When choosing a travel destination, it’s all too easy to stick to the same old well-trodden paths. Sure, Spain’s Mediterranean beaches are a wonder in their own right, as are America’s Californian coastlines.
Next time you’re thinking about where to visit, though, why not consider a trip to Australia? Australia travel is on the rise, it is becoming such a popular destination especially for Brit’s.
Encapsulating wildlife, culture and unforgettable encounters with Mother Nature, the country has everything you’d want in a holiday. There are many places to visit in Australia. Australia’s official language is English and they also drive on the left-hand side of the road which makes it an easy destination for Brit’s to visit.
We have put together A Brit’s Guide to Australia in conjunction with Titan Travel to assist you in planning your next adventure.
(Editor Update 2020)
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Map of Australia
Australia is a large country. To put it into comparison Australia is as large as the USA. If you were considering flying from Sydney to Perth the flight time is nearly 5 hours and to drive a hefty 42 hours. So planning your time in Australia is essential.
Australia: What to Pack
Before you so much as print your boarding pass, have a long think about what you’ll pack. Australia’s a modern country, so don’t stuff your bags with toiletries – you can pick them up when you’re there. Bring beach gear – the country is blessed with over 36,635km of coastline, it’d be a shame to waste it – but also bring layers.
In fact there are over 10,000 beaches and 8,000 islands to enjoy. The weather here can be quite unpredictable at times, particularly in Melbourne, where you can expect 4 seasons in one day. You can do no wrong by packing a [amazon_textlink asin=’B0099SDL1Y’ text=’windbreaker‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’totraeltoo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’70bd0e9e-095c-11e9-b9f7-edf5ca8b5ce4′] or a warm [amazon_textlink asin=’B00EZMCNWC’ text=’anorak‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’totraeltoo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8990ccf6-095c-11e9-b1bb-798b9743af2c’], that way you’ll have the last laugh if the weather takes a turn.
The autumn and spring months are the best time to travel within Australia. There are fewer tourists, prices are lower and the weather is pleasant.[amazon_textlink asin=’B078BC1NJ6′ text=’Sunblock‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’totraeltoo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7805f6e-095c-11e9-b1fd-59d9caf82960′] is essential, the harsh Australian sun can cause skin damage.
You can drink the tap water in Australia. We also recommend taking your own [amazon_textlink asin=’B00YYBBYZ6′ text=’water bottle‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’totraeltoo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’cb561c53-095c-11e9-9a47-c1cb9ae24e1f’] with you.
Things to do in Australia
When you’re travelling to somewhere as vast in size as Australia, it can be tricky to know where to begin. Organised tours to Australia will give you a balanced taste of all of the nation’s many highlights, taking in natural phenomenon like the Great Barrier Reef as well as cities like Sydney.
That said, you wouldn’t feel like you’d touched base down under without soaking up the iconic Sydney Opera House. This hotbed of culture is perhaps one of the most recognizable sights in Australia, and a melting pot of theatre, comedy, and dance.
Sydney’s famous harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers great photo opportunities especially if you can include a Harbour Cruise.
As part of an organised tour, you could also cover Melbourne and its stunning Yarra Valley and its wineries, a sunset and sunrise visit to Uluru in the Northern Territory and a visit to Perth with a peaceful Swan River cruise. There are many Australian landmarks to enjoy we have only mentioned a few.
Australia – Cash and Credit Cards
A combination of both cash and credit cards is recommended. Some smaller establishments may not accept credit cards. ATMs may also have a charge for withdrawing cash.
Australia – Tipping Culture
Most people who tip in Australia leave around 10% of the bill. That said, it’s not mandatory, unlike many places in Europe and America. If you don’t feel the service merits it then simply don’t leave any gratuity. Always check your bill, a gratuity may already have been added.
Australia – General Etiquette
First things first, it’s important to note that Australians are very down to earth people. Honesty and authenticity are valued traits, whereas arrogance is always looked down upon. If you come across relatively modest, and avoid boasting about any past achievements, then you’ll fit in fairly well in Australia. Aussies tend to have a reputation as being laid back. When meeting an Australian, ensure to shake their hand and greet them with a warm smile, that way you’ll have no problems making friends.
If you speak to a Melbournian they will say that Melbourne is the best city in Australia and if you speak to a Sydney sider they will say Sydney is the best city in Australia. It would probably be best not to get into a discussion on this subject.
You may have to learn a few Aussie ‘slang words’ before you travel:
Barbie – Barbeque
G’day – Good day or hello
Arvo – afternoon
Mozzie – mosquito
Bottle o – bottle shop
Copper – Policeman
Cabbie – cab driver
Chrissie – Christmas
Food and drink in Australia
Many dishes in Australia are foreign delicacies which have been gifted a local feel, largely due to the country’s colonial past and wide-spread immigration. Expect to try varieties of seafood, such as prawns, crabs and lobster. If there’s one thing Australians do better than most, however, it’s meat.
If seafood is one of your favorite dishes a visit to the Sydney Fish Market is highly recommended. There are many fine restaurants and you can even take in a cooking class.
In Melbourne, you may want to enjoy a coffee in the famous Melbourne Lanes where there are many cafes and restaurants to choose from. Melbourne is a melting pot of cuisines.
Australia has other delicacies that you may want to try:
- Balmain Bugs
If you enjoy Marmite on your breakfast toast Australia has its own version [amazon_textlink asin=’B00C6817HY’ text=’Vegemite’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’totraeltoo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2fa2af1a-095d-11e9-b432-159d3c53dea9′].
Barbecues are commonplace, with regional steaks being a particular highlight of many evening soirees. In terms of alcohol, many Aussies have a soft spot for beer. After all, what better way is there to cool down in the baking sub-equatorial sun?
Australia is famous for their wines. The major wineries are the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, Yarra Valley in Victoria, Barossa Valley in Adelaide and the Margaret River region in Western Australia.
The whole of Australia holidays on Australia Day – the nation stops to celebrate its beginning. Barbeques, parties and family gatherings take place all over the nation.
If you share their passion, you can’t go wrong with a cold pint of Hop Hog or Pacific Ale. Bear these things in mind, and you’ll find that Australia’s much-loved charms will all stick with you long after your return.
Will you visit Australia? What will be your favourite places in Australia?
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Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are ‘chase time not money’ and ‘age is no barrier when it comes to travel’.