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> Australia Starter Kit - FAQ's & Related Information
introducinlyric
post Mar 20 2008, 09:11 PM
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This starter kit is an informative collection of travel info in regards to Australia.The information given regarding Australia has been sourced from various relevant websites and my own knowledge, It's intended as a brief rundown to get you started . If you feel you i have left something out and need to add it feel free to contribute.

Getting Around
The land area of Australia is 7.69 million square kilometres, making Australia only slightly smaller than the USA mainland. Australia's domestic airlines Qantas , Virgin Blue , Jetstar and new airline Tiger Airways along with regional airline REX provide extensive coverage allowing you to hop quickly between cities, sights and small/ruarl towns.Capital cities in Australia are served by a wide variety of public transport, including trains, buses, ferries, monorail, light rail and trams. From a ferry on the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour or Brisbane River to a tram ride through the elegant streets of melbourne, you'll find public transport efficient, clean, reliable and affordable. Rail travel, from budget to luxury journeys, is popular and can take you across the vast heart of the continent from top to bottom.

Visas
Visas are for people who want to visit Australia for a holiday or recreation, visit family and/or friends, or study for up to three months.Visas may also be used for other short-term non-work purposes including study for less than three months.
This generally applies if you are:
outside Australia and want to apply for a visa to visit Australia
in Australia and want to extend your stay as a visitor.

* Please note that Visa requirements do not apply to New Zealanders (Kiwis)

The most common visa is an ETA which is an electronically stored authority for short-term visits to Australia of up to 3 months which is available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions. There are many types of visas ranging from tourist visas, Working visas, Student visas, visas related to business etc your best bet is to check out Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship site:
Australia's Department of Immigration & citizenship

Currency
Our currency is Australian Dollars (AUD).We also accept American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports.Here we have a goods and services tax (GST) on purchases (10%) but you may claim this and the Wine Equalisation Tax when departing our shores.

Did you know Australia was the first country in the world to have a complete system of bank notes made from plastic (polymer).Australia’s currency comprises coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations; and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar denominations. Our notes are characterized by colours

$5 - A pink colour
$10 - Blue
$20 - Red
$50 - A mustard / yellow colour
$100 - Green

It's also interesting to note that Australian notes are of different sizes to one another starting from the smallest in value $5 which is the smallest in size to the largest in value and size the $100 note. Our coins are silver (5c,10c,20c & 50c) and Gold ($1 & $2).

Atm's are readily available nationwide.

Traveller's check are accepted however not common so dont be surprised if you hand over a traveller's check and get a strange look in return. Personalized checks are rarely accepted.
In regards to exchange rates visit
Exchange Rates

Health
Generally speaking you do not require a health examination whilst visitng Australia however health examinations will depend on your circumstances, your intended activities in Australia, and your country of origin or residence.
You will need to undertake a health examination if:

*you are likely to enter a hospital or other health care environment, including nursing homes as either a patient, visitor, trainee or employee

*you are likely to enter a classroom environment, including preschool, crèche and child care situations

*you are known or suspected of having a medical condition, regardless of your length of stay

*you are aged 70 years or older

or there are indications that you may not meet the health requirement.


Accommodation , Internet & Weather
There are many forms of accommodation available within Australia. Types of Accommodation range from Apartments, Hotels, Motels , Hostels , Bed & Breakfast , Resorts , Holiday Houses, Tourist Parks and Farm Stays. Prices range from anything like $20 up to $1000 depending what your after.

Internet is commonplace throughout Australia, although in the major cities internet prices greatly increase and can be extremely costly and can get as high as $10/hr. If you don't mind it would save you money if you travel away from the city and into suburbia and find a library or internet cafe where prices are more affordable.

