- Insider spoke to 13 Australians about what tourists should know before visiting the land down under.
- Some said that exploring Australia's outback and trying Vegemite is a must.
- Others said you should skip eating kangaroo meat if you see it on the menu.
1. "We're laid back people," one Australian said.
When it comes to Australians, almost everyone Insider spoke to agreed that the people who live in the land down under are kind, welcoming, and chill.
"We're typically pretty laid back, and you can't really offend us," the Gibson family told Insider. "But our humor can take a bit to get used to."
The Gibsons also said that visitors shouldn't hesitate to chat with locals. Chances are, they will be happy to share their travel tips for exploring Australia.
2. Take time to learn about Australia's rich indigenous culture.
If Indigo Rampson had one piece of advice for travelers, it would be to learn more about Australia's Indigenous culture and history.
"The Sydney Opera House and the Eye are what's advertised about the country, but there's a lot of really rich and interesting Indigenous culture here," Rampson told Insider.
For example, Uluru, a sandstone formation in the center of Australia, is sacred to some of Australia's Aboriginal people. According to ITV, it's a resting place for ancient spirits of the region.
David Goebel, who works at Doongal Aboriginal Art and Artefacts in Cairns, Australia, said one of the easiest ways to appreciate and learn about Australia's Indigenous culture is to have conversations with Aboriginal Australians.
"How do you go out and meet Aboriginal people? It's how you meet any Australian. Go to a pub," Goebel said.
3. Make sure to explore Australia's pub culture.
Stacpoole said that visitors should make sure to stop at a pub before leaving the country.
"Pubs are a big thing here," Stacpoole said.
The Australian National Universitystates that pubs "are a key part of Australia's cultural identity and have been central to many great yarns and tall tales in Australian folklore."
The setting is an ideal place to spark conversations with locals, Stacpoole said, plus you'll get to taste some of the country's quintessential meals like fish 'n chips and chicken parmesan.
4. Some visitors don't realize how large Australia is until they arrive.
Australia is the world's sixth-largest country and only slightly smaller than the US. Just as you can't see all of America in a single trip, it's also impossible to see all of Australia.
"People don't realize how bloody big the country is," John McGee, who is originally from Ireland and has lived in Australia for 52 years, said. "You need to take into consideration how far everything is."
Unless you have months to explore Australia, the Aussies Insider spoke with agreed that you should pick one or two places for your vacation.
They also suggested that travelers plan a trip around their interests, which could be anything from a tropical getaway on the Great Barrier Reef to an excursion through the outback to a metropolitan city escape in Sydney.
5. If you're traveling all the way to Australia, make sure you leave big cities and see the outback.
Jack Thomas' advice is simple: "Go regional. Go out to the bush or to any small town."
Thomas, who is from Brisbane, Australia, said that some of the more remote areas of Australia help visitors get a sense of the region's culture, traditions, and norms.
So rent a car and head inland to the country's 2-million-square-mile region, he said.
6. If you stop in a major city like Sydney, budget accordingly, one person said.
Australia is ranked a top-visited destination, with 33 million visitors in 2019, according to Australia's online visa website, for a reason: The city is filled with delicious food, trendy neighborhoods, and popular tourist attractions like the Sydney Opera House.
But its appeal comes with a hefty price tag for tourists.
In a 2014 survey in TravelMag, Sydney ranked second for the average cost of lodging, which at the time was about $90 dollars a night. Bryon Bay, another town in Australia, placed first.
Richard Preen, who is from the UK and has lived in Australia for 18 years, warned travelers of Sydney's sometimes steep prices and recommended budgeting extra.
"Sydney is the most expensive city you'll visit in Australia," Preen said.
7. You won't find koalas, kangaroos, and crocodiles everywhere in Australia.
"People think crocodiles are everywhere. They're not. They're in the estuaries and rivers and such," Paul Donlon from New Castle, Australia, said.
The same thing applies to other native animals like kangaroos and koalas. Chances are, you won't run into kangaroos or koalas in Australia's major cities.
Donlon said that if you want to see the country's native animals, you'll have to travel to national parks, which tend to be farther inland since many of Australia's larger cities are on the coast.
8. You don't need to be afraid of wildlife, but you do need to be aware.
"There's a lot that can kill you in Australia," Sally Smith, who lives in Innisfail, Australia, said. "So be aware of the danger."
Donlon agreed but added that visitors don't need to be fearful during their trip.
"First-time travelers, there's definitely a fear factor. I've had to pacify so many people," Donlon said.Instead of traveling in fear, Donlon suggests staying calm and not interacting with the wildlife you encounter on your trip.
Mia Santos shared a similar sentiment and stressed that visitors shouldn't feed any wildlife when visiting.
