Updated: 29 March 2022
BACKGROUND & CULTURE
A BRIEF BACKGROUND
Australia now is home to a diverse culture and unique flora, fauna and wildlife. There are animals found in Australia and nowhere else in the world, such as the kangaroo, koala, echnida platypus and possum.
It is also home to some of the world’s most dangerous animals like the box jellyfish, taipan (snake), blue-ringed octopus and redback spider.
Aussies hold a unique kindred spirit, a result of its unusual beginnings as a penal colony grown to today’s diverse country.
The attitude of many Australians is that of a serious love of nature and sports. Its climate and natural offerings lend itself to exploring on every level, whether it is simple hiking, to adrenaline seeking sports, arts and appreciation of the landscape.
The perception of locals is of an easy, laid-back, “no worries, mate” love of life. There is a clear welcoming of visitors that is reflective of the many opportunities for a relaxed lifestyle and general enjoyment of the natural beauty of the country.
Due to its size, Australia has a wide range of average temperatures. In the north, it is mostly warmer and more humid, while further south in Victoria and Tasmania, it is crisp and cool. The country does enjoy all 4 seasons, as opposed to countries closer to the equator that experience more wet and dry seasons.
Average summer temperatures (December – February) in
– New South Wales (Sydney): 25oC – 30oC degrees (day)
– Western Australia (Perth): 25oC – 35oC degrees (day)
Average winter temperatures (July – August) in
– New South Wales (Sydney) 15oC – 20oC degrees (day)
– Western Australia (Perth): 20oC – 25oC degrees (day)
Overall and throughout the year, most of Australia enjoys a majority proportion of the year with sunny and fresh days. There are some humid and warm areas in the north, such as in Queensland and Northern Territory, however otherwise, it is temperate climate and pleasant.
ARRIVING & GETTING AROUND
Arriving into Australia, most major airports are new, modern and clean. The process of customs entry is well organised and information for the right of entry is clear.
It is to be stressed that as Australia is an island, the border controls are strict and unrelenting. For example, food from the plane or ship, live plants or shoes with soil/dirt still on them can not be brought into Australia. Otherwise, all food, nuts, dairy must be declared to the customs officials and noted on your embarkation card. Mis-declaring goods will ensure that if discovered, the traveller is most likely to be fined and the goods seized and destroyed.
Holding the correct visas can be checked here through the official government website at the Department of Home Affairs.
The public transport of is extensive and reaches almost all areas within a reasonable walking distance of homes and points of interest in most major cities. This is no small feat considering that the area of Greater Sydney, being the largest city, covers an area of 12,368km2.
Taxis are generally quite expensive, so reliance would mainly be on purchasing your own car, or relying on public transport. Public transport cards enable travel on all public services such as ferries, buses and trains (in NSW it is the “Opal” card – more information can be obtained from TransportNSW and in Western Australia it is “SmartRider” card through TransPerth ).
As a new resident in NSW, you will need to convert your licence within 3 months of arriving into the country. Conversion requires attendance at a NSW Service Centre (locations can be found here)and pass a knowledge test, depending on the country of issue of the original driving licence. More details can be found regarding the origin country here as certain conditions do apply.
For WA, only recognised countries can convert licences by direct conversion without the need of further knowledge or driving tests. Details and whether your country requires additional requirements can be found here.
Generally, driving is safe and predictable with road rules adhered to and respect for pedestrians and bicycles observed.
HOME & FOOD
Housing in Australia can vary from apartments, houses, townhouses and farms. Accommodation near the cities are of course smaller than that further afield. Prices also reflect a premium closer to the city and certain more coveted areas of the major cities.
Depending on the city of your location, it would be good to take note of the sun aspects of your potential home as the sun tends to be quite harsh and hot during the summer months and so having afternoon sun into the lounge areas may find the home too warm if there is no air conditioning. Air conditioning is not an absolute necessity on the whole as the summer months, while can be hot, most of Australia coastal cities enjoy fresh and cool breeze when the sun goes down.
HOUSE HUNTING RESOURCES
The main property search engines for rentals and purchasing include Domain.com.au and RealEstate.com.au. There are available plenty of property brokers and relocation agents, however, given the nature of the property websites, locating a suitable property can easily be done by map location, type of accommodation or price filters. Photos are clear and agents are generally responsive to enquiries by email and phone.
Once you have inspected a few properties, you will get a strong sense of what falls within your budget, location and preference requirements. The websites can give you updates on your searches.
Australia has a strong system outlining tenant and landlord rights and obligations. All states have their own tenancy laws, which clearly and unambiguously set out the responsibilities of each party. In Western Australia, the relevant resources for tenants include government sites offering guides such as WA commerce department and Tenancy advocacy services such as Tenancy WA. In New South Wales, the source of legislative rights and responsibilities can be found at NSW Department of Fair Trading and advice can be found at the Tenants’ Union.
As Australia is surrounded by oceans with plenty of internal rivers, it is natural to see that seafood can be seen on most menus. Further, it has been traditionally been, and continues to be, a farming country with red meat a staple for restaurants and homes. Lamb, beef and pork incorporate
There is a good variety of food options available in the city and urban areas. The range of cuisines are ever growing, which include of course all corners of Asia and much of Europe, but also more unusual restaurants worth trying such as Ethiopian restaurants.
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