19 Things to Know about Australia Before Visiting
Here are Trave Pixy’s do’s, don’ts, and don’t-for do’s a trip to Australia that is free of faux pas. They cover everything from sunscreen to Tim Tams to how to behave at a BBQ to how to swim safely.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of going Down Under, where you can see kangaroos and koalas, swim in clear waters, and enjoy the summer sun. But there are a few important things you should know that can keep you from being embarrassed, confused, getting a sunburn, or being eaten by sharks.
Don’t show up to a barbecue empty-handed.
If you’re invited to a BBQ in Australia, whether it’s at a house, a park, or the beach, you should always bring something to share. Whether you bring a salad, some meat, a dessert, or some alcohol – a bottle of wine or champagne always goes over well – you should always bring a little something to help out and say thanks. Most BBQs are “Bring Your Own Drink” events, so you won’t have anything to drink if you don’t bring any. Another nice thing to do before you leave a party is to put any drinks you didn’t finish in the host’s fridge as a thank-you.
Learn the language of the area
Aussies speak English, but they often use their own slang words that are very important to their Australian English. You could find yourself in the strange position of being able to speak the language but not understanding what was just said. So, here are some words for you to remember: “Do you want to join us for tea?” = “Do you want to join us for dinner?” Remember those and you should be on the right track, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most Aussies will be happy to help you out, and you’ll be speaking fluently in no time.
Summer is not the same all over Australia.
Each city in Australia has a different kind of summer. No matter where you are, make sure to wear a lot of sunblock. In the summer, it is very dry in Perth, but it will be very humid in Brisbane. Visit Hobart for a cold summer, if you can call it that, or go to Darwin for a summer that lasts all year. Each city in Australia has something different to offer, and the different climates can make you feel like you’re in different countries. So you should be ready for anything.
Put on a lot of sunblock.
Even though the weather in Australia changes, sunblock is always needed everywhere. Even if you like to get a tan, you should cover yourself in sunblock if you go outside in Australia. With a thinner ozone layer, not only does Australia heat up very quickly, but the sun’s rays are also especially bad for your skin, sometimes to the point where you can feel your skin sizzling. The blister will hurt and the burn will hurt for weeks. If your skin is very pale, you might want to wear a hat and a sundress or shirt to cover it.
Australia is very big.
No, Australia is really very big. You might think it would be easy to take a quick flight from one side of the country to the other, but a flight from Brisbane to Perth takes more than five hours, while driving would take three days. But each state is so big that there is a lot to do in each one. No matter how many states and territories you visit or how many you stay in, there is never a dull day. Don’t feel like you have to see everything this great country has to offer in one trip. You can always come back next year.
Not everywhere has wildlife, and not everything is dangerous.
The hopes and dreams of seeing kangaroos and koalas roaming the streets are not realistic. As cities grow quickly, wildlife has moved inland, so if you want to see these native animals, you should go to a wildlife park. As long as we’re talking about animals, not everything you see is dangerous, and even if you run into a more dangerous animal, it’s unlikely that it will kill you. Australia does have a beautiful natural environment full of beautiful and often unique animals, some of which can be very dangerous, but this country is not a death trap, you will be fine.
It’s not cool to smoke.
You can choose to smoke or not, but it’s not a cheap habit in Australia. One pack of cigarettes costs $40 (£22), so you won’t want to start smoking here unless you want to spend a big chunk of your holiday money.
Be ready to disconnect
In some parts of Australia, the internet can be slow and expensive. This would be a big change for many of us who are used to easy internet access. If you have to stay connected at all times, the best and cheapest thing to do is buy a hotspot that you can take with you. They are a great investment, not just because they keep you connected while you’re on the go, but also because some of them can also charge your phone on the go. One piece of technology can do the work of two.
The new Oreos are Tim Tams.
Tim Tams were invented first, but Aussies like to keep these to themselves. You’ll see what I mean soon enough. One package of Tim Tams will be gone in the blink of an eye, so stock up on these tasty snacks, especially if you’re getting ready to leave Australia. Even if you don’t miss the sun, the beaches, or the friendly people of Australia, you’ll definitely miss the Tim Tams.
Learn about the money.
Australian money is colorful and made of plastic. The $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills get bigger as their value goes up. Also, everything is rounded up to the nearest five cents, so the smallest amount of change you can get is five cents.
Cars go to the left.
Driving is common in Australia because public transportation isn’t always the best, though that depends on the city. So, if you’re from the UK, remember to drive on the left. This is easy to do. And if you’re walking, look right before crossing the street. Or, to be extra safe, look both ways before crossing the street several times, which is what you should be doing anyway.
Football is not as good as AFL and rugby.
Football might be the most popular sport in the rest of the world, but AFL and rugby are what really get the Aussies going. If you happen to be in the country at the right time, you can buy tickets and go to a game or watch it on TV while drinking a few beers. These are some of the most popular things to do in Australia. Even if the rules are hard to understand, you’re sure to have a good time.
Swim between the flags at all times.
Remember when we talked about how Australia has a lot of animals that are dangerous? And how it’s actually a very safe place to visit? Well, that’s still true, but there are a lot of sharks in the water around this land. So, please swim between the flags, where you are much less likely to run into one. The flags are also there to keep you safe from big waves. If you decide to go into the water, make sure you never swim alone, and don’t go past the flags. Then you’ll be safe to enjoy the water.
Act like you care.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are treated with a lot of respect by modern Australians. After all, they were the first people to live on the land you are walking on. People also say these things out loud before some ceremonies, meetings, and events. Just be respectful of everyone and their culture. The history of Australia’s Aboriginal people has a lot of interesting things to teach us.
There can be a lot of rules at Australia’s borders.
It’s true that Australians are laid-back, but if you try to bring things into the country that aren’t allowed, border control will stop you. Fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, plants, seeds, feathers, skins, drugs (if it’s medicine, your doctor must write it down), and weapons, protected wildlife, and firearms are all things you can’t bring in. So, think about what you want to bring before you pack.
In an emergency, call 000.
In Australia, call Triple Zero if you need help right away (000). Depending on the emergency and how bad it is, you will then be sent to either the police, fire, or ambulance departments. They will walk you through the process and, if needed, help you over the phone. This is good information to have, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
Coffee and alcohol are both religions.
Australia is one of the world’s biggest producers of wine and beer, so it’s easy to see why people there like to drink. But Aussies don’t drink Fosters, no matter what people say. Try one of the many locally made beers, like Victoria Bitter (VB) or XXXX. If you don’t like those, you can go to one of the many wine valleys in the country to try some really tasty varieties. And if you need a cup of coffee to get through the day, Australia knows how to make a good one—they invented the Flat White.
Prices are given in $ per week, not per month.
If you’re looking for a place to live Down Under, the most surprising thing is finding an ad for a brand-new five-bedroom house with a pool, deck, outdoor kitchen, and view of the beach for only $750. The harsh truth is that it’s easy to read it as “per month” in Europe, but in Australia it means “$750 per week.” If you’re still not sure, talk to the agent about it before taking on more than you can afford.
Aussies don’t tip
Topic: 19 Things to Know about Australia Before Visiting
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By: Travel Pixy