We loved our visit to Australia and learned a lot! In this post, we give our best advice of how and when to visit Australia, and what to do there. We hope you learn something and ultimately apply it to your travels! First, here are some fun facts about this unique country:
- There are more Kangaroos than humans. (source)
- Australia has enough beaches that if you visit 1 a day it would take you 27 years. (source)
- Australia has more camels than koalas and exports camels to Saudi Arabia. (source)
- A road that circumnavigates the country, called Highway 1, links all Australia. It is approximately 14,500 km/9,000 mi long. (source)
- The top ten deadliest snakes can be found in Australia. (source)
- Before someone died from a spider bite in April of 2016, the last case to occur in Australia was in 1981. (source)
BEST TIME TO VISIT / WEATHER
Although we chose to visit at the end of November/beginning of December (their Summer), Australia offers a variety of seasons over an extensive range of landscapes. Red deserts, jagged mountains, luxuriant forests, unspoiled beaches or bustling cities, Australia offers visitors panoramic shots no matter the location. There are six climatic zones and overall, two major seasonal patterns (wet/dry).
- Summer: December to February; 16-26 Celsius / 60-80 Fahrenheit
- Autumn: March to May
- Winter: June to August; 6-14 Celsius / 42-57 Fahrenheit
- Spring: September to November
For all international travel, we highly recommend exchanging your home currency into the country of destination currency BEFORE leaving. Here’s a quick link to check the current exchange (be sure to change your country origin): exchange rates. The national currency of Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
- Cash – Coins in denominations of: 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 & 2 dollars. Paper denominations consist of: 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar notes.
- Credit Card – Check if your credit card has any foreign transaction fees. This is the safest and most minimal way to travel, however, always carry cash. If your bank/credit card has ridiculous rates/fees, we recommend carrying cash but never all of it should be on your person when traveling about.
Link any major country, there are multiple ways of getting around Australia. If you will be in or around the greater Sydney area, be sure to make use of the OPAL system.
- Flying – Australia is no walk in the park and has a subpar transit system compared to Europe and certain Asian countries. That being said, the best and quickest way to get around would be by airplane.
- Driving – As far as renting a car, we don’t recommend doing this if you will be in and around major cities because the public transportation system is more than enough to help you get from one point to another.
- Public Transportation – Bus (like Greyhound), Ferry, Train/Rail are all economical ways of getting around and are very reliable.
WHERE TO STAY
This is probably the most self-explanatory point. You can stay in luxurious hotels or on national campgrounds in a tent. Living quarters that fit your style and budget can be found throughout Australia. Here are a few other ideas:
- Airbnb – The photo above is one of the Airbnb’s we stayed in on the Gold Coast. It was beautiful! Airbnb is our choice of place to stay when it comes to traveling since it’s more affordable. Especially if you’re renting with friends.
- Hostels – We’ve never stayed in a hostel, in Australia, but our friends definitely recommend doing so! They have some great hostels around Australia. Here is a site that is great in finding a suitable spot you will be visiting: hostelworld.
- Motel/Hotel – As stated above, there are luxurious high rise hotels or hole-in-the-wall motels, easily found on google.
It seems that every country we’ve visited recently have much healthier food choices with Australia being no exclusion – we loved how Australia had a lot of healthy places to eat or healthy choices at even the fast food locales.
- Restaurants – If you’re a ‘foodie’ have no fear, just about any dish you can fathom can be discovered here. For better deals, just take a little more time searching for the most reasonable eatery. From fine-dining to a hole-in-the-wall mom & pop run shop are easily searchable via web/mobile.
- Pubs – Lovely spot for a brew, pint, ‘schooner’, ‘midi’ or ‘pot’…also great for social interaction.
- Take-away – AKA fast food. Typical hamburger and fry joints are in abundance (just like any western country).
- Supermarkets – Quite possibly the healthiest, reasonable, and joyful way of fulfilling bellies is cooking. Two major markets in Australia are Coles and Woolworths which are basically a super store where a variety of foods can be purchased. For Americans, think more along the lines of Target/Wal-Mart superstores.
Here are the last few facts about The Land Down Under:
- Electricity voltage – Main voltages in Australia is 230V 50Hz. Visitors from Asia, Africa, and Europe will not need a voltage converter. The United States, Japan, and Canada travelers will need converters/adapters. (source)
- Main Language Spoken: English.
- Wi-Fi/Phone Service – During our trip, we went with our local (U.S.) plan under Verizon and found that this was the most affordable route for us regarding data and phone services. Here are other ways you can stay connected.
During our visit we found no trouble getting around, setting up our mobile devices with service, or bad experiences with the locals. It’s a modern, first-world, ‘western’ influenced country. It did feel like an extension of the U.S.A. in almost every way. As a native English speaker, there was no language barrier either. We highly suggest visiting this truly unique country and hope that this post is able to guide you along your way!