Seasons in Australia are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere and are as follows:
Summer is December - February
Autumn is March - May
Winter - is June to August
Spring - is September - November

The west Coast of Australia experiences hotter weather than that of the East Coast. The temperatures on the west coast are generally hotter and more humid but the east coast gets its fair share of hot conditions.
Despite this,weather has been erratic of late for example a couple of weeks ago it was snowing in Tasmania whilst at the same time Melbourne was having a heatwave and Sydney was having an onslaught of violent storms. Australia's weather doesnt seem to correlate with the season's anymore as the weather in Sydney during summer was cold in comparison to past summer's and now Autumn is seemingly our delayed summer with days exceeding 30c.

As a general rule (regardless of seasons) the west coast of Australia can expect temperatures between 28c - 38c (often exceeding 40c) and the east coast anywhere between 20c - 30c.

No matter where you are in Australia or what season it is, always remember your sunscreen. The Australian sun can be quite srong, so it's best to wear a shirt and put on a hat while enjoying the great outdoors. Sunscreen containing SPF30+ coverage is recommended. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer than any other country which is due to our love affair with all things to do with the outdoors and the brutality of the sun.

Time Zones
Australia has three different time zones, Eastern (EST), Central (CST) and Western Standard Time (WST). EST is for New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. CST is for the Northern Territory and South Australia and then there is WST in Western Australia. CST is half an hour behind EST, and WST is two hours behind EST.We also have Daylight Savings, where we wind our clocks forward an hour during this period. New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia have daylight savings from the end of October - end of March. In Tasmania they start at the beginning of October - end of March. Western Australia have it too, from early December to end of March. The Northern Territory and Queensland dont have Daylight Savings.

Communication
Our country code is 61. We have service for all mobile (cell) phones. Internet access is available at many Internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.Australia Post offices are usually open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and some are open on Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm.The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three‑pin power outlet is different from some other countries so you may need an adaptor.
Australians are pretty laid back and extremely friendly so you shouldnt have any problems with verbal communicaton
however i would like to add that in Sydney and Melbourne it isnt wise to be greeting anyone with the term "G'day" as it will be viewed as an insult (majority of the time). On the east coast of Australia especially in Sydney & Melbourne "aussie slang" is rarely used and most dont like to associate themselves with aussie "cliches".

Accessible Travel
If you have a disability and are planning to explore Australia, there is a host of services and special deals to meet your needs. Make your travel agent aware of your needs and have a look at the NICAN site for in depth information on Australia meeting accessible travel needs. The Australia For ALL website allows visitors to search for accommodation and tourism venues which cater for the requirements of people with disabilities.

Overseas Licences
Australian state and territory driver licensing authorities recognise certain overseas country's driver licences. Individual applicants from these countries - excluding applicants from external territories of those recognised countries - are exempt from undertaking knowledge and drive/ride tests when applying for a car and/or a motorcycle licence. To view Recognised countries and get further information relating to licences visit:
Austroads

Popular Highlights/Destinations

Western Australia - Perth, Margret River, Coral Bay, Broome

Northern Territory - Darwin,Kakadu,Arnhem Land, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Srpings, Uluru,Kata Tjuta

South Australia - Flinders Ranges and the Outback , Eyre Pennisula , Adelaide , Cooper Pedy ,

Victoria - Melbourne , Great Ocean Road , Yarra Valley , Dandenongs , Phillip Island

Queensland - Gold Coast , Sunshine Coast , Brisbane , Great Barrier Reef , Whitsundays , Townsville , Cairns

NSW - Sydney , Blue Mountains , Byron Bay , Jervis Bay , South Coast , Central Coast

Realted Guide Books & Websites

There are various travel guides available although Lonely Planet guidebooks are amongst the best but come with a hefty price tag. Noteable Lonely Planet guidebooks in regards to Australia are"

Adelaide & South Australia Travel Guide
Australia Travel Guide
Australia: 42 Great Landscape Experiences
East Coast Australia Travel Guide
Northern Territory & Central Australia Travel Guide
Perth & Western Australia Travel Guide

Let's Go Australia is exactly like the lonely planet book "Australia" but is half the price

The Slow Guides to Sydney and Melbourne are worth a look if you plan on staying in those cities for lengthy periods of time and wanting a slightly different approach to travelling/ exploring the cities culture, places and people.