9. Some Australians mentioned that their lingo could be hard to pick up.
Most Australians speak English, but some Aussie words and phrases can stump travelers, the Gibson family said.
"That's the hardest part — learning our lingo," Alex Gibson said.
During a trip to Australia, you might hear the term "bushwalking," which means hiking or walking.
And while you may be more familiar with french fries, you might see "hot chips" written on the menu instead. What's more, you'll dip your hot chips in tomato sauce, not ketchup.
Additionally, Donlon said that it's not just the words Aussies use but how they form sentences that can also trip up tourists.
"People here shorten everything when they talk," Donlon said.
So if you get stuck on what someone's telling you, ask for clarification. Like the Gibson family said, Aussies are laid back and will be happy to teach you their favorite slang words.
10. Multiple Australians agreed that exploring the country by car is the best way to see the land down under.
While Australia's major cities have accessible public transportation, transportation options can be limited when you leave the city.
While travelers can still see these more remote areas by tour bus, Thomas recommends renting a car instead. By being behind the wheel, travelers can explore off-the-beaten-path activities and have a flexible schedule that allows them to explore Australia's hidden gems.
If you decide to rent a car, RV, or van and drive in the outback, Preen recommends only driving during sunlight hours.
During dusk, dawn, and night, large animals like kangaroos can jump out, which leaves you at a greater risk of hitting an animal, Preen said.
"They're like deer. They just stand there, and they swerve with you," Preen said. "So don't drive at night."
11. If you swim in Australia, make sure to swim in designated areas and keep an eye out for rip currents.
Australia has plenty of beaches where tourists can take a swim, but make sure you're swimming in designated areas to avoid any unwanted encounters with sea creatures.
Swimmers should also be prepared for rip currents, Brittanie Stacpoole told Insider.These are powerful channels of water that can carry swimmers out to sea.
"One important thing when it comes to swimming is if you ever get caught in a rip, don't swim head on to the beach. Swim at an angle or parallel to the shore," Stacpoole said.
If you swim directly toward the shore, you might lose energy, which puts you at a greater risk of drowning. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, most rip currents are less than 80 feet wide, so if you swim parallel to the shore, you'll be able to swim out of the current.
12. Make sure to sample local foods like meat pies and Vegemite.
Australia has some classic foods that visitors should try when heading to the land down under.
Since many of the country's major cities are on the coast, seafood is a must. Smith said that barramundi is a popular fish, while fish 'n chips is an easy, grab-and-go meal.
You'll also be amiss if you don't try Vegemite in Australia, Stacpoole said. The yeast spread is typically slathered on bread and served for breakfast.
13. Eating kangaroo, crocodile, and emu isn't as common as some tourists think.
Some Australians agreed that restaurants that serve crocodile, kangaroo, and emu meat are typically catering to tourists.
While some Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians eat kangaroo, the meat tends to be tough and gamey, Goebel said.
Goebel recommends avoiding kangaroo, but if you are determined to try it, he suggests eating it in a meat pie, where flavors and juices from the pie's ingredients can better mask the toughness of the kangaroo meat.
14. Australia's tipping culture is simple — you don't need to tip.
A few Aussies mentioned that you don't need to tip when visiting Australia.
Instead, restaurant workers receive a liveable wage, so tipping isn't expected. Santos said the same applies to other jobs like cab drivers, bartenders, and hotel staff.
For example, Santos said it's not expected to tip your Uber driver after completing your ride.
If you receive exceptional service, she said you could leave a tip, but it's not the norm or required.
15. Talk to locals, listen to suggestions, and don't get fixated on having specific Australian experiences.
Terry Edwards from Innisfail said visitors sometimes come to Australia expecting to see kangaroos everywhere and runinto crocodile hunters at restaurants.
But Edwards said he hopes visitors arrive with an open mindset and a willingness to explore.
"Don't be fixated on certain Australian things," Edwards said. "Try new experiences."
While exploring the Sydney Opera House and crossing the Sydney Harbor Bridge are popular activities, some of the most exciting parts of the country are places you've never heard of, he said.
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What should I know before visiting Australia? ›
- It is a Huge and Extremely Diverse Region. ...
- Budgeting is Very Important. ...
- Pay Some Attention to the Language. ...
- You Probably Won't See Koalas and Kangaroos All Around You. ...
- Do You Know about the Tipping Culture? ...
- The Sun is Pretty Strong Here. ...
- Be OK with Being Offline.
- Marvel at Australia's Sydney Opera House. ...
- Watch turtles hatch in Queensland. ...
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef, one of seven natural wonders of the world. ...
- Drive the Great Ocean Road. ...
- Discover Uluru, the heart of the Red Centre.
