Australians love the great outdoors. There are parks everywhere and most of them will have free barbecues. Major beaches will have lifeguards and surf rescue teams and you can find small and well-kept camping grounds hundreds of kilometres from anywhere. The cities are easy to get out of so you can move from urban to "bush" in under an hour and a couple of hours later you'll be in the "outback".
There is no shortage of culture with fantastic museums and galleries, a thriving theatre and music scene and fantastic restaurants and coffee.
Sporting events bring the nation together whether it is AFL Grand Final Day, the Australian Open tennis, the State of Origin rugby or the Bells Beach Surfing competition to name a few.
Safety and adventure
Australia is a safe place to study and live and is ranked among the safest countries in the world, although like any country you need to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions. Travelling in groups and avoiding public transport late at night are common sense approaches to living anywhere. We have a visible and very approachable police force ensuring that the streets are kept safe.
We also have an abundance of wildlife off our coasts and in the bush that can sting or bite so it is worth familiarising yourself with the hazards in the environment you will be in.
Australia is a land for the adventurer so if you are going to go scuba diving, trekking in the outback, climbing mountains, camping in the bush or clubbing till dawn you need to take necessary precautions. We'd recommend talking to locals to find out about local conditions. If you respect your surroundings Australia will repay you with life-long memories.
Wildlife and landscape
You will leave Australia missing the smell of eucalyptus trees, the screech of a cockatoo or the serene image of a kangaroo hopping along the beach. Besides the kangaroos, koalas and crocs, there are huge numbers of more unusual animals like echidnas, platypus, cassowaries and bilbies.
We strongly recommend you get a travel guide like the Lonely Planet or a copy of Australian Geographic which will give you an insight into the abundance of wildlife and a variety of landscapes you can experience while here.
Australia is also home to 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites:
- Australian Convict Sites - throughout Australia
- Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens - Melbourne
- Sydney Opera House - Sydney
- Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh / Naracoorte) - North West Queensland and Southern Australia
- Fraser Island - Queensland
- Gondwana Rainforests of Australia - Queensland
- Great Barrier Reef - Queensland
- Greater Blue Mountains Area - near Sydney
- Heard and McDonald Islands - 4100km south-west of Perth
- Lord Howe Island Group - 700km north east of Sydney
- Macquarie Island - 1500km south-east of Tasmania
- Ningaloo Coast - Western Australia
- Purnululu National Park - (also known as the Bunglebungles) north Western Australia
- Shark Bay, Western Australia
- Wet Tropics of Queensland - north Queensland
- Kakadu National Park - near Darwin
- Tasmanian Wilderness
- Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - (also known as Ayers Rock) centre of Australia in the Northern Territory
- Willandra Lakes Region - south-west New South Wales