- Australia is divided into 6 states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and 2 territories; the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
- Population: 22.9 million
- Most people live around the eastern and south-eastern coastlines.
- A very multicultural country.
- Major language: English
- Major religion: Christianity
- Life expectancy: 80 years (men), 84 years (women)
- Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
- Emergency Services Numbers: 000 ( though 112 also works)
- The Australian Search and Rescue team, who can find you if you are lost in the Outback, are at 641.
- There are three times zones in Australia.
- Australian Eastern Standard Time ( AEST ): New South Wales , Australian Capital Territory , Victoria , Tasmania and Queensland
- Australian Central Standard Time ( ACST ): South Australia and Northern Territory
- Australian Western Standard Time ( AWST ): Western Australia
- Other Major Centres
- Sydney, New South Wales – Current Time – Weather
- Melbourne, Victoria – Current Time – Weather
- Brisbane, Queensland – Current Time – Weather
- Perth, Western Australia – Current Time – Weather
- Adelaide, South Australia – Current Time – Weather
- Darwin, Northern Territory – Current Time – Weather
- Hobart, Tasmania – Current Time – Weather
- Australia ranks as one of the best countries to live in the world by comparisons of wealth, education, health and quality of life.
- Area: 7.7 million sq km (2.9 million sq miles)
- Sixth-largest country in the world. There are massive distances between cities.
- Maps: OpenStreetMap // Google Maps
- Australian Tourist Commission, Sydney: +61 (0)2 9360 1111 or Australia.com
- Road Traffic: Drives on the left. Most vehicles are right hand drive (RHD)
- There are massive driving times between cities.
- 860 kilometres between Sydney and Melbourne on the Hume Highway
- 964 kilometres between Sydney and Brisbane on the Pacific Highway
- 2695 kilometres between Adelaide and Perth on the Eyre and Great Eastern Highways.
- Always know where you are going to get fuel up next before you set out as distances can be great between fuel stops.
- Fuel stations may closed at night or Sundays.
- It’s important to consider that mobile phones will not work in many parts of Australia.
- Roads which are OK in the dry season may become impassable in the wet season – especially in the northern part of the country.
- The dry season usually runs from April to November.
- You are legally required to stop and help if you have been in an accident where someone has been hurt or injured.
- Be on the lookout for animals such as kangaroos. If you do hit a marsupial you are legally required check whether they had any young in their pouches.
- Seat belts are required for all occupants.
It’s unlawful to operate a mobile phone while driving in Australia.
- Each state has it’s own traffic laws. Victoria, for example. bans U-turns at traffic lights while some other states may not.
- Parking is expensive in the major cities.
- There are an increasing number of toll roads in Australia as well as toll bridges and tunnels.
- Overlanding is a very popular activity across Australia.
Safety and Security
- Always tell someone when you are leaving for a long road trip and provide them with your planned itinerary.
- If your vehicle breaks down in the Outback stay with it and do not attempt to walk out.
Foreign Embassies in Australia
- British High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 6666
- Canadian High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4000
- Embassy of Ireland, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6214 0000
- New Zealand High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6270 4211.
- South African High Commission, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6272 7300
- Embassy of the United States, Canberra: +61 (0)2 6214 5600
Travelling with Pets
- Australia puts many controls on the temporary importation of animals, including cats and dogs.
More information, including helpful step-by-step guides, can be found here.
News about Australia