Destinations

Australia

Australia is a very fascinating country. Australia is the only continent covered by a single country with truly unique landscapes, natural wonders and extraordinary experiences for travellers.

From the moment it was discovered towards the end of the 1700s, the southern continent became the dream destination of millions of travelers, attracted and intrigued by a place so far away and so different from the world until then known. This is not surprising, since even today, after several centuries, Australia maintains its exotic charm, thanks to its unique landscapes and unknown animals, which make it a popular destination for many people.

Nature and fauna are undoubtedly the most characteristic components of the country, so much so that it earns the nickname of "Land of the Kangaroos", but they are not the only ones, especially today. Far from the Uluru, a mountainous relief that has become an icon of the state and located at the center of the continent, on the long, endless beaches where the major cities have developed, a unique and non-reproducible lifestyle has been created elsewhere, modern, multicultural, smiling, welcoming and carefree.

Australia has a lot to offer and it never ceases to surprise!

There is a lot of things to consider when you are planning to come to Australia. Where do you find cheap flights? How do you find accommodation? Did you save enough money to finance your dream of living the Australian lifestyle? Which places do you want to visit?

There are a lot of things to consider when you are planning to come to Australia. Where do you find cheap flights? How do you find accommodation? Did you save enough money to finance your dream of living the Australian lifestyle? Which places do you want to visit?

Health Insurance might not come to your mind straight away, when you think about visiting Australia. But no matter, if you are planning to spend your time down under on a student visa or a working holiday visa, you will be required to hold an adequate health cover. In that case, adequate means, that it must cover the entire length of your stay / the entire period for which your visa is granted. The life down under in general is not cheap and especially medical costs in Australia are extremely high. Even if it is just a quick visit at the dentist, the doctors bill can easily be everything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. And for sure you would rather want to spend your hard earned and probably even harder saved money on surf lessons than on such things. You might be completely healthy now, but unfortunately accidents happen when you expect them the least.
To save you from such unpleasant surprises, the Australian government made it a visa requirement which, in case you cannot proof that you are holding eligible health cover, might lead to a visa refusal. Therefore, it is something you should think about by the time that you decide to come to Australia. Depending on your visa, there are some main differences when it comes to eligible health insurance.

Working holiday visa:

When you apply for a working holiday visa there is initially no question asked about adequate health cover. But be aware that as long as you haven’t left the airport in Australia every official can stop anytime and check on you. In that case, you must be prepared to present them a proof of your valid health cover policy.
Most Working Holiday Maker must get a health cover from an insurance company in their home country, but depending on your where you are from, you might be eligible for Medicare (The public health care system in Australia). If you are a citizen of the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium you are fully
eligible for Medicare for the entire duration of your approved visa, which means you don’t have to worry about private heath cover at all.
If you are citizen of Malta and Italy, you are eligible for 6 months of Medicare cover, which means you only need 6 month of another private health insurance.
If you are from Ireland or New Zealand, Medicare will only covered you for emergency hospital care, which means you are required to have another health cover which also covers regular doctor appointments and non-hospital health care. Working Holiday Makers from any other country than the ones listed above, are require to get their own health policy before they are heading towards Australia.
The easiest way is to contact your current health insurance and check with them if the offer a cover that protects you for a full year abroad.

Student visa:

Applying for a student visa comes with a lot of requirements, one is to have an eligible health cover policy by the time you apply. The proof of health cover is part of the application process, which means if you don’t hold a policy, you won’t be able to finalize your application.

This policy is called OSHC – Overseas student health cover. This cover is exclusively provided by Australian health funds such as Allianz, Nib and Bupa. These are the most common providers who offer great service for a fair price.

Customs and quarantine

Australia is safe for its rules and for the scrupulous checks done once landed in this country.

Documents

Obviously to enter Australia you need a visa depending on the purpose of your trip.

Once the passport is shown, the controllers will automatically know, based on the data they will be provided with their computer, which Visa is in possession of.

Declarations

Before landing on this territory, you will be asked to fill out a form called "passenger card", a real document on which to write your country of origin, what you transport to Australia, the number of cigarettes or grams of tobacco that contains, is a sum of cash that exceeds 10,000 Australian dollars and many other questions.

Declare everything you carry, even if you realize that it could not enter Australia, even if it is a small snack for which you are not sure.

