Things to Know Before Visiting Australia
Are you planning a trip Down Under? Whether you’re headed to Australia from Europe, America, Asia, or another part of the globe, you are in for a wonderful experience. Warm people, sunshine, beautiful natural areas and more await you. However, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you travel to Australia.
1. It’s a Long Way From Almost Everywhere
Just take a look at a map, Australia is hours away from everywhere, even 'nearby' New Zealand and Fiji. Getting here can be long from most international destinations and you might want to break the journey up with a stop off on the way. Book flights in advance and use a comparison website like Skyscanner to get the cheapest prices.
Make sure you have the right visa well in advance as you don't want to arrive and be denied entry. Customs and borders are very strict, and for example if you want to work in Australia, or even just arrive for tourism from a lot of worldwide destinations you will need the correct visa and make an online application before arrival.
3. Make Sure You Are Covered
It is important you travel with peace of mind when you travel by buying travel insurance. This might seem an expensive add on you don't need but believe us, you don't want to be caught out. For example, if you lose or have goods stolen, have flights cancelled or in the worst case scenario you have an accident or medical emergency. We recommend World Nomads travel insurance:
4. It’s Big
One thing that often surprises first-time visitors, particularly those from Europe and the UK, is just how big Australia is. You cannot “do” the trip in a couple of weeks. Instead of trying to cram in everything you want to do, and then spending all your time in a car hire, focus on doing just a few things. Pick your major “must experience” attractions and activities, and then plan your trip around those. Make sure that your car rental partner is up to snuff here, as well – you should not be limited by low mileage allowances and the like.
Australia is one of the most expensive destinations in the world in terms for tourism and sightseeing. You will need to work out how much money you have and make sure you budget accordingly so you have enough cash to do all the things you want to do. Flights to Australia might be your biggest cost so book in advance for the best deals.
There are also lots of ways to save money, for example, shop for food at local supermarkets to avoid eating out every day and avoid staying in the larger more expensive cities like Sydney and Melbourne for a long duration. Also try to cut down on alcohol and possible avoid more expensive activities like scuba diving.
If you are planning a break to Australia and aren't lucky enough to have friends there you will need to book accommodation in advance. Spaces can fill up quick in most destinations but there are lots of options including hotels, guest houses, hostels, AirBnB or renting a camper van. Hotels are usually the most expensive option but there are alternative options and there are alternative options including amazing hostels in Australia which offer more affordable value and have modern high-tech facilities.
7. How to Get Around
If you’re preparing for a trip Down Under, you will need to decide if you want to travel independently or on an organised experience. There are lots of tours of Australia where you can travel and see the best places in the country in a small group with an experienced guide. These types of trips
If you are seeking more of an indepenent experience and are in need of an affordable car hire, check out Zippy Rentals. Another option is travelling by public transport, there is an extensive bus/train system connecting the whole country. Distances are long though so you might want to
Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere and there is a warm climate almost all year round. However, that does not mean that the entire continent has reversed seasons in comparison to the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the Top End’s seasons are closer to what you’ll find in the southern end of the Northern Hemisphere.
The southern area of the country does have pronounced reversed seasons, though. So, while it might be wet during the rainy season around the Great Barrier Reef, it could be warm and sunny in Sydney. You will need to check in advance, pack accordingly and don't forget your sunscreen - this country has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world due to the thin ozone layer.
9. Where to Visit + Itinerary
Due to the size of Australia you will need to work out how much time you have and where you would be keen to go. Recommended destinations include Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, WhitSunday Islands, Fraser Island, Byron Bay and the Outback. For a more off the beaten track experience you might want to consider visiting Tasmania.
You should draw a short list of places you are keen to visit and see how much time you want to spend in each which will help you get an idea for the ultimate Australia itinerary. You also might want to mix sightseeing with activities which are a great way to meet new people and also do something fun. For example, you could find volunteer programs in Australia and help wildlife like koalas and kangaroos - amazing!
10. Natural Areas Galore
Australia has amazing nature and open spaces with some of the most spectacular national parks in the world. The nation actually has one of the highest ratios of public to private land in the world. It’s tempting to think that this is done just for the sake of environmentalism. While that is important to Australians, the truth is that most of these areas are absolutely stunning and well worth exploring. Be prepared to be awed, and spend time in some of the lesser-known natural areas.
11. Visit Ayers Rock & the Outback
You might be tempted to think that depictions of the Outback’s emptiness are exaggerated. That is not even remotely true. The centre of the Australian continent is actually pretty desolate but it is incredible. Most people make the mistake of not visiting the Outback and just sticking to coastal areas and you would be missing out if you do the same.
There are so many opportunities for adventure travel and exploration here, including camping and trips to see incredible sights like Ayers Rock. You will need to make sure that you are prepared for the rigors of the Outback though, and we recommend an organised tour where you will travel in a group and get guidance from an experienced local guide.
12. Enjoy Every Moment
Whether you are planning a shot break, keen to go backpacking or take a gap year in Australia - you will be able to find experiences and things to do which will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Australia is an amazing destination are you really should try to enjoy every moment.