Sydney Harbour showing the Opera House and the Bridge
Sydney Harbour showing the Opera House and the Bridge

Sydney Harbour

The magnificent Sydney Harbour showing the Opera House and the Bridge
Photo by Caleb Russell

AUSTRALIA

Oceania

Australia Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Canberra

Location:

Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean

Currency:

Australian dollars (AUD)

Area:

7,741,220 sq km

Population:

25,809,973 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

English 72.7%, Mandarin 2.5%, Arabic 1.4%, Cantonese 1.2%, Vietnamese 1.2%, Italian 1.2%, Greek 1%, other 14.8%, unspecified 6.5% (2016 est.)

Religion:

Protestant 23.1% (Anglican 13.3%, Uniting Church 3.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 2.3%, Baptist 1.5%, Pentecostal 1.1%, Lutheran .7%, other Protestant .5%), Roman Catholic 22.6%, other Christian 4.2%, Muslim 2.6%, Buddhist 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3% (Eastern Orthodox 2.1%, Oriental Orthodox .2%), Hindu 1.9%, other 1.3%, none 30.1%, unspecified 9.6% (2016 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+11

Tel Code:

+61

Weather

Australia is a large country with a varied climate, with different regions having different weather patterns and temperature. In general, the northern part of the country is tropical, with hot and humid weather all year round. The southern part of the country is more temperate, with cooler temperatures and four distinct seasons.

Northern Australia

  • The northern part of Australia, including the tropical regions of the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia have a hot and humid climate all year round, with temperatures averaging 30-35 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) at night.
  • The rainy season in the north typically lasts from November to April, which can cause some areas to be inaccessible due to flooding.

Southern Australia

  • The southern part of Australia, including the states of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania, have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
  • Summer, which runs from December to February, is the warmest season, with temperatures averaging around 25-35 degrees Celsius (77-95 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.
  • Winter, which runs from June to August, is the coolest season, with temperatures averaging around 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-59 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.

It's worth noting that the best time to visit Australia depends on what you want to do and see. For example, if you want to explore the Great Barrier Reef, the dry season (May to September) is the best time to visit, while if you want to ski in the Snowy Mountains, the winter (June to August) is the best time. Additionally, the peak tourism season in Australia is during the Christmas and New Year holidays, so it can be more difficult to find accommodation and flights during this time.

Transportation

Air travel

  • Major airports in Australia, such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, offer direct flights to and from international destinations.
  • There are also several domestic airlines that offer flights between major cities and regional areas within Australia.

Ground transportation

  • Public transportation such as buses, trains, and trams are available in major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth.
  • Rental cars and campervans are popular options for road trips and exploring regional areas.
  • Taxis and ride-sharing services such as Uber are also available in most major cities.

Water transportation

Ferries are available for travel between islands and along the coast in areas such as Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. Some domestic flights also operate between coastal cities and islands.

Other

  • Bicycles and e-scooters are available for rent in some cities, such as Sydney.
  • Walking and hiking are also popular options for exploring natural areas and national parks.

It's important to note that transportation options and availability may vary depending on the location in Australia. It's a good idea to research and plan transportation in advance, especially if you're planning to visit more remote areas.

Accommodation

There are a variety of accommodation options available for visitors to Australia, including:

Hotels

From luxury resorts to budget-friendly options, there are hotels available in most major cities and tourist destinations.

Guesthouses

These are a more budget-friendly option and can be found in many smaller towns and villages.

Villas

Many popular tourist destinations, such as Gold Coast, offer a wide range of villa rentals, which can be a great option for families or groups of friends.

Hostels

Hostels are popular in major cities and tourist destinations, and can be a good budget-friendly option for solo travelers or backpackers.

Campsites

Many national parks and other remote areas in Australia have camping facilities for visitors, which can be a great way to experience the natural beauty of the country.

Vacation Rentals

Many popular tourist destinations, such as Sydney and Melbourne, offer vacation rentals such as apartments and houses that can be rented on a short-term basis.

It's important to note that depending on the location and type of accommodation, prices and availability may vary greatly. It's always a good idea to research and book in advance, especially during peak tourism season.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Australia Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Australia is a land of diverse landscapes and natural wonders, from the tropical rainforests of the Daintree to the iconic red sands of the Outback. Whether you're a nature lover, adventure seeker, or city slicker, there's something for everyone in this incredible country. From the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system, to the Sydney Opera House, one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Explore the iconic Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, or take a scenic drive along the Great Ocean Road. Discover the unique wildlife on Kangaroo Island or Fraser Island, or experience the Phillip Island and its famous penguins and seals. Australia is a country that truly has it all, and this list only scratches the surface of what it has to offer.

      1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef

      The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore the reef by boat, snorkel, or scuba diving to see the diverse marine life and colorful coral.

      2. Visit the Sydney Opera House

      The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia's most iconic landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can take a tour of the opera house, attend a performance, or simply admire its unique architecture.

      3. Visit Uluru

      Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a large sandstone rock formation in the northern territory of Australia. It is a sacred site for the local Anangu people and offers beautiful views at sunset and sunrise.

      4. Visit the Daintree Rainforest

      The Daintree Rainforest is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the tropical north of Queensland. It is one of the oldest rainforests in the world and home to a diverse array of plant and animal life.

      5. Visit the Australian Outback

      The Australian Outback is the remote and arid interior of the country, home to the iconic red sand and unique wildlife such as kangaroos and wallabies. Visitors can take a 4WD tour to explore the outback, or visit places like Ayers Rock, Kata Tjuta, and the Olgas.

      6. Visit the Blue Mountains

      The Blue Mountains are a mountainous region located just outside of Sydney. They are known for their scenic beauty, including the famous Three Sisters rock formation, and offer hiking and scenic drives.

      7. Visit the Great Ocean Road

      The Great Ocean Road is a scenic coastal drive located in Victoria, south of Melbourne. It offers beautiful views of the coast and the famous Twelve Apostles rock formations.

      8. Visit the Kangaroo Island

      Kangaroo Island is a large island located off the coast of South Australia, known for its wild landscapes, beaches, and native wildlife. Visitors can take a tour to spot kangaroos, koalas, and sea lions.

      9. Visit Fraser Island

      Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, located in Queensland. It offers beautiful beaches, freshwater lakes, and rainforests and is also known for its unique dune system.

      10. Visit Phillip Island

      Phillip Island is a popular tourist destination located south of Melbourne, known for its wild penguins, seals and other marine life. Visitors can also enjoy the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, and the Phillip Island Nature Park.

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