If you do not state what would be illegal to import into Australia or write false statements on the passenger card, you risk:

- a fine to be paid locally of about 340 AUD;

- a complaint;

- 10 years in prison.

If instead you declare everything, you will not run any risk and obviously they will retain what you cannot take with you.

Items prohibited or subject to restrictions

The checks are meticulous. It is absolutely forbidden to import:

- fresh food;

- any remaining food consumed on the plane;

- eggs;

- fruit;

- vegetables;

- meat;

- plants;

- skins;

- seeds;

- feathers;

- contaminated objects dirty with mud or clay;

- Animals (except domestic ones, which however must have vaccinations, filter and particular visas)

As for alcohol and cigarettes, if you are over 18, you can import up to a maximum of:

- 2.250 ml of alcohol;

- 50 cigarettes or 50 grams of tobacco;

- A pack of cigarettes already opened containing 25 cigarettes or less.

Medicines must absolutely be declared upon arrival, unless it is paracetamol (tachipirina) or aspirin (in this case DO NOT announce declare them). Any other type of drug will be subject to recipes and recipe recipes or to the doctor's letter as explained in English.

Controls

It must be said, in fact, that there are many valences that are examined by qualified X-ray people, dogs trained to sniff illegal substances (gunpowder, foods that cannot be imported, drugs, etc.) and the passengers who are subjected to interrogators.

There are no vaccinations, unless you have seen in the 6 days prior to your arrival, a place where yellow fever is present.

This is not to damage an already delicate ecosystem, such as the Australian one.

Before departure it is always advisable to double check the government website, in case of news, peculiarities and changes to the regulation.

Getting an Australian SIM card will be one of the first things you want do when you arrive Down Under. Of course, you want to stay in touch with your family and friends back home, especially while you are on the other side of the world.

Phone plans / SIM cards

Getting an Australian SIM card will be one of the first things you want do when you arrive Down Under.

Of course, you want to stay in touch with your family and friends back home, especially while you are on the other side of the world.

But not only that, it is also essential for you to be able to make and receive phone calls to find work and accommodation.

As soon as you arrive in Australia, you will find yourself confronted with a number of mobile phone plans of different providers and it’s hard to see through the jungle of offers.

Most Australian SIM-only plans usually include unlimited national calls and texts and of a certain amount of data.

Unlike in other countries, mobile service provider in Australia usually rarely offer unlimited mobile data.

The main difference between different plans is the number of international minutes you get with the package. This can differ from none to 1000mins. International minutes can be used to call a landline in your chosen country.

The most common types of SIM-only phone plans are the prepaid plan, the month-to-month plan and the 12-month contract. Usually you get slightly better conditions with the third option as you commit for a longer period.

The most popular mobile service providers and currently the ones with the best conditions are Vodafone, Oputs, Lebara, Amasym.

Click on the link of providers to see what offer could suits better your needs.

Still got questions?
Contact our friendly Lets Go Planet Team for any inquires. They will make sure that no question stays unanswered and you will be in contact with family and friends back
home in no time!

Climate

Australia is a vast territory and its changeable climate depends on this.

The vastness of this country is that depending on the state, the climate changes completely, just think that to get from one end of the state to the other is the hours of flight, which suggests the greatness of this territory.

The central desert

40% of the country, mainly the central part, is occupied by the steppe, a desert with scattered shrubs: in this area the chances of overcoming are very low and the temperatures are those that we could define as spring throughout the year, even if in the evening these are drastically lowered reaching 5 °.

The North

In the north, instead, there are two types of seasons: the dry and the humid.

The dry season runs from May to October, in this part of the hemisphere the seasons are reversed, so this period of time represents winter and spring. The temperatures that change during this season are definitely the ideal ones, they are around 30-33 ° and you don't have to fight against the humidity that is king in the period from November to April.

In this period the conditions drastically increase, the temperature exceeds 40 ° and the heat removes the breath.

The East Coast

In Queensland there is a humid subtropical climate, the climate of the coast will not be the same as inland.

Winters are considered dry and difficult to bear, summers are rather humid and characterized by thunderstorms that catch by surprise.

The temperatures predicted by the summer 30 ° (ability to reach even 40 ° !!) to a minimum of 9 ° during the coldest months.

