is completely surrounded by ocean; there is no way to travel
overland to Australia. Hence, all international visitors
arrive by plane or by boat. Almost all travellers will first
travel to one of the state capitals, as these have all the
major airports and many of the major ports.
boasts over 7,000 beaches - more than any other nation.
in Western Australia is not only Australia's largest
producer of gold, but has the world's largest political
electorate covering a mammoth 2.2 million square kilometers.
kangaroo is unique to Australia and one of our most easily
recognised mammals. There are more kangaroos in Australia
now than when Australia was first settled. Estimates suggest
around 40 million.
140 million sheep (mostly merinos), found on around 53,000
properties, produce more than 70 per cent of the world's
24 million head of cattle, Australia is the world's largest
exporter of beef.
longest stretch of straight railway track in the world
crosses the Nullarbor Plain. From Nurina in Western
Australia to Watson in South Australia, the track is dead
straight for 478 kilometers.
world's longest continuous fence known as the 'Dingo
Fence', runs through central Queensland for 5,531kms. It
is 1.8 meters high and is designed to keep sheep safe from
Australia's native dog.
Australia is the sixth largest country in the world. It's about the same
size as the 48 mainland states of the USA and 50 per cent larger than
Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world - only two
people per square kilometer.
Australia is the only country that has a whole continent to itself.
Famed for its natural wonders and wide open spaces (beaches, deserts and
"the bush" or "the Outback"), Australia is ironically one of the world's
most highly urbanised countries and is well known for the cosmopolitan
attractions of its cities, such as Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
and the Australian capital city Canberra.
The name Australia is derived from
the Latin Australis, meaning of the South.
The first human habitation of Australia is estimated to have occurred
between 42,000 and 48,000 years ago. The first Australians were the
ancestors of the current Indigenous Australians; they arrived via land
bridges and short sea-crossings from present-day Southeast Asia.
produces 95 per cent of the world's precious opals
and 99 per cent of black opals. Coober Pedy in South
Australia is known as the opal capital of the world. "
Fact File - Australia
Commonwealth of Australia
1 January 1901 (federation of UK
Blue with the flag of the UK in the
upper hoist-side quadrant and a large seven-pointed star in the
lower hoist-side quadrant known as the Commonwealth Star,
representing the federation of the colonies of Australia in
1901; the star depicts one point for each of the six original
states and one representing all of Australia's internal and
external territories; the remaining half is a representation of
the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small
five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed stars
Oceania, continent between the
Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.
Australia's 7,686,850 square kilometers (2,967,909 sq. mi)
landmass is on the Indo-Australian Plate. Surrounded by the
Indian, Southern and Pacific oceans, Australia is separated from
Asia by the Arafura and
total: 7,686,850 sq km
land: 7,617,930 sq km
water: 68,920 sq km
note: includes Lord Howe Island and
20,264,082 (July 2006 est.)
English (official) 79.1%, Chinese
2.1%, Italian 1.9%, other 11.1%, unspecified 5.8% (2001 Census)
White 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%
Catholic 26.4%, Anglican 20.5%,
other Christian 20.5%, Buddhist 1.9%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.2%,
unspecified 12.7%, none 15.3% (2001 Census)
Generally arid to semiarid;
temperate in south and east; tropical in north
When to go:
Any time is a good time to be in Australia. Summer (December to
February) can get uncomfortably hot but it's great beach
weather. Up north, the summer wet season is very, very humid and
the sea is swarming with box jellyfish. Winter (June to August)
offers skiing in NSW and Victoria. In spring and autumn the
weather is mild.
Australian Dollar (AUS$) 1 AUD =
34.6342 INR approximately.
GMT/UTC +10 (Eastern Standard Time
- operates in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory,
Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland)
GMT/UTC +9.5 (Central Time - operates in South Australia and the
GMT/UTC +8 (Western Time - operates in Western Australia)
Country Dialing Code:
Australian Area Code List:
02 = Central East (New South Wales & Australian Capital
03 = South East (Southern NSW, Victoria & Tasmania)
04 = Mobile phones Australia-wide
07 = North East (Queensland)
08 = Central & West (Western Australia, South Australia and the
The Australian mainland comprises six states and two
territories. Ranked in order of population (common abbreviations
follow in parentheses) :
- New South Wales (NSW)
- Sydney - Australia's first and
largest city, the capital of New South Wales
- Victoria (VIC)
- Melbourne - Australia's second
largest city and the nation's first capital city.
