Capital: CanberraCoordinates 35°18.48′S149°7.47′ELargest city: SydneyOfficial language(s): NoneNational language: EnglishDemonym: Australian, AussieGovernment: Federalparliamentary constitutionalmonarchyMonarch: Elizabeth IIGovernor-General: QuentinBrycePrime Minister: Julia Gillard
Legislature: ParliamentUpper house: SenateLower house: House ofRepresentativesArea Total 7,617,930 km2Population (2012): 2012 22,706,618GDP (2011) $914.482 billionCurrency: Australian dollar(AUD)
Air• Flying is the best way to cover large distances in a short time.• Spend less time travelling and more time on the ground savoring Australia’s can’t-miss landscapes and laid-back lifestyle.• Domestic airlines – Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Blue, Rex and their subsidiaries - serve all state capital cities and regional centers.Drive• You’ll find car rental companies at major airports, central city locations, suburbs and resorts. So hire a car, four wheel drive, caravans or motorbike and hit the highway.Driving Laws• Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road, with the steering wheel on the right-hand side of the car.• The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 60km/h and 50km/h in some suburban areas.• On country roads and highways, the maximum speed is usually 110km/h.• Motor cyclists and cyclists must wear helmets. An international visitor may drive in Australia on a valid overseas driver’s license for the same class of vehicle. You should carry both your home license and international license when driving.
Bus/Coach• Coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, easy and economical.Rail• Train travel is a convenient, affordable and scenic way to explore Australia.• Interstate and intra-state rail services connect our cities and regional centers, while cross-country train trips offer a unique insight into Australia’s size and diversity. • Countrylink trains connect New South Wales destinations and also travel along Australia’s east coast to Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. • VLine trains link Melbourne with regional hubs in Victoria, Travel train covers Queensland and TransWA criss-crosses Western Australia. • Australia also has epic rail journeys such as The Ghan and Indian-Pacific, which sweep across the continent, offering comfort and a sense bygone romance.
Exchanging money• Changing foreign currency or travelers cheques is usually no problem at banks throughout Australia or at licensed moneychangers such as Travelex or Amex in cities and major towns.Taxes & refunds• The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a flat 10% tax on all goods and services – accommodation, eating out, transport, electrical and other goods, books, furniture, clothing etc.• There are exceptions, however, such as basic foods (milk, bread, fruits and vegetables etc.).• By law the tax is included in the quoted or shelf prices.• Tax refunds for items bought less than 30 days before your leave Australia and cost at least 300 USD.
• Any time is a good time to be somewhere in Australia.• When it’s cold down south, it’s magnificent in the north and the Centre;• When it’s too hot and sweaty up north, the southern states are at their natural finest.• There are also the numerous festivals and other public spectacles that are on show every month,• Summer is December to February; the weather and longer daylight hours are tailor-made for swimming and other outdoor activities across much of the country.• Summer is also school holiday period and consequently high season for most places• Winter is June to August, when temperatures drop with the latitude. This is officially designated the tourism low season for most of the country.
• Willingness to use mate, no worries and she’ll be right liberally• An appetite for seafood, steak, beer (other than Fosters), barbecues and fresh fruit• A travel insurance policy covering skydiving, bungee jumping, diving, skiing, abseiling and white water rafting• Warm clothes because winter does actually occur in Australia…well, down south anyway• Extra-strength insect repellent to fend off merciless flies and mosquitoes• Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to deflect fierce UV rays• A towel and bathers/togs/swimmers/swimming costume/cossie/trunks/Speedos/budgie smugglers for the beach• Good maps for outback meanders and binoculars for the wildlife while you’re there
• Bondi Beach - Sydney, NSW • one of the world’s great beaches: ocean and land collide, the Pacific arrives in great foaming swells and all people are equal, as democratic as sand. • It’s the closest ocean beach to the city center (8km away), has consistently good (though crowded) waves, and is great for a rough- and-tumble swim (the average water temperature is a considerate 21°C). • If the sea’s angry, try the salt-water sea baths at either end of the beach; these are perfect for kids.• Surfers Paradise - Gold Coast, Queensland • Surfers Paradise is the heart of the Gold Coast. Many people mistakenly believe that Surfers is all there is in the Gold Coast, which isnt true at all.• Cable Beach - Broome, Western Australia • An improbable combination of colors – red from the pindan (the rust-colored dirt), the aquamarine of Roebuck Bay and the pearl white of Cable Beach’s sands – makes Broome’s landscape memorable.• Cape Tribulation • known for its beautiful beaches, ancient rain forest and mangrove forests. However, within this stunning backdrop lie deadly forces just waiting to attack you.
