On this Destination Guide you will find information for :
♦Currency: Australian Dollar $ (AUD)
♦Zone: +8 to +10.5 GMT
♦Phone Code: +61
♦Best time to visit: Mar-Jun/Sept-Nov
♦Must eat: Kangaroo meat.
♦Must drink: Australian Beer
♦Don't miss: The Iconic Opera House!
♦Number of times visited: 2
Getting there and transportation: Its precisely the location and distance from any other country which makes Australia accessible only by air. The island is 3.500 km in length so even travelling domestically is better by air. The country offers 3 major gateways, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. These cities are connected internationally by major airlines. However Qantas, the national airline, has the biggest presence on the island. Other airlines which offer good connections to Australia are Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, British Airways or Malaysian Airlines.
The length of time travelling to Australia must be one the longest flights you can take. Making a stopover at an Asian destination is a typical routing if travelling from Europe. Expect a travel time of at least 24h hours. However with modern planes inoperation, there is the route London-Perth operated by Qantas which takes 17 hours and is the only direct route (and first one ever) to link Australia with Europe.
Travelling around the island is fairly simple. The main and best option is to travel by air, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia offer the best connections.
You can also go to certain destinations by train, but trips are often extremely long and pricey.
Driving is safe, and usually in straight lanes thanks to excellent roads around the country. Travelling around the coast line is a good recommendation. However internally, the high temperatures of the Australian dessert and the lack of services for many miles can cause a big problem if you encounter a breakdown not to mention the vast distance needed to drive.Last to mention is the alternative to travel by bus,Greyhound Australia, provides comfortable busses connecting the major cities with smaller towns.Prices are reasonable but make sure you check the distances and the times. Sometimes even flights can be cheaper if you buy well in advance.
Customs/Immigration: Once arriving to Australia, you need to clear Customs. It's a very sensitive area and you are advised to take extra caution on what you take into the country. Anything which is food related, drink, or naturally produced will be confiscated by the customs department. (for example animal skins, wood, plants, food, or anything organic). You will need to declare any of these products or face a fine.
If you are connecting to a domestic destination by air be sure to collect your luggage at the first point of entry into the country even if the luggage has been tagged all the way to final destination. This is to clear customs.Attention!: Another thing to take in to account when travelling to Australia is obtaining a visa, all travellers require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) before arriving. It's easy to apply for it online via the following website: "Eta Visa application"
Weather and temperature: Australia's climate varies greatly throughout the eight states and territories; there are four seasons across most of the country and a wet and dry season in the tropical north. Australia's seasons are at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring. Temperatures can be as hot as 40C in central Australia whilst a close to 0 can be recorded in the south.For travelling to Australia it´s best recommended to go September to November for tourism. Avoiding the high season is best (December and January) as prices are more expensive and the heat can make it hard doing certain activities. Plan ahead, depending where you will be go, as you can encounter really hot and dry climates towards the north of the country (Darwin, Cairns,Alley Rock) or cold/humid weather conditions towards the south (Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide).
What to eat and drink? Australia is perhaps not as famous for it´s food than it´s landmarks. However there is an increase of popularity of big-name chefs who are helping to give Australian cuisine a reputation for bright, creative gastronomy, and regional markets and food festivals are commonplace. Look out for things like farmhouse cheese, speciality sausages and local fruits. Elsewhere, the country’s multitude of good wines has earned international acclaim.
Australians love their meat, in particular beef and national kangaroo meat is growing in popularity with visitors. The humble barbecue remains a quintessential Australian food experience. Steak, prawns and beer tend to feature prominently on all tables and restaurants. Portions are quite large so be sure to be hungry when eating in Australia!
Specialities include: Sydney rock oysters, small and soft with a distinctive taste. Barramundi, a fish particularly prevalent in the Northern Territory. Macadamia nuts, native to New South Wales and Queensland. Kangaroo, just like a steak you can order Kangaroo at your wish, raw, medium or well done. Meat pie, a staple on-the-go snack. Fruit, apples, mangoes and pumpkins are among those grown in large quantities.
Dagwood dog, a deep-fried battered hot dog on a stick, popular at fairgrounds and outdoor events.
As for drinks, Wine is locally produced and is becoming quite popular even for exports. Regions like the Barossa Valley in South Australia, and Margaret River in Western Australia, are world class. Craft beer: Away from the likes of VB, you’ll find some excellent small-batch brewers. Sparkling wine, the bubbly from Tasmania is superb.