Australia, that land down under, is a very popular tourist destination. It’s also attracting immigrants from the world over thanks to an open culture, high quality of life and economic opportunities. Just in case you’re thinking of upping sticks and moving to the Antipodes, the Xpress Money team have put together a handy primer on the country.
Size does matter
Australia is huge, even by the standards of large countries. It’s the 6th largest country in the world. To put that into some perspective, Australia is larger than all the 27 European Union countries put together. In fact, a flight from the East Coast to the West Coast will take around 5.5 hours.
Please don’t think about road tripping around the place. It will take you months. And remember that most Australians live on the coast, which means you’ll be driving through a lot of emptiness in the middle of the country.
It’s English but not as you know it
Australians speak English, but have their own special version of it. There are many unique Aussie linguistic idiosyncrasies.
When you head to the airport to catch your flight, you might be doing it in the “arvo”, which just means afternoon. And your flight might be “chockers”, which is just another way of saying exceptionally full. If there’s a holdup, you might want to dip into your “esky” – or cooler. But don’t worry, because “she’ll be right” – which is just the Aussie way of saying that everything will turn out fine.
Weeks, not months
Australians trend to advertise rents per week and not monthly or annually. So that phenomenal rent you’re getting for that seven-room bungalow with pool is actually just the rate for staying in it for a week.
It’s not the cheapest
Australia is quite far away from the rest of the world, relatively speaking. There aren’t convenient neighbours sharing land borders to trade with. And this means that anything that can’t be produced within Australia will need to travel thousands of miles to get there. The prices of the food and drink on supermarket shelves tends to reflect that.
Nature is part of life.
Anecdotally, Australia seems full of dangerous flora and fauna that can cause massive discomfort if they decide to bite. We’ve all read stories about spiders the size of small dogs1 and looked through terrifying lists of dangerous animals2.
But Australia also boasts a selection of species exclusive to the island – such as kangaroos, platypuses, quokkas, emus, koalas, dingos, wombats and a number of snakes and amphibians. For nature lovers, it’s paradise.
So there you have it. We hope our quick and cheerful guide helps you prep for your adventures in Australia. Happy travels!