A holiday to Australia is a dream to aspire to for many people, as its appeal in terms of climate, landscape, beach lifestyle and tourist attractions is legendary. Many people save for years for a long-awaited trip to Australia, and they often go there for at least a few weeks, because of the length of time that it takes to travel there coupled with the vastness of the country, that means you need to allow time to travel between the areas that you plan to visit.
As there are so many potential locations and activities to enjoy in Australia, do your research before you go and decide what your priorities are. You may be keen to explore authentic Aboriginal culture, visit one of the cosmopolitan cities– it could be the iconic Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth or Darwin that takes your fancy. You may want to counter your urban adventures with a soul-enriching trip into the outback, possibly the sacred Uluru, or the outback town of Alice Springs. Other natural draws are the indigenous wildlife including cuddly koalas and bounding kangaroos or the unique natural diversity of the Great Barrier Reef, which offers opportunities for diving and seeing the natural wonders in greater detail. Another nearby natural phenomenon is the tropical rainforest of Northern Queensland that is teeming with wildlife and lush vegetation.
If you fancy exploring the stunning Australian coastline, there is the possibility of taking a driving holiday where you can enjoy the panorama as you travel along, and stopping whenever you fancy to explore by foot. If you fancy a more active holiday, there is always the opportunity to embark upon one of the epic walking trails on offer, where you can go ‘walkabout’ and explore the natural flora and fauna under your own steam.
Australia is the Commonwealth of Australia and consists of the island continent of Australia, the island of Tasmania and smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The island of New Zealand is located to the South East of Australia. It is the world’s 6th largest country by total land area and is the world’s 13th largest economy. Due to its vastness, it has one of the lowest population densities in the world – 2.8 inhabitants per sq.km.
Health care in Australia is provided by both private and government institutions and the system is called Medicare. There is a reciprocal agreement with the UK government, so UK visitors can register with Medicare upon their arrival in Australia and receive free or reduced-cost health care whilst in Australia. It is important to note, however, that some medical costs, such as ambulance costs will not be covered by Medicare, nor will the cost of your repatriation to the UK in the case of a medical emergency. This is why it remains important to arrange travel insurance, even though the Medicare system is in place. As there are a lot of sunshine hours typically in Australia (although the climate does vary by region) skin cancer and sunburn is a real danger (remember to slip, slap, slop) as is the risk of dehydration if you don’t take on enough fluids. The tap water in most towns and cities is safe to drink although it may taste a little different, as it sometimes has a metallic taste due to the high iron content present in the ground water.
Australia is renowned in the culinary world for ‘fusion food’ where there has been great influence from Asian immigrants hailing from China, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan, also from India. You will also be able to find good food from Spain, the Balkans, Hungary, Turkey and the Lebanon. Beer in Australia is embodied by the refreshing qualities of the long, cold lager. There are also the internationally-renowned wine-growing regions of Australia, which produce a wide variety of wines including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Semillon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you are feeling adventurous there is always the chance to tuck into some authentic ‘bush tucker’ of witchetty grubs and bogong moths. For the more traditional, there is ‘surf and turf’, meat pie and Chinese spring roll inspired chicko rolls. See more about Australian food and drink here.
Electricity – you will need to take a two-pin electrical adaptor for electrical appliances
Currency – the Australian Dollar
Driving – on the left
Climate – The climate varies a great deal across Australia. The northern part of the country has a rainy monsoon season, there is a dry desert in the centre and there is a temperate south-east coastline. The seasons in Australia are the opposite of ours due to its location in the southern hemisphere.
Clothing – is generally informal. Pack clothes for a variety of climate conditions, remember clothes for sun-protection purposes such as a wide-brimmed hat.
Where to go?
For history and culture – Many of Australia’s itineraries bring you closer to the Aboriginal culture. Drive the Red centre Way to sacred sites such as Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Follow the South Australian Loop through the Flinders Ranges, where you can see Aboriginal rock art and hear Creation stories over the campfire.
For kids and teens – If you are travelling along the Gold Coast, Ripley’s believe it or not! Museum will be a hit with the kids, boasting unbelievable exhibits, magic, mystery and illusion. Another thrilling day out can be experienced at the Dreamworld theme park, complete with tiger-inhabited Tiger Island, Nickelodeon Central, IMAX theatre and Wiggles World.
Relaxation – For pure exotic escapism and a relaxing retreat in a natural paradise, opt for a stay in a rainforest retreat. You will be afforded privacy, comfort and luxury as you take relaxing strolls amongst fern-lined gullies or lie in a hammock next to a crystal-clear stream.
Action – There are numerous adventures to be had in the great outdoors. One option is to learn to surf or hone your skill in the cultural home of the laidback surfer and the perfect wave. Another unique activity to be enjoyed is to dive at the Great Barrier Reef, which is the breathtaking and the largest coral reef in the world.
Nightlife – Melbourne is a good choice for a variety of nights out. You can opt for an ornately decorated nightclub where you can dance till dawn, you can enjoy live music generated by the thriving live music scene or track down one of the bars with a rooftop terrace affording spectacular views of the city.