Australia

Australia, the largest island in the world is one of the biggest tourist magnets on the planet. Sun drenched beaches, miles and miles of bushland, and live wire cities make one yearn for more. Be it the tropical forests, rugged mountains, or sandy beaches, everything in Australia is larger than life. No less amazing is the country’s unique fauna life comprising of exotic creatures like kangaroos, wallabies, emus, koalas, and dingoes. For convenience, Australia is divided into New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria. Although, no part of Australia can be belittled, the Northern Territory and Queensland with their surreal landscape ans tremendous natural grandeur remain the favourites of many.

Every city has a charming character of its own. While Melbourne epitomizes the art scene, Sydney dazzles with its gloss. Those looking for a somewhat relaxed time can have their fill of peace in rejuvenating Adelaide, while Perth is bursting with life. Brisbane serves as the gateway to the tropical northeast, while Cairns is the stop off point for the Great Barrier, one of the top attractions of Australia. The Red Centre, Kakadu National Park and Tennant Creek Back are among the further sightseeing gems.

Go through this Australia travel guide before boarding your flights.

Important Tourist Destinations in Australia

Melbourne – Sydney – Perth – Brisbane – Darwin – Canberra – Adelaide

Australian Culture & Lifestyle

Australia is marked by a mish mash of cultures. While Anglo-Celtic Western culture formed the basis of Australian culture since about 18th century, the country has been deeply marked by its indigenous cultures and natural environment. From the mid 20th century onwards, Australia’s identity took on the look of American popular culture, thanks largely to television and movies. Furthermore, neighbouring Asian countries also played their part as hordes of immigrants made Australia their home. In the process, there was a mutual give and take of cultural practices between such immigrants and Australian natives.

Here are some of the pointers towards social customs and lifestyle in Australia:

  • Australians are quite informal. Usually, a handshake accompanied with a smile suffices as a greeting.
  • Although, Australians are informal and often have a self deprecating tone along with a colourful vocabulary, visitors should not try to be too free. In other words, don’t try to answer in a similar fashion if an Australian addresses you as G’ day mate. Better stick to the old fashioned, ‘hello, how are you’? Avoid using slang words like Aussie.
  • Australians also cherish relationships and usually don’t take offence easily.
  • Australians are used to casual attire. Roaming the streets in Bermudas and T-Shirt is perfectly normal. Wearing bikinis at beaches and adjoining stores is acceptable. In fact, most beaches also allow optional topless sun bathing for women. However, business attire is conservative suits and ties.
  • Take a box of chocolates or a bottle of good quality wine if you have been invited to someone’s home.
  • Table manners are quite British. This means, keeping your wrists and elbows off the table. The fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right. To indicate that you are done with the meal, place the fork and knife parallel to each other with the handles pointing to the right.
  • Australians are very modest and expect the same. In other words, they don’t brag about their academic or other achievements and would not trust a loud mouth.
  • Australians are quite direct and place high emphasis upon authenticity and sincerity. In fact, they despise pretentiousness.
  • In a business environment they prefer to be direct and get to the point quickly. Australians don’t believe in much small talk or lengthy negotiations, when it comes to business.

Best Time to Visit Australia and Overall Climate

Australia lies in the southern hemisphere and has two climatic zones, namely tropical zone and temperate zone. The tropical zone covers the north over the tropic of Cancer and spans about 40% of Australia. It has two seasons, dry winters and wet summers. The temperate zone has all the four usual seasons. Overall, Australia can be visited any time of the year. A brief analysis of the different seasons is provided as follows:

Spring to Summer: This season lasts from October to March and is marked by a warm to hot weather. The nights are mild in the South, while the North experiences a typical tropical weather.

Autumn to Winter: This season lasts from April to September. The South is marked by cool days and occasional downpours, while Northern and Central Australia experience clear and warm days and cool nights. Only the southeast’s mountainous regions experience snowfall.

Travel Tips for holidays in Australia

  • If you go out drinking, then buy a round of drinks for your companions. They will reciprocate in kind. This practice is called ‘shout’ in the local parlance.
  • Quite a few areas in Australia may appear as quite rural or backward, especially if you are from some big advanced metropolis. Even if the circumstances surprise you, learn to mask your expressions and feelings.
  • Do not take offence at their comments. Aussie vocabulary may come as a bit of a shock to visitors. However, be rest assured that they are not insulting you. It is just their way of talking.
  • There is an abundance of hotels in Australia suiting travellers of every taste and budget. Run an Internet search for hotels and you will find a flood of choices.
  • Crime is not a very serious issue in Australia, but one needs to take basic precautions like avoiding hitch hiking and avoiding secluded alleys, especially during nights.
  • It is imprudent to go out on long solo trips as the Aussie weather can be too harsh. This can lead to a potentially fatal scenario if you happen to get lost. However, if you go out alone, carry a personal locator beacon or satellite phone. Make sure that your tool has an in-built GPS. Inform someone of your itinerary, before you set out on your travel.
  • Although, Australia’s beaches rank among its top attractions, exercise caution before you wading into the ocean. Swim in the designated zones marked by red and yellow flags. Remember, every year, some tourists lose their lives in Australia’s seas.
  • If you are driving long distance, be careful of wildlife that often strays on to the roads. This is all the more significant for night time driving.
  • Carry some sort of identification proof while on the move.
  • In addition, do some basic internet research before booking your flights to Australia.

Cheap Flights to Australia

Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to Australia operating from UK.

Preferred Airlines to Australia from UK

Emirates | British Airways | Virgin Atlantic | Cathay Pacific | Etihad | Air New Zealand | Singapore Airlines | Thai Airways

Important Statistics

  • Location – Indian/ Pacific Oceans
  • Time Zones:
    South Australia: GMT + 9.5 (GMT + 10.5 from first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April).
    Tasmania: GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April).
    Queensland: GMT + 10 (no daylight saving).
    Victoria: GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April).
    New South Wales: GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April).
    Australian Capital Territory: GMT + 10 (GMT + 11 from first Sunday in October to first Sunday in April).
    Western Australia: GMT + 8 (Western Australia rejected daylight saving in its fourth referendum on the issue in 2009).
    Northern Territory: GMT + 9.5 hours (no daylight saving).
  • Area – 7,686, 850 sq kms
  • Capital – Canberra
  • Largest City – Sydney
  • Government – Federal Parliamentary Democracy and Constitutional Monarchy
  • Population – 22,402,480  (2010 Estimate)
  • Currency – Australian Dollar (AUD)
  • Calling Code – +61
  • Official Language – English
  • Religion – There is no state religion. Roman Catholics constitute the majority.
  • Visa information – Travellers can get visa guidelines from their relevant embassy/ consulates or by contacting their travel agents.

Money Exchange

The city banks are the best options for money exchange. Besides, all the international airports and many of the top hotels have these facilities.

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