Australia, the 6th largest country in the world and the largest country in the Oceania is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is a lovely place to visit with beautiful landmarks and millions of visitors from different parts of the world visit here every year. So, if you are heading to Australia, Great! Here are 7 things that will surely help you know Australia a little more.
Australia is massive and extremely diverse:
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world with a total area of 7,686,850 square kms (2,9,67,910 square miles) which is more than the size of all European countries. The population is 25.1 million(2019, Australia Live Population) and yet it has the lowest population density in the world of only 3.1 people/km. The majority of the population lives in the coast so if you’re planning to city-hop, flying is your only option as there are no interesting sites or towns to check along the way.
Australia is immensely expensive:
Australia is really expensive and Sydney is the 25th most expensive city in the world so plan for at least $100-$200 USD per day for food and accommodations. Fly with budget airlines if you’re flying within the country. Jet star and Scoot Airways are best unlike Qantas and Virgin Airlines. One way flights aren’t expensive in Australia. Going to the farmer’s market instead of local grocery chain will make you pay less for your food. You can opt for cheap shuttle services like Mt. Syd Shuttle to travel around the city.
Familiarize with the local language:
Here in Australia there are quite differences in Australia English and American English and lots of words are shortened. Like afternoon is said as ‘arvo’, ‘BBQ’ means ‘barbie’ or ‘Barbeque’, breakfast means ‘breaky’ and so on. Also, if you get sick and need some medicines, don’t ask for pharmacy but a chemist. Similarly, if you are invited for tea by someone it usually means you are invited for dinner! WOW!
Mind your generosity:
In Australia, tipping is not a common practice. You are not expected to tip in taxis, bars or restaurants. It’s not necessary to add a tip to your haircut bill or any staffs in the hotels since they generally charge plenty so no one expects a tip. If you’re dining in a high-end restaurant and leave a tip it’s likely that someone will think that you’ve forgotten your change/coins.
Sun is strong:
It’s not like the sun here is “different”. It’s the same sun but the Sun is really strong in Australia and has much more effect on the skin. Eastern Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer. 30 minutes in the Australian sun is enough to burn you to the crisp. So, a Suns cream is a MUST. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Waiting for the bus in summer can be daunting. Book a ride for you to travel around the city while in Sydney.
Australian weather fluctuates:
The summer here in Australia (December to March) isn’t always pleasant like the summer in North America and Europe. It will be hot, like really hot and in some parts it rains heavily. The best season to visit is shoulder season (October/November or April/May). It’s still warm and sunny but there is less rain and unbearable humidity. One thing to know is that Australia is not warm all year around. Some parts can go up to -5 degree C or lower than that.
Don’t expect to be surrounded by Kangaroos and Koalas:
Australia’s national animal is Kangaroo doesn’t means you can find it everywhere. It is possible to spot them in the wild, but you have to visit national park away from the city to find them. Sometime you may even spot them in suburbs or on a golf course, but that’s rare. Kangaroos and Koalas aren’t common in populated area but bats, possum, spiders, lizards are much common.