Resources

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/australia) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Tourism Australia (www.australia.com) Glossy main government tourism site with visitor info.

Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au) Nationwide weather forecasts.

Guardian Australia (www.theguardian.com/au) Local online edition of the Guardian with nationwide news.

Parks Australia (www.environment.gov.au/topics/national-parks) Australia's national parks and reserves.

Top Tips

  • Don't be too ambitious – Australia is a big place, and trying to see everything can lead to frustration (and exhaustion). Plan to see a few places well and then plan to return one day to see the rest.
  • On long drives don't forget to stop the car regularly to reboot the brain. If time is tight, consider taking some internal flights to maximise your time. But do factor in some road trips as well to make sure you see some of the countryside.
  • Avoid driving in remote regions at night. In some areas, the empty landscape teems with car-wrecking kangaroos, cattle and other creatures at night.
  • Book well in advance if you need accommodation (and/or rental vehicles) during festivals or high season in general.

What to Take

  • Sturdy walking shoes – there are many excellent walks, long and short
  • Warm clothes – some Australian corners are surprisingly cold in winter
  • Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Australian electrical adapter
  • Binoculars and wildlife field guides

What to Wear

It will be of no surprise to learn that the theme is casual; however, it is not a free-for-all and many dining and entertainment venues will require covered shoes or sandals (no flip-flops or singlets). A couple of nice sets of clothes is always worth having. The central desert and, more obviously, Tasmania are very cold in winter, with sub-zero temperatures at night. Sensible and stylish under the Australia sun is the broad-brimmed hat and, if you're travelling in summer, bring a bathing costume to cool off in the waterholes, swimming pools and beaches.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date.
  • Check the airline baggage restrictions.
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company.
  • Arrange for appropriate travel insurance.
  • Check if you can use your mobile/cell phone.
  • Check weather and road conditions before venturing out bush.