OzTourism

Australia

WesternAustralia

AustraliaTourists

VisitingAustralia

ExploreAustralia


Happy Travels

Gerre


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Paul
post Mar 22 2008, 03:44 AM
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Excellent - good on you for getting that done.
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introducinlyric
post Mar 22 2008, 09:23 PM
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thankx Paul smile.gif


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ScottWoz
post Mar 24 2008, 06:56 AM
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Great stuff mate! thumbsup.png


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introducinlyric
post Mar 25 2008, 06:38 PM
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thankx smile.gif


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mataeka
post May 15 2008, 07:23 PM
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Nicely written smile.gif
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introducinlyric
post May 17 2008, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE(mataeka @ May 15 2008, 07:23 PM) *

Nicely written smile.gif


thanx mataeka biggrin.gif
nice to see another Aussie posting on these forums


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introducinlyric
post Jun 12 2008, 10:01 PM
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i thought i'd add to this by providing a link to free online travel guides for Australia. They are PDF's so you can print them out or store them on laptop, pretty handy i thought not as indepth as travel guidebooks but then again they are free

Australia Destination Guides


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heatheravan
post Sep 19 2008, 01:50 AM
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Great to see you included Coral Bay in your must see WA list. We have seen a bit of the World and live in work in Coral Bay (still getting to travel though). We love this spot and gets a big tick from us. Cheers
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wowman
post Oct 16 2008, 09:15 PM
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Information is great

Always take into consideration the wet seasons in the tropics. North Queensland's wet season is also a little different to Northern Territory's wet season. When travelling by car especially, flash flooding can be a problem. Plus you don't want to be dissapointed when visiting an area because it is continuously raining. Happy travels!
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introducinlyric
post Oct 30 2008, 12:15 AM
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QUOTE(sarahpruett @ Oct 20 2008, 07:41 AM) *



Gerre

hi m8,
U are really done a g8 job u are really crazy.gif
About collecting information about country
But can u tell me which airline is best in Australia?????????
I really want to come there


thankx sarah.

Qantas is the best airline in Australia although of late they have been havin numerous problems with maintenance work etc i would fly jetstar as its the cheapest airline in australia and its a great airline

anything else i can help you with id be more than happy to help smile.gif

Gerre


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huckabmm
post Feb 9 2009, 10:54 PM
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I've read that tourists can enroll their children in Australian schools for up to three months for free. I don't even have any kids, but I was intrigued by the concept...do you know if it's true?

The book I read it in was written in the late 90's, so it may have changed since then...


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introducinlyric
post Feb 11 2009, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE(huckabmm @ Feb 9 2009, 10:54 PM) *

I've read that tourists can enroll their children in Australian schools for up to three months for free. I don't even have any kids, but I was intrigued by the concept...do you know if it's true?

The book I read it in was written in the late 90's, so it may have changed since then...



i dont think this is true what book was it? do you remember?
that has intrigued me as it sounds slighlty ridiculous but may of been true


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huckabmm
post Feb 11 2009, 08:43 AM
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QUOTE(introducinlyric @ Feb 11 2009, 02:15 AM) *

QUOTE(huckabmm @ Feb 9 2009, 10:54 PM) *

I've read that tourists can enroll their children in Australian schools for up to three months for free. I don't even have any kids, but I was intrigued by the concept...do you know if it's true?

The book I read it in was written in the late 90's, so it may have changed since then...



i dont think this is true what book was it? do you remember?
that has intrigued me as it sounds slighlty ridiculous but may of been true


It was called One Year Off and the family did it in the book. It was back in the mid 90's though...so they may not do it any more...


