Planning on taking on an adventure of a lifetime?
You can’t get further away from home than travelling to the other side of the world to visit Australia. And with its leading cities, golden sand beaches, miles of outback ready for exploring and scenic rainforests, there’s really something to suit everyone.
But before you pack your bags, here are five things every Texan should know before embarking on their visit to Australia.
1. Australia is bigger than you might think
When you look at a world map, Australia may seem tiny. But be warned, Australia is bigger than you might expect.
In fact, Australia is roughly 11 times bigger than Texas. It’s also less populated, as Australia has 1.9 million fewer people than the Lone Star State.
With this in mind, the chances are that, unless you’re staying for six months or longer, you’re not going to be able to see all Australia has to offer. So, plan accordingly and prioritize the must-see destinations for your visit.
2. You’re not going to be surrounded by kangaroos
We’ve all grown up with the belief that Australia is filled with kangaroos. But the truth is, you aren’t going to see them in the wild unless you venture further inland on a nature park or reserve.
Really want to see them? The best place to go is Kangaroo Island, just south of Adelaide. There you won’t just spot kangaroos, you’ll also be face to face with koalas and be able to walk among rare sea lions.
Want to see a humpback whale? According to The Secret Traveller blog, the SS Yongala offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience: the chance to glimpse 50-ton humpback whales.
3. Tipping is not mandatory
Unlike in Texas, tipping isn’t required in Australia. That’s because Australian workers are typically paid better than anywhere else in the world, so they don’t need tips to subsidize their income. Sure, if they’ve provided exceptional service, tip away! But remember, they aren’t as reliant on your tips as folks back home.
4. The seasons are different
Australian summer runs from December to March, but it’s a lot different to the Texan summers you’re used to. The summer temperature for Australia regularly hits 105°F (and higher) and some parts of the country experience harsh rains. (In 2010, the whole city of Brisbane flooded.)
The ideal time to visit Australia is just before summer, around October or November or after the worst of the weather has passed, which will be around April or May.
5. You’ll need a visa
No matter how long you’re planning on staying, you’ll need a visa to enter Australia. You can find out which type of visa you’ll need for your stay on this Entering Australia page.
Disclosure: This article is a collaboration between Texas Lifestyle Magazine and 1Cover.