Essential Info for Australia
Population: About 24 million
Capital city: Canberra
Largest city: Sydney
Neighbouring countries: Islands surrounding Australia include Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the northeast, New Caledonia to the east and New Zealand to the southeast.
Geography: Due to Australia's size, the country has a variety of landscapes. There are tropical rainforests in the northeast, while the southwest, east and southeast is made up of mountain ranges. In the centre of Australia is dry desert, known as the outback. The outback makes up the largest portion of land in Australia.
Political system: Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Major religions: Christianity
Main language: English
Money: The Australian dollar (AUD), divided into 100 cents. ATMs can be found throughout Australia and expats should be able to open a bank account with relative ease.
Tipping: If a service charge is not added to the bill, a tip is always welcomed, but not expected.
Time: Australia has three time zones. Eastern (GMT +10), Central (GMT +9.5) and Western (GMT +8). Daylight saving time is observed.
Electricity: 230/240 volts, 50Hz. Three-pin flat blade plugs, different to those found in most other countries, are the norm.
Internet domain: .au
International dialling code: +61
Emergency contacts: 000 for the police, ambulance and fire services.
Transport and driving: Cars drive on the left-hand side. The national transport system in Australia is excellent, and for long journeys expats have the option of travelling by plane, train and inter-city bus within the country.