Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a trip to “The Land Down Under”? Cruising under the Sydney Harbor Bridge, cuddling with a koala or watching the sunset over Uluru are truly once in a life time experience found on many bucket lists.
But not only is Australia another country, it is also a continent of its own far removed from most of the world – meaning some serious preplanning is required. Let us share some tips to help make you family trip to Australia a true dream and not a nightmare.
Australia was once a place few people visited voluntarily, having been first established as a penal colony of the British Empire. But over the years the population has changed and the hold it has on outsiders with it. Anyone who has even seen pictures of the sights and wildlife would agree there are few other places that can compare and those who have made the trip would agree.
But not everything is sunshine and rainbows – Australia does have some hidden hazards, pitfalls and barrier that can easily ruin a trip. If you are planning a family trip to Australia, you need to understand some of these less pleasant aspects and be prepared to address them.
Let us help you. Below are some of the biggest concerns faced by visitors and how you can avoid letting them ruin your vacation.
1. Travel can be expensive
Most wishful visitors are aware of the cost involved in getting to Australia, after all, it is far removed from almost everywhere else in the world. Airfare is expensive. What many do not understand is the cost of many other items such as food, alcohol and even gasoline. Many locations will even charge for internet service, including most hotels. If planning on dining out, visiting the pub or even buying food to prepare at home go where the locals go. If you are planning on visiting distant locations consider flying rather than driving, you will be surprised how affordable local airfare can be.
2. Be prepared for extreme weather that changes quickly
Australia is a vast continent with a wide range of weather patterns. Temperature can very greatly both from one region to another and even in a single location within a few short hours. Locals will tell you that no matter what the weather looks like now prepare for the worse. Even on bright sunny days it is recommended you have a light jacket and rain gear available. The country also experiences extreme levels of UV and associated sunburn can be brutal so have sunscreen, sunglass and cover up when possible.
3. The seasons are reversed so plan accordingly
Is you are traveling from North America or Europe it is important to remember the seasons are reversed due to Australia being near the bottom of the Earth. Your summer is their winter, their summer is your winter and there is little in-between. If traveling to the north, known for its rainy season, go from April to September. This is also a good time to travel south as the temperatures will be more temperate but expect a bit of rain.
4. Beware of the wildlife
Everyone thinks Australia means kangaroos, koalas or dingo but not all the wildlife is cuddly or even safe. The country is home to some of the most dangerous wildlife in the world- snakes, spider and even sharks not only live there, they thrive. Even kangaroos and dingos can be very dangerous. Enjoy your trip, explore the sights but keep a keen eye open for local wildlife that may not appreciate you intruding.
5. Take plenty of pictures and videos
Despite the hazards the country may host do not let that stop you from enjoying yourself. See the sights, enjoy the scenery and experience things you will never see anywhere else – and make sure you have a camera or video recorder to capture every one of them.