Holidaying in Australia
By Sue Ellson
Australia is an amazing destination and we are fortunate to have a huge range of sights, attractions, experiences and culture to enjoy whilst you are holidaying here.
Most larger destinations have local tourist information centres both online and via walk in centres in central locations (usually with some affordable souvenirs not always made in China). Talking to a real person at one of these centres will always reveal so much more local information than any Google search (but you can still start with the destination name and ‘tourist information centre’ in your search query).
It is ALWAYS a good idea to do a lot of research before you arrive. That way you can select what to include in your own personal itinerary. Allow plenty of time for travelling between locations and time to recover from jet lag from long haul flights. You may need to book well in advance for some activities (like climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge).
Compared to many Asian countries, entry fees to tourist destinations may be more expensive but then the average cost of living in Australia is also higher.
If you are travelling on a budget, you can save a lot of money by having your own cutlery and plates and buying fresh foods from a supermarket or market. Australia’s offering of diverse attractions draws lots of tourists who are seeking cheap flights to Australia.
Travellers may be surprised by the distance between major cities and how long it takes to drive a short or a long distance. Our population is much smaller than other countries and our infrastructure that was originally designed for less people sometimes has difficulty coping with our growing population (especially in places like Sydney and Melbourne).
Since the 1970’s, Australia has become one of the most multicultural societies in the world. This gives us the wonderful advantage of regularly being able to find international cuisine, ethnic events and unique cultural experiences close to where we live. If you are seeking adventure, we have plenty of thrill seeking opportunities too.
However, if you are travelling in certain locations around Australia, it is essential that you be polite, friendly and do your best to speak in English when other people can hear what you are saying. Australians find it very offensive if you have ‘private conversations’ in another language.
Many visitors aim for the ‘rock, the reef and the bridge.’ Also known as Uluru (or Ayres Rock, the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Harbour Bridge). But let me assure you that there are SO MANY other fabulous places so think about the types of things you really like the most and then seek similar options but in a different location. For instance, if you like surfing, Bondi Beach is NOT necessarily the best surf beach in Australia.
The world famous travel destination guide website Lonely Planet was started in Australia and their Thorn Tree Forum is a great place to ask any questions you may have about any destination in the world.
Finally I would like to suggest that you consider asking people you know or your friends about what they have enjoyed in Australia. They may just know about something really special that you will never find on a tourist website.
I hope you enjoy holidaying in Australia!
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