What’s it like living in Australia?
Many people think of Australia as a country overwhelmed by flood, fires and drought but there is so much more to Australia than those 3 facts. Aussie culture itself isn’t just beer and barbecues consumed under a relentless sun but plenty of Aussies ski and surf too, sometimes both in the same day when the weather is right.
These are some of the things you should be aware of before moving to Australia
1. Australia is a huge country
It covers 5 million square kilometres, which is almost the size of Europe.
2. The weather is changeable
Hot and sunny throughout the year is not the case. In fact, when summer occurs in the south, it’s normally the wet season in the far north. Brisbane experiences a more tropical climate (in summer), but Melbourne and Hobart may experience 4 seasons in just a single day.
3. Be sun savvy
Australia can experience the relentless effects from the sun when at times inland the temperature may reach 40 degrees Celsius plus, with some estimates that before long the expected temperature will be 50 degrees or more in those areas. You need to protect yourself as soon as you arrive in the country.
4. Bushfires are common
Each year, Australia experiences around 50,000 bushfires. This happens when temperatures are high while winds are strong. Causes of bushfires include the bushfire arsonist where dry vegetation provides just the perfect fire fuel.
5. Australia provides good healthcare, free
Once you have finally established yourself in Australia you will find you won’t have to pay for healthcare. This applies to some countries which have reciprocal agreements with Australia, like the UK and New Zealand, as long as you have the right visas when you enter the country.
6. Australians like ski holidays
These take place in the Australian Alps where snow can be as thick as Switzerland.
7. Smoking is an expensive activity
Smokers pay USD$0.7 of tax for each cigarette, which ranks as one of the highest tobacco duties throughout the world.
8. Keep to the left when driving
Aussies drive cars on the left, but they also often walk on the left too! In Australia, pedestrians have rules they are expected to follow so unless you are overtaking while riding an escalator, stay on the left.
9. Jaywalking is a crime
You aren’t allowed to cross the road when you choose too unless you don’t mind spending the remainder of your life behind bars. That’s a joke as the actual penalty is a 70 dollar fine. Between 2014 and 2017, more than 10, 000 New South Wales pedestrians were dished out a fine, just for jaywalking. To keep within the law you must use a distinct crossing point, like a pelican or zebra crossing.
10. There aren’t just cities in Australia
Around 90% of Australians live in the country’s cities. However, there is more to Australia than just cities. There are iconic places like Uluru or Kata Tjuta which are truly impressive landmarks. Also Australia is full of national parks which keep its unique wildlife free from human interference such as Wilsons Promontory, Cradle Mountain, the Blue Mountains and Boodjamulla.
11. Don’t worry about most wildlife
Bushfires and sunburn are a far bigger threat than Australia’s wildlife. There are just two deadly spider species which reside in Australia. No Australian has died due to a spider bite since 1979. On average, just one fatal unprovoked shark attack happens each year in the country even though sharks seem to be everywhere. If you are careful and follow the warnings you shouldn’t be a victim of a crocodile attack. They are elusive creatures and they know where you are even though you may never see one.
12. Magpies know where you are when it is nesting season
Each spring, for around one and a half months, magpies may swoop towards any unaware cyclist or pedestrian. Male magpies often target people from about 80 metres away and dive bomb them straight out of the sky. Pedestrians should carry a stick but they can’t hurt magpies as they have been a protected species since 1992 in Australia. Cyclists often wear a protective helmet with special ‘magpie stalks’ sticking up from the top.
13. Australians love meat
Australians eat around 93 kg of meat every year which is massive considering the world average stands at just 30 kg. Also, Australia takes 10th place in the world for its number of vegetarians as a proportion of the population, which is 5.5%.
14. Barbecues are a right
The barbecue culture prevails throughout the country and local councils provide communal facilities in parks, on esplanades and at beaches. So there is no excuse to make the most of these free facilities.