You have taken the plunge and finally booked your dream holiday to the land down under, Australia. But before heading off, there are some important facts to know about this beautiful country that will make your holiday easier to navigate and far more enjoyable.

From understanding and respecting the importance of the indigenous people to following the strict border laws, and researching essential questions like ‘Can you fly with a vape in Australia?’ will ensure you have a trip of a lifetime.

Photo by Arvin Wiyono

The Country is Massive

Never underestimate the sheer size of this massive continent. A flight from coast to coast will take you five hours while doing it by car will take three long days. You could spend weeks travelling around this country, experiencing constantly changing environments, weather patterns and biomes.

Each state is unique in the types of activities you can do and the natural landmarks and historical monuments on offer. You will never be short of stuff to do, so starting your vacation with a somewhat structured itinerary is not a bad idea.

Sunblock is a Necessity

You have never experienced harsh sunlight until you visit Australia in summer. Some days can feel like you are on holiday on the sun’s surface, meaning a high SPF sunblock is not a recommendation but a necessity.

The harmful rays can cause severe sunburn, leading to painful blistering and other potentially dangerous side effects. If you have fairer skin, wear a brimmed hat, sunglasses, or a coverup while sitting on the beach or beside the pool.

Respect the Indigenous Culture

Aboriginal Australians is the term used to refer to the indigenous people of Australia. Their culture and heritage carry significant respect as they are the traditional owners of the various lands they continue to inhabit.

This respect is often shown verbally before ceremonies, sporting events, and special meetings. It is essential to always remain respectful of all people and cultures you encounter while on holiday. It is highly recommended to include time during your stay to visit one or two indigenous landmarks to learn more about these fascinating people.

Smoking Isn’t Popular

Whether you smoke or not is a personal preference, but in Australia, it is not a cheap habit and is heavily regulated. According to legislation, one packet of cigarettes will set you back a whopping £22.

Furthermore, nicotine prescriptions for vape pens must be issued by a registered doctor or a doctor through a specialised online provider. Unless you are willing to dedicate a significant portion of your holiday funds to these products, consider limiting your fix or ditching the habit altogether.

Not Everything is Trying to Kill You

Regardless of what the internet has led you to believe, encountering wildlife roaming the streets is unrealistic. With the development of major cities, most wildlife has headed inland to live away from human interference. To guarantee a sighting, visit a wildlife park or conservation centre to get closer to the unique animals and marsupials you will only find here.

Additionally, while Australia does have many poisonous snakes, spiders and insects, not everything you encounter is deadly, and most will try to avoid you as much as you are avoiding them.

Be Prepared for Offline Life

When you consider the size of the country, and the vast stretches of land with little to no civilisation, having access to the internet can be an expensive and slow liberty. If you have to stay connected throughout your trip, consider buying yourself a hotspot on arrival to take with you as you travel around.

They are a valuable investment as many newer models double as a portable charger for your phone, ensuring you can always contact the rest of the world whenever you need it.

Cars Drive on the Left

Driving in Australia is relatively common, partially due to the country’s sheer size and partly because public transport is not necessarily the best. However, that is mainly dependent on the city and state you are in.

But if you are going to rent a car, it is important to remember that Australia is a Commonwealth country, meaning cars drive on the left side of the road, identical to the UK. But don’t fear; for drivers that come from countries which drive on the right, the transition is easy to master and shouldn’t hinder your ability to get around safely and effectively.

Sport is a Way of Life

Football may be the number one sport to the rest of the world, but here, Australian Football League (AFL), rugby and cricket are a way of life for many Australians. If you are in the country at the right time, purchase some tickets and head down to a local game or international showdown.

Alternatively, head to your local bar to bond with locals over a few good beers with the game on television. You will quickly find yourself captivated by the enthusiasm and spirit surrounding these incredible sports.

Rules are Strict – Follow Them Closely

Australians are very laid-back, but their government and society operate with strict laws that must be followed closely. This starts when you get off the plane, as their border rules prohibit certain items from entering their country.

To save yourself the hassle and potentially a massive fine as soon as your holiday starts, avoid bringing fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, animal skins, feathers and drugs. Before landing, you are given a chance to declare any products before reaching customs. If you need clarification about the contents of your baggage, it is best to state you do have items to not give the impression of deception towards customs officers.