Australia General Information

Quick Facts

Region: Australia

Population:
22,191,265

Religion:

There is no state religion in Australia and religious beliefs are diverse. Around 60% of Australians identify themselves as Christian.

Language:

English is the main language in Australia and is spoken just about everywhere. Australian English does have some peculiarities and a distinct accent that may take some getting used to. There are around 70 indigenous languages still spoken. The large immigrant population means that there is also some Italian, Greek and Chinese spoken in these communities.

Area (sq. km):
7,686,850 square meters

Time:

There are three time zones in Australia. Eastern Standard Time (EST) applies in the east and is GMT +10. The centre is GMT +9.5 and the west is GMT +8. Daylight savings applies in summer months in much of the country.

When To Travel

Summer (December to February) is warm to hot in the southern areas, hot in the centre, and wet and very humid in northern Australia. Autumn and spring are mild in the southern areas and pleasant in the north, while winter (June to August) can be cool or cold in the south, with snow in the mountain areas.

Useful Travel Facts

Airports:

Sydney Airport is the most common entry into the country. All capital and major cities and tourist areas are serviced by airports, which are largely connected by bus and taxi, and sometimes train, to the city.

Telephone:

Calling code: +61

Electricity:

220-240V 50Hz Electricity plugs have three flat blades – two at the top which are angled and one at the bottom which is vertical.

Shopping:

Australian products include opals, wool, leather and sheepskin products, fine local wine, surf brand clothing and vegemite (breakfast spread). Indigenous arts and crafts include a wide range of paintings in traditional and modern styles on bark or canvas; didgeridoos and boomerangs.

Visa: Nationalities other than Australians and New Zealanders will need a visa to visit Australia. Short term visas have largely been replaced by the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), however it is your responsibility to check the relevant authorities if this applies to you.

Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities. You should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Useful Words & Phrases

Further Reading

The Secret River – Kate Grenville My Place – Sally Morgan For the Term of His Natural Life – Manning Clark Voss – Patrick White Cloud Street – Tim Winton The True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey