Frequently Asked Questions about Australia

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FAQs about Australia

What is the weather like in Australia?

In such a vast geographical area you will find significant fluctuations in temperatures between one part of the country and the next. Generally speaking though, the northern parts of the country are warm to hot most of the year. The coastal areas around Sydney experience mild winters and are warm to hot in the summer months.

The seasons are the opposite of those in Europe and North America. Australia thus enjoys summer from December to February and winter from June to August. Australia’s mild climate though is one of its biggest attractions, so you won’t find the hot and cold extremes in temperature you notice in Europe.

How safe in Australia?

The general level of safety in Australia is high and expats who exercise the general precautions they would in any other developed country should be fine.

Crime rates are generally no higher than they are in the US or the UK when it comes to burglaries and other types of crime. It does not matter where you choose to settle in Australia, you are unlikely to avoid crime at all but the usual security measures are recommended for homes such as good locks and alarms, and alarms are recommended for cars. Poorer areas of cities are usually the areas with the highest crime rates.

Where do I get an Australian driving licence?

Australian driving licences are administered at state/territory level with varying regulations for each. You will normally need to get a state licence within three months of taking up residence in the state. You are allowed to use your licence from your country of residence in the interim. Australians drive on the left hand side of the road.

What is the standard of healthcare in Australia?

The standard of healthcare Australia is exceptional. Expats will learn that the healthcare in Australia is a hybrid of both public and private service provision. In a nutshell, it can be regarded as sitting somewhere between the National Health Service (UK) and the fully privatised US system; but unlike the NHS, there is no universal free healthcare for expats.
Expats from certain countries will be entitled to subsidised public healthcare as their countries have engaged in reciprocal healthcare agreements with Australia.

Where can I meet other expats?

There are many expat groups in every major city in Australia. These can be a gathering of many different nationalities or country specific. There are also a huge range of activities these groups gather for, including sports, arts or just good nights on the town.

Which city in Australia is best for expats?

Most expats don’t get too much choice in where they are relocated, especially if they need to move for work. Sydney, Melbourne and Perth all have large expat communities. Where expats choose to settle down in Australia will depend on their field of work and personal priorities, but Australia has something to suit everyone.

What items cannot be imported into Australia?

Before travelling to Australia expats should be aware that Australia has some very strict customs regulations. All food, plant and animal goods need to be declared. There are also rules on the type of medication that can be brought into the country. Those that fail to declare products that may be restricted face a hefty on-the-spot fine and could face prosecution.
Visit the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service’s website for the most up-to-date information on customs restrictions and prohibited items. 

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