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About Australia

The vast continent Down Under offers a variety of exciting travel adventures, from backpacking through the desolate Outback to enjoying a luxury resort in the magical Great Barrier Reef. With its wide open spaces and fascinating Aboriginal history, sophisticated cities and golden beaches, there’s more than enough to keep even the most world-weary traveller happy.

Every single destination in Australia has its own unique personality and charm, so travelling here presents a multitude of adventures. Of course, part of the reason Australia has so much to offer is that it’s a huge country, with diverse landscapes. No matter what type of holiday you’re looking for, you’ll find it here - enjoy the sophisticated lifestyle in Sydney, sample Melbourne’s laid-back café society, explore a rainforest or travel the Great Ocean Road. There are vineyards, beaches, ski slopes and mountain trails, museums, great food and everything in between. The Australians are renowned for their warmth and hospitality, the country is famous for its sunshine and beauty. It’s this incredible range of experiences that has people returning to visit Australia time and again.

Set Your Watch

Australia is an immense country and times differ according to where you’re located. For example, Perth is 6 hours ahead of South Africa, while Sydney and Melbourne are 8 hours ahead of South Africa.

South Africa: UTC+02:00

Australia: UTC+08:00 (Perth), UTC+10:00 (Sydney)

Australia uses Daylight Savings Time (DST) during summer, which ends in April (UTC-01:00 - one hour backward) and starts again in October (UTC+01:00 one hour forward).

Best Time To Visit Australia

As Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa shares the same seasons. The northern part of the country is more tropical, while the rest of Australia has similar weather conditions to South Africa.

Although the warmer months – October to March – are the most popular times to visit, Australia is a great destination year-round. If you want to see any snow, you’ll have to visit the mountainous regions, and the coldest you’ll get is in Tasmania.

The Great Barrier Reef is particularly popular during the summer months, while Sydney and Perth boast glorious summer weather and Melbourne is more prone to rain. Droughts are particularly prevalent in the south, as well as southeast Queensland and Victoria.

Emergency Numbers

Emergency services (Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance): 000 or 112 from a mobile phone.

Whenever you travel overseas, Travelstart strongly recommends taking travel insurance prior to departing South Africa to cover any medical expenses you might incur abroad.

Australia Airports

Adelaide Airport – ADL: A very busy airport as it’s the gateway to Brisbane as well as the popular Gold Coast, Brisbane Airport is located 13km northeast of the city.

Brisbane International Airport – BNE: Located 40km from Bengaluru, the airport is currently being expanded. It has 2 terminals.

Cairns International Airport – CRS: Queensland’s largest airport, Cairns Airport is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and is located 7km north of Cairns CBD.

Canberra International Airport – CBR: Canberra International Airport is on the eastern edge of North Canberra and is the 8th busiest airport in Australia.

Darwin International Airport – DRW: Darwin Airport is the busiest airport serving the Northern Territory and the tenth busiest airport in Australia. The airport is located in Darwin, 13km from the Darwin city centre.

Gladstone Airport – GLT/IGI: Gladstone Airport is located about 10km from the centre of the city. Buses operate between the town centre and the airport, but are only operational from Monday to Friday between 6am and 6pm.

Gold Coast Airport – OOL: Gold Coast Airport, or Coolangatta Airport, is a domestic and international airport at the southern end of the Gold Coast, some 100km south of Brisbane and 25km south of Surfers Paradise.

Hobart International Airport – HBA: Located about 19 km northeast of the city centre, Hobart’s airport is the second fastest-growing airport in Australia and handles more than 1,5 million passengers annually.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport – KGI: A modern airport located 7km from the centre of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, it offers several daily flights to and from Perth, as well as other regional centres in Australia.

Melbourne Tullamarine Airport – MEL: Also called Tullamarine Airport, it’s the largest of the city’s four airports. Located 15km northwest of the Melbourne, it features 3 terminals.

Mount Isa Airport – ISA: Mount Isa Airport serves the western Queensland city of Mount Isa, Australia. It is served by a variety of scheduled regional airlines, with flights to Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns as well as several other regional centres.

Perth Airport – PER: The major gateway to Western Australia, and one of the busiest airports in the country, Perth Airport is located 12km northeast of Perth.

Rockhampton Airport – ROK: Rockhampton Airport is a regional Australian airport serviced by buses and taxis, with regular connections to Rockhampton City and the Capricorn Coast provided by Youngs Bus Service and other local operators.

Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport – SYD: One of the busiest airports in the world, Sydney Airport is also known as Kingsford-Smith Airport. It’s located 9km south of central Sydney and has 3 terminals.

Travel Adaptors And Voltage

Travel Adaptors: You will need a travel adaptor to use your appliances in Australia. You can purchase a simple adaptor plug at airports, luggage stores and in shopping malls throughout South Africa. Australian plugs have three flat prongs, but are not the same as UK three-pin plugs, which also have flat prongs. Outlets for small appliances of 110 volts are found in most hotels.

Voltage: South Africa uses 220V and 230V, and Australia uses 230V (Frequency: 50Hz).

As a general rule, different voltages are sometimes used within the same country. Be mindful of this before plugging in and always check your device voltage against the voltage of the power point you’re using.

Tipping In Australia

Bars: You don’t need to tip at a bar if you’re paying for a round at the counter. But you can let the bartender keep the change.

Restaurants: Make sure to check the bill to see whether a 10% service charge has been added. If this is the case, there’s no need to tip the waiter. In other cases, 10% of the restaurant bill is ideal.

Taxis: Taxi drivers don’t expect to be tipped in Australia, so a maximum of 10% is fine in major tourist areas and cities. Usually, passengers give the driver the small change in coins from the fare.

Hotels: Porters are usually tipped $2 or $4 dollars per item of luggage. The more fancy the hotel, the more you need to pay. For room service, give a small tip of between $2 to $5, but not more than 10% of the bill. Hotel housekeeping is usually given between $2 and $4.

Tour guides: Tipping a tour guide is not expected in Australia, but is appreciated. So if you feel that your guide did a great job, do give him or her a tip of a few dollars.

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