Our Natural Environment
The Australian continent is a land like no other. Its animals, plants and landscapes have evolved over millennia, and there are about a million different natural species in Australia. More than 80 per cent of the country’s flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia, along with most of the fish and almost half the birds.
Australia has more than 140 species of marsupials, including koalas, wombats and the Tasmanian devil, now found only in the Tasmanian wilderness. More than 750 species of birds have been recorded in Australia, 350 of which are found nowhere else in the world. Among them are the kookaburra, the rainbow lorikeet and fairy penguins. There are also 55 different species of macropods—the kangaroo family—native to Australia. They vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from half a kilogram to 90 kilograms.
The country has a real commitment to conserving its natural heritage and has a range of protection procedures in place. Despite the vast size of the continent however, the majority of Australians live on the coast and in major cities - around 75 per cent of Australia’s population lives in urban areas.
Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth. Its interior has one of the lowest rainfalls in the world and about three-quarters of the land is arid or semi-arid. These arid areas extend from the large central deserts to the Western coast. Soils in these areas are characteristically very infertile compared to other deserts of comparable aridity. This has presented Australians with the challenge of how best to manage the variety of regions our continent possesses to meet the competing demands of agriculture, economy and conservation
Any day, anywhere you will find the right climate conditions that will make your Australian experience unique and memorable.
The Australian summer from Dec-Feb is warm and sunny and you can enjoy lazy days on the beach and typical Aussie meals cooked on the barbecue. Summer is the rainy season in our tropical regions in the north that brings our lush rainforests to life. Spring and autumn are mild and are the best seasons for bush walks and discovering nature.
The Australian winter Jun-Aug is generally mild, but offers snow on the snow fields in the southern mountain regions. At the same time our northern states have balmy 24 degrees Celsius temperatures.
No matter where you are in Australia or what season it is, always remember your sunscreen. The Australian sun can be quite srong, so it’s best to wear a shirt and put on a hat while enjoying the great outdoors. Sunscreen containing SPF30+ coverage is recommended
Here in Australia our currency is Australian Dollars (AUD). We also accept American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Try this handy web tool for International Currency Conversion.
Here we have a goods and services tax on purchases (10%) but you may claim this and the Wine Equalisation Tax when departing our shores. For more information visit the Tourist Refund Scheme.
Health and Safety
Take advantage of our many beaches but always remember to follow basic water safety. Always swim or surf at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags which mark the safest area for swimming.
For further information on swimming or surfing safety, check out the following websites; Coastal Watch, Surf Life Saving Australia and the Queensland Government Environment for information on venomous marine stingers and crocodiles that occur in coastal waters and tropical swimming holes of northern Australia.
The emergency number is 000.
All travellers to Australia or any country should consider health insurance. Have a look at the Australian Medicare site to see if we have a reciprocal health care agreement with your country.
Our country code is 61. We have service for all mobile (cell) phones. Internet access is available at many Internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.
Australia Post offices are usually open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and some are open on Saturday morning from 9am to 12pm.
The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three‑pin power outlet is different from some other countries so you may need an adaptor.
Shopping plays a large part of travelling. Whether you are shopping or sightseeing, there is always a place to shop or purchase souvenirs. In Australia you are covered by Australia’s consumer protection laws which require businesses to treat you fairly.