Australia: A visitors guide part 1

Newcastle – NSW, Australia

I may not of lived anywhere else in the world but even so I feel ever so lucky to live in Australia. However it kind of ticks me off when people visit this wonderful country yet they expect the same creature comforts of their own homeland for the same price. It irritates me even further when these same people complain about it online thus scaring our tourists away.

So I started to write a list to make tourists a bit more self aware of what to expect when they visited Australia and I’ve included links under each point. Here is part one.

1. Things are expensive in Australia

We are one of the most expensive countries to live in. I’m not sure why this but it is a fact that you will have to understand. Because our workers in this great country earn a decent wage our businesses have to recoup these losses somewhere which means food is more expensive, accommodation is more expensive, alcohol is more expensive. Everything is just more expensive.

Our most competitive supermarkets are Woolworths and Coles and if you want a meal for a reasonable price then I would suggest visiting a pub for a counter lunch or dinner. Alcoholic drinks purchased at pubs and nightclubs are expensive so if you don’t need to drink in that location I’d suggest picking up your poison of choice from a liquor shop and mixing it up elsewhere. Accommodation is tricky and sometimes you may get a cheap room only to find it less than desirable to stay in so try and see as many pictures as you can online before you book it.

2. Free wifi is limited

If you hoping to have access to an Internet connection whenever you want then be warned now that you won’t get it for free. Some big fast food outlets offer a free connection but not everywhere has a McDonald’s down the road and besides their connections are slow at best so be prepared to pay up for wireless Internet or otherwise chose accommodation that offers it at a reasonable rate. I used a Telstra mobile modem for my laptop whilst I was away and found it OK but its definitely pricey to recharge. In the end I preferred to use my iPhone and surf on the Telstra 3G network to get my fill of blog reading and writing.

Telstra Mobile Broadband

3. Petrol stations

If your planning on traveling around Australia by car just be aware that we don’t have petrol stations every 10 kilometres. This ultimately means you will have to plan for those long trips well and pack enough food and water to last for a couple of days (especially if your travelling through the middle of Australia).

It is also wise to know that purchasing items such as drinks, food and snacks will ultimately cost you more too. Make these purchases at local supermarkets instead and it will save you a tonne of cash in the long run.

4. Australian wildlife

Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t kangaroos hopping down the street at every major city although you may see a few passing across the road in rural areas. Please be aware that when driving on our roads, outside of the city limits, that these grey beasts may jump out at anytime. Also, if you are driving and one jumps across the road then do slow down for a good 500m afterward because usually where there is one, there may be more that you don’t see. We also have echidna’s which cross the road too so don’t run over them because they will bust your tyres.

Wildlife Road Safety Tips

5. Australians write the date DD/MM/YYYY

Whenever you are reading documentation that is printed in Australia you will find that the date is printed in the above format (day, month, year).

2 thoughts on “Australia: A visitors guide part 1

  1. Great post.

    I’m an Australian who has lived in the US and I’m currently living in Scotland. Mu husband and I are moving back to Australia this year after ten years away, and I am sooooooo looking forward to it. Yes, it is expensive, but I like to think that has come about because we respect the workers who produced or made the goods we’re purchasing, and are aware that they deserve to be paid well. My youngest daughter visited her University friends in America last year and they were astounded that she and three of her friends, who have jobs in hospitality (some part time), could afford to take three week’s holiday and travel to America. When they compared wages, the fully employed youth in America earned way less than my daughter and her friends.

    Yes, Australia does have flaws, but looking at the big picture, it has far more advantages than anywhere else I’ve visited, and as you say, it is a stunningly beautiful place.

    1. Thank you for your comment :)

      I’ve only lived in Australia myself but Ive read about how ghastly the wages are over in the US so no wonder everything is so cheap because how else are they going to sell it?

      I too prefer the fairly decent wages in Australia and I don’t mind too much that we pay more, especially if its Australia made, but one thing that does tick me off is why do we pay more for digital goods, such as ebooks and iTunes items, than other countries? Not sure of the justification there.

      Overall we are definitely the lucky country with our free public healthcare, government benefits to help families, students and the unemployed and lots of jobs to choose from – why would anyone complain about that?

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