Travelling to Australia requires preparation and some research to have all the fundamental points covered. To make your life easier, we have put together important information to know before your arrival, from what you are allowed to bring to practical Australian culture tips.
1. Australia has strict border control policies
Before you begin preparing your suitcase for your arrival to Australia, it is important that you understand what you can and cannot bring into the country. Australia has very strict policies regarding food, fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs, are not permitted, however you may be permitted to bring in your favourite chocolates, dulce de leche or choice of Yerba Mate, so long as it is commercially packaged and declared at customs.
To protect the diverse natural environment plants, seeds, skins and feathers or any animal products or protected wildlife are also prohibited.
Laws will also prevent you from bringing in drugs, cigarettes, weapons and firearms. Heavy penalties or imprisonment may apply if you are found carrying these at the border.
Certain medications for personal use are subject to controls. It’s best to have a letter from your doctor stating what medicines you are taking and what your medical conditions are. The Australia tourism website simply states that medications must be declared, but the Australian customs site says you only need to declare medications which may be subject to abuse or dependence.
The only vaccination requirement to enter Australia is for yellow fever. If you have come from or have recently visited a yellow fever infected country, you will need to provide a yellow fever vaccination. Here you can find the complete information provided by the Australian Health Department.
2. Australia is considered a fairly safe country
Luckily, Australia is generally considered a safe country. But there are still a few things you should keep in mind while exploring the variety of landscapes, cultural experiences and social attractions this amazing country has to offer.
Known globally for being home of the deadliest animals on Earth, it doesn’t mean this is the deadliest country. There are very few accounts of deaths caused by dangerous animals, however, it is better to know which are the most fatal species before you arrive in Australia. The box jellyfish, the funnel web spider, the saltwater crocodile, the bull shark, the brown snake and the stingray are typically found outside of the dense city centres, so keep alert when you decide to travel outside of the main cities.
3. Australian people have a unique English accent
This is probably one of the first things you will face when arriving in Australia. We have had some of our students say that it sounds like a different language than English, which means you will have to pay close attention to both the Australian accent and learning the local slangs. We promise it is ‘heaps’ of fun.
The most common phrases to start any conversation with an Australian are:
- G’day: means “Good day”, same as “Hello” or “Hi there”
- Mate: means “Friend”
- How ya going?: means “How are you going?”
- No worries: means “Don’t worry” or “Not a problem”
- Arvo: means “Afternoon”
- Avo: short for “Avocado”
- Loo: describes the Toilet
- Bottle-O: means “Local liquor store”
Abbreviations are the key to understanding the Australian language, and adding a casual O or Y to the end of words is the way they change the language to become uniquely Australian. Here are some great tips on how to speak Australian.
4. Money Tips – How to access your money securely in Australia
Gone are the days of requiring bundles of local currency stashed in your suitcase.
By law, you can carry as much cash into and out of Australia as you wish, but you must declare amounts of AU$10,000 or more. However, as a young traveller, it would be very unwise to bring large amounts of cash with you to fund your travelling expenses. Hostels are not particularly secure, especially if you are bunking in shared rooms.
Transfer of funds securely with TransferWise
TransferWise is an online money transfer service, much cheaper than with a bank. The system works by using two local transfers instead of one international transaction when dealing with big amounts of money. Puravida Study has a TransferWise account, what makes it easier when you need to pay your course fees safely. You can find the website here.
Australian Bank Account
If you are planning to be in Australia for more than 3 months, our recommendation would be to set up a local bank account. Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB are the most popular Australian banks.
5. Beach tips – How to stay safe and healthy
The Australian beaches are loved by tourists and locals. Surfing, swimming, relaxing and get together with friends is a great way to enjoy the beautiful nature of the Down Under.
However, we have two important tips for you when at the beach, especially during summertime.
1. Protect yourself from the harsh sun
We can always spot the tourists who didn’t take this warning seriously – after a few days in Australia, they can be seen wandering the streets with skin the colour of a cooked lobster.
Accordingly, with the Australian Cancer Council, the country has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, so it is a must to adopt some habits in order to prevent any sun damage:
- Wear sun-protective clothing
- Put on a broad spectrum and water resistant SPF 50 sunscreen
- Use a hat
- Seek shade
- Slide on some sunglasses
2. Swim between the yellow and red flags
The Australian beach lifeguard service is very serious and committed. When you see these flags on the beach, it indicates that there is currently a lifesaving service operating and you should follow their requests. Swimming between the flags will prevent you from drowning and any eventual shark attack. Safety first!
Remember that Puravida Study helps you in every step of your Australian journey, from your visa application, the best courses available for you, city advice to exciting surf trips.
Interested in going for this adventure? Contact us now at email@example.com.