Australia Travel Guide
Australia is a wild and beautiful place, a land whose colour palette of red outback sands and Technicolor reefs frames sophisticated cities and soulful Indigenous stories.
Australia is located in the continent of Oceania
Area of Australia
Australia covers 7,682,300 square kilometer.
The population of Australia is 22,015,576.
LanguageTravel in Australia will teach you a lot about English. Although they definitely throw their own twist on every single word they speak, Australians are speaking English. Australian English is so unique they even have their own wikipedia page for how it arose from your run-of-the-mill English. Use context clues to piece together the slang (Straya = Australia, bogan = redneck, mozzie = mosquito, you’ll figure it out) and remember that cursing is a sign of endearment down under.
Currency & TippingAussies use the Australian dollar, so there’s no brain-busters here. And, it’s fairly close to the the US dollar, $0.77 in AUD is $1 in USD (subject to change, of course). Australia is like the US too in the way that most places accept credit cards. Alert your credit card company before you take off, though. Nothing throws up a credit card fraud red flag like a charge popping up in Australia. Check with your bank before you travel Australia to see if your debit card will let you pull money out at an ATM.
Australian CuisineYou’d be surprised at how unique Australian cuisine can be. You can try a ton of exoticand flavorful meats (hit up a steak house and try some medium-rare kangaroo) and get some of the freshest seafood in the world (the whole “shrimp on the barbie” thing is no joke down there). For dessert, you need to try some Tim-Tam cookies and lamington cake, the “national cake of Australia.” Lastly, you need to try vegemite on toast at least once, just for the story. C’mon, we dare you.
Tech tips for AustraliaAustralia has a different outlet style than the US does, so before you travel to Australia make sure you grab an outlet converter. Wifi hotspots are few and far between in this massive country, too. It might be worth it to rent a mobile wifi hotspot if you’re going to be using your laptop on the go. Hotels will have wifi, but surprisingly a lot of coffee shops and cafes won’t, so be ready to go on a wifi hunt if you’re trying to not use your cellphone data.
The most interesting regions
See the most interesting directions.
Top End & the Kimberley
Interesting activities in Australia
Australia is the sixth-largest country by land area. It is comparable in size to the 48 contiguous United States. Australia is bordered to the west by the Indian Ocean, and to the east by the South Pacific Ocean. The Tasman Sea lies to the southeast, separating it from New Zealand, while the Coral Sea lies to the northeast. Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia are Australia's northern neighbours, separated from Australia by the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea.
Australia is highly urbanised with most of the population heavily concentrated along the eastern and south-eastern coasts. Most of the inland areas of the country are semi-arid. The most-populous states are Victoria and New South Wales, but by far the largest in land area is Western Australia.
As a large island a wide variation of climates are found across Australia. It is not completely hot and sun-kissed, as stereotypes would suggest. There are regions that can be quite cool and wet. However, a good portion of the country receives more than 3,000°hr of sunshine a year. Generally, the north is hot and tropical, while the south tends to be sub-tropical and temperate. Most rainfall is around the coast, and much of the centre is arid and semi-arid.
The daytime maximum temperatures in Darwin rarely drop below 30°C (86°F), even in winter, while night temperatures in winter usually hover around 15-20°C (59-68°F). Temperatures in some southern regions can drop below freezing in winter and the Snowy Mountains in the South East experiences metres of winter snow. Parts of Tasmania and Victoria have a temperature range very similar to England.
Based upon scientific evidence and theory, the island of Australia was most likely first settled more than 50,000 years ago with successive waves of immigration of people from south and south-east Asia. With rising sea levels after the last Ice Age, Australia became largely isolated from the rest of the world and tribes developed a variety of cultures, based on a close spiritual relationship with the land and nature, and extended kinship. Australian people maintained a hunter-gatherer culture for thousands of years in association with a complex artistic and cultural life - including a very rich 'story-telling' tradition. While the modern impression of Australian people is largely built around an image of the 'aboriginal desert people' who have adapted to some of the harshest conditions on the planet (equivalent to the bushmen of the Kalahari), Australia provided a comfortable living for the people amongst the bountiful flora and fauna on the Australian coast - until the arrival of Europeans.
Places to Visit in Australia
Australia is bigger than the continental United States. It. Is. Huge. While planning your trip to Australia, keep this in mind. It’s not that easy to drive from one side to the other, because the center chunk is dominated by the outback where there is nothing but desert.
The Great Barrier Reef
This natural wonder is the world’s largest coral reef system, an incredible ecosystem right below the surface of the water. If you’re near the Queensland coast, the Coral Sea is a must-visit for snorkeling, scuba diving, beach lounging and boat cruising.
Watson's Bay and the Gap
You’ll see a ton of beautiful beaches during your trip to Australia, but Watson’s Bay might be the best. Lounge on the beach or hike up to the Gap, where Sydney Bay meets the South Pacific. Time your ferry ride back to Sydney with the sunset.
Millaa Millaa Falls
Queensland is also home to the lush, rich jungle of the Atherton Tablelands, which is home to Millaa Millaa Falls. Here you can take the plunge under the roaring falls. It can get crowded on hot days, though, so be ready to deal with a little bit of a crowd.
The Blue Mountains
In New South Wales, the Blue Mountains run along the coast, a fantastical rocky landscape shrouded in a haze of mist caused by all the eucalyptus trees. This is an outdoor adventure paradise; explore the Jenolan Caves or the Giant Staircase nature walks.