Are you in the early stages of planning your trip to Australia or perhaps you are thinking about relocating , maybe some of the information below maybe of help to you.
The following is just information that I have picked up through my experiences of living in and travelling around this great country. Most of it may seem common sense but hopefully there may be some useful info for you.
When packing your bag make sure you take the appropiate clothing for the time of year as Australias seasons are the opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere - ie Summer In Australia = December - February
If you are taking any electrical equipment with you ( Phone charger , shaver , MP3 etc) remember that Australia has a three pin power point ( voltage 220-240) so a adapter will have to be used.
A good tip would be to buy a good insect / mosquito repellent ASAP once you arrive as through experience the flies you attract through sweating etc are huge and if you are constantly being bitten by mozzies it can be a bit sore and itchy!!!
Remember that that you have to declare any food , large sums of money ( $10,000) at customs as you may face a fine if caught.
No VAT in Australia but they do have a equivalent tax - GST which is only 10%.
Australian Dollars - they come in $100 , $50 , $20 , $10, $5 notes and 5c , 10c , 20c, 50c , $1, $2 coins - no 1c or 2c - all prices are rounded up in the shops etc to the nearest 5c ie if a product is $5.53 you will pay $5.55.
If you are driving, speed and distances are measured in kilometres. You drive on the left hand side of the road and I believe the max speed in cities is 50km/h. If you are breathtested you cannot have more than 0.05 of a reading ...anyhigher and you are in trouble.
Petrol is quite cheap ranging from 89c to £1.15 depending on where you buy it...be warned if you are going to drive through the country you will pay slightly more as less availablilty = higher price.
Smoking laws are nearly as tough as in the U.K ( no smoking in hospitals , galleries , public transport etc) but you can still smoke in most pubs / bars.
Australia has 3 time zones Eastern Standard - Central standard and Western standard - there can be a big difference between times for example W.A and QLD.
If you are going to travel alot you can have your mail held for up to 30 days for free by the post office but make sure you have it maked "Poste Restante" with the name of the addressee clearly printed on the envelope - you will need your passport to collect as it is suitable ID. You can have it redirected to any post office within Australia but there will be a charge - depends on the quantity.
My recommendation for travel ( if you do not have a car) would be Greyhound Buses - great passes and reasonable prices plus they have a network of over 1000 destinations.
If you are going to work remember to apply for a Tax File Number - without it no employer will give you a job - they are becoming very tough on fruit pickers especially.
Also apply for your Medicare card as this is your key to hospital treatment and doctors.
With the weather so hot at certain times of the year always remember to apply suntan lotion and wear a hat - Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and always drink plenty of water.
Once you decide to leave Australia there is a Tourist Refund Scheme - you can claim back your GST of goods purchased when departing Australia - To qualify you must spend $300.00 or more in one store , no more than 30 days before departing Australia - great for those souvenirs etc. The kiosk for this facility is normally in the departure lounge once you have passed passport control - remember to have your tax invoice at hand and possibly the items for customs to check.
I hope some of this information helps you and if it does please rate it as I have some more great info to share .
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