Language: Australia has no official language, however the majority of people speak English.
Currency: Australian Dollar
Time Zone: There are three time zones in Australia:
Australian Eastern Time = GMT+10.00, Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time = GMT+11.00.
Australian Central Time(North and South) = GMT+9.30, Australian Central Daylight Saving Time (South) = GMT+10.30.
Australian Western Time = GMT+8.00, Australian Western Daylight Saving Time = GMT+9.00.
Tipping: Typically tipping is not the norm in Australia, but it is becoming more common, with 10% being the standard.
If your dream is to watch morning break over Ayers Rock, the challenge of climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge, experience Christmas with a beach BBQ instead of the chill of home or tackle the Gold Coast surf – Australia escorted tours will make this a reality.
Affectionately known as 'Down Under', 'Oz' or the 'Jewel on the other side of the World', Australia is a country that everyone has to tour at least once in their lifetime and you're not restricted to typically touristy haunts either. Venture off that great open road and discover Australia's Outback where local Aborigines are happy to guide you through their territory, explain Australian cultures of times gone by and perhaps let you have a go at that didgeridoo.
Fall in love with natures paradise visiting Kakadu National Park where you'll find prehistoric gorges to explore and over 2000-million years of aboriginal history to appreciate. Venture further to Uluru where you'll find a rock standing in the middle of nowhere! This of course is Ayers Rock and is one of the most-visited sights on Australia tours where visitors simply marvel at its beauty. Take a camel ride through Broome and experience amazing sunsets where the desert literally meets the sea. Cool off in the icy surf of Freycinet National Park or if you're feeling brave, paddle with mighty whale sharks at the Ningaloo Marine Park.
Take to the Great Ocean Road where stunning scenery is all around you, so much so that you won't really know where to look first. One things for certain, you won't want to miss the Twelve Apostles that seem to appear out of nowhere. The ocean is also the place to be if you're a watersports fan so master that surfboard along Australia's Gold Coast and dive near the Great Barrier Reef – although it is forbidden to take any of the coral so remember to look but don't touch!
Aside from nature and the coast, Australia is home to some fabulous cities including Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and the nation's capital Canberra. Sydney Australia is one of the main reasons why so many people travel to Oz for their holidays from the stunning Harbour to trendy boutiques and sun-kissed beaches just waiting for that game of Aussie Rules Football.
Tours of Australia typically include; return flights with possible stopovers, accommodation, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions so you can really see the best of the resort you're visiting. Do not leave Australia without sampling fresh seafood or the famous Aussie BBQ!
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Australia take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
Prior to travelling to Australia, it's a good idea to take out travel insurance in case you fall ill whilst you are away. Australia and the UK have an agreement, allowing those travelling from the UK, on a British passport, are entitled to services from Medicare Australia. However, pre-existing conditions will not be treated, or those that do not require urgent treatment.
Some services are not included under this agreement; including use of ambulance services and also medical evacuations. This is why you should have adequate funds that can be accessed in an emergency in addition to travel insurance.
If you need emergency medical assistance, dial 000 to ask for an ambulance.
Crime is similar to that of the UK. As always, in tourist destinations, you should be more careful with personal belongings and travel documents. In these areas, be more vigilant in the evenings as well. Always keep your bag with you and try not to carry all your belongings in one bag. Cheaper hotels can be prone to theft from safety deposit boxes.
Serious sexual assaults have taken place in Australia, in particular on tourists. The areas of Noosa and Alice Springs have been target areas so when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are less in control and aware so know your limits and be aware of the people around you. It is worth bearing in mind that drinks are often stronger than those served in the UK.
Obtaining a proof of age card can minimise the risk of losing your passport, which is accepted as a form of ID for many services. However if your passport is lost or stolen, an Emergency Travel Document (ETD) may be acquired from a British Consulate.
Local Laws and Customs
Drug trafficking is illegal and if involved in this, action will be taken against you, which can result in long jail sentences and deportation.
To prevent pests and diseases, strict quarantine regulations are in place. On arrival, all baggage is x-rayed and any discrepancies are investigated further and action may be taken to destroy items. Going against quarantine regulations could lead to large fines and possible imprisonment.
On the plane travelling to Australia, you must complete an incoming passenger card declaring any food or goods of plant or animal origin, including dried fruit, nuts and vegetables, herbs and spices, biscuits, cakes and confectionary, teas, coffees and milk-based drinks and sporting equipment. Visit the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service website for a full list. If you have visited a rural area or been near farm animals outside of Australia in the past 30 days this will also need to be declared before arriving in Australia.
Travelling to Australia requires a visa. An eVisitor visa (no charge) can be obtained by a British Citizen from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) ($20 service fee) can be obtained from your travel agent or airline. Visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for details on other types of visa.
A health examination may be requested in some situations before a visa is granted. Additional time should be accounted for when applying for a visa.
When you arrive, you may be asked to give proof of funds for your stay and return or an onward ticket. If travelling on a working holiday visa, be aware that to obtain a second working holiday visa you have to have worked in a rural area for 3 months during your first working holiday. Buying information wrongly claiming you have worked on farms can result in your visa being cancelled and exclusion from Australia for 3 years.
Ensure your passport is valid for the time you are in Australia. Ensure you check entry requirements for other countries if planning on going to others en route to or from Australia.
You must have a yellow fever vaccination if one year or older if you have transited through countries with risk of yellow fever on your way to Australia.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETD) are accepted for entry into Australia.
Any other nationality looking to visit Australia must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about visiting Australia you can visit the official tourism website at australia.com
Australia is unrivalled in natural wonders and boasts so many unique sights and attractions. Here is just a snippet of the places you could visit during your tour:
This beautiful city accommodates amazing golden beaches, a fantastic array of restaurants, bundles of shopping and the gorgeous Swan River. Sail along the river from Fremantle, gliding by the astonishing waterfront homes. Perth is a great relaxing start to any Australian tour, getting you settled in to the laid-back nature of life here 'Down Under'.
Australia's largest city, yet extremely easy to explore! One of the best ways to capture the sights is to take a cruise around Sydney Harbour, such as the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. For a different perspective of the city, make sure you visit the Harbour Front during the evening. Other must-see's in Sydney include: Bondi Beach, Hyde Park and Darling Harbour. George and Pitt Streets are also home to some of the finest shops in the world – havens for shopaholics!
Australian Rules Football, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Melbourne Cup may be what some people know this city for. Others may want to take a tour of the cultural attractions including: Captain Cook's Cottage or just relax and absorb the atmosphere in a café by the Yarra River. If you fancy something more active, you can go sailing, windsurfing or kite boarding on St Kilda Beach.