Australia Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
💶Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD) ($)
🕙Time Zone: +8 to +10.5 GMT
📞Phone Code: +61
✈️Best time to visit: March to November
🍴Eat: Kangaroo meat.
🍷Drink: Australian Wine / Beer
🗺️Don't miss: Opera House in Sydney / The Great Ocean Road in Melbourne.
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Australia implies in its name distance and size, it is the largest country in Oceania. When travelling to Australia, most travellers around the world (except Asia) have to endure very long haul flights with transits. Making probably worth while staying a little longer to discover one of the most unique places on the planet, with abundant natural beauty as well as a open-friendly society and modern cities offering all the comforts. Australia might have started life as a British prison colony, but it has evolved into one of the world's premier tourist destinations.
Australia is the world's sixth-largest nation by land area, therefore there is much difference from one region to another. From the monolithic rock at Uluru; to the wild, untamed and unforgiving Outback; to the colourful wonder of the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland's sun-soaked Gold Coast, Australia possesses some unique and unforgettable sights.
Active travellers into sports and water will love Australia's 'outdoors culture', and a huge array of sports and activities, including swimming, diving, snorkelling, surfing, bush walking, hiking, mountain biking and even skiing, are popular with locals and tourists.
Also, city travellers and culture buffs will find it really appealing coming to Australia. All cities are clean, cosmopolitan and youthful, Australia's urban centres (including Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne) are world-class. Famous cultural attractions in Australia include the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the Australian Museum and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).
Coming to Australia is like taking many holidays in one, where you can combine a lot of sightseeing, relaxing on the great beaches and sampling some of the local beer (of which there are many brands), or venture into the many tour activities testing your adventurous side and powering up your adrenaline!
The land Down Under, is one of the best destinations you could travel to, and come back with loads of good memories and great things to share about!
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 to take a flight. 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 to name a few.
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 20h hours. However with modern planes in operation, 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 on a schedule service.
Travelling around the (big) 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 quite straight forward thanks to excellent roads around the country, linking all the major cities. Travelling around the coastline is a good recommendation. However internally, the high temperatures of the Australian desert 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. (in this case flights are the only option for many smaller communities).
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.
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: Before arriving in Australia ALL TRAVELLERS need to get the "OK to Board". This is the message airlines will get when processing your passport into the system and checking that every passenger has applied for an electronic visa to enter Australia (or transit). The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) is a compulsory requirement that all visitors must apply for if they wish to travel. It takes from a few hours to process, to a few days, depending which level of service you select.
Apply for it online via the following website: "Eta Visa application"
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 40°C in central Australia whilst close to 0°C can be recorded in the south.
The best time for travelling to Australia is 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).
For more detailed information regarding the weather in each city or region please see the guides below.
Australia is perhaps not as famous for its food than its 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.
Australia is a unique destination for many travellers wanting to explore it at least once. After having visited it the first time in 2009, I realised you can't only go once. It's a vast country which offers so much to see and do. Definitely the highlight of any trip to Australia is to see the Opera House live with your own eyes! It truly stands out from the city and gave me that feeling of satisfaction for reaching such a landmark, miles away from home.
Then in 2014, i had the opportunity to visit again, this time to Perth and Melbourne, cities which both surprised me for the amount of things to see and do and the beauty that surrounds them, specially in Melbourne. Joining a tour on the Great Ocean Road, which takes you along some of the most impressive natural landmarks of the coastline. Despite the weather not always on our side, it still provided some great photographic snaps to remember for many years.
Australia surprised me in so many ways, the friendly people, the relaxed atmosphere, year round good weather, great food and unlimited things to keep you entertained.
If it wasn't for its distance it would even make an ideal place to live!
(2 times visited)