17 things you should know when travelling in Australia
Australia is a huge country, and unlike anywhere else on earth. 80% of its animals are unique to the country and almost a quarter of the population were born abroad – giving it a culture that is both unique and incredibly familiar. Before you set off on a trip to Oz, however, there are few things you should keep in mind…
• Australia is BIG
Lots of people travel to Australia with big plans for road-tripping across the country, and visiting every corner of it. Here’s our advice. Don’t. Australia is 7.692 million km squared and it takes 5 hours to fly from Sydney to Perth. Leave yourself lots of time to get around and remember to fly from big city to big city.
• Australia is expensive #1
Food, drink and other necessities are expensive in Australia, so make sure you have a big budget before you travel here. If you’re trying to do Australia on a shoestring, try cooking your own food. There’s no need to eat out every night.
• Australia is expensive #2
Hotels in Australia are expensive, and extremely popular. Make sure you book your accommodation in advance to avoid arriving and having no place to stay!
• Australia is halfway across the world from England – they talk differently.
You might get a little confused at the English Australians speak – but they are nearly 9.5 thousand miles away from the UK!
For a quick translation guide:
thongs = flip flops;
barbie = barbecue;
fanny pack = bum bag;
swimmers/toggers = bathing suit;
dunny = toilet;
dooner = duvet.
• If you want to see a kangaroo or koala go to a nature reserve
Sadly, you are unlikely to see a kangaroo or a koala bear if you stay in inner city Australia. If you’re keen to see more of the native wildlife while visiting, take a trip to a nature reserve.
• There are bugs. Big ones.
There are lot of poisonous insects in Australia, and big ones too. The Bird Eating Spider has a body alone the size of a human fist. Just imagine how long those legs are!
• Australians don’t tip
This one may be uncomfortable for any American or Middle Eastern visitors to Australia, but it is not expected to tip. The Australian minimum wage is one of the highest in the world, and tips aren’t necessary to supplement a living. Feel free to reward good service, but be aware that it’s not expected.
• The sun is HOT
Think you tan well and avoid burning? Think again. Australian sun will fry you to a crisp, and can do so quite easily in the space of half an hour. The atmosphere doesn’t have the protection of thick ozone layer, meaning the rays of the sun are more damaging. Listen to your mum, and wear sunblock!
• Australia isn’t always hot
You know how we told you that Australia is really big? Well, with that comes some variation in temperature. Not only is Australia a huge country with different climates in different cities, but the temperature range is huge. It can vary from 40°C in summer in Adelaide to -7°C in Canberra in winter.
• The seasons are different than in the Northern Hemisphere
English is the common language of Australia, so it can be easy to lump it together with Northern Hemisphere places like the UK, US and Canada. But remember, it is a Southern Hemisphere country, and this means the seasons are different. June, July and August are the Australian winter, whereas December, January and February are summer.
• The Internet sucks
If you’re looking for superfast WiFi, you’re going to struggle in Australia. Be prepared for some slow loading times as the net speed doesn’t compare to other countries.
• Australians are super friendly
Australian culture is very friendly and outgoing. Don’t be alarmed if people are loud and try to talk to you. They really are just being nice. Go with it.
• Australia is great for surfing
If you don’t know this about Australia, are you sure you’re thinking of the right country?
• Australia is pretty smoke-free
Australia has some of the world’s toughest anti-smoking laws, including; no smoking in cars with children, no smoking in public places or restaurants, and no smoking on sports venues or on beaches.
• They celebrate ‘Australia Day’
This commemorates the day the British first arrived in Australia on the 26th of January. Aboriginal civilisations had been living there for roughly 60,000 years beforehand.
• Ayers Rock isn’t called Ayers Rock
The native population of Australia know Ayers Rock as ‘Uluru’.
• You can post a letter from the Great Barrier Reef
That’s right, there’s a post box in the middle of this natural wonder. This is one for all you stamp collectors out there. Take a ferry out to the reef’s post box, and you’ll get an exclusive stamp!
Armed with all this information, you’ll be able to plan the best trip to Australia possible. This huge country has so much to offer you could spend years exploring it. So, pack your sun cream, remember your bug spray, and set off on the journey of a lifetime.