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 & citizenshipCurrency
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 RatesHealth
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 - FebruaryAutumn
is March - MayWinter
- 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:AustroadsPopular Highlights/DestinationsWestern Australia
- Perth, Margret River, Coral Bay, BroomeNorthern Territory
- Darwin,Kakadu,Arnhem Land, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Srpings, Uluru,Kata TjutaSouth Australia
- Flinders Ranges and the Outback , Eyre Pennisula , Adelaide , Cooper Pedy , Victoria
- Melbourne , Great Ocean Road , Yarra Valley , Dandenongs , Phillip IslandQueensland
- 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 GuideAustralia Travel GuideAustralia: 42 Great Landscape ExperiencesEast Coast Australia Travel GuideNorthern Territory & Central Australia Travel GuidePerth & Western Australia Travel GuideLet'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.OzTourismAustraliaWesternAustraliaAustraliaTouristsVisitingAustraliaExploreAustralia