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"Be a traveler, not a tourist."
"Chance favors the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Give Life

My upcoming trips:
1. A week at the Outer Banks, NC; June '10
2. Somewhere in South America, Early 2011
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introducinlyric
post Apr 8 2009, 02:39 AM
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QUOTE(vkrystal @ Feb 24 2009, 06:32 PM) *

QUOTE(introducinlyric @ Mar 20 2008, 09:11 PM) *

Communication
Our country code is 61. We have service for all mobile (cell) phones. Internet access is available at many Internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.Australia Post offices are usually open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and some are open on Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm.The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three‑pin power outlet is different from some other countries so you may need an adaptor.
Australians are pretty laid back and extremely friendly so you shouldnt have any problems with verbal communicaton
however i would like to add that in Sydney and Melbourne it isnt wise to be greeting anyone with the term "G'day" as it will be viewed as an insult (majority of the time). On the east coast of Australia especially in Sydney & Melbourne "aussie slang" is rarely used and most dont like to associate themselves with aussie "cliches".



Gerre,

Thank for the great post but I have some questions regarding mobile phone communications.

I am looking to go on a trip very soon (May, 2009) and I must have a way to be able to communicate with my work and family back home in the United States. You say that there is service for all mobile phones but if I take my AT&T phone with me I will end up paying a lot of money per minute (over 1 USD).

So far I have done some research and I found several companies providing global SIM cards that work in many countries around the world. I found one in particulat called Neometry (www.neometry.com) that had the best rates out of all of them. Their card is called International Travel SIM Card and had free incomming phone calls with outgoing calls costing only 0.50 US cents per minute to anywhere in the world.

At first this sounded too good to be true compared with my phone company rates this was so cheap. So I called them and they told me that those are the correct rates, they also told me that for $16 I get to keep the SIM card and the European number that comes with it. Also to send SMS it would cost me 0.40 cents and to get them it would be free.

So would this be a good deal to get this Travel SIM card (they said it would use the Vodaphone network) or get a card in Australia, and what would be the rates for those cards?

Thanks,

Krystal


Hi Krystal
sorry for such a late reply even despite ur leaving in may so my response may not even help much now

that does sound like a good deal about the travel SIM card although i have never used such a thing so i am completely out of the loop on such things therefore dont feel too confident in recommending something i know little about but it might be better for you to buy a SIM here in Australia. a vodafone sim will only set you back $2 AUD and if you recharge with their prepaid cap plans you pay $29 and get $150 worth of calls and txt , $49 for $320 (or somewhere around that mark) etc etc
personally id avoid Telstra and Virgin newtworks in Australia if you do decide to get a SIM here as i have had nothing but problems with said companies and they are costly!!!
Optus would be the next best thing after vodafone
although i think vodafone txt overseas is alot cheaper that 0.40cents but i could be wrong

another option are phone cards (i know alot of ppl who would immediately rule out this option but)..if you do ur research properly it might even work out alot cheaper than using a mobile as some phonecards cost $10 and offer 6 to 10 hours of international talk time. i just recently found out about this through a work friend who uses phone cards to talk to her boyfriend who is currently overseas atm as using her mobile would prove too costly so its something to look into.

i hope that helps somewhat. i will post or message you exact rates of Australia phone networks if you want aswell


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purplebuggy
post Jul 12 2009, 12:31 AM
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hey introducinlyric,

just thought I'd add a couple more resources to your starter kit:

Weather - if you're going to any of the major capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, etc) the best site to visit is the Bureau of Meteorology at
www.bom.gov.au
they have current temperatures, records of temperatures, rain radars, weather warnings, coastal conditions and anything else you could think of that you might want to know about Australian weather.
And a further note that northern Australia (ie. Darwin, Cairns, Broome, etc) doesn't have Summer/ Autumn (Fall)/ Winter/ Spring but a Wet (Nov - Apr) and a Dry (Apr - Nov) Season. The Wet Season means rain, humidity and lots of sweating. The Dry Season is like a normal stereotypical Australian Summer. Around Nov/early Dec is the "Build Up". This is when you'll get the most humidity.

Public Transport - Each state will have their own but Sydney and Melbourne are a start:
Sydney: http://www.131500.info/realtime/default.asp (down the bottom of this page is a link to each individual type of trasnport too - buses, trains, ferries)
Melbourne: www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au
They both have trip/ journey planners so you can input where you're going to and from and it will advise you on the best type of public transport to take, times, distances and directions.

