Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere and covers a total area of 7,617,930 km2 and boasts 36,735 km of coastline, over 3000 national reserves, and 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the sixth largest country in the world, with the 12th largest economy. Lying between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the country is approximately 4000km form East to West and 3200km from North to South.
Australia’s landscape is dominated by the Outback, a region of deserts and semi-arid land. The Outback is a result of the continent’s large inland plains. Famous deserts in Australia include Great Victoria Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Tanami Desert and Simpson Desert. Although most of Australia is arid desert, it also supports a wide range of habitats, thus making it incredibly biodiverse. Alpine forests, tropical rainforests, and a wide variety of plants and animals thrive there because of its geographic isolation from the rest of the world.
The most famous of Australia’s coastal reefs, is the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system that spans an area of over 344,400 km2. It is made up of more than 3,000 individual reef systems and coral bays and supports more than 1,500 species offish, 400 species of hard coral, one-third of the world’s soft corals, 134 species of sharks and rays, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals, including endangered species.
Having ready access to local currency is vital, so here are some things we think you should know:
Australia’s national currency is the Australian dollar $, which comes in. $1= 100 ¢.
ATMs can be found at airports and in Australia’s major cities and towns. Money can be withdrawn using international credit cards: American Express, Bank card, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay and JCB are accepted in Australia.
American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarkets, department store chains and tourist destinations. We recommend our travellers to carry multiple credit cards and a little cash as merchants may impose credit card surcharges in some places.
There are many airports in Australia across the entire territory – Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
Facilities at Australian airports are modern and well up kept. You can easily find foreign-exchange booths, information counters and other services at the airport.
There are no direct international flights to Tasmania. However, there are domestic flights from almost all the airports within Australia.
All foreign nationalities would require a visa to enter Australia. Only New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival, all other nationalities would have to apply for a visa before departure.
Depending on your type of passport, you would have to apply for the Electronic Travel Authority visa, eVisitor visa or Visitor visa. There is not cost for Electronic Travel Authority visa and eVisitor visa. The Visitor visa would cost AUD150.
Australia has strict restrictions on item that can enter their country. This is especially so if you are bringing in food items. Do check carefully if the item you are bringing in is allowed.
Some of such items are fresh fruits and homemade food. These include food from the plant. If you are unsure, do declare it to customs when entering the country.
Being in the Southern hemisphere, Australia experiences cooler temperatures around June and July and its warmer summer months are in December to January. However, as a large country, it has a wide range of climatic patterns and huge temperature variations from North to South, with the South being generally colder.
The tropical north (Far North Queensland, the Top End and the Kimberly) has two distinct seasons, the ‘green’ season from November to April, with the heaviest rainfalls being from January to March. Temperatures range from 24°C – 30°C, accompanied by high humidity. The ‘dry’ season runs from May to October, and is perhaps the most comfortable time to enjoy the tropics, with temperatures averaging between 16°C – 26°C.
The Southerly states enjoy amore temperate climate, with warm summers and cool winters. At the most Southern reaches and at higher altitudes, frosts and snow fall may be experienced.
Yellow Fever Vaccine – compulsory if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. There is no risk of catching yellow fever in Australia.
Travellers are advised to be up to date with: Measles – Rump – Rubella, Diphtheria – tetanus – pertussis, Chickenpox, Polio, and Influenza vaccinations. However, these are not compulsory.