Bronte Baths, Bronte Beach, Sydney, NSW © Tourism Australia

Facts about Australia

Due to Australia’s size, there are many different climates and weather patterns, which means Australia is the perfect place to visit all year round! 

In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. So, when things get colder up north, come Down Under to enjoy an endless summer.

Down Under, of course! Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere and lies in between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. We’re only ever a flight or two away, so it’s easy to fly to Australia

There are six states and two territories in Australia, each with its own capital city. Each state experiences different climates and time zones making your travel plans possible all year round. From skiing down the Australian Alps, to strolling along white sand beaches, we’ve got your next holiday sorted.

Australia’s official language is English. However, Australia is a multicultural nation with a significant migrant population, so it's common to hear a diverse range of languages in Australia's cities and towns.

Australia is such a diverse country. Aussies have a rich and varied cultural history but the one thing they have in common is that they come together over food and drink and to enjoy the world famous landscape. The Australian lifestyle is often associated with a laid-back ‘no worries’ attitude. And for good reason. We’re a friendly bunch, and we love welcoming visitors to our shores.

Everyone should experience Australia in their lifetime! A holiday Down Under is sure to be the trip you will never forget. Check out a few reasons as to why Australia is the best place to visit.

You can get to Australia by sea or sky. There are plenty of air and cruise lines, meaning getting to Australia is easy and accessible from just about anywhere.

After your arrival, you'll find many ways to travel around Australia, each offering a unique way to experience the country. For getting around day-to-day, there’s plenty of clean and safe public transport, as well as taxis and rideshare services, if you aren’t renting a vehicle. For travel between states, flights are the most suitable for shorter stays, though, with a bit more time, road trips and train travel offer an excellent way to witness the natural diversity.

Australia is a country for all seasons! Visit at any time of year to find incredible experiences that will guarantee lasting memories. Some considerations when choosing the best time to visit Australia include the destination you want to explore, weather and events. Summer (November to February) is the peak season for travel, thanks to school holidays and the draw of our incredible beaches. You may find it’s busier and more expensive in peak season, while shoulder seasons offer great weather and smaller crowds.

From farm stays and campsites to luxury lodges and eco-friendly beachside resorts, there’s accommodation for everyone in Australia.

The legal drinking age in all states and territories of Australia is 18 years old. You will need to provide proof of age, either with a driver's licence or passport.

To get into licensed pubs and bars you will need either your passport and another supporting document (Drivers Licence, Credit Card or Birth Certificate) to enter and be served alcohol.

The International Date Line crossing the Pacific Ocean changes the date by one day. If you cross the date line moving east, you subtract a day; if travelling west you add a day (with local variations). Travelling direct from Los Angeles or London to Australia you arrive two days later; travelling back, you arrive the same day you departed. 

If you have a disability and are planning to travel throughout Australia, there are many services to meet your needs. Thorough preparation is essential for a successful trip, so you should speak to your travel agent about your specific requirements. More information on accessible tourism in Australia is available on the Smart Traveller website.


Banks are typically open from 9:30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 9:30am to 5pm on Friday. Most banks will be closed on the weekend; however, some branches may stay open for several hours on Saturday mornings.

Post offices

Post offices are usually open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Several branches will also remain open on Saturday mornings.


Shop opening hours differ between states and territories in Australia. Large supermarkets in New South Wales, Victoria, the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania are typically open from 7am to 10pm seven days a week, while inner-city supermarket chains will often stay open from 6am to midnight every day. In South Australia and Western Australia, supermarkets are generally open from 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 5pm on Sundays. In Queensland, you can typically shop in supermarkets from 7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sundays. Be aware, timings will change across the country on public holidays.

What clothes you pack will depend on where you visit and when. Whilst the climate varies, Australia is generally pleasant, even in winter. You’ll certainly need a swimsuit and a hat, and it’s a good idea to pack versatile layers, like a light jacket and jeans, so you can add or remove layers depending on the day. Make sure you check the weather while preparing your packing list.

You will need a valid passport to enter Australia. All travellers also need a valid visa, with the exception of New Zealand passport holders.

You may need an adapter in order to plug your appliances into the power sockets in Australia: the adapter required for Australia is Type 1 Australia plug. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz.

Mobile data is available in most places in Australia – though you might not be able to access a signal in the outback. Your mobile plan may charge steep international roaming fees, so we recommend, if your phone is unlocked, that you pick up a prepaid Australian SIM card when you land, allowing you to make calls and access data at local prices.

Free Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, cafés and restaurants.

There are strict regulations for customs, biosecurity and declaring your goods when entering Australia. For information on Australia’s biosecurity and border controls, visitors should seek the most up-to-date information please visit Australia's biosecurity and border controls | Smartraveller.

If there's any place to fly a drone, it's Australia. There's nothing like capturing our wildlife, landscapes and lifestyle from above. Travellers are welcome to fly drones here as long as operators follow the Australian rules and restrictions. Read our official drone rules before you take off.

A trip to Australia can cost a little or a lot – depending on your travel preferences and your budget. In general, Australia is an affordable destination relative to other western countries.

In Australia, we use Australian dollars – not to be confused with US, Hong Kong or any other dollars. XE Currency Converter will help you convert your own currency at the market exchange rates.

Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Cirrus-compatible ATMs are everywhere, banks line most main streets, and credit cards are widely accepted. Keep in mind, there’s an AUD$10,000 limit for bringing cash into the country (if you bring more, you’ll have to declare it at the border).

Check with your credit card company to see if they charge foreign transaction fees. Consider getting one that doesn’t. Either way, let them know you’re on holiday, so they don’t suspect fraud.

A good tip is to carry multiple credit cards and a little cash. Merchants may impose credit card surcharges in some places.

Credit cards such as American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay and JCB are accepted in Australia. VISA or MasterCard can be used everywhere credit cards are accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarkets, department store chains and tourist destinations.

Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted in Australia. If you do purchase traveller’s cheques, it is best to buy them in Australian dollars as smaller shops, restaurants and other businesses are unlikely to know what the exchange rate is if you present a cheque in a different currency such as US dollars or British pounds.

Australian goods and services include a tax (that’s included in prices). Travellers may be able to refund the tax they pay on goods and services bought in Australia through the Tourist Refund Scheme. You do so at the airport upon your departure.

Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, and tipping is always your choice. In most venues tipping is not expected, though in upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip waiters 10 per cent of the bill for good service.

Australia is a very safe country to visit (even if you travel alone). Be sure to follow the health and safety advice, including water safety, wherever you go.