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Australia

Life Down Under is truly epic – on a large scale. The monstrous continent in the Southern Hemisphere is the sixth largest country in the world and has extremely varied landscapes, unique wildlife and some of the world’s best beaches. From Ayers Rock in the barren Outback to the tropical seasonal rainforests of Cairns – there’s no other place like Oz.

Australia, the second choice for gap year and work sabbatical travellers, is seen as a destination to partake in a volunteer programme and for those simply looking for a good party time. According to our survey, the majority of the people visiting Australia are 25 years old or above, with 34 per cent of those female and 27 per cent male.

Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia

Where to go

For city life: Sydney – the capital of New South Wales

For culture: Melbourne – the coastal capital of the south-eastern state of Victoria

For the coast: Mornington Peninsula – south of Melbourne

For scenery: Blue Mountains – stunning eucalyptus forests west of Sydney

Mornington Pier at sunset. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Seven of the best things to do

  • Walk the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which offers spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour
  • Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland in north-eastern Oz
  • Visit the Red Centre and see Uluru (Ayers Rock), but don’t be tempted to climb it, as it’s disrespectful to the indigenous Aboriginal people
  • Wandering the laneways in Melbourne for the best food, street art and bars
  • Drive the Great Ocean Road and take in the magnificent scenes
  • Watch sea turtles hatch in Mon Repos Conservation Park in Queensland
  • Try and get your head around an Aussie Rules football game

Essentials: what you need to know

When is the best time to go?

  • North Coast: driest and most accessible between April and September
  • South Coast: comfortable temperatures October to April, with manageable tourist crowds
  • The Outback: September to November and April to June offer pleasant daytime temperatures and mild nights.

Visa: yes, both a visitors (Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) and work visa)
 
Vaccines: no
 
Currency: Australian Dollar: $

Time zone:

  • Western Australia UTC +8:00
  • Central Australia: UTC +9:30
  • Eastern Australia: UTC +10:00

Language: English

Tipping:

  • Food & beverage: 0%-10%
  • Taxi: round up
  • Salon services: round up

Slang: “Come over this arvo mate, I’ve got heaps of snags for the barbie.”

  • Arvo: afternoon
  • Heaps: lots, loads
  • Barbie: barbecue
  • Snag: sausage

Five dishes we love:

  • Aussie meat pies – hand-sized meat pies containing diced or minced meat and gravy. These are often filled with onion, mushrooms or cheese.
  • Kangaroo steaks – similar to venison if you can handle eating kangaroo
  • Vegemite – a thick savoury yeast and vegetable spread often for toast
  • Peach Melba – a dessert of peaches and raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream
  • Tim-Tams – two chocolate biscuits sandwiched with chocolate cream

Ok, so how do I get there?

Find great offers and deals for flights to Australia on Netflights.

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