- Queensland (QLD)
- Brisbane - sun-drenched
capital of Queensland
- Western Australia (WA)
- Perth - the most remote
continental capital city on earth, on the south-western
edge of Western Australia
- South Australia (SA)
- Adelaide - the City of
Churches, a relaxed South Australian alternative to the
big eastern cities
- Tasmania (TAS) - a small
triangular island state located off the south coast of the
- Hobart - small but fascinating
capital of Tasmania
- The Australian Capital Territory
(ACT) - the seat of federal government, focused on Canberra,
Australia's largest inland city
- Canberra - the purpose-built,
planned national capital of Australia
- Northern Territory (NT) - ranging
between the "Red Centre" and the tropical Far North.
- Darwin - Australia's smallest
and northern-most capital, at the top of the Northern
Australia also possesses a number of island territories in the
Indian and Pacific Oceans:
- Ashmore and Cartier Islands
- Christmas Island
- Cocos Islands
- Coral Sea Islands
- Heard and McDonald Islands
- Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
- Norfolk Island
- Macquarie Island
What to Pack
"Lightweight" and "Compact" are two words that should be etched
on your mind when you are deciding what to bring along.
Australia is well stocked with most personal items. You will have
many opportunities to buy whatever you may need.
with high SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
Hat or Cap for shade from the sun
Light cotton clothing
Lotion (Aloe Vera)
Credit Card (Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Diners Club, and Eurocard are accepted)
What to Wear
As far as dressing for Australia is concerned, casual wear is
generally the go. If you wanted to, you could go to the opera in
jeans, and no one would give you a second look, although this is
one of the few activities for which some people like to dress
Unless it�s a really formal occasion, one has no need for a
tuxedo or a formal long gown; a jacket and tie are not de
rigueur for other occasions but the rule of thumb is usually
whether one is comfortable with one�s choice of clothing for a
In Melbourne, the weather is very changeable - you can have a
nice, sunny morning and by afternoon it's overcast and cloudy.
Bring along a range of clothing - jeans, t-shirts/blouses and
long sleeved tops. (Some skirts and/or shorts if you feel
comfortable in them.) It would be a good idea to pack a jacket -
preferably a waterproof one with a hood (or an umbrella), as it
tends to rain quite often.
Health Care in
Skin: Sunny Australia has one simple message for the traveller (and for its own citizens):
Slop, Slap!" In other words, "Slip on a shirt, slop on some
sunscreen and slap on a hat!" Over-exposure to the sun at
Australian latitudes is responsible for many cases of
sunburn, sunstroke and heat exhaustion every year. In the
long term, premature aging and skin cancer are also a risk.
Even in cooler southern areas, proximity to the hole in the
ozone layer means that the risk of sunburn is much higher
than in the northern hemisphere. Fair-skinned people are
especially at risk, and it is advisable to use a sunscreen
with a SPF of 30+.
Medicines: Medicinal products brought into Australia are subject to
strict controls and should be declared on arrival. It is
advisable to have a letter or prescription from your doctor
describing your medical condition and the medication.
Vaccinations: Vaccinations are not required unless you have come from or
visited a yellow fever infected country or zone within six
days prior to arrival. No other health certificate is
required to enter Australia.
Safety in Australia:
Beach going: One of the most common causes of tourist deaths
in Australia is found on its glorious beaches. Each year
quite a number of tourists (and locals too it must be said)
drown on the shores. Australian beaches - particularly the
long strips common on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts - have
extremely strong rips and pulls that most people are unable
to detect or handle.
It is very important that people swim between the
yellow flags which designate patrolled areas.
sunny climate beaches are not patrolled 24-hours a day or
even during all sunlight hours. In most cases the local
volunteer surf lifesavers or professional lifeguards are
only available during certain hours, and at most beaches
only on weekends. If the flags aren't up, then there's no
one patrolling - and you shouldn't swim.