Great Barrier Reef – Queensland • Larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing visible from space, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world. The 2000km (1240mi) conglomeration of colorful coral stretches along the Queensland seaboard and makes for some of the most spectacular diving landscape imaginable.• Uluru (Ayers Rock) - Northern Territory • One of the world’s greatest natural attractions, this park has more to offer visitors than just the Rock. • this entire area is of deep cultural significance to the traditional owners, the Pitjantjatjara and Yankuntjatjara Aboriginal peoples (who refer to themselves as Anangu). • one of Australias most recognizable natural landmarks. The sandstone formation stands 348 m (1,142 ft.) high (rising 863 m/2,831 ft. above sea level), • Have great cultural significance for the Aṉangu people, the traditional inhabitants of the area. • Uluru is notable for appearing to change color at different times of the day and year, most notably glowing red at dawn and sunset
Sydney Harbor • Stretching 20km inland to the mouth of the Parramatta River, Sydney Harbor (aka Port Jackson) is Sydney’s shimmering soul, its beaches, coves, bays, islands and waterside parks providing crucial relief from the ordeals of urban life.Kakadu - Northern Territory • The largest national park, sheltering a variety of habitats and wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles.The Kimberleys - Western Australia • Wildlife-spot in the Kimberley : emus and roos on the road, eagles overhead and crocodiles in the gorgesBlue Mountains - Sydney, New South Wales • A mountainous region in New South Wales. • Borders on Sydneys metropolitan area, its foothills starting approximately 50 kms west of the state capital The area begins on the west side of the Nepean River and extends westward as far as Coxs River. • Geologically, it is situated in the central parts of the Sydney basin. • Consisting mainly of a sandstone plateau, the area is dissected by gorges up to 760 meters (2,490 ft) deep.
Fraser Island – Queensland • local Aboriginal people call Fraser Island ‘K’Gari’, which is very fitting as it roughly translates into paradise. • a -gigantic World Heritage–listed sand bar measuring 120km by 15km and created by 800, 000 years of long shore drift. • Contains rainforests and some 40 freshwater lakes dot the landscape, and dunes (known locally as ‘sand blows’) tower up to 224m high. Off-shore, whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles can often be seen from these high points.
• Sydney Opera House – NSW • Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s competition- winning 1956 design is Australia’s most recognizable icon. • While viewed from any angle it’s architecturally orgasmic, the ferry view approaching Circular Quay is hard to beat. • Inside are six auditoriums where dance, concerts, opera and theatre are staged, plus the left-of-center Studio for emerging artists. One-hour guided tours depart half-hourly (you’ll save a few bucks if you book online). Tours employ archival video footage to help tell the story of the iconic building’s construction. A highlight is the Utzon Room, the only part of the house to have an interior designed by the great man himself.• Sydney Harbor Bridge – NSW • Dubbed the ‘old coat hanger’, it’s a spookily big object – moving around town you’ll catch sight of it in the corner of your eye and get a fright! • Vital statistics: 134m high, 502m long, 49m wide and 53,000 tones. The massive bridge links the CBD with North Sydney, crossing the harbor at one of its narrowest points.
• Gold Coast Theme Parks • Dreamworld • MovieWorld • Sea World • Wet n Wild and; • Whitewater World - Queensland• Sydney Olympic Park, • built for the 2000 Olympics - Homebush, NSW
• Bathurst 1000 Super V8 Cars Race • October each year in Bathurst, NSW• Tamworth Country Music Festival • January each year in Tamworth, NSW• Australian Tennis Open • January each year Melbourne, Victoria• Melbourne Cup Horse Racing Carnival • November each year in Melbourne, Victoria• Melbourne F1 Grand Prix • March each year in Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria• Gold Coast SuperGP Motor Sport Carnival • October each year in Surfers Paradise, Queensland.