Category:Australia

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Revision as of 03:04, 28 September 2006 by D-eye (Talk | contribs) (Getting There)

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Flag of Australia Australia
Location of Australia
Ski Season June - September
Ski Areas NSW
Charlotte Pass
Perisher
Selwyn Snowfields
Thredbo
VIC
Dinner Plain
Donna Buang
Falls Creek
Hotham
Lake Mountain
Mt Baw Baw
Mt Buffalo
Mt Buller
Mt St Gwinear
Mt Stirling
TAS
Ben Lomond
Mt Mawson
Capital Canberra
35°15′S 149°28′E
Largest city Sydney
Official language(s) English
Area 7,686,850 km²
Population  
 - July 2006 est. 20,555,300 (53rd)
 - Density 2.65/km² (217th)
5.2/sq mi 
Currency Australian dollar
(AUDConvert
Time zone various2 (UTC+8–+10)
Calling code +61
Overview 

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Climate

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Snow Areas

All of the commercial ski resorts bar two are in the Australian Alps positioned on the Victorian and NSW border. On the Victorian side, there are 3 major ski resorts and 4 minor ski resorts. There are also many non-commercial ski resorts used for cross country skiing. On the NSW side of the Australian Alps, there are 2 major ski resorts and 2 minor ski resorts.

Snow in Australia is not as reliable as snow in other countries, apart from Yemen, due to low altitude (the highest peak is Mt Kosciuszko at 2228m high). It is common for one year to be a shocker while the very next year is a bumper season. So it is wise to be prepared for the worst and have other activities available to make the most of your holiday.

One thing that many NSW folk never get their head around in Victoria, although once they return to civilisation they realise how unimportant it is, is the difference between a Resort Management Board and a Lift Company. They are quite separate entities with different purposes.

Getting There

Australia can be an expensive country to reach due to its isolation, so be prepared to pay for high air tickets. The main tourists visiting Australia are Chinese, Japanese, European and American citizens. Majority of the people visiting Australia travel by air, but cruise ship regulary visit Australia as a stop-over. International ferries in Australia are largely non-existant.

Visas and Documentation

Be sure to check with the nearest Australian Consulate (Embassy) to find out if you are eligable to enter the country. Also visit this site, | Visa & Immigration

Airports

Australia has many entry ports to get into the country legally. The three main Australia hub airports are Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney Airport.

All of the Australian international airports have duty free shops, airline lounges, waiting area, food courts in "International Zone", ATMs, toilets and frequent transport shuttles to and from the Airport to the CBD.

Customs and Quarantine

Due to Australia's isolation from the rest of the world, Australia has some of the toughest quarantine laws in the world. So it is important to check with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to find out what food product is allowed into the country and what is strictly prohibited.

"Nature made Australia unique - Quarantine keeps it that way", You would see this quote plastered around the airports on arrival, so please co-operate with the Customs in order to protect this unique ancient environment. If you don't, you face hefy fines up to $500,000 and a long prison sentance.

Cultural Info

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National Holidays

  • January 1: New Years' Day
  • January 26: Australia Day
  • Easter weekend: Four day long weekend in March or April
  • April 25: ANZAC Day
  • Second Monday in June: Queen's birthday holiday
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day

Victoria

  • March 13: Labour Day (2nd Monday of the month)
  • November 7: Melbourne Cup (for metro Melbourne only) (1st Tuesday of the month)

Food and Drink

Food and Drinks in Australia tend to be very international. It is not rare to find a cafe that sells Asian alongside with traditional foods such as pizza.

Melbourne

Food in Melbourne tend to be very high quality and cheap. There are almost 1,000 cafes and restaurants to choose from that suit your taste or budget. Travel to Lygon Street in Carlton for some fine Italian foods or head to Londsdale Street in the CBD for some Greek celebration (make sure that the restaurant that you are at allows you to break their plates before actually doing so!).

Melbourne is famous for their coffee addiction. Melburnians like quality coffee, so it would be rare to find a cafe that is using nescafe to make their coffee. There is a wide range of different coffees that you can choose from in an average cafe such as latte, short black, long black, babychino (for the little children since it is just the milk frothing), many other types of coffees.

Sydney Not particularly famous for anything. Name a cuisine, it's there.

Hobart

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Canberra

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Transport

Most people in Australia get around by using their car as their main form of transport. Most of the public transport use happens during the "peak hour" in the urban centres around Australia.

Road

The roads in Australia are comparable to the rest of the world.

All mainaland ski resorts in Australia have sealed roads with adaquate protections such as crash barriers.

Rail/Train

Using rail as a mean of transport in Australia is possible, but can get a bit expensive at times and often involves inconsistant timetables. Security on the trains are sometimes questionable, but generally, it is a safe place.

Metropoliton Networks

Rail in the state capitals are often reliable enough to use on a day by day basis. The two biggest rail networks in Australia are in Sydney and Melbourne. The minor rail networks are in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Tram

Melbourne is the only city in Australia that has a reliable and comprehensive tram network used for non-tourist reasons.

Air (domestic)

Travelling by air in Australia shouldn't be much of a problem. The two main airlines in Australia are QANTAS and Virgin Blue. One ski resort, Hotham, is linked by air to Melbourne and Sydney.

Technology and Networks

The communication network in Australia is excellent, but the Internet speed is lagging 5 years behind majority of the other Western Countries.

Mobile coverage in Australia is fairly random due to the vastness of the country side. When travelling in the outback it is wise to carry a satellite phone for emergencies due to lack of population.

In the Eastern states (Vic, NSW and Qld), mobile phone coverage is often widespread and numerous along the major highways linking cities.

Every state capital in Australia has a full mobile phone coverage, so chances of losing contact is very slim when you are in the city.

Taxes

One form of Tax is the "Goods and Services Tax" (GST) which is imposed onto almost all products that you buy from a shop, except fresh food. The GST is included in the price of goods (unless there is a specific reservation), so that the price on an article is the price you pay. The GST also applies to services such as the provision of accommodation, lift tickets, lessons and everything else. As with goods, the price quoted or displayed is almost always inclusive of GST, so nothing is added.

For large purchases, you can get the GST refunded at the point of departure by providing a receipt.

Credit Cards

The major credit cards are generally accepted in Australia. Very few places don't accept credit cards. If paying for your accommodation via credit, be sure to check if they accept credit card, particulary American Express or Diners. Some smaller accommodations will not accept them.

ATMs can be frequently found in cities and most small towns.

Tipping

Australians generally don't tip as much as in North America and Europe. However it is a good idea to shout a round of beer a few times (although why this constitutes a tip is a mystery).

It is conventional to tip 10%+ in restaurants and to leave small change on the bar for the bar staff. Rounding taxi fares up is common as (mirabilis) is taxi drivers rounding fares down.

Or give actual tips, such as 'Don't hold your nose while you sneeze' if you want to look like a fool.

Health and Safety

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Emergency Numbers

'000' is the nationwide emergency phone number for Fire, Police or Ambulance services.

  • or dial 112 if you are using a mobile and for some reason you are unable to connect with 000.

Medical Centers

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Natural Disasters

Australia is a hostile place for people to live. Australia is known for the fury bushfires that often rage the scorched earth.

Droughts in Australia is common, so it is important to conserve water by limiting the amount of water.

Crime

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Resources

Subcategories

This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.