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Visiting Australia

The Sunrise and Sunset times in Australia vary dramatically across the seasons and from north to south. Click here for a table of sunrise and sunset times.

There are 4 main periods when Australians have school holidays, roughly every 10 weeks there is a 2 week break. Although the holiday times vary slightly from state to state, the following are the times during which there is an extended school holiday for 2021 and 2022:


Summer Holidays: 11 December 2021 - 30 January 2022

Autumn Holidays: 02 April - 25 April 2022

Winter Holidays: 25 June - 17 July 2022

Spring Holidays: 17 September - 09 October

Australian food is internationally renowned. From farm-to-plate restaurants to some of the world's most modern fine dining, there are some fantastic foods on offer and flavours to experience. A wide range of cuisine and styles are available to suit every budget. Dining out in the larger cities you will have a plethora of options while in the smaller towns you may only have one or two choices.

Major cities and centres are dynamic hubs with a number of different cuisines and dining options. You can find everything from fine dining and Michelin-star restaurants to hidden alleyways of Asian and fusion cuisine at great value prices.

If you're in need of a quick fix, Australia has an abundance of fast food options. 'Take-away’ or ‘fast food’ goes beyond the general ‘burgers and fries’ - Indian, Thai, Japanese, fish and chips, pizza, and of course, meat pies are all available!

Australia has three time zones: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST). 

AEST is equal to GMT + 10 hours

ACST is equal to GMT + 9.5 hours

AWST is equal to GMT + 8 hours

The wet and dry seasons primarily affect the tropical north of Australia.

The dry season generally lasts about 6 months, from April to October, with temperatures generally lower (around 20 degrees celsius) and clear skies. If you’re looking to visit this part of the country, this is the best time to come. The wet season generally falls between November and March and is marked by temperatures often over 30 degrees celsius with high humidity, and quite a bit of rainfall. 

Although some variation in the quality of drinking water will occur because of the different sources of water used and different forms of treatment, tap water in towns and cities (unless stated otherwise) is considered safe to drink.

The minimum drinking age to consume or purchase alcohol in Australia is 18.

Although many might guess that Sydney is the capital, given that it is Australia’s largest city, they would be incorrect. It is in fact, Canberra, located in Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Canberra’s name is derived from the aboriginal term meaning ‘meeting place’ and became the capital in 1927, when the federal parliament was shifted from Melbourne.

Australia has approximately 25 million people, with the majority of people living in metropolitan centres, including Sydney (its largest city), Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

This truly depends on where in Australia you would like to visit, as there are so many different climates in Australia and regional differences in seasonal temperatures. While the southern states tend to experience 4 seasons, the northern half of the country really only experiences two: the wet (November to April) and the dry (May to October) seasons. If you are keen to explore the outback, you should consider visiting during the cooler months (May through August) and if you are wanting to spend some time in Tasmania, you may want to visit between October and March due to its colder climate than the mainland. The best place to start is to think about where you want to visit in Australia and then we can let you know when the best time to travel would be based on your interests! 

Australia has a wide range of accommodation to suit any budget. There are six distinct styles including: Motels, three star hotels, four star hotels, luxury lodges and five star hotels, bed and breakfasts, and premium bed and breakfasts.

Motels
The motels we recommend are of a very high standard and many have facilities on-par with hotels. All motels offer self-contained facilities including cooking utensils, a hot plate and microwave, kettle, crockery and cutlery.  Some also offer facilities such as hot-tubs, swimming pools and saunas. Motes usually have bedrooms separate to the living area, making them ideal for families.

Three-star hotels
In Australia, the star rating of a hotel applies to the facilities and services on offer, and not necessarily the value or quality of these services. Throughout the country there are many three star hotels that offer exceptional service and accommodations. All the three star hotels that we book offer restaurant and room service facilities.

Four-star hotels
Four star hotels are prevalent in Australia and are generally very high quality. Most have a range or room types including standard, deluxe, superior or lake/mountain view suites etc.  Many also have two and three bedroom suites which are great when travelling in a large group or with family.  Most have swimming pools, gyms, a choice of restaurants and room service and most will occupy premium positions within a town network.

Luxury lodges and hotels
Australia is internationally renowned for its luxury lodges and upmarket hotels. From cool cosmopolitan properties to premium lodges in scenic locations these accommodations are five star and provide just about anything you can ask for including private in-house chefs, helicopter tours, fishing and hunting guides and spa treatments.

 

In Australia the cost of things will vary according to the location. In more remote places you should factor in paying a lot more for everyday items such as groceries and petrol. If you have children, tourist attractions usually offer a family rate which will give you the best value for money.

To give you an indication of what things will cost in Australia here is general price guide:

Cup of coffee (flat white) AUD$4 to AUD$5
Glass of beer or wine AUD$7 to AUD$15
2 Litres of Milk AUD$4 to AUD$5
30 minute Scenic Helicopter Flight AUD$300 per adult

Restaurants
As a guide, you can expect to pay between AUD$25 and AUD$35 for a main dinner course at most restaurants. However, at a high-end restaurant, you can expect to pay between AUD$40 - AUD$100 for a main dinner course. For lunch, prices range between AUD$12-AUD$25 at most cafes. Tipping is not required in Australia and in no way expected. Hospitality staff are paid (at the very least) a living wage and are not reliant on tips.  

Take-away/ fast food
A take-away dinner for two people costs anywhere between AUD$20-AUD$40, and a breakfast is anywhere between AUD$15- $AUD25 per person depending on the style and location.

Self catering
When travelling in Australia, the most cost-effective way to dine is to self-cater - particularly if you are staying in motel or apartment style accommodations that contain a kitchenette or kitchen so you can prepare your own meals. Most towns will have a main supermarket or a general grocery store. Australia grows much of its own produce - and local farmers markets are a great source of fresh fruit, vegetables, honey and eggs.

Other categories of frequently asked questions:

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We have helped hundreds of travellers make travel dreams come true over the last 15 years. Pure Journeys connects international travellers with the very best of Australia and New Zealand. If you aren't familiar with what's on offer here then you can read our blogs for inspiration and travel ideas.
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