In another starter kit from a different country, it was mentioned about fruit, etc being transported between states and this might also be a good point to mention. Because of fruit fly mainly, there are restrictions when travelling between states. No fruit should be carried between any state lines in order to prevent the transportation of any hidden contaminants that might cause quaruntine issues.

Wildlife - although googling websites is handy, a good travel sized wildlife guide I use is
"Handbook of Australian Wildlife" - A Steve Parish Concise Guide. It is about A5 size and has photos by renowned Australian photographer Steve Parish. Each animal's description includes, length, weight, identification, habitat, where found, notes (male/ female differences), status (endangered, etc), similar species, and food.


National Parks - each state and territory has their own site:
Commonwealth (federally run): http://environment.gov.au/parks/parks/index.html
NSW: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks/
VIC: http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/
SA: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/
WA: http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/parks-and-recreation/index.html
NT: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/parks/
QLD: http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/
ACT: http://www.npaact.org.au/category.php?id=19 (not a goverment site)
TAS: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/

Personally I want to add some things for people to try as well:
- Tim Tams (chocolate biscuits like you've never had before. Go for original or double coat)
- For a great selection of Australian wildlife visit the Territory Wildlife Park (either out of Darwin or Alice Springs)
- Calling "flip flops"/"slippers"/ etc thongs. (they're not a form of underwear here so enjoy saying it)
- Go to a beach away from a major city. (although an ok beach, Bondi isn't the only beach in Australia, even an hours drive away and you'll end up somewhere much nicer)
- Watch an ANZAC Day parade [April 25] (most Australians have some connection to the military in either WWI or WWII and this is Australia's way of celebrating the people that have and do serve the country. Chat to an old digger if you do, they'll love telling you their stories.) Or if that isn't your thing maybe Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gra Parade might be, everyone of any orientation goes to Oxford Street for this one. Or again you might be into the Darwin Beer Can Regatta (all vessels must be made out of old beer cans) or the Henley-on-Todd Regatta (Alice Springs' 'sailing boat' race on a dry river bed). All very Australian and heaps of fun!
- Visit Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) and go swimming with (ok, near) freshwater crocodiles. WARNING: only do this with a proper guided tour.
- Vegemite (on toast, with butter but don't have too much at once,. Use sparingly.)
- Between visiting Alice Springs and Uluru, go to Kings Canyon and do the Rim Walk - very rewarding.
- Visit Port Arthur, south of Hobart (for more reasons than you might think...)
- Watch fairy penguins come in at night on Phillip Island
- Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge (very touristy but worth the views over the harbour and the information on the way up as well as the exercise)


I'd also like to add that I love you're comment about "Gday." You'd be amazed how many times I've heard it said by Sydney-siders and Melbournites when they travel Up North though. (And it's just as annoying, haha!). And another add on for the starter kit on that theme - it's pronounced "Ozzies" not "Arse-ies" get it right and you'll be on a winner!

Most importantly for everyone, have a great time!
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ScottWoz
post Jul 12 2009, 01:14 AM
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That's a great add-on purplebuggy, cheers for taking the time.. thumbsup.png


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introducinlyric
post Jul 26 2009, 02:40 AM
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thankx for that purplebuggy , nice work!
i was actually going to add a "National Parks" thread too so glad to see you included some with your post smile.gif


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post Jul 26 2009, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE(introducinlyric @ Jul 26 2009, 02:40 AM) *

thankx for that purplebuggy , nice work!
i was actually going to add a "National Parks" thread too so glad to see you included some with your post :)


Thanks guys! Yeah, I figure if you're travelling to Australia then you probably want to go to at least one of the National Parks but if you didn't know they were generally state governed it'd be hard to find the info on the ones that aren't the "Kakadu's" or the ones that are filled with tourists.

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post Dec 16 2009, 03:45 AM
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Might be a tad late, but thanks for the "G'day" warning.

Didn't know it would be an insult for some. ==;


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