Planning a trip to Australia: 10 things you should know
Australia has a tremendous amount of adventure to offer, and you can travel your whole life in Australia. However, in addition to deciding which places to visit and how to visit, there are certain things you need to focus on before you leave. Even before you book your flight to Australia, you should do a little research to sort out some unusual Australian aspects.
Here’s a list of the top 10 things to consider before you travel to Australia.
№10. Time Zones.
Australia is a huge country with a much smaller population and three time zones. I’d say that’s a lot for a single country. In any case, it is three time zones: standard Eastern time for the eastern states, standard Central Time (CST) for the Northern Territory and South Australia, and standard Western Time (WST) for Western Australia.
Note here that CST is half an hour behind EST and WST is two hours behind EST. So, if you decide to land in Western Australia in the morning, you have two more hours to think about.
Yes, the last thing you might want to think about before planning your budget is shopping. But here’s the good news: once you buy an airline ticket, your purchases will be duty-free. There is a limit to what you bring into Australia, including the amount of alcohol and cigarettes. You will need to declare at customs that your goods are over the limit to save yourself from punishment. Monitor the amount of liquid you take on board.
№8. Vaccinations and medications.
Again, last on your list, whether or not you get sick en route. You can’t make up your mind about it in advance, though, so be prepared. Well, Australia doesn’t ask you for vaccines unless you come from a country infected with yellow fever within 6 days of your arrival.
However, the medications you bring into Australia are subject to customs duty and are only declared safe for use when you arrive. It is recommended that you bring a prescription from your doctor about the medication you are carrying.
№7. Using the Internet
For those of you who use your smartphones and tablets to find location and weather information, Internet in Australia is slow and expensive. Wi-Fi will only be available in hostels or cafes, but still the connection is not what you expect. However, your only saviors are McDonald’s, which has free Wi-Fi, so if you’re desperate, head to McDonald’s. The best way to stay connected is to unlock your cell phone before you leave for Australia and buy a local SIM card. But that will add an extra $30-50 to your budget, depending on the amount of data you’ll be using. .
№6. Drink local
As I mentioned above, you can’t take many drinks with you, so it’s better to drink local. There are tons of local brands and plenty of breweries to try in Australia. And please, don’t be American enough to ask for a pint of Fosters. For some of the best, try XXXX Gold, Coopers, Hahn and James Squire. Cider is also quite popular throughout Australia.
№5. Mind Sun.
Too much time in the Australian sun would be a bad idea. I’m not trying to ruin your time at the beach, but really, the sun in Australia is too strong. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, and your desire for a tan can be fulfilled much faster here than at home. The sun here affects you much more than in your own country, for some environmental reasons.
№4. Amazing weather
Summers in Australia are not always as beautiful as in America and Europe, it is quite hot. Some parts get rained on a lot, while others stay dry. So, not to be surprised by Australian weather, try visiting during the season, which is October / November or April / May.
At the same time, Australia is not hot all year round. Temperatures in northern Australia, which are quite warm year-round, dip to -5 degrees Celsius in winter. So, plan accordingly.
Australia is an expensive country. A minimum of $100 a day for food, travel and lodging. Transportation in Australia will blow your pockets, so if you’re planning a trip around Australia, buy a new or used car online. There are a number of websites in Australia that offer much cheaper trips around Australia to fit your budget.
For lodging try hostels, they are cheap and not as rough as you think. If you are traveling with a family, you can rent a private room, it will still be cheaper than a hotel room. If you’re an adventure fanatic, go camping.
Cooking is much more affordable than eating out. Every meal away from home will ruin your entire budget.
This needs to be planned ahead of time. Without a passport, they won’t let you into Australia. You can apply for a number of visas – tourist visa, vacation work visa at your local Australian consulate. Visas always delay your vacation time, so do it much earlier than your departure time.
Choose a flight according to your budget. Some of the budget airlines are Tiger Airways and Jetstar. One-way airfare in Australia is not more expensive than return flights, so you can book tickets one at a time. To travel from one city to another, you can apply for a bus pass available in Australia. But if you want it to be a personal thing, you can rent or buy a new or used car in Australia.
So, I think you’re all ready to go. Get started and have a great trip to Australia.