- Check your visa conditions. ...
- Keep up to date with the latest travel requirements. ...
- Seek the right OSHC provider. ...
- Keep important documents printed and handy. ...
- Familiarise yourself with important services and phone numbers. ...
- Set up a bank account.
Australia is home to a number of dangerous animal species. Crocodiles, jellyfish and sharks, venomous insects, spiders and snakes are found in many parts of the country.Did you know Australia facts? ›
Australia is the only continent in the world without an active volcano. Australia has three times more sheep than people. The largest Greek population in the world beside Athens in Greece can be found in Melbourne Victoria. An Australian man once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.What is Australia known for? ›
Australia is known for many things, including swathes of tropical beaches, marine reserves, Aboriginal culture, cute koalas, rolling wine country, and lush rainforests.Why do tourists love Australia? ›
Our sandy stretches are home to world-class surfing, unique marine life, striking ocean pools and unbeatable beach culture. So, it's no wonder Australian beaches regularly rank among the best in the world. Surf, swim, snorkel, sun-worship – there are endless ways to enjoy Australia's beautiful beaches and islands.Why Australia is famous for tourism? ›
About six million visitors come to Australia each year lured by beautiful beaches, unique flora and fauna, friendly people and a relaxed atmosphere. Australia has some 9,700 protected nature areas such as national parks, and can offer visitors a vast and diverse array of nature-based tourism opportunities.How safe is Australia? ›
Australia is a very safe country to visit. The country has a stable political system and a low crime rate, and Australians generally experience a safe lifestyle. However, you should observe the same precautions with your personal safety and possessions as you would when travelling anywhere, whether at home or overseas.What are travel tips? ›
- Do your research. Get to know your destination in depth before you arrive. ...
- Don't draw attention. ...
- Make copies of important documents. ...
- Keep your friends and family updated. ...
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi. ...
- Safeguard your hotel room. ...
- Be aware of your surroundings.
Is Australia worth visiting? ›
As a remote yet highly developed country, Australia has captivated us with its unique natural wonders and exotic wildlife. Australia is one of the few countries where no matter your travel taste, budget, or age, it can deliver a travel experience that can't be found anywhere else.What is the best month to visit Australia? ›
September to November & March to May are best time to visit Australia. Most of the tourists opt for these months to visit Australia. The weather during these seasons is neither too hot nor too cold that makes it perfect to have a walk around Australia.How do they say hello in Australia? ›
The most common verbal greeting is a simple “Hey”, “Hello”, or “Hi”. Some people may use Australian slang and say “G'day” or “G'day mate”. However, this is less common in cities. Many Australians greet by saying “Hey, how are you?”.How do I not look like a tourist in Australia? ›
Looking like a tourist seems to be a deep rooted fear for many travellers. On a surface level, it's a pretty easy thing to avoid. Don't wear cargo pants, refrain from brandishing a selfie stick around and learn some basic cultural etiquette and in most cases you'll be okay.Do Aussies say g day? ›
It surely sounds strange to those who are familiar with American or British English, but it is a very common expression in Australia. G'day is a shortened form of 'Good Day' and it is the equivalent of 'Hello.What are 3 things that make Australia unique? ›
Australia is globally famous for its natural wonders, wide-open spaces, beaches, deserts, "The Bush", and "The Outback". Australia is one of the world's most highly urbanised countries; it's well known for its attractive mega cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.What is the most Australian thing to say? ›
- Wrap your laughing gear 'round that.
- Dog's breakfast. ...
- Tell him he's dreaming. ...
- A few stubbies short of a six-pack. ...
- What's the John Dory? ...
- Have a Captain Cook. ...
- No worries, mate, she'll be right. ...
- Fair go, mate. Fair suck of the sauce bottle. ...
The majority of Australians speak English as a first or other language, however a significant number of people also speak languages other than English. About 76% of Australians reported speaking only English at home in the 2021 Census.What do most Australian people like? ›
- We love our cute, weird wildlife.
- We love going for a bushwalk.
- We really really love coffee.
- And the food scene is insane.
- We love our diverse and varied culture.
- But we love the laid back attitude that unites us.
- We love all sport.
