Waves crashing on massive rocks, pristine white sandy beaches, unique wildlife, out of this world winery experience…These are just a few things that describe Australia. No wonder almost 9.5 million people visited Australia in 2019.
There’s no denying that the land down under is incredibly beautiful. If you’ve been there, you know it. If you haven’t, you should pack your bags already. But what should you know before heading out? The following are 5 important things.
1. Be Careful What You Carry With You
Australians are pretty friendly people, but like any other country, they have laws that govern what you can bring into their borders. If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or heart disease, it is second nature to move around with your medication.
But be ready for Australia. It is always good to have a doctor give a detailed explanation of your condition and the drugs you are on. This will protect you from inconveniences with border control because Australia has a strict law about what drugs you can bring into the country. It will make things easier.
2. Australia is one Huge Country
Australia is 32 times larger than the UK. Really! This isn’t as huge as the US, but you get the picture. Some states, such as Western Australia, even have entirely different climates. For example, the northern region experiences a tropical climate, while the south experiences a Mediterranean climate.
Of course, different climates are not always a measure of geographical vastness, but you will indeed need a lot of time to move across different cities. Perth and Brisbane are some of Australia’s most popular cities, but flying between them will take 5 hours. Driving could take more than 5 days.
The point is that you should be practical about what you want to see and do. Luckily, every state has so much to offer.
3. The Sun Can Get Real Hot
Contrary to popular belief, Koalas aren’t bears, and Sydney isn’t the capital of Australia. There are lots of myths about Australia but the country being hot isn’t a lie. In 2019, an average day temperature of 41.9C (107.4F) was recorded in the country. While this is higher than normal temperatures during summer, it can sometimes get quite hot.
In most cities, summers are hot and humid, and it can become difficult to sleep at night, especially if you are coming to a much cooler country. While you can always hope that the AC will give you some solace, there are a few other things you can do to sleep better.
Always remember to use sunscreen when going out and don’t stay out in the sun for too long.
4. Not Everyone Speaks English
By the 18th century, there were over 300 Aboriginal languages spoken in the land. Unfortunately, most of these languages are threatened. Only between 100 and 150 of these languages are in daily use today. Also, you can expect a good dose of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Arabic.
Of course, most folks speak English, but Australian English comes with its fair share of colloquialism. While you might not master everything in a sitting, it is important to remember that brekkie is breakfast, tea is an evening meal, and a doona is a duvet.
5. Smoking is frowned Upon
Reading a good book while puffing at your favorite cigarette sounds like a great Sunday afternoon plan, but not in Australia. As it stands, only less than 13 percent of the population smokes. And more people are being forced by the Government to quit this habit.
The Country has some of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the world, and cigarettes are heavily taxed. For example, a pack could cost upwards of $40. And the prices keep going up. If you can’t break the habit, be prepared to pay a pretty penny for it.
Whether you plan to vacation in Australia or are considering moving permanently to the country, know that some good time awaits you. Australians are warm people and are pretty laid back, and life isn’t as fast-paced as in the US and Europe. Just remember to play by the rules.