10 things to do in Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral enclosure, measuring 350,000 square kilometers and over 2,500 kilometers long and consisting of 900 coral islands! The reef stretches along the east coast of Australia. The best way to explore the reef is by diving (there are plenty of tour operators on the coast who provide diving courses). You will see green turtles, dolphins, reef sharks, over one and a half thousand different species of fish and four thousand species of shellfish.
2. Go to the Opera in Sydney
The Opera House in Sydney is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. It is photographed as often as the pyramids in Egypt and the Colosseum in Italy. But how many people can boast of having been inside this famous structure? The building has four stages: a concert hall that seats up to 2,500 people, a drama theater, an opera house, and a studio theater. In addition, there is a cinema and two restaurants. During its existence the building has been visited by more than 40 million people from all over the world. The current schedule and other relevant information can be found on the website.
3. Conquer the Harbor Bridge
Harbor Bridge is the largest arched bridge in the world. It was opened in 1932. Those for whom simply admiring this architectural structure is not enough can climb it with a guide instructor. BridgeClimb organizes 3.5 hour climbs to the top of Harbor Bridge. From a height of 134 meters you can admire the Sydney Opera House and the panorama of the city. You can climb the bridge during the day and evening as well as at night. The cost of this pleasure – from $238. A bit pricey, but worth it to tell your friends later.
4. Ride over the mountain valley.
“Blue Mountains” is one of the largest national parks in Australia, located in the province of New South Wales, 100 kilometers from Sydney. Because of the large number of eucalyptus trees the mountains are shrouded in a blue haze, which is why the park got its name. The company “Scenic World Blue Mountains” offers an exciting opportunity to ride over the valley at an altitude of 270 meters in a special cabin, called “Skyway”. The total distance of the journey – 720 meters. The cabins have a transparent glass floor, which gives an additional feeling, and glass walls, thanks to which you can enjoy stunning views of all four sides: the cliffs “Three Sisters”, the waterfall “Katumba”, the Jamison Valley, etc. There is a special pass for sale on the company’s website, which, in addition to the Skyway, includes unlimited rides on the Railway, Walkway hikes and a trip on the Cableway. The cost of the adult pass is $35.
5. Visit the Melbourne Cup races.
The Melbourne Cup has been called “the races that stop a nation.” Every year on the first Tuesday of November (November 6 in 2012), Victorians get a day off to go to the famous Flemington racetrack to see the race of the most famous horses from around the planet. And those who can’t attend the races “live” go to the pubs and watch them on TV. It is the duty of every Australian on this day to bet a few dollars on one of the horses.
6. Swim with dolphins
It’s not every day you get the chance to feed and swim with dolphins in the open sea, is it? In Australia, it’s available everywhere. The most famous places are the tourist resort of Manki Mia and Shark Bay. Munky Mia is located 800 km north of the city of Perth in Western Australia. Every day large flocks of dolphins come to the coast to play with humans. And those line up in huge lines to feed the animals.
7. Feed the kangaroos
Kangaroo Island is the third largest island in Australia, located 100 kilometers off the coast of Adelaide. The island’s main treasure is a huge number of animals, primarily kangaroos. You can see them at any time of the day. If you behave calmly, they will let you get very close to them. Usually newborn kangaroo cubs sit in the bags until ten months, and then they leave them.
8. See the Tasmanian Devil dance
The Tasmanian devil is the pride of Australia. Curiously enough, its population remains only on the island of Tasmania. These animals are famous for their ability to chew on almost any animal, even a predator, and at night they emit monstrous, ominous screams. To find out why this little animal is called the “devil”, you should visit one of the national parks: for example, the Tasmanian Devil Park, Naravntapu Park, etc.
9. See the rock art of the Australian Aborigines
Kakadu National Park has the most extensive “gallery” of ancient Aboriginal rock art. The age of the surviving drawings reaches 20,000 years! Aboriginal paintings are unique in that the drawings show internal organs in addition to the external appearance. The park is located 170 km away from the city of Darwin in the North of the continent.
10. Visit the southernmost part of Australia
1500 km southeast of the island of Tasmania is Macquarie, the southernmost part of Australia (equidistant from New Zealand and Antarctica). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unusual location and unique plant and animal species. Sea elephants, penguins, albatrosses, harbor seals and other animals live on the island. Macquarie is more interesting to scientists, who often study the local flora and fauna. You can get here on a cruise ship, such as Orion Expedition, which takes tours to Antarctica through Macquarie. The cost of the trip is about $10,000 for a 12-day voyage.