Australia is a natural wonderland of beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters, amazing ancient rock formations and pristine rain forests. Much of Australia’s exotic flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else in the world and the lifestyle is second to none.
Sure it’s got deadly spiders, snakes and sharks, but they don’t stop people from going there, never mind living there. And for good reason. From the amazing sub-aquatic experience in the Great Barrier Reef, to the white sails of the Sydney Opera House, Australia is a country as vast as your imagination.
But don’t just take our word for it, get off your sofa and get yourself down to the place where adventure and laidback lifestyle are right on your doorstep. If you’re aged between 18 and 30, you can live and travel anywhere in Australia for one year and work in an area related to your agricultural career whilst getting to know the real Australia.
Facts: Australia is a country and continent, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal, but its capital, Canberra, is inland and nicknamed the “Bush Capital.”
Religion: Australia has no state religion, but the main religion is Christianity
Currency: Australian Dollar
Population: 23.9 million
Official Language: English
Time zones<: Australia is such a big country that it has three time zones:
- Eastern Standard Time (Queensland) – 10 hours ahead of GMT/UTC depending on Daylight Savings
- Central Time – 9.5 hours ahead of GMT/UTC
- Western Time – 8 hours ahead of GMT/UTC
Australia: Getting There
They don’t call Australia ‘the land down under’ for nothing. It’s a long way from just about everywhere and getting there is usually going to mean a long-haul flight. That ‘over the horizon’ feeling doesn’t stop once you’re there either – the distances between key cities (much less opposing coastlines) can be vast, requiring a minimum of an hour or two of air time but up to several days of highway cruising or dirt-road jostling to traverse.
Many airlines fly to Australia and prices vary considerably, so it pays to shop around for a flight. Consider the length of the flight and any mandatory stopovers. Start by contacting the major airlines or your local Aussie Specialist travel agent.
Australia’s customs laws prevent you from bringing drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms and protected wildlife into Australia. Some common items such as fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers are also prohibited. There is no limit on currency but you will need to declare amounts over $10,000. For more detailed information go to the Australian government Customs & Quarantine page.
Medicine brought into Australia for personal use is subject to controls and must be declared on your arrival. It is recommended you bring a prescription or letter from your doctor outlining your medical condition and the medicine you are carrying.
All of Australia’s international airports have regular public transport such as bus, train and taxi connections and private transfers with the city centres. Shuttle buses are also available and provide transfers to accommodation.
The summer months in Australia (November to March) can get very hot. Up north, in Queensland for example, the summer period brings the rainy season and the weather can be very hot and humid with lots of rainfall. The winter months (June to August) in Queensland bring much dryer weather but are still hot. The further south you go the colder and wetter winter becomes and in some mountainous areas of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania skiing is possible.
The sun in Australia can be very intense so we strongly advise that you always use sunscreen (at least factor 30) when you are outside, even when you think you don’t need it. You will be constantly reminded of the slogan “Slip, slop, slap”; the government approved catchphrase reminding you to slip on a T-shirt, slop on some sun block and slap on a hat. To prevent headaches and to protect your eyes, it’s a good idea to have sunglasses with you also.
Before you go, have a look at the Australian tourism website at www.australia.com .