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20 Things To Know Before You Go To Australia

I lived in Australia for the first half of 2014. I worked as an au pair, which is a fancy word for nanny, and on the weekends got to hang out with my friends, explore my city of Melbourne, and occasionally travel to other parts of the country.

During my time in Australia I explored the state of Victoria, lots of Queensland (I miss you Byron Bay!!) and spent three days in Sydney, exploring the city on my own. After I finished my work as an au pair I spent a week in Cairns, and during that time I made loads of friends, spent a day on the Great Barrier Reef, and a few days exploring the Daintree Rainforest and surrounding area.

Needless to say it was A LOT of fun traveling. But there are definitely some things that I wish I knew before moving there. So I thought I would share some tips with you!

  1. Australia is a big freaking country. It is the 6th largest country in the world.
  2. Australia’s rain forest, the Daintree, is the oldest in the world at 130 million years! It is located in Queensland, and an easy day trip from Cairns or Port Douglas area.
  3. The internet is terrible. Find a McDonald’s with free wifi so you don’t pay an arm and a leg for awful internet.
  4. Credit and debit cards are not accepted everywhere, so please make sure you have a bit of cash on you at all times!
  5. There are over 800 species in the country and about 300 are native to Australia. You won’t find them elsewhere!
  6. Looking for the oldest living civilization in the world? Well you’ll find them in Australia!
  7. When you see a gum tree after leaving the country, you will immediately think of Australia and smile!
  8. While two thirds of the country is desert, over 80% of the population live within 100 kilometers to the coast.
  9. Melbourne has the best coffee you will ever drink.
  10. The giant desert in the middle? It used to be a giant inland sea!
  11. There are more than 10,000 beaches, so you’ll have loads of selection.
  12. The top 10 deadliest snakes live in Australia.
  13. Dial 000 for emergencies.
  14. Uluru (or the red rock, or Ayers rock) is more than 500 million years old.
  15. A kangaroo and a wallaby are two totally different creatures. Wallabies are smaller and friendlier.
  16. Tipping is not expected.
  17. It does get cold! I lived in Melbourne and in May and June found myself absolutely freezing!
  18. Flies are everywhere.
  19. Anna Creek Station, a cattle station in South Australia, is bigger than Israel!
  20. Australians eat their national animal, kangaroo.

Oh and by the way, you are never going to want to leave!

What tips do you have for Australia?!

20 Things To Know Before You Go To Australia!


34 Responses

  1. All of these were making me excited to visit until I got to #12! No snakes for me 😉 Though the 10,000 beaches miiiight make up for it!

  2. Really interesting post! I knew a few things as I have friends and know people living in there, and it was good to learn new things about Australia as well.

  3. I totally agree with you on all of these things! So cool that you got to spend such a decent amount of time there too. Great piece.

  4. Haha Melbourne DOES have the best coffee ever! I lived in Oz for a few years and I miss it tons – thankfully still get to go back every year or so to visit. One more thing I’d add is that EVERYTHING is shortened – “Macca’s” for Mcdonalds, “Havis” for Havaianas etc. It’s hell funny!

  5. This is such useful info for me as I’m planning on doing a working holiday in Australia in the next couple of years! How strange they eat their own national animal…

  6. Australia is my last continent to visit! (besides Antartica) And this just makes me want to go even more! There are so many unique things about Australia – I knew some, but not all! This is a great post!

  7. Great round up! As an Aussie I can definitely agree with you about the wifi – it is very poor, and hotels are happy to charge $30 per day for wifi – that will definitely be a shock when I go home. But I do miss the beautiful beaches. I was in Haleakala National Park in Maui last year and was suddenly overcome with a huge sense I was home – and realised I was driving through an area filled with gum trees, a smell that I’ll never forget!

    1. I love gum trees! That must have felt so nice to drive through them and be reminded of home 🙂
      Yeah the wifi is crazy expensive! Although I think overall I paid more in New Zealand, and the wifi there was much worse.

  8. I’ve never been to Oz, but my sister is planning to live there for a year so I look forward to seeing all the sights! It sounds like a breathtaking country. Loved your post!

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Brooklyn standing in front of the pyramids of Giza

Brooklyn Murtaugh

travel blogger

Hi! I’m Brooklyn. Like many, I thought my purpose in life was to go to university, settle down and have kids. But that is not me. 

My aim is to inspire you to travel as much as you can while you can, whether that be through au pair work, or on your limited vacation days. It CAN be done. This world is incredible, let’s explore it!

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