About Australia

Australia is a large island continent in the southern hemisphere with a diverse range of climate zones. These vary from tropical regions in the north through the arid expanses of the interior to temperate regions in the south.

Seasonal fluctuations can be great with temperatures ranging from above 50 ° Celsius to well below zero. Minimum temperatures are moderated by the lack of mountains and the influence of surrounding oceans.

Credit Cards:
An Australian credit card offers a convenient way to shop and pay bills, both face to face and online.

You can select from a low rate card with no annual fees, through to selected cards offering a full range of benefits, including complimentary overseas travel insurance (in accordance with the policy) and reward point programs. All applications for credit are subject to our normal lending criteria.

Australia was the first country in the world to have a complete system of bank notes made from plastic (polymer). These notes provide much greater security against counterfeiting. They also last four times as long as conventional paper (fibrous) notes.

The innovative technology with which Australian bank notes are produced – developed entirely in Australia – offers artists brilliant scope for the creation of images that reflect the history and natural environment of Australia. At the same time, the polymer notes are cleaner than paper notes and easily recyclable. Australia’s currency comprises coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations; and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollar denominations.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service page with information on documents required for customs clearance , information for sea travellers and Items you must declare on arrival (including cash/currency) for arriving travellers

The Import/Export section of the Customs website is currently being upgraded. Some of the documents that were previously available on the site have been removed. These documents will be updated or replaced to reflect Customs procedures and policies.

If you’re a visitor and hold a valid driver’s licence (in English) from your own country, fine, you’re allowed to drive throughout all of Australia. (But an international driver’s licence, if you have one, does not by itself give you the right to drive in Australia.)

If your driver’s licence is not in English, a translation may be necessary and you may also need to have an international driver’s licence.

If you come from a country where motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road, there’s not much more to know, and you should easily adjust to driving in Australia by following local driving customs and laws.

Duty Free Procedures:
Shopping duty free can be a great way to save a couple of bucks. Duty free means items are without government tariffs, taxes and levies that are normally charged. Popular duty free items include alcohol, cigarettes, fragrances and technological products. Non-travelers cannot buy these items, and you usually cannot buy them less than 30 days before you leave a country. In many cases, the items must remain sealed until you leave the country, and displayed for inspection at the airport. Duty free fragrances and spirits are generally 40%-60% larger than domestic sizes. The Downtown Duty Free chain, which can be found in all large Australian cities and at all international airports.

The economy of Australia is a developed, modern market economy with a GDP of approximately $1 trillion USD. In 2009, it was the 13th largest national economy by nominal GDP and the 18th largest measured by PPP adjusted GDP, representing about 1.7% of the World economy. Australia was also ranked the 21st largest importer and 23rd largest exporter.

Australia is a member of the APEC, G20, OECD and WTO organisations. Australia has also entered into free trade agreements with ASEAN, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States. The ANZCERTA agreement with New Zealand has greatly increased integration with the New Zealand economy.

The Australian economy is dominated by its service sector, representing 68% of Australian GDP. The agricultural and mining sectors (10% of GDP combined) account for 57% of the nation’s exports.

The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia and its territories, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island. It is also the official currency of the independent Pacific Island nations of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu.The Australian Securities Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Australia.

240 volts

The national telephone number for all emergency services in Australia including AMBULANCE, FIRE, and POLICE is “000”.

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. Australia is an island, surrounded by water. It is located on the smallest continent in the world.
Population: 17.5 million

Geographic size: 2.97 million square miles

Capital: Canberra

Major cities and population: Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide.

The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states. The terms of this agreement are embodied in the Australian Constitution, which was drawn up at a Constitutional Convention and ratified by the people of the colonies at referenda. The structure of the Australian Government may be examined in light of two distinct concepts, namely federalism and the separation of powers into legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government. Separation of powers is implied from the structure of the Constitution which breaks down the branches of government into separate chapters.

This document sets out major structural reforms to establish the financing and governance foundations of a National Health and Hospitals Network for Australia’s future. The Government expects that these reforms will permanently establish the Commonwealth Government as the majority funder of hospitals and place the Australian health system onto a sustainable and self-improving footing for the future.

English is the primary language used in Australia. Yet their colourful vocabulary, accent, phonetics system and slang (‘Strine’) can take a lot of getting used to. In 1788, there were about 250 separate Aboriginal languages spoken in Australia, plus dialects. Today, only two thirds of these languages survive and only 20 of them (eight per cent of the original 250) are still strong enough to have chance of surviving well into the next century. In addition to these there are also the languages of immigrants from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Medical services:
Emergency medical services in Australia are provided by state ambulance services, which are a division of each state or territorial government, and by St John Ambulance in both Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald, Northern Territory News, Brisbane Courier Mail, The Adelaide Advertiser.

