The Land Down Under is HUGE! It’s actually the 6th largest country in the world and roughly the same size as Europe or The USA. It’s a country far far away from almost everybody, and it still seizes the imagination of young and old, as there are so many contrasting landscapes and environments. Most of us stereotype it as the Land of Eternal Summer, where adventures loom, beers flow easily between barbeques and footie games and the ability to surf comes as natural as breathing. Most of us are right. The mystery of the Outback and the underwaterworld, the vibrance of cities like Sydney and Melbourne and the opportunity to shoot an unpredictable amount of wildlife-selfies makes Australia a perfect destination for everyone!
As of January 2017, 24.5 million people call Australia home.
None, it’s a ginormous island.
Everyone speaks English in Australia. There are also multiple indigenous languages still spoken by Aboriginal communities.
On January 26th, Ozzies celebrate Australia Day: this is the date of the landing of the First Fleet in Port Jackson in 1788, and thus the beginning a new British colonie. On the 1st of January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Australian Dollar (AU$)
€ 0.72 | US$ 0.77 = 1 AU$
€ 1 = AU$ 1.38 | US$ 1 = AU$ 1.29
Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart.
If you can put it on a barbeque.. No, all jokes aside, Ozzies know how to BBQ. It’s what they do for holidays, family gatherings and even picnics. Sausages and steak on the barbie, with a piece of bread, fresh salads and horse radish, tomato sauce or -you guessed it – bbq sauce. Some other typical Australian foods are meat pies and sausage rolls, absolute classic snacks here. Fish&chips, in a paper package with a cold one on the beach, very Ozzie. And desertwise, we are talking pavlova, a big meringue based cream dessert often decorated with fruit. Oh, and you have not been in Australia if you haven’t tried Tim Tams!
With all that barbequed food and pastries stuffed with meat, is there anything to eat for vegetarians? Well sure there is! Australia is full of farms, so fresh fruit and veggies are not hard to find. If you like your replacement meat, the choices are more limited though than in Europe. If you do your own cooking, you can find some yummy marinated tofu in the supermarket -Woolies and Coles have them for sure- and a few readymade veggieburgers with different flavours, check the freezers! But no need to worry: red kidneybeans, chickpeas, avocado’s and lots of nuts are up for grabs ofcourse! For the non-cookers, there’s lots of meat around but you’re sure to find a veggieburger at the fish&chips shop, and along the East Coast are lots of hip and trendy resto’s that serve healthy vegan food as well! Just ask around and a friendly local will tell you where to go!
Always make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include polio, chickenpox and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine. Ask your doctor about Hepatitis A & B, and Japanese Encephalitis as these might be necessary depending on your route/plans.
If you intend on doing a lot of outdoor travelling or working/volunteering with animals, consider getting a vaccination for Rabies as this is present in bats in Australia. There is no risk of yellow fever in Australia, but the government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.