Australia

Australia is a world of many wonders. Australia stands as the superlative of the world and earns the title as the largest island, smallest and oldest continent, and arguably the most beautiful and serene.

Australia’s untouched beauty ranges from the pristine alpine mountains to the dry endless sand dunes of the interior while rimming the country’s borders with glamorous white sand beaches.

It is home to the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef which is the only living entity visible from space. Australia is a sparsely populated country with most of its urbanised towns located in the Southern and Eastern parts.

Much of the more hospitable lands are centred on the coasts. The country comprises of one enormous landmass and numerous small islands namely Christmas Islands, Whitsundays Lord Howe island, Norfolk island, Tasmania, etc

The Australian hip cities frequently top the charts as one of the most livable cities filled with rich cultures from across the globe. The major cities are peppered around the coast except for the capital, Canberra which sits in the bush as the political centre earning the name of the Bush capital.

The first British settlement in the late 18th century was not the first people in Australia. Before this Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians otherwise known as the Australian aboriginals, who spoke approximately 250 different language groups.

Aboriginals who had lived on the land were nomadic and believed the land and life was sacred and not meant to be tampered by any means. The country was isolated from the rest of the world which left the indigenous culture to thrive and prosper apart from some Indonesian traders who had traded with Aboriginals from the Northern coast.

Australia was unknown to Europeans until the Dutch discovered it and thought it was dry and unfit for colonisation compared to the lucrative Spice Islands. Later the British colonised it in late 1700’s particularly in the south-east and then developed into Modern Australia.

The Australian Federation is now made up of 6 states and two territories.

While Australia was growing in the 1800’s, there was a Gold Rush which brought many foreign visitors to settle while exploring a whole lot of wealth, especially into Melbourne. This gave rise to what is now the Great Southern Land.

Language: English is the only primary language spoken in Australia. However, Google Translator is a useful tool for foreign speaking tourists.

 

Capital City: Canberra, ACT

 

Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)

International dialing and area codes with IDD prefix: International dialing code is +61 and the IDD prefix or exit code to call FROM Australia is 0011.

Australia Area codes
 ACT – Australian Capital Territory  (02)
 SA – South Australia  (08)
 WA -Western Australia  (08)
 VIC – Victoria  (03)
 TAS – Tasmania  (03)
 NSW -New South Wales  (02)
 QLD – Queensland  (07)
 NT – Northern Territory  (08)
 Mobile Phones  (04)

For Area codes by city/town check the footer of this website.

Time zone & daylight saving

Daylight saving differs from state to state. The start of Daylight Saving Period is on the First Sunday in October at 02.00a.m, and the end is on the first Sunday in Apr at 03.00a.m

Australian States & Territories UTC offset Daylight Saving Time(DST)
Heard Island and McDonald Islands

UTC +5:00

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

UTC +6:30

Christmas Island

UTC +7:00

Western Australia (except Eucla)

UTC +8:00

Eucla – WA

UTC +8:45

South Australia + Broken hill

UTC +9:30

UTC +10:30

Northern Territory

UTC +9:30

New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania

UTC +10:00

UTC +11:00

Lord Howe Island – NSW

UTC +10:30

UTC +11:00

Norfolk Island

UTC +11:00

Queensland

UTC +10:00

Macquarie Islands – Tasmania

UTC +11:00

Emergency services: In Australia, if you need to call the ambulance, the police and the fire brigade dial triple zero, 000. Due to extreme weather conditions and other incidents, if there is any emergency alert in the state, Emergency Alert Info-Victoria for Melbourne, Emergency Alert Info-New South Wales for Sydney is published on the website.

Make sure to especially check for Fire ban(Victoria), Fire ban(NSW) for restrictions during summer as the country is prone to fire bans of various degree.

Visiting National Parks might be dangerous during these periods.

Embassies and Consulates: Click here to check information on Embassies and consulates.

Blood alcohol level: 0.05

Driving: Driving in Australia is on the left-hand side. All pedestrians need to be alert when they cross the street to look right first, then left.

International visitors can drive in Australia with their overseas license for three months, as long as the license is in English. You will be required to have an International driving license if the license is not in English.

The seat belts are compulsory for driver and the passengers. Infrastructure is one of the best, and the roads are marked well.

Rules are pretty strict, and insurance is a must.

Planning to drive? You can instantly rent a car suited to your personal needs filtered by price, availability, time and pickup/dropoff locations, by major car service providers.

Public Toilets : Public restrooms are open FREE to the public throughout Australia. Public toilets in Australia highlights the services where they are located and their opening times. When you are on the go download, an app called Flush on the smartphone to see the nearby toilets.

Electricity and Voltage information: Electricity is 230V, 50Hz. Drawings of electrical plugs and outlets: Electrical plugs. Australia uses Type I plug points. 

Travel Health Insurance: Travel insurance covers lost baggage, travel documents, cancelled/delayed flights and overseas medical treatment and other. Foreign travellers are highly advised to have travel health insurance organised before entering Australia. 

Visitors from certain countries may apply for Medicare benefits under Reciprocal Healthcare Agreement with the Australian government. These visitors may be able to receive immediate medical attention in the public health system by obtaining temporary Medicare card as soon they arrive. 

Insurance takes the worries out of your trip, our recommended World Nomads worldwide insurance, lets you explore your boundaries, 24/7 with flexible and easy, online booking even after you have left home. This insurance with global assistance partners and trusted reliable underwriters include adventure sports and activities as well.

Customs and quarantine: Australia has lots of strict quarantine laws compared to other destinations. Current Australian law doesn’t allow you to bring firearms, weapons, steroids, drugs, and protected wildlife into Australia.

Also, other day-to-day items like raw or cooked meat, poultry, other fresh or packaged food, plants, seeds, fruit, skins and feathers are also prohibited.

If you are bringing in currency more than AUD10,000, you need to declare. Visit Australian Government Website for further information.

Measurement: Australia uses the metric system. Click here to make easy conversions from the imperial system.

                                                                             

Tipping: Tipping is not necessarily a custom in Australia. Service workers are paid decently; it is at your discretion to tip when a fantastic job is done. These days, tipping is becoming slightly more common in the more tourist areas so go ahead.

 

Any Other information: Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) lets you claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) that you pay on certain goods while you are in Australia. These items need to be taken with you when you leave Australia in your checked luggage or carry-on bags.

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