Festivals & Culture
Festivals have become ubiquitous in Australia, with hundreds
held each year. Some are as small as the community-based Apollo
Bay Music Festival and Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival, while
others afford the opportunity to bring international performers
to Australian audiences and showcase Australian works, such as
the Falls Festival and Woodford Folk Festival.
- Chinese New Year (February)
- Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (February)
- WOMADelaide (March)
- National Folk Festival, Canberra (April)
- Dreaming Festival, Woodford (June)
- Revelation Independent Film Festival (July)
- Woodford Folk Festival (December).
The modern culture of Australia is a Western culture and draws
from many sources, primarily from the Anglo-Celtic cultures, but
also from indigenous Australians, the multi-ethnic immigration
associated with the Australian gold rushes of the 1850s, and
post-World War II immigrants from all over the world.
Mainstream Australian culture has been strongly influenced by
British culture and European culture, and more recently the
culture of the United States of America. There are, however,
distinctive influences from the Australian natural environment,
the country's settler history, indigenous Australians,
geographical isolation from other Western nations and proximity
There is an enormous variety of authentic Aboriginal art from traditional dot and bark paintings, modern 'earth pigment'
screen prints, decorated jewellery and wood carvings, to boomerangs,
didgeridoos, weapons, ceramics, scarves, even compact discs of
Tourist Refund Scheme:
Did you know an overseas tourist can claim
a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine
equalisation tax (WET) that they pay on goods they buy in
Australia. The refund only applies to goods which are
taken as hand luggage or worn on to the aircraft or ship
they leave the country.
Formalities and Australian Tourist Visa:
All travellers, except New Zealand citizens, must obtain a
visa or travel authority before travelling to Australia.
Australia Tourist visa allows people to visit Australia for a
holiday or recreation, or to visit family and/or friends. This
visa may also be used for other short-term non-work purposes
including study for less than three (3) months.
The documents required when applying for a Australia Tourist visa are:
Complete all the
questions and sign application form 48R accompanied by one
recent passport size photo.
with two unused visa pages
and a photocopy of the biodata page and any page showing
endorsements or change of name.
photo - head and shoulders only, plain background
Details of your
proposed activities in Australia
Air Ticket and
Evidence of health
insurance for entire period of stay
Form M67 � details
If you have a
sponsor, a letter from your sponsor stating your
relationship and reason for sponsorship, and evidence of
his/her residence status in Australia
sufficient funds for your visit either from you or your
sponsor in Australia (e.g. bank statements, tax papers for
the last three months. Please note photocopies of credit
cards are not acceptable)
funds/assets held by you in India
letter from your employer stating your job designation,
monthly salary and exact dates of leave or, if you are
self-employed, evidence of your business
description of your occupation and complete contact details
for your employer are to be included on the application
form. Please note that occupation titles such as "business"
and "service" are not acceptable
provide confirmation from their school or college of their
exact vacation dates and/or reasons for taking time off
during the academic semester
Children under 18
must provide a notarized �no objection certificate� from any
non-accompanying parent authorizing their travel to
Australia along with copies of the parents passport. In the
case of children traveling or staying with non �relatives,
please also provide the full name, nationality and the date
of birth of the person the child will be staying or
Australia Tourist Visa Fee:
INR4,700 + INR500 VFS Service Charges + INR1,200 Documentation Charges.
(Subject to revise)
Time required to issue Australia Visa:
From 7 working days to 4 weeks. It is advisable to allow plenty
of time. The amount of time taken to finalise individual
applications may vary significantly depending on processing
requirements; If additional documents, Interviews or Medical
examination are required, the Australian High Commission will
If granted, Australia Tourist visa will allow the passenger
either a single or multiple entry to Australia for a stay period
of up to three (3), six (6) or 12 months.
The period of stay and number of entries granted will depend on
the purpose of the visit and your personal circumstances.
For other destinations, email us your requirements to
tried to make the information on this page as accurate as possible,
but it is provided 'as is' and we accept no responsibility for any
loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from
this information. You should verify critical information (like
visas, health and safety, customs and transportation) with the
relevant authorities before you travel.