Who hasn’t got a trip to Australia on their bucket list? Very few I’d imagine and rightly so. This huge country has so much to offer, from a bustling metropolis to the barren outback where you may not see another living thing!
Traveling is fun, there’s no doubt, and a little preparation can go a long way to making your trip fantastic, so we have a few tips that may just help. First, check our blog on Australia electrical system, and second, remember to pack your USB travel adapter and keep all your gadgets fully charged.
Well before you think about booking flights etc, make sure you check the visa requirements for your country. Australia has an online eVisitor visa application system that makes applying quick and easy, and you should have an answer within a few days. don’t forget to check your passport as well. Some countries, although not Australia, require your passport to have at least six months remaining on it.
Covering such a vast area, Australia has a wide range of weather conditions. The further north you go, the hotter and dryer it becomes with some locations having virtually zero rainfall. The vast majority of the population lives in cities along the southern coast. Melbourn is the most southerly city and well know to experience four seasons in a single day! Summers are generally very hot and dry, with temperatures sometimes hitting over 40 or more. Make sure you use sun cream and cover up when out in the sun.
There are modern bus, train and tram systems in all the major cities and intercity links by train, plane and bus. Just remember that it’s almost 2,500 miles from Sydney to Perth, with a flight taking over 7 hours and the train taking over two days! Each major city has its own transport system and payment card. Sydney uses the Opal card for buses, trains and ferries, while you’ll need a Myki card in Melbourne to use the trains, buses and trams.
Planning your Australia trip
With such a vast land area, planning your trip to Australia, even if only loosely, is essential. If you don’t take into account the time to travel between places, you’ll end up rushing and ultimately not enjoying the trip or getting enough out of it. Australia is roughly the same size as the USA, but with a population of just over 25 million (2018), it is sparsely populated. Many rural roads are simply gravel or even dirt, making travel times longer. If you only have a couple of weeks, then concentrate on one main area and maybe fly to specific sites, such as Uluru.
If you’re from America and used to tipping sometimes 20% or more, then you’ll be in for a shock in Australia! Most service staff are paid a reasonable wage and do not rely on tips to survive. Around 10% at the when you settle the bill is about normal.
Places to Visit
So where to go in Australia? Well, Sydney is probably the most famous destination, thanks to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, plus of course it is always featured at New Year as one of the first places to celebrate.
It’s a great place, but head up the east coast and along with the beautiful seaside towns, you’ll find Byron Bay, and then world-famous Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane. Hire a camper van and take a slow drive along the coast. Bliss!
On the south coast in the state of Victoria is Melbourne. The centre of the city is Federation Square, next to the Yarra River, packed with places to eat and drink. A great night out. The city was founded in 1835 and many of the original buildings are still there today.
Further west along the coast is Adelaide, a cosmopolitan city packed with art museums and the home to the annual Adelaide Festival, an international arts event. Keep going, another 1,500 miles and you’ll eventually come to Perth! In-between, there are numerous national parks and nature reserves and mainly small coastal towns. Perth is the most western city of Australia and fairly isolated from everywhere else.
Last, don’t forget Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock almost dead center of Australia and sacred to the Aboriginal People, and of course the Great Barrier Reef on the east coast.
Some fabulous places to visit, but make sure you take your USB travel adapter and make charging your camera and smartphone easy.