In the hectic swirl of modern day living sometimes you just need to escape for a while. But all too often, when you do find time for a break, you simply exchange your daily rat race for a holiday package that is almost as frantic. There are alternatives you know, and a nude getaway may be just what you and your partner are looking for. In fact once you have experienced social nudism you may very well want to make it your main recreational pastime. Many clubs and resorts have grounds where you can set up your own cabin or caravan, giving you a permanent weekender where you can relax with your partner or family, and all your new found friends.

It is the land of immigrants and as far as data is considered as on July 2006 it was estimated 20,264,082 .

Population literacy rate:

Melbourne, like most parts of Australia, presents few health risks for foreign visitors. Tap water is good, restaurants and eating places are required by law to maintain a high standard of Accommodation preparation, and the city is generally clean. Smog is less of a problem than with cities such as London, Hong Kong and Bangkok, but is still quite high.

Public holidays:
There are 23 public holidays every year. 11 of them are fixed holidays.

Australia’s approach to national security is based on strong cooperative, coordinated and consultative relationships between the State and Territory Governments, the Australian Government, their departments and agencies and international partners.

At any given time Australia faces challenges to our nation’s security from a range of sources which can put institutions of state, people, economic assets and technology at risk. These challenges include espionage, foreign interference, terrorism, politically motivated violence, border violations, cyber attack, organised crime, natural disasters and biosecurity events.

Tipping is not compulsory.

Time & Telecommunications:
Telecommunications in Australia deals with telecommunications in Australia, involving the availability and use of electronic devices and services, such as the telephone, television, radio or computer, for the purpose of communication.

Telecommunications is an important aspect of the Australian economy. The sector is currently dominated by the telecommunications provider, Telstra. Other telecommunications providers include Optus (owned by Singapore Telecommunications), AAPT and Powertel (both owned by Telecom New Zealand), Soul (SP Telemedia), Vodafone and Hutchison 3G (3 Mobile). The sector is in a state of rapid growth and technological development, and subject to frequent changes of participants in the sector.

TV channels:
Satellite TV and local tv & radio are available in most of the hotels.

A value added tax of 10% is payable on goods and services including hotel and restaurant bills.

Visa & Entry Requirements:
National Visas is Australia’s leading provider of visa and immigration advice and is regulated by the Australian Government and that’s why thousands have used National Visas to receive their visa to Australia in the last year alone. By using National Visas you receive the very best advice and support for your visa application and have the services of Australia’s most experienced visa and immigration experts at your disposal. Try us today and see for yourself why National Visas assists so many people with a visa to Australia.

What to Wear:
As far as dressing for Australia is concerned, casual wear is generally the go.If you wanted to, you could go to the opera in jeans, and no one would give you a second look, although this is one of the few activities for which some people like to dress up.Unless it’s a really formal occasion, one has no need for a tuxedo or a formal long gown; a jacket and tie are not de rigueur for other occasions but the rule of thumb is usually whether one is comfortable with one’s choice of clothing for a particular occasion.

Working Hours:
The average Australian working week is currently 36 hours from Monday to Friday however this does vary considerably across occupations and industries. A standard working day for a trade occupation is typically 7am to 3.30pm, while working hours in most offices are 9am to 5pm, with rest and meal breaks. Overtime rates of pay and flexi-time arrangements in the workplace are becoming more common and are often negotiated in an occupation’s award.

Itinerary #1: Discover Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, & Cairns

This highlights itinerary offers the exploration of four popular cities in Australia. Enjoy active day trips: Great Ocean Road from MelbourneKangaroo Island via Adelaide, the Blue Mountains from Sydney, and, of course, the Great Barrier Reef via Cairns.

Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road
Day 1Arrival in MelbourneMelbourne
Day 2Melbourne – City TourMelbourne
Day 3Travel Great Ocean RoadMelbourne
Day 4Travel to AdelaideAdelaide
Day 5Adelaide – Day Trip to Kangaroo IslandAdelaide
Day 6Travel to SydneySydney
Day 7Sydney – Blue Mountains Day TourSydney
Day 8Travel to CairnsCairns
Day 9Day Trip to the Great Barrier ReefCairns
Day 10Departure From Cairns 

When you touch down in Melbourne, find your driver at the airport and make your way to the hotel. Meet with a travel representative who will go through your itinerary with you. Then, get out and do some self-exploration. Visit popular areas like Flinders Street Station and Queen Victoria Markets, to start. At nightfall, discover the funky pub scene for a bite and a welcome drink.

