Best Time to go: Year – Round. Hot and sunny climate, with certain regions experiencing tropical weather.
Best For: Cultural exploration, Beach activities, Diving, National Parks
With plenty of sunshine, Australia is an enticing land of vast beaches, pulsating cities and huge expanses of bush land. It has an alluring sense of space and plenty of diversity from region to region.
From sun & beaches to tropical rainforests, from the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia offers it all and has a diversity of people. Don’t forget a visit to the Sydney Opera House. Brisbane is Australia`s third-largest city, and zipping between its sights via its main arterial waterway is a sublime pleasure in itself.
Adventure sports abound in Queensland, where you can sail, white-water raft, paraglide, and delve into the natural underwater wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef, awash with turquoise tints and sealife.
Sydney has a host of quality beaches on its doorstep, including the world-famous Bondi Beach and Manly. Sydney itself is the dynamic hub of the southern hemisphere, and one of the most stunning cities in the world, surrounded by World Heritage areas.
Tasmania’s harbours distinct wildlife, and many of the species are endangered or extinct elsewhere; the infamous Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail and the eastern quoll are the three biggest carnivorous marsupials in the world.
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Capital: Canberra (CBN)
Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
Language: English (other languages are spoken by minorities, including several Aboriginal languages)
Dialling code from SA: +61
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +8 – UTC / GMT + 10 (6 – 8 hours ahead of South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: First Sunday October – Last Sunday April (region dependent)
For more information on Time Zones and Daylight Savings Time visit www.australia.com
Side of the Road: Left
Plugs: 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Three-pin plugs are in use, although these differ from UK three-pin plugs. Outlets for 110 volts for small appliances are found in most hotels.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Should you be visiting a remote area, emergency medical services may take a long time to reach you, therefore basic first aid / medical supplies should be carried
Customs: Normal social courtesies
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is forbidden in many public spaces
Travel Tips / Warnings: Bush fires are frequent in the summer. During summer the ocean waters become infested with box jellyfish – visitors should pay attention to signs on beach and the instructions of life guards. There may be limited use of credit cards and ATM’s in small towns. Visitors should pay attention to signs warning of crocodile attacks.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Australia by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 50 cigarettes or 50g of tobacco or cigars.
• 2.25L of alcoholic drinks.
• Articles for personal hygiene and clothing, not including perfume or fur apparel.
• Other goods to a value of A$900 (A$450 if under 18).
Prohibited Imports: There are very strict regulations against the import of non-prescribed drugs, weapons, firearms, wildlife, domestic animals and foodstuffs (including meat, poultry and dairy; plants or parts of plants [including fruit, nuts and seeds]; animal products [including wool, skins and eggs] and any equipment used with domestic animals) and other potential sources of disease and pestilence (such as vaccines or viruses). There are severe penalties for drug trafficking. For further details on customs regulations, contact the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (www.customs.gov.au). You can obtain customs information booklets from the Australian High Commission or Embassy.
Prohibited Exports: The export of protected wildlife and associated products is strictly controlled, including the export of coral, turtle shell, snake or reptile skin, orchids, caviar, ivory products, hunting trophies and traditional medicinal products. If you plan to export any heritage-listed goods, including works of art, stamps, coins, archaeological objects, minerals and specimens, you need to apply for a special permit. The export of Australian native animals and plants is either prohibited or restricted. Also prohibited are firearms, pornography and narcotics.