1 Do I need a visa? Unless you’re an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you’ll need a visa or Electronic Ticket Authority (ETA) to enter the country. NZ passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival. For more detailed info regarding what type of visa you require, go to, or you can pay the Australian High Commission a visit at 25 Napier Road. How long will it take me to get there? Between 4 and 7.5 hours. The time difference from Singapore ranges from zero hours (Perth) to two or three hours (Sydney, depending on daylight savings periods). 2 What’s the money situation? The Australian dollar (AUD) is the national currency of Australia. Foreign currency and travellers’ cheques can be changed at most banks or licenced money changers. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are readily available. When’s the best time to visit? Australia has four seasons, but the climate can vary greatly due to the size of the continent – check your destination before you go. The north generally has warm to hot weather year-round, while southern states experience cooler winters. Remember, too, that the seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere, so Christmas is in the summertime. What’s the lingo? English. Still, you may find yourself failing to understand a conversation or two thanks to the heavy use of Australian slang (or “Strine”). Here are some phrases to get you started: Fair dinkum The real thing Having a Barry Not going well Flat out like a lizard drinking Busy at work Bludger Lazy person Woop Woop / the back of Bourke A long way away With five million immigrants from 160 countries, Australia has a rich cultural diversity, which generally means its people are friendly and relaxed around visitors. In fact, communication can be quite direct: first names are often used immediately, even for strangers, and there’s a tendency to get straight to the point. (Or to put it in Strine: there’s no beating around the bush!) What’s a must-try dish? A meat pie. You don’t always get a good one, but when you do it’s a memorable thing. Be sure to add lashings of “dead horse” (tomato sauce). 5 6 Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals? 7 What should I buy as a souvenir? Food-wise, it’s hard to go past a jar of Vegemite or a packet of Tim Tams – and a couple of bottles of Australia’s world-class wine, of course. Other than that, a didgeridoo or boomerang, or a clothing product made of leather or sheep’s wool. 3 4 8


• Australians eat both animals that feature on their coat of arms: the kangaroo and the emu. largest urban Greek population outside of Athens is in Melbourne. • Australia’s unique football code, Aussie Rules, is believed to be based on the Aboriginal game of Mangrook. • When Sydney and Melbourne couldn’t stop fighting over which of them should be the capital city, Canberra was selected instead. Despite the rumours, though, it’s not halfway between the two cities – it’s much closer to Sydney. • The world’s


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