In the morning, continue exploring Melbourne from Federation Square on a Lanes and Arcades walking tour, which includes quirky cafés, street art, architecture and more. On day three, drive the famed Great Ocean Road, which is decorated with limestone formations and gorgeous, coastal views. Cruise alongside rugged Shipwreck Coast and enjoy the highlights of Port Campbell National Park.

Wake up and fly to Adelaide, the cosmopolitan coastal capital of South Australia. Stroll the museums in River Torrens, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and South Australian Museum, which is devoted to natural history. Then, take a day trip to Kangaroo Island, or “KI,” as it is known to the locals. Enjoy time with the seals, kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas.

On day six, catch a flight to Sydney, and head out on a local sightseeing tour of all the best neighborhoods and several landmarks. Visit The RocksMrs. Macquarie’s Chair, and Bondi Beach, followed by dinner at the Sydney Tower Restaurant, with 360° views of the city when it illuminates at night. Next, take a journey to the incredible Blue Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage region. Stop at Calmsley Hill Farm for morning tea, and hand-feed kangaroos. Travel the villages and waterfalls and enjoy the scenic lookout. In the afternoon, move on to Govett’s Leap, one of the most famous waterfall views in the country. Then. Stroll the 69-acre Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens before returning to Sydney for the night.

Board a flight to Cairns in the morning, and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. In the evening, head to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for the night fire dinner—complete with indigenous face painting, traditional storytelling, and a ceremonial fire. On day nine, you’re off to one of the most incredible marine destinations in the world, the Great Barrier Reef. Cruise the water and spot the islands from your catamaran tour, and jump into the water to discover the surrounding reefs via snorkel. Following the incredible finale to the reef, the trip concludes with a flight out of Cairns the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Aussie Adventure – Cairns, Uluru, & Sydney

Discover three regions on this diverse itinerary through Cairns, Uluru, and Sydney. A mix of free days and guided tours—to the Great Barrier Reef, through The Outback, and around Sydney—guarantees exploration of the most popular landmarks.

Discover The Outback in Uluru
Discover the Outback in Uluru
Day 1Arrival in CairnsCairns
Day 2Day Trip to the Great Barrier ReefCairns
Day 3Cairns – Free DayCairns
Day 4Travel to UluruUluru
Day 5Uluru – Free DayUluru
Day 6Travel to SydneySydney
Day 7Sydney – City TourSydney
Day 8Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Day TripSydney
Day 9Sydney – Free DaySydney
Day 10Depart From Sydney 

Upon arrival in Cairns, enjoy a free day to explore the town. Visit the American Butterfly Sanctuary, which is the country’s largest butterfly exhibit, followed by a trip to Cairns Lagoon for a refreshing swim. Then, enjoy some time at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you can indulge in traditional fare and learn about the indigenous culture.

In the morning, embark on an unforgettable marine journey to the Great Barrier Reef. Cruise the waters on a catamaran, and snorkel around some of the 3,000 individual reef systems and coral cays that make up this world wonder. Next, enjoy another free day in Cairns. Head to Koala Gardens to visit with native animals, then stroll the Cairns Aquarium, rich with Tropical North Queensland species. In the afternoon, ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for incredible views below.

On day four, the adventure continues to Uluru, home of the famed Ayers Rock. Get a taste of The Outback as you explore Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the Olgas, and the monolith. Take in the sunset over the Red Centre, followed by a beautiful sunrise the next morning. Continue exploring Uluru at your own pace.

The next leg takes you to Sydney, the capital of New South Wales. This bustling city offers sightseeing abound. Stop by the Royal Botanic Garden, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and St. Mary’s Cathedral when you arrive. In the morning, join a city tour to explore the popular neighborhoods and landmarks, including The Rocks, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, and the famous Bondi Beach.

Day eight invites you out to Hunter Valley for some wine tasting at Keith Tulloch Winery, to start. Enjoy a tour of the family-owned winery nestled on the ancient soils of Brokenback Range. Along with local pours, enjoy a chocolate pairing from artisan chocolatier, Cocoa Nib. Then, it’s back to Sydney for another day of exploration. Make your way to the BridgeClimb, which allows you to reach the summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge for incredible views of the town along the water. Then, head over to the world-renowned Sydney Opera House on a guided tour, followed by a nice dinner and a farewell toast to your final night in Australia, before flying home tomorrow. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Best of Eastern Australia

This active excursion offers a jam-packed tour of Eastern Australia. Enjoy the sights and a day trip to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, nature tours in Gold Coast and a taste of Melbourne’s funky bohemian scene, along with a day with penguins at Phillip Island and a scenic drive along Great Ocean Road.