The Victoria has a Melbourne, is famous for its 4 seasons in a day ("4 seasons in 1 day") and is classified as a temperate Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are cold and wet. The rains are mainly concentrated in the mountainous areas.

Average temperatures during the summer reach 30 ° in inland areas and 25 ° along the coast. In winter instead between 12 ° and 15 °.

The South

The south of Australia has mild winters and ever faster, timeless summers.

In summer the temperatures do not exceed 31 ° and during the winter do not fall below 12 °.

The west

The western part of the country offers registered summers, mild winters with little chance of investing. The northern coastal area is conditioned by a tropical climate, while the south-east has a Mediterranean climate.

The temperature is 50.5 ° higher in February 1998, the lowest instead of -7.2 ° in August 2008.

With its rich fauna and flora, Australia is undoubtedly every nature and wildlife lover’s dream. Most of the nature and wildlife found on this beautiful continent is unrivaled and has earned it many World Heritage sites located all over the country. Here, you can bump into everything.
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Nature and Wildlife in Australia

With its rich fauna and flora, Australia is undoubtedly every nature and wildlife lover’s dream. Most of the nature and wildlife found on this beautiful continent is unrivaled and has earned it many World Heritage sites located all over the country. Here, you can bump into everything from tiny, endangered marsupials inhabiting the woodlands, to lizards and birds thriving in the Australian deserts. With beautiful landscapes, zoos and wildlife parks located in each of its capital cities, there’s always an opportunity to enjoy Australia’s nature and wildlife.

Australian Nature

Australian Nature may perhaps be the most memorable part of your trip to Australia if you’re a nature lover. Natural landscapes include Rock formations, Gorges, Coral Reefs, Caves, and much more. There is also an abundance of birdlife and flora; the icing on Australia's famous nature.

From the rising heights of Mount Augustus in the north and the famous Wave Rock in the Wheat belt region to the deep blue waters of the Recherche Archipelago in the south, this natural landscape makes for great tourism and wildlife photography. You can see some of the oldest rock formations in the world in the Murchison region, with massive boulders and ranges which have dominated the landscape for centuries. Many of these rocks provide the perfect vantage point for experiencing the Australian outback sunset. They are also the subject of intriguing indigenous stories.

The annual migration of the whales, the bloom of beautiful Western Australian wildflowers in spring and winter and the nesting season for migratory birds are indeed sites to behold.

Australian Wildlife

Wildlife lovers are certain to be fascinated by the interaction of dolphins, majestic Whales, Kangaroos, Koalas, wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Dingoes and so much more animals that can be found in Australia.

In spite of being home to twenty-one of the world’s twenty-five deadliest snakes, Australia isn’t known for large predacious animals. The largest carnivorous mammal here is, in fact, the dingo, a free-roaming wild dog. Other mammals unique to Australia are the Quoll a solitary and nocturnal native cat, the Wombat which is a termite eating mammal in southern Australia, and the Tasmanian Devil, which is currently listed as an endangered specie only be found in Tasmania.

There are about 828 bird species in Australia, and roughly half of them are unique to the country. The most famous of Australian birds is the flightless emu which is two meters tall, and the Kookaburra is known for its hysterical laugh which is almost human-like. Also found in Australia are many water birds which include cassowaries, fairy penguins, lyrebirds, and black swans. Sea animals found here include whales, oceanic dolphins, sharks, fur seals popular with the Kangaroo Island.

Among the many different species that call Australia home are the 140 marsupial species located here, with 55 of them being native to wallaby and kangaroo families. The kangaroo family is estimated at around 30-60 million. Koalas can also be found along the temperate coast spending up to 16-18 hours a day lounging, and the rest of their day downing large amounts of eucalyptus leaves.

With such a wide variety of animals and diverse landscape, it’s not a wonder Australia has 19 World Heritage Listed Sites. These famous World Heritage Sites include the Greater Blue Mountains Area in New South Wales, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, the Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory in Uluru-Kata, Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory and the Ningaloo Coast which is 1200km north of Perth.

If you seek a destination with beautiful natural landscape and wildlife, Australia is everything you want more! Wherever you go in Australia, spotting unique and interesting wildlife is definite and there’s always something for everyone to enjoy and explore in this beautiful continent.

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