviews from TH in your application there. You will need to remove the actual word Trustedhousesitters, as the message system picks up on this and won’t let you send the message with the name of a competitor.

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Thanks everyone, this is all very helpful.

@Londongal, In Australia right now. Arrived on Sept 12. As Australia wasn´t my planned destination but a last-minute Japan substitute I began looking for sits only a week prior to my arrival and … have been booked solid throughout my stay.

Started in Melbourne, then Sydney, and now Brisbane. Big mistake. Why?
Weather.

What´s been going on and still is especially on the East coast came as a shock to me. Downpours that go on for weeks, cold, no proper heating at homes, flooding, evacuations. Apparently, El Nina is going round and round and is not expected to leave the area until January 2023.

I am also hearing … although this year was the worst ever, the bad winters started already 3 years ago with each year getting worse and worse. Consequently, next year might be “the worst ever”. The most affected area is Melbourne. Things are getting better the more North you go.

Thus, my advice is - start from the North and work your way slowly South.

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Is this northern or southern hemisphere winter. Upon initial reading I assumed you meant Sydney/Melbourne winter however further down you mention Christmas. Ie I am just clarifying before going off in a tangent with an answer.

Oops sorry, I meant winter in the UK, summer in Australia!

Do either of these sites do sits in Europe, might be another alternative, handy to have.

What you say about the weather is indeed correct. Unfortunately this has come as a shock to everyone including the locals.

Where to start probably depends upon what weather you are used. Theoretically we should be having lovely spring weather now, however we have gone from 21C yesterday to a cold snap with some places getting snow and as mentioned many areas have are or have been having floods. It’s all very unusual.

Be aware that in summer it is VERY humid further north and that in Victoria the temperatures can reach a dry temperature of 44C.

We did a house sit in Australia 5 years ago in November. The house sit was on the gold coast for two weeks - gorgeous spot. We flew into Cairns where we spent a week, spent a couple of nights in Brisbane and bussed it to the house sit. Spent the last week in Sydney. It was one of our best house sits ever and the weather in November was perfect! It did seem odd though being in a hot climate and seeing Christmas decorations!

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Try Aussiehousesitters and Mindahome

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We’ll be in NZ from Dec-April. Where are you planning to be Dec-Feb?

I’ve spent two Australian summers in Melbourne, wouldn’t do it again.
My preference is for their Autumn (your Spring) which has a fair number of holidays that see people needing sitters.
It’s also festival season, with the Melbourne comedy festival being my personal favourite, so that’s when I try to go.
I did endure most of their winter this year and wouldn’t recommend that either, unless you can get sits in Queensland.
If you do go in Aussie summer, look for sits in Tassie maybe?
We found most of our sits on THS but did a few through Aussie Housesitters as well. In my (limited) experience, I found HOs to be less responsive and more last minute in Australia than in other parts of the world, especially in Brisbane (not sure why this is…) so I wouldn’t worry too much if you don’t have loads of sits booked far in advance.

We are very laid back and chill in Brissie @CoolCatAunt

Yes Aussie house sitters is the largest house sitting site that is for Australia only. It is fairly cheap and easy to navigate.

Be prepared that a Queensland summer is very hot and humid, especially January or February. Infact most of the Eastern states can have a heatwave over the summer. Watch for places with air con and pools. :grinning:

We lived in Australia and yes, Dec-Feb is very hot and uncomfy from the humidity. I would definitely look for sits in Tasmania over the Dec/Feb period, as it might be a bit cooler and Tassie is just such a wonderful place - but best to negotiate to include use of a car. We had a 6-week sit there over Dec/Jan 2019/2020 and there was a heatwave of 40 degrees for about 2 days, and other days cool and rainy, and most other days were around 25. Whereas it will be well over 30 and upwards on the mainland, and often very humid. Never will I ever find myself in Darwin in November again (personal promise to myself) :sweat_smile: it’s known as the Build-Up - you can google if you want more info!

the only thing i don’t like about aussie house sitters as i’m on too as there are no photos of house and usually just maps. for me i like to see my surrounds and i make a decision on that. however even though i’m in australia i’m in perth having just come back from 5 and a half months sitting back to back in sydney and now the rules are changed i’m finding i’m missing out because we have a three hour time difference and time i get up i’m getting a bit annoyed, the sits in the eastern states have gone! also i got a lovely sit when there were already 9-11 ppl applied and still applied and got it! i don’t like this new ruling.

if i can help with locations here in aussie or questions just ask. glad to help