Australia

From Halal Explorer

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The Commonwealth of Australia is the only country that has a whole continent to itself; famous for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, its beaches, deserts, "the bush" and "the Outback". It is also a highly urbanised, with cosmopolitan city's such as Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.

Australia has an indigenous culture of over 60,000 years, with a more recent history of truely global immigration from Europe and the Middle east and Asia. There is nowhere else quite like it.

Contents

An Introduction to the Region of Australia

  New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory (NSW) & (ACT)
Australia's most populous state also has Sydney and the largest city and surrounds the purpose built national capital of Canberra. The coast of New South Wales is lined with beach-side communities; a little inland are the mountain ranges of the Blue Mountains; further inland still are sweeping agricultural plains giving way to desert.
  Northern Territory (NT)
From the red deserts surrounding Uluru and Alice Springs up to the tropics of Darwin and Kakadu National Park and the Northern Territory is stunningly beautiful and easier to access than you might think.
  Queensland (QLD)
Famous for its sunny warm weather, Queensland offers coastal exploration from the vibe of the Gold Coast to the tropics of the Great Barrier Reef to the bustling city of Brisbane. It is also home to tropical rainforests of the Daintree National Park and the island resorts of the Whitsundays. Inland lies the ranges of the hinterland and further on the vast expanses and beauty of outback Australia.
  South Australia (SA)
Renowned for the Barossa Valley and the beauty of the Flinders Ranges and the outback and events and culture of the City of Churches, Adelaide.
  Tasmania (TAS)
Separated from the mainland by Bass Strait and the mountainous state of Tasmania has the rugged beauty of Cradle Mountain in the west and the beaches of the east and the wilderness of the south. Hobart was the site of the second European settlement in Australia and many historic sites are well preserved.
  Victoria (VIC)
Small, vibrant and with something for everyone, Victoria has dramatic surf beaches along the southwest and central coast, green rolling farmland and photogenic national parks. Australia and Victoria's sporting, shopping, fashion and food capital is Melbourne.
  Western Australia (WA)
A vast state. The south-west contains the state capital and major city of Perth. The growing and scenic destinations of Margaret River and Albany are towards the southern region. In the far north are the tropics and the beach-side destination of Broome. Small townships, roadhouses, mining communities and national parks are scattered around the long distances between.

Islands of Australia

Tasmania is the most significant island of Australia and a state in its own right. Others include:

There are quite a few uninhabited islands including the Coral Sea Islands, Houtman Abrolhos and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands and the remote Antarctic territories of Heard Island and McDonald Islands and Macquarie Island. }}

Other Muslim friendly Cities in Australia

  • Canberra — the relