Australia Travel Guide

Hip Cities

Majority of the Australians live along the coast, and most of them, in fact, almost 90% of them live in cities. Cities, in Australia, are a lot of fun.

Cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth are now regarded as some of the most desirable places to live on the planet.

Sydney is the poster child for glamour bordering with world-class beaches. Melbourne is all about arts, alleyways, and a stellar food scene. Brisbane is a sophisticated town with lots of outdoor adventures sites. Adelaide has festive grace and pubby poise. Sandy beaches line Boomtown Perth and symbolize West Coast optimism and Canberra showcases so many cultural treasures, while the tropical northern frontier town of Darwin, and the chilly southern sandstone city of Hobart, couldn’t be more different.

Wild Lands & Wildlife

Australia is a  beautiful place, as rich in rainforest (from Far North Queensland to far-south Tasmania) as it is in remote rocky outcrops like Uluru, Kakadu and the Kimberleys. The coastline along with its islands and deserted shores is wild and wonderful. Animating these splendid places is wildlife like nowhere else on the planet, a place of kangaroos and crocodiles, of wombats and wallabies, platypus, crocodiles, dingoes and so much more. Australia has more than 700 bird species to watch.

Epicurean Delights

Australia plates up a multicultural fusion of European techniques and fresh Pacific-rim ingredients – aka ‘Mod Oz’ (Modern Australian). Seafood plays lead role − from tender and tasty Moreton Bay bugs to delicate King George whiting. Of course, with a beer in hand, you’ll still find beef, lamb, and chicken at Aussie barbecues. If you don’t drink beer, you can try Australian wine. Australian wines are among world’s best: punchy Barossa Valley Shiraz, Hunter Valley Semillon and cool-climate Tasmanian sauvignon blanc ( to name a few). Tasmania is known for its famous whiskey.  You’ll find cafes everywhere, coffee machines in petrol stations, and baristas in downtown coffee carts.

The Open Road

There’s a lot of tarmacs across this brown land. From Margaret River to Cooktown, Jabiru to Dover, the best way to enjoy Australia is to hit the road. Car hire is relatively affordable, road conditions are good, and beyond the big cities traffic fades away. If you’re driving a campervan, you’ll find well-appointed caravan parks in most sizable towns. If you’re feeling adventurous, hire a 4WD and go off-road: Australia’s national parks and secluded corners are custom-made for camping trips down the dirt road and classic desert tracks from Birdsville to Cape York have adventure written all over them.

Things Not to Miss in Australia

A visit to Australia guarantees fantastic sightseeing, nightlife, and adventurous experiences to remember forever. This Australia travel guide will give you tips to do so. Some key sites:

• Samurai Beach bungalows in New South Wales
• Bondi Beach in Sydney
• The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne
• Sydney Opera House
• St. Kilda Foreshore in Melbourne
• The Stirling Hotel

When to go

Because of its immense size, Australia offers a wide range of climatic zones – from the temperate climes of Southern Australia to the tropical humidity of far north Queensland and the dry desert heat of the interior. The summer months (December to February) are generally the most popular for visiting coastal areas such as Sydney and Melbourne, while winter (June to August) is a good time to explore the Red Centre.

Winters are generally mild throughout the southern states, but temperatures can be surprisingly nippy in Tasmania – ideal if you are planning to do some vigorous outdoor activities, but not really suitable for the beach. Many people also prefer to visit the Great Barrier Reef during the cooler months: water temperatures are still pleasant, and swimmers can avoid the threat of marine stingers or jellyfish.

The long summer, especially the two weeks around Christmas Day, is the busiest time of the year and you should book flights and accommodation well in advance if you want to be in Australia during this period. Also bear in mind that hotel accommodation is at a premium during major sporting events such as the Melbourne Cup (first Tuesday in November), the Australian Open (also in Melbourne, every January), Adelaide’s Clipsal 500 motor event in March and the Australian Grand Prix held in Melbourne during March.

Know before you go

Tourist information: australia.com

British High Commission in Canberra: Commonwealth Avenue, Yaralumla, ACT 2600; 00 61 2 6270 6666;gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-high-commission-canberra

Police, fire and ambulance: dial 000

Currency: Australian dollar

Time difference: +11 hours (+9 during British Summer Time)

Flight time from the UK: around 22 hours

Visas: unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, but you must do so before leaving home. See immi.gov.au.

Tipping: once regarded as “un-Australian”, tipping is now becoming much more common, especially in restaurants and bars. Giving 10 per cent of the total bill is generally considered appropriate

Local laws and etiquette:

Australia has a common law system and driving is on the left, so most UK visitors will feel right at home.

Australia is an informal society – don’t be surprised to be called “mate” by complete strangers. Dress codes are equally relaxed: when eating out, except in smart restaurants, men wear shorts and T-shirts.

Australians have a robust sense of humour, but are generally well meaning – so develop a thick skin.

Working holiday visa

If you’re aged between 18 and 30 you may be eligible to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, allowing you to live, work and travel anywhere in Australia for one year.

It’s a great way to get extra cash so you can travel more and get to know the real Australia.  Whether you’re a beach babe wanting to relax by the sea, the rugged outdoor type looking for adventure, or a party person in search of the best bars and restaurants, Australia’s got everything you could ever want.

And the best part is – it’s easy to apply! Here’s what you need to know…

To apply you must:

• Hold a passport issued by an eligible country (UK and Ireland are included)

• Be aged between 18 and 30 (inclusive) at time of applying

• Not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday Visa.

If you are granted a Working Holiday Visa, you can:

• Enter Australia at any time within 12 months of the visa grant date

• Stay for up to 12 months in Australia

• Leave and re-enter Australia any number of times in the 12 months from the date of first entry

• Undertake temporary employment in Australia for up to six months with any one employer

• Study for up to 4 months.

You can apply online right now – it will take you less than half an hour. Get your passport and travel plans for reference and get stuck in.

Second Working Holiday Visa

With a second Working Holiday Visa you can either extend your stay in Australia or come back again for another year before you turn 31. To get the second visa, you need to have completed a minimum of three months ‘specified work’, such as fruit picking, in an eligible regional area.