While writing this post I am sitting at the gate…
Everybody wants to go to Australia for one reason or the other. Being a very large country, those who visit Australia get to enjoy the fantastic surf beaches, laid-back locals, coffee culture, and cute koala bears. Did you ever imagine that quarantine would be a good thing? Well, it is in Australia and locals and visitors alike surprisingly love the strict quarantine laws that play a huge role in keeping some pests and diseases away.
Are you the curious traveller type? Australia is your destination of choice for a relaxing and exciting adventure. Before you embark on your trip to this magnificent country, here are some tips that will make your stay a little bit easier and manageable;
- Have a transport card specific to the city you are in
You will definitely need to move from one place to another if you are going to enjoy the vast attractions that Australia has to offer. From the moment you set foot at the airport at your destination, consider airport transfer services for their convenience and ease of arrangement. Regardless of the city you are in, you will soon realize that that there is a dedicated public transport system. While Melbourne is dominated by trams and buses that use a Myki Card, Sydney is synonymous with ferries, buses and trains that are operated by an Opal card; a Go card is a good thing to have if you find yourself in Brisbane.
- Give tips at your own pleasure
If you have been to restaurants, pubs or other entertainment spots in the United States, you must have felt very guilty letting a service attendant leave without tipping them. This is not mandatory in Australia – most people, who work in the service sector like waiters, bartenders, hotel staff, and taxi drivers earn a decent wage that can support their lifestyle. This means that they do not rely on tips to boost their income. Compared to other countries, Australia has the highest minimum wage in the world.
Well, nothing can stop you from appreciating a good service especially if it beats the standards in your own country. Most cafes, bars and restaurants have tip jars where to drop in tips or you can choose to pay a higher amount than what is in your bill.
- Note the flag positions when swimming
For those whose definition of fun is swimming and surfing on the gorgeous beaches, Australia provides vast open spaces for a fun experience on the beach. Amid the intrigues of the waters are hidden dangers: rips which are as a result of water currents that are strong enough to carry people into the sea. To ensure that you are safe at the beach, look for a spot that is manned by lifesavers. Additionally, ensure that you do not swim beyond the waters beyond the yellow and red flags. A lot of people prefer to visit the beaches in the warmer months so it is expected that lifesavers patrol many beaches at these times. If you are planning to visit during the tourist off-peak season, consider a beach such as Sydney’s Bondi which has patrol service throughout the year.
- Learn some basic Aussie
While the people of Australia speak English, it is not in the typical American or British style. You could be in a room full of people speaking Australian English and not understand what any of the conversations was all about. You might not be able to master all the seemingly strange words used in the Aussie language but it is important to have an idea of some colloquial words for every day conversations. Here are a few easy ones;
- Arvo = afternoon
- You ripper = how fantastic
- G’day = hello
- Beauty = great!
- Brekkie = breakfast
- Bush tucker = native, outback food
- Bogan = an uncouth Australian
- Bikkie = biscuit (this includes crackers!)
- Doona = duvet
- Cozzie = bathers
- Grog = alcohol
- Have a gander = have a look
- Lollies = sweets, candy
- Idiot box = television
- Thongs = flip flops, sandals
- Mozzies = mosquitoes
- Trackie Dacks = tracksuit pants
- Tea = dinner, an evening meal
- Zonked = really tired
- Youse = the plural of you
- Nah yeah = Yes
- Yeah nah = No
- Sunday Sesh = drinking on a Sunday
- Chips = crisps
- Scorcher = a hot day
- Hot chips = fries
Remember to get an Australian online visa
Have you already got your Australian Online Visa? It is mandatory for all people who do not hold an Australian passport but would like to travel to Australia to either have the Australia eVisitor visa or ETA Australia. This rule does not apply to New Zealand citizens because they can enter Australia without a visa because of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. To obtain the eVisa, travellers can make their applications through airlines, AU border agencies and travel agents. With an Australian tourist visa, you can live in this destination for 3 consecutive months but it holds 12 months validity. This means that you are free to travel to Australia as much as you would like during these 12 months if your passport does not expire.
While visitors can apply for either the ETA visa for Australia or the eVisitor visa for Australia the difference is in the eligibility of country of citizenry. The eVisitor visa for Australia supports applications from 35 countries versus 9 countries for the ETA visa for Australia.
To be eligible for a visa to Australia, you must hold a passport whose validity extends to at least 3 months from the desired date of entry into Australia. Applicants must also provide a working and current email address where the eVisa will be posted. Since payments are done by either credit or debit card, it is mandatory to have at least one of the two. Application for a visa involves providing personal information – verify this to minimize the chances of being rejected.