There are many reasons why Australia is such a popular choice for travelers and tourists (hello beautiful beaches and wonderful views) but before you pack your bags, you might want to take a look at these 10 things you probably didn’t know.
#1 You need a visa to enter the country
Australia requires a visa to enter its borders, even if you plan to only go for a few days/weeks. Getting a tourist visa for Australia is very simple: you can do the whole process online on auvisa.org.
It is valid for 12 months and allows you to stay for up to 90 days each time you enter. Just make sure you allow apply at least 14 days before the date of your intended day of entry.
#2 Amazing – but potentially deadly – wildlife
From snakes, spiders, and jellyfish to sharks and crocodiles there are some wonderful but dangerous animals lurking in the trees and seas of Australia. However, keeping a watchful eye and being careful is all that is needed to avoid these dangers. Or, in the words of the great Australian zookeeper and conservationist Steve Irwin: ‘
You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it’ll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it’s not even funny.’
#3 Hot weather and strong sun
We all love long sunny days and topping up our tan on the beach. But, as Australia sits below a hole in the ozone layer, it is very important to use sunblock, avoid the sun during the hottest parts of the day and drink plenty of water.
#4 But it can get cold
Despite the previous point, it is important to keep in mind that parts of Australia do still get cold. For example, Southern Australia can get to below 10 degrees in the winter months.
#5 Explore outside the cities
Sydney and Melbourne are amazing, but Australia’s most impressive regions are in the countryside and coastline. The gorgeous mountains and coastlines of Tasmania, vast canyons of Western Australia, and pristine beaches of the NorthWest should not be missed.
#6 Canberra is the capital
Not Melbourne, not Sydney, not Perth! Canberra is the nation’s current capital city.
#7 Life is on the pricier side
The cost of living and traveling in Australia is high. A bed in an inner-city hostel dorm can cost $40 or more a night, a meal out can easily cost $50, and a single beer around $8 or $9!
#8 Strict laws on alcohol
Speaking of beer! It’s important to note that in Australia booze has to be bought is specific bottle shops and is not available in supermarkets. Also, keep in mind that many bars won’t serve shots of liquor all night and bouncers are strict, so overindulgence can quickly lead to your night-out ending early.
#10 Don’t worry about tipping
I said it is expensive. So, do your bank balance a favor and remember that unlike the US there is no need to spend extra money on tips!
#10 It has some dark history
Without going into too much detail, the country has had a sad and violent past since it was colonized by the British in the 1700s. Want to know more? A quick search for ‘stolen generations’ will reveal some other horrific details.
I hope these tips will help you prepare for what promises to be a once in a lifetime trip. So, what’s next? Get that visa stuff sorted out and start packing!