Now that you’ve finally decided to have your first Australian travel adventure, there are a few things you need not know about the Land Down Under before you depart. These tips will certainly ensure you have a memorable, smooth and stress-free trip to Oz.
Top Tips for your first Australian Travel Adventure
Australia is huge
It might seem like Australia is a small island, but it’s a huge continent and the 6th largest country in the world! Actually, it’s larger than all European Union countries combined! So, unless you’re planning to stay for a year, you’re not going to see it all! Road trips are a great way to explore the country, but flying is definitely the fastest option to get from city to city.
Mind the weather
Most people think Australia has all-year-round perfect weather. However, in the summer, weather can become so hot that it’s almost unbearable and at some parts, it even snows in the winter. So, if you can, try to visit Australia from October to November or April to May.
You’ll need to cash out
Australia is very expensive, so make sure to budget well. You’ll need somewhere between $100 and $200 a day, including accommodation, food and various entry fees and activities. Transportation is also quite expensive, so budget for that too. If you want to save some money, opt for low-cost airlines and Airbnb accommodation options. There are also various family-owned B&Bs that are quite comfy and cost-effective. Also, try to cook while in Oz. Even though there are amazing restaurants and fast food stands, the food is still quite costly. And if you’re planning to hit the bars, expect to end up with a significant damage to your budget!
If you’re planning to visit many different places in Australia, you must pack smart. Don’t forget the weather, so bring plenty of light clothes or invest once you arrive!
There are beautiful maxi dresses in Australia that are perfect for light walks and beach outings. Plus, they provide decent sun protection! Light shirts and cargo pants are a must for hikes though. Also, don’t forget to stock up on sunscreen. The Aussie sun is really strong and you’ll most likely burn a lot without any sun protection.
Learn some local slang
Unless you don’t mind embarrassing yourself, try to learn a few Aussie slang words (there are a number of differences between British and American English and Australian English). For instance, you don’t “root” for your favorite sports team (rooting means something completely different), you visit the chemist (not the pharmacist) and getting invited for tea usually means a complete dinner. There are other subtle differences you can learn here if you want to sound like a true Aussie!
Don’t expect to be surrounded by kangaroos
Many people expect to see kangaroos and koalas just casually chilling all over Sydney, but that’s not the case. Of course, it’s possible to spot them outside zoos, but you’ll have to go to a national park or nature reserve away from the city. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across these cuties in the suburbs, but that’s not an everyday sight. If you really want to peep on Aussie wildlife, your safest bet is to go to Kangaroo Island near Adelaide, where you can see all sorts of marsupials, sea lions and various types of birds.
You’re not obliged to tip
Unlike in the US, tipping in Australia isn’t very common and it’s definitely not obligatory. You don’t have to worry about tipping in bars, restaurants, taxis or hotels. Workers in Australia have a nice pay with around $17 an hour as a minimum. That means that people aren’t relying on tips to earn a decent wage. But, if you’re really satisfied with your service and want to tip the worker (especially in fancy restaurants and high-end bars), feel free to do so. No one will look at you cross.
The Internet is not great
If you’re used to being connected all the time, you’ll not be very satisfied with Aussie Internet. It’s usually slow, expensive and not really available wherever you go. Some hotels, cafes and restaurants have free Wi-Fi, but you shouldn’t expect a good connection. Your safest bets are McDonald’s restaurants and libraries.
One other thing you should know is that you’ll probably want to come back to Oz. So, while you’re on your first Australian travel adventure, don’t hesitate to start planning for the next one!