Philip Island
Phillip Island
Day 1Arrival in SydneySydney
Day 2Sydney – Blue Mountains Day TripSydney
Day 3Sydney – Full-Day TourSydney
Day 4Travel to CairnsCairns
Day 5Travel to Gold CoastGold Coast
Day 6Gold Coast – Free DayGold Coast
Day 7Travel to MelbourneMelbourne
Day 8Melbourne – Phillip Island TourMelbourne
Day 9Melbourne – Tour Great Ocean RoadMelbourne
Day 10Depart From Melbourne 

Depending on how you feel after the long flight, relax at your Sydney hotel or visit a few destinations. An afternoon around Sydney Harbour can be arranged on your behalf, or if you’re up for it, an excursion up the SydneyBridgeclimb for incredible views of the city is a great way to kick off your vacation.

In the morning, head out on a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Visit the famous Three Sisters, a trio of rock pinnacles and enjoy views past Jamison Valley. Then, visit Scenic World to ride up the Scenic RailwayCableway, and Skyway to take in the clifftops, canyons, and valleys from above.

Stop in scenic Leura for lunch, and follow Cliff Drive to see the Megalong Valley. Travel through Katoomba to encounter kangaroos, koalas, and more. On day three, join a full-day tour of Sydney. Visit Manly Beach in the morning, followed by Darling Harbour, and take in views from Milsons Point and North Head Lookout. In the afternoon, there’s plenty more to tour, including The Rocks, Hyde ParkThe Gap, Bondi Beach, and more.

Next, catch a flight to Cairns, where there is lots to see and do. The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary offers a large butterfly and bird exhibit, the Koala Gardens provides an opportunity to mingle with native species, and Cairns Aquarium is home to many Tropical North Queensland marine species, as well as the Under the Pier Shark Habitat. Take a ride up the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Kuranda, which passes over Barron Gorge National Park, and visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a fire dinner filled with indigenous customs and entertainment.

On day five, fly to Gold Coast, meet your driver, and check in to your accommodation. Once settled, head to Burleigh Heads for a surfing lesson, or watch the locals catch some waves. You can also stroll Burleigh Heads National Park Headlands, and spot whales from the Tumgun lookout. Then, take advantage of a free day. Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, a native animal haven, or head to the SkyPoint Club for an external climbing excursion from the highest point in Gold Coast. For more thrills, consider a trip to a theme park—DreamworldWet’n’Wild, and Sea World are just a few of the local draws.

Hop a flight to Melbourne in the morning, and do some sightseeing on your own. Check out Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, and Queen Victoria Markets, and peruse funky street art while checking out the bohemian coffee shop scene. Have a drink at a pub and catch a live band at night. On day eight, embark on a field trip to Phillip Island, which gets you up-close to a range of wildlife, including koalas and kangaroos, along with seals and the exciting Penguin Parade—the main attraction.

Wake up and a driver will pick you up to transport you to Great Ocean Road. Cruise through Port Campbell National Park and view the iconic limestone stacks, including The Twelve ApostlesLoch Ard Gorge, and London Bridge. In the afternoon, take in the coastal scenery of the Otway Rainforest and seaside townships along the way. Return to Melbourne for dinner and drinks, and toast to your last night in Australia before departure tomorrow. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Best of Northern Australia – Cairns, Darwin, Broome, & Perth

This versatile vacation offers a great Northern Australia sampler. Visit Cairns, followed by a memorable trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Then, enjoy excursions from Darwin, take in the sunset at Broome’s famed Cable Beach, and end with beach time in Perth.  

Explore the Great Barrier Reef
Explore the Great Barrier Reef
Day 1Arrival in CairnsCairns
Day 2Cairns – Great Barrier Reef Day TripCairns
Day 3Travel to DarwinDarwin
Day 4Darwin – Kakadu National Park Day TripDarwin
Day 5Darwin – Katherine Gorge Cruise and Edith Falls Day TripDarwin
Day 6Travel to BroomeBroome
Day 7Broome – Horizontal Falls Day TripBroome
Day 8Travel to PerthPerth
Day 9Travel to Coral Bay Coral Bay
Day 10Travel to Shark BayMonkey Mia

The trip begins in Cairns to embark on a self-tour of some local sights. Visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, go for a swim in the Cairns Lagoon, and learn all about the indigenous people at Tjapukai Aboriginal Park. In the morning, prepare for one of the highlights: the Great Barrier Reef. Take a boat ride all along the reef, which is made up of 3,000 systems and cays. Go snorkeling among the local marine life and take in the golden beaches on tropical islands all around.