- And we love Tim Tams.
|Rank||Source Country||Visitor Count|
How popular is Australia for tourism? ›
In the financial year 2018–19, Australia generated $60.8 billion in direct tourism gross domestic product (GDP). This represents a growth of 3.5 per cent over the previous year – faster than the national GDP growth. Tourism also directly employed 666,000 Australians making up 5 per cent of Australia's workforce.How popular is Australia as a tourist destination? ›
|Year||Number of tourists||Receipts per tourist|
|2019||9.47 m||5,066 $|
|2018||9.25 m||5,119 $|
|2017||8.82 m||4,989 $|
|2016||8.27 m||4,724 $|
Australians are very friendly and easy-going people. In fact, Australians are renowned for their laid-back nature and unique sense of humour. Another thing Australians are known for is their love of sport, recreation and the great outdoors.Are schools free in Australia? ›
Government schools (also known as public schools) are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents, while Catholic and independent schools usually charge attendance fees.Is life in Australia expensive? ›
According to Numbeo, Australia ranks 14th for highest cost of living in the world. This places this warm nation higher on the list than the United States, United Kingdom and even Canada (at least when you exclude rent costs).What should I know before I travel? ›
- Currency. Exchange rates are definitely one of the things you should keep an eye on. ...
- Mode of Transportation. How are you going to get around once you're there? ...
- Accommodations. There are a lot of options when it comes to finding a place to stay. ...
- Electronics. ...
- Culture. ...
- Travel Insurance.
- Keep your travel plans, including accommodation details, to yourself.
- Don't hitch hike.
- Try not to travel at night.
- Avoid 'seedier' areas of the cities you visit, especially at night.
- Ask your hotel manager for advice on 'safe' versus 'unsafe' local areas.
According to the United Nations, Australia is the second-best country in the world to live, due to its excellent quality of life index. The UN establishes a qualification, also known as the Human Development Index, based on an annual survey of social progress and economic indexes of the 187 countries.Is Australia a beautiful country? ›
Australia. Australia's natural beauty is unrivaled—from the Great Barrier Reef to the wild isolation of the Outback, to the winelands of Victoria.
How much money do I need to go to Australia? ›
How much money will you need for your trip to Australia? You should plan to spend around AU$192 ($119) per day on your vacation in Australia, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.What is the coldest month in Australia? ›
In most parts of Australia, the coldest night and day typically occur during July, several weeks after the June winter solstice.What is the coldest in Australia? ›
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Australia is −23.0 °C (−9.4 °F), at Charlotte Pass, New South Wales, on 29 June 1994.How long is a flight to Australia? ›
Flying time from United States to Australia
The total flight duration from United States to Australia is 19 hours, 26 minutes. This assumes an average flight speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/h or 434 knots. It also adds an extra 30 minutes for take-off and landing.
Any trip to Australia will require Australian currency, even if you plan to use your credit or debit card to pay for most things. TripAdvisor recommends using ATM machines to convert your U.S. dollars to Australian money.How much do I need to visit Australia? ›
The average price of a 7-day trip to Australia is $1,955 for a solo traveler, $3,357 for a couple, and $1,725 for a family of 4. Australia hotels range from $55 to $238 per night with an average of $92, while most vacation rentals will cost $180 to $510 per night for the entire home.Do I need a visa to go to Australia? ›
You must have a valid U.S. passport and a visa or approved Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia. Most U.S. passport holders traveling to Australia for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days can obtain an (ETA).Is Australia worth visiting? ›
As a remote yet highly developed country, Australia has captivated us with its unique natural wonders and exotic wildlife. Australia is one of the few countries where no matter your travel taste, budget, or age, it can deliver a travel experience that can't be found anywhere else.How much is US $100 in Australia? ›
Is Australia cheaper than USA? ›
Is Australia more expensive to live in than the US?
|Transport||Cost is 26.7% more in Australia|
|Childcare Services||Cost is 23.4% more in Australia|
According to Numbeo, Australia ranks 14th for highest cost of living in the world. This places this warm nation higher on the list than the United States, United Kingdom and even Canada (at least when you exclude rent costs).How much money do you need in bank for Australian visa? ›
A sufficient amount is generally regarded as being a minimum of AUD$5,000, although the amount may vary depending on your length of stay and how much travelling you intend to do.
|Visa Type||Fee (in AUD)||Fee if you apply from within Australia (in AUD)|
|Transit Visa-subclass 771||Free of charge||N/A|
|Student Visa-subclass 500, 590||630||630|
|Training Visa- subclass 407||315||315|
|Temporary Graduate Visa- subclass 485||1,680||1,680|
Should you plan on visiting Australia for an extended stay (longer than 90 days), you will be required to apply for a long stay Australian tourist visa.Which is the best month to visit Australia? ›
Shoulder seasons (March-May and September-November)
Spring and autumn are among the best times to travel the entire country.
Stay up to 3 months each time you enter. Visa processing times are based on the age of applications finalised in a given period.Why Australia is the best? ›
According to the United Nations, Australia is the second-best country in the world to live, due to its excellent quality of life index. The UN establishes a qualification, also known as the Human Development Index, based on an annual survey of social progress and economic indexes of the 187 countries.