Wild Australia: what to know and how to plan your trip
Do you ever dream of Australia? Here’s some useful info before leaving to a different time zone, climate, temperature and places that especially the wild souls can’t miss.
“If you’re dreaming of Australia, wake up and make your dream come true”.
Not just because this land is nice, an adjective that sounds quite silly and belittling for such a wide and varied territory, but mainly because even a short period in Australia will turn your traveller’s imagination upside down.
I’ve written something about the city of Melbourne and the state of Victoria, but now I’d like to give some small but useful suggestions to those who dream of the wildest side of the endless and breathtaking Australia.
Useful info before leaving: visas, insurance, passport, how to take animals with you…
Let’s proceed in order and talk about small (not that much) technical and bureaucratic aspects. If you don’t own an Australian or New-Zealand passport, you need to get a visa.
(Note: I advise you choose a passport with the electronic chip because you’re going to pass through several security checks at your arrival and the latest generation passports help speed up things significantly).
Australia is an incredibly advanced country and you can apply for a visa in a very quick way and exclusively on the web, by logging on the site of the Department of Home Affairs (www.border.gov.au).
There are different types of visa depending on how long you’ve planned to stay in Australia and the reason of your visit: whether you’re going there as a tourist, to find yourself or to check if surfers are actually so cool as shown in the movies, you can apply for a free tourist visa (eVisitor). Yet, you’re gonna have to make do with 90 days stay at the longest.
There are also temporary visas such as the Student Visa and the Working and Holiday Visa that cost $560 and $440 respectively.
Consider taking out an insurance policy against theft, losses, accidents and health related issues. This is actually something I suggest for all trips to the countries that do not have that wonderful and subversive thing called national health system.
Be aware that no special vaccine is required to travel to Australia, unless you’ve spent the week before leaving in a country hit by the yellow fever.
Carrying fresh and packaged food, along with plants and seeds, is forbidden.
Therefore, no brawn allowed nor marijuana grown on your house terrace or balcony. Sorry girls, dura lex, sed lex.
Even the guidelines for animal and pet transport are precise but clear.
If you don’t want to part from your beloved pet, you’ll be happy to know that there are specialized services that take care of animal transport to Australia, such as Blisspets for example. By choosing to rely on professionals, you can rest assured that everything is ok and your animals can travel safe.
You will be given a form on the plane for you to fill in, indicating whether you are bringing any of this stuff with you, or recently used trekking shoes and other weird things. Give straight answers. Unless you state that you’re carrying human organs you won’t be arrested or sent back to your country. At the most, they could ask you to leave the forbidden stuff at the airport in appropriate areas.
Read also “How to find a job in Australia”
Climate, temperatures and different time zone
Australia is quite huge and the climate reflects that: warm and tropical in the North, mild and even cooler during certain periods in the South.
In the immense centre of the country, there are desert areas full of hostile charm.
The Australian seasons are reversed compared to ours: down there, summer is between December and February, with average temperatures of 29 degrees, whereas the rain season rages throughout the tropical North. Winter is between June and August: mild up North (13 degrees on average), typically cold in the South.
Calculating the different time zone between Italy and Australia can seem complicated; besides the longitude, Australia is divided into three separate time zones according to the latitude: Eastern Standard Time (EST) for the northern states, Central Standard Time (CST) for central states and Western Standard Time (WST) for the western part of the country. Moreover, there are different daylight saving times. Depending on your destination and the period you choose, you’ll be from 6 to 10 hours ahead of Italy.
Yet, thanks to our smartphones that automatically change time zone if the geolocalization is on, it won’t be a problem for you to manage the time difference, apart from the issues related to jet lag.
Locations for wild travellers
Not just super modern cities but very interesting historical traits too: Australia mainly means wild and unspoiled nature, with beaches that are too big to see the horizon, and the ocean that is more ocean than all other oceans.
The diving and snorkeling enthusiasts can’t miss a stop in Queensland to dive into the Great Barrier Reef, one of the biggest coral barriers on earth, that hosts coloured fish, dolphins, turtles, glowing jellyfish and sharks.
If you love surfing and on the road vacations are exactly your speed, get ready to travel on the legendary B100 or Great Ocean Road, in the state of Victoria. Located about 100 kms south of Melbourne, it’s a scenic road among the longest and most evocative in the world: it runs along beaches, reefs, stone arches and stacks plunging into the sea.
Wilsons Promontory National Park, Wilsons Promontory, Australia
The Twelve Apostles, a huge group of limestone cliffs carved by the ocean, are located at the Port Campbell National Park.
Do you like camping? Choose Tasmania, visit the Freycinet National Park and camp at the Friendly Beaches Reserve: cool weather, wild nature, eucalyptus and gum trees.
From here you can get to the top of Mount Amos and appreciate the view of the whole pearl white stretch of sand at Wineglass Bay.
Do you love tropical paradises? Whitsundays Islands: two (magical) words and 74 islands with crystal clear sand and water in the Coral Sea.
Australia is among the destinations that, as already said, are able to turn your imagination upside down.
I would like all of you to experience the wildest side of Australia to understand how precious and fragile our planet is.