Tourism in Australia plays a major role in shaping the economy of the country. It is one of the countries in the world where you can find diverse landscape consisting of deserts, rainforests, beaches and mountains. With so many people visiting Australia every year, here’s a list of things that everyone should know before visiting the Land Down Under.
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Australia is located in the Southern hemisphere which makes its seasons at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. There are four seasons across most of the country and a wet and dry season in the tropical north. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter, and September to November is spring.
2. Time Zone
Australia has three separate time zones: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST).
• AEST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 10 hours (UTC +10).
• ACST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 9½ hours (UTC +9½).
• AWST is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 8 hours (UTC +8).
3. Currency Conversion
Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD), which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and one and two dollar denominations. Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% for which you may claim a refund if you have spent AUD$300 or more with a single business, no more than 60 days before departing Australia.
Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. There is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring in or out of Australia, however, if you arrive in Australia with more than AUD$10,000 in cash, you must declare it to Australian Customs at the airport when you land.
4. Tourist Visa
The Australian Visitor Visa (subclass 600) allows people to visit Australia for a holiday or to visit family and/or friends for a stay up to three or six or twelve months. This visa may also be used for other short-term non-work purposes too. You can apply for a Visa online, the charges and other important details can be found here. All applicants must satisfy four essential criteria:
• They must genuinely intend to stay temporarily in Australia;
• They must be seeking to visit Australia for purposes other than business or medical treatment;
• They must have access to or have adequate means to support themselves; and
• They must satisfy the relevant public interest criteria, including health and character
Applicants can produce documentation like evidence of employment in the home country, evidence of enrolment in school or university, evidence of financial situation including bank statements and proof of ownership of assets, evidence of family relationships in Australia etc to support the above criteria.
Visitor Visas can allow for single or multiple entries – and permit a three, six or twelve-month stay in Australia on each occasion. Applicants can indicate their preferred number of entries into Australia and their desired stay period in their application, however, the decision-maker will determine which time period is appropriate. Visitor Visas are designed for people whose intention is to visit Australia for short periods. They cannot generally be used for staying in Australia longer than 12 months and cannot be used to establish ongoing residence in Australia.
5. Sim Card
Of the three network providers in Australia (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone), since Optus has physical stores throughout Australia, including international airports, buying one of its SIMs is simple and easy. You can top up your Sim card by buying a voucher from an Optus retail store, or from most supermarkets, gas stations, and convenience stores. You can check their plans here.
There is really a lot of things to consider before you can go for a trip to Australia. With Pickyourtrail’s help, you can get all your travel prerequisites sorted without any worry. You can just pack your bags and leave for your vacation on time while the folks at Pickyourtrail help plan the perfect trip for you.