On day three, fly to Darwin. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and explore the town on your own. Head to Mindil Beach with its sunset markets and food vendors, Crocosaurus Cove to visit native wildlife, and the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens—with more than 100 acres of tropical flora, an orchid house, and a café. Next, embark on a day trip to Kakadu National Park, which spans more than 11,800 miles. Take a guided Yellow Water Billabong tour along the water seeking out saltwater crocodiles. Next, visit the Bininj People at Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn about life in Kakadu. Wake up and venture out on another field trip—this time to Katherine Gorge. Make your way to Edith Falls for a swim, then take a 2-hour cruise through a network of 13 gorges carved from billion-year-old sandstone in Nitmiluk National Park, which is also decorated with Aboriginal rock art.

Then, fly to Broome to visit the Kimberly region and Cable Beach, which is known for its illustrious pearls—visit Australia’s oldest pearl farm to learn more about the history. In the morning, go on a day trip. First, stop at the Koolkaman wilderness camp to stroll the beaches and enjoy a local meal. Next is a hatchery at One Arm Point to learn about marine life. The day’s highlight is unmistakably Horizontal Falls, a waterfall phenomenon nestled on the coast.

Greet the sun over Cable Beach, and depart after a sunrise camel tour. Fly to Perth and enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Visit Swan BellsCaversham Wildlife Park, the Adventure World theme park, and the Perth Mint, to learn about moneymaking history.

In the morning, head out to Coral Bay to swim with manta rays, along with diving and sailing the Ningaloo Reef, or join a glass-bottom boat tour. Next is Shark Bay, where you can visit the Shark Bay Discovery Centre to check out interactive exhibits about the area’s history and heritage. Then, enjoy the rest of the day and evening at your leisure, before the trip ends with a flight out of Perth in the morning. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Great Outdoors of Western Australia

Enjoy another side to Australia on this outdoorsy Western itinerary. Swim with whale sharks in Exmouth, visit the Ngili Caves, enjoy day trips from Perth to Kalbarri and the iconic Pink Lake, followed by a last hurrah on Rottnest Island.

Go swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth
Go swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth
Day 1Arrival in ExmouthExmouth
Day 2Exmouth – Swim With Whale SharksExmouth
Day 3Exmouth – Cape Range National Park TourExmouth
Day 4Travel to Margaret RiverMargaret River
Day 5Margaret River – Gourmet Wine TourMargaret River
Day 6Margaret River – Free DayMargaret River
Day 7Travel to PerthPerth
Day 8Perth – Kalbarri and Pink Lake Day TripPerth
Day 9Rottnest Island – Bike and Snorkel Day TripPerth
Day 10Departure From Perth 

Launch the trip in Exmouth, located on the Coral Coast. Stay on Ningaloo Reef, and enjoy some beach exploration upon arrival. Wake up for your day at sea. Board a boat to a lagoon for some snorkeling along the reef, before venturing into nearby waters to swim with whale sharks, followed by lunch on the boat and more snorkeling in the afternoon.

In the morning, it’s off to Cape Range National Park for a tour of the gorges and an off-road excursion through the outback tracks to discover local flora and fauna. Go for a swim in Osprey Bay and take a boat tour through Yardie Creek’s red, limestone cliffs. Next, visit Ningaloo Marine Park and experience the waters of Turquoise Bay, before a stop at a nearby lighthouse for some commemorative photos.

On day four, travel to Margaret River, a small town known for its craft breweries, wineries, and boutiques. Walk the Cape to Cape Track—between two lighthouses—and take in views of the limestone caves and sea cliffs by Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. In the morning, embark on a gourmet wine tour with tastings at Vasse Felix and Voyager Estate. Lunch unfolds at Xanadu Winery, followed by a bevy of local artisanal treats. The next day is at your leisure. Explore the Ngili Caves in Yallingup, or visit the town of Busselton.

From here, fly to Perth, the capital of Western Australia. On your own time, visit Caversham Wildlife Park for up-close animal encounters. Beaches to bookmark include Cottesloe or Leighton, while Murray Street and Hey Street offer great, local shops. Wake up and board a flight to Kalbarri for an exciting day trip. A driver will take you to Pink Lake to stroll the shores of this unique body of water.

Continue touring Kalbarri and its gorgeous cliffs, and enjoy lunch, before heading back to Perth. On day nine, take a scenic boat ride to Rottnest Island to pick up your bike and snorkel gear. The day is yours to get acquainted with the island. While in the water, take note of the pristine coral and many schools of fish. Following the adventure, return to Perth for your final evening in Australia, before flying home tomorrow. Learn more

More Great 10-Day Australia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Australia trip? Check out these other 10-day Australia itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.


Map of 10 Days in Australia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas