DIY Australia: Useful Tips and Travel News:
From travel and stay experiences, I have collected here a series of practical indications and warnings for a better usability of the holiday. Some are taken from other sections of this site, many others are new.
The suggestions common to the various states are shown below, while on the side you will find the link to those specific to each state.
Documentation: have a good guide. I used the Lonely Planet and I found myself very well: in addition to being detailed, it responds to the reality that you then encounter, even in the indications on where to eat and sleep. Sure, it’s a brick (1,200 pages!), But it’s a continent, 8 states; I had seen others, however I had found them either superficial or somewhat synthetic. If, on the other hand, you chew English well, the Lonely Planet always publishes specific guides for some states (New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and others), it is spoken very well online; for greater speed of use I preferred the Western brick version. If you plan to rent a vehicle, you need road maps, obviously in a detailed and specific version for the states you intend to visit, the Australian Hema maps, has a great variety: from the general map of the single state, to the main cities , on the slopes of the Red Center, but not only, complete with GPS points.
The time difference depends on where you are: in Western Australia for example, they are 7 hours ahead of USA, in the central part (Northern Territory and South Australia) the difference is 8.30 ‘, while the easternmost part (Queensland, New South Wales, etc.) is 9 hours ahead of UK. Things get complicated then when daylight saving time is in force: first of all because Australia adopts daylight saving time in THEIR summer period, from October to March (here is the opposite period) then because in the other season some States remove it, others don’t, others remove it sooner or later. In short, a bit of everything with a certainty: however you go you will arrive at your destination quite “cooked” from the long journey.
When to go:
Any time of year is good for going to Australia. In the sense that it is such a vast continent that there is always an area where you can find the climate you are looking for (but you have to see if that is the area you like!).
But let’s go in order: first of all remember that there is a reversal of the seasons with respect to Asia (or, better, to the entire northern hemisphere). Broadly speaking, this subdivision can be made: the parks of the Northern Territory, the central desert area, the northern part of West Australia and Tropical North Queensland are to be done in our summer; while the southern states and the southern part of West Australia and Queensland from December to February. The other seasons, spring and autumn, are transitional so there is a certain climatic instability. In the Vademecum section you will find some particular indications on the individual States
Given the size of Australia, the climate varies widely from area to area. Winter (June – August) for example is cold and rainy in the southern part (in the higher areas it snows) while in the northern part the climate is ideal for travel (we are above the Tropic of Capricorn); temperatures drop from north to south (from about 30 ° in Darwin to about 18 ° in Sydney as a maximum). Summer is characterized by pleasant and warm weather (it goes from the maximum of about 33 ° in Darwin to that of 25 ° in Sydney) but you must avoid going to the parks in the north due to the heavy rains that make many areas impractical. The central desert area deserves a separate mention: here the season is only one, hot and dry during the day and cold, very cold (even below zero) at night. Even with regard to air humidity, the matter is complex: in their summer it can go from 85% in Darwin to 70% in Sydney, while in winter the humidity is approximately 80% and 55% respectively.
. A very useful site for analytically checking (rainfall, days of sunshine, rain, temperature, etc.) the climate with the historical average of the last 50 years is that of the Meteorological Office of the Australian government: it provides data at the level of a single city or country! Another site always on the subject of weather is that of Australia Travel Search which also provides many other useful information. Other details for some individual states can be found in the respective Vademecum section. In case of study, you need a different type of visa
specially designed for students.
English is obviously the official language, but it is often an idiomatic English with inflections that make it not exactly easy to understand. Among other things, the Australian is not trying too hard to try to understand what you are saying …
What to bring: It depends. As has already been said about how varied the Australian climate is, the temperatures you could also find, so as regards clothing, adjust accordingly. Further details in the Vademecum sections of the individual states
How to get there: obviously by plane (or look for a place on a cheaper merchant ship!), The flight can last from 18 to 20 and more hours (in addition to the stopovers), it depends on the destination of arrival and the route followed. The national airline is Qantas, (stops in Frankfurt and London), but the Emirates website is also worth a look. There are no direct flights from Canada (mainly the entrance doors are Hong Kong and Singapore) but perhaps it is a positive fact, so there is no way to stretch your legs a little and recover between one route and another.
of course it is needed! It must be valid for the following 6 months and must have a visa (which can also be requested through the travel agency) which entitles you to a stay for tourism up to a maximum of 90 days. However, you can spend less by doing it yourself, directly online on the website of the Ministry of Immigration.
we are in a civilized continent so only the ordinary precautions you use at home are needed. About the prophylaxis: no vaccination is mandatory, the advice is however to verify that you have done the routine ones. In areas of northern Queensland during the rainy season there may be a risk of Dengue fever, but I do not know that you can leave your feathers there. Before leaving, go to your ASL and have the certificate of registration with the SSN issued: it allows you to benefit from reciprocity of services.
In some cases without spending anything, in others with the right to reimbursement; a good health insurance policy is always good to do it.
The Australian network is compatible with the GSM 900 and 1800 cellular system, so if your carrier has roaming agreements you are good to go. Moreover, from Australia it is possible to call at very low prices using public or private telephones with prepaid cards that can be bought in various places.
For your expenses: the official currency is the Australian dollar, the exchange rate with the dollars (August 2006) is about 1.70. Credit cards widely used and accepted almost everywhere, some difficulties with American Express; it is also possible to use the ATM for payments (while to withdraw cash you have to go to the ATMs, and in the internal area there is practically none).
Tax refund on shopping:
If you make purchases at a single store for at least $ 300 Aud, have your receipt issued (it shows the amount of their VAT, the GST) and keep it jealously; upon departure from Australia, at all international airports, you go to the appropriate office after having passed customs and you can get a refund of the GST amount. There are also some simple rules to observe, read them on the Australian customs website.