Australia: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Australia

Overview

Kangaroos, boomerangs, koala bears and rugby are all very Aussie but there is so much more when you dive a little deeper. From the infinite expanse of the outback to endless summers on the coast and the bright lights of Australia’s cosmopolitan cities, adventure awaits in the 'Land Down Under.'

 

Capital City: Canberra

Population: 25.7 million (2021 est.)

Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)

Time Zone: Australian Eastern Daylight Time - WITA (GMT +11)

Emergency Number: 000

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Packing List

Speak the Language

Language: Although Australians speak English, their mother tongue is actually sarcasm. Here's a quick list of Aussie slang and phrases.

 

  • 'Straya - Australia
  • G'day - Good morning/Hello
  • Arvo - Afternoon
  • Thongs - Flip flops
  • Piss-up / Pissed - Party or get together/intoxication after a piss-up
  • Goon - Relatively cheap wine in a box
  • Pash/Pash & Dash - A kiss / Quick make-out session before suddenly leaving the piss-up
  • Good on ya - Nice work / well done
  • Bogan - An unsophisticated Australian
  • Budgie Smugglers - A speedo-like swimsuit/banana hammock
  • Crikey - An expression of shock or surprise
  • Maccas - McDonald's
  • Jumper - Hoodie, jacket, or sweatshirt
  • Runners - Sneakers
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Weather

SYDNEY WEATHER CANBERRA WEATHER

Fun Facts

  • Most of Australia's wildlife is indigenous and marsupials like koalas, wombats, quokkas and kangaroos are found only in Australia. Not all of Australia's wildlife is cuddly however, Australia has the most venomous animals, arachnids and insects in the world, as well as some of the most deadly sea creatures, including the Blue-ringed octopus, the box jellyfish and the stonefish. 
  • Although they are not indigenous to Australia, 1 million wild camels roam the deserts of the outback as they were brought to the country to help construct the railroad.
  • About 70% of Australia's landmass consists of arid and semi-arid areas, referred to as the 'outback.' This would explain why even though Australia is larger than Europe and nearly the size of the USA, it only has a population of about 25 million with 80% living in coastal zones.
  • The Great Barrier Reef is the biggest coral reef system in the world and consists of 3000 reefs, 900 islands, 350 species of coral and 1500 species of fish.
  • If you were to visit one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to visit them all.
  • Like many countries, Australia is not short on regional rivalries. In fact, the Aussies named the city of Canberra their capital as a compromise since Sydney and Melbourne could not stop arguing.
  • Australian culture can be described as diverse since 25% of the population was born in another country. In fact, apart from Athens, there are more Greeks in Melbourne than anywhere on Earth
  • Aboriginal culture is the oldest in the world, they are estimated to have inhabited Australia for 40,000 - 60,000 years.
  • There are 60 designated wine regions in Australia, producing approximately 1.35 trillion bottles of wine annually.
  • The Ashes, a famous test cricket series, played every two years, between England and Australia, has generated fierce competition between the two countries since the first match in 1882. The prize is a large terracotta urn, believed to contain the ashes of a burnt cricket ball! With a total to date of 72 Ashes series: Australia has won 34, England has won 32 and six series have been drawn.

Tipping

Tipping in Australia is considered to be a truly merit-based system as it is not necessary to tip in restaurants, bars, taxis, salons, or spas. Employees in Australia typically earn a good wage with a high national minimum wage so tipping is only to signal a 'job well done.'

Guides AUD $5 per person/per day
Drivers AUD $5 per person/per day
Restaurants (full service)  Most locals simply round up at the end of the bill

 

FAQ

Where can I find information on travel safety? Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.

 

Is the water safe to drink? Tap water in Australia is perfectly safe to drink.

 

Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.

 

What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here. 

 

Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner, worldnomads.com, or from a provider of your choice.

 

How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please review our luggage restrictions below.

 

What does public transportation look like? Trains, buses, and tram systems in Australian major cities run at a relatively high frequency and are fairly reliable.

 

Is Uber or Lyft available? Uber and Lyft are both available in all major cities of Australia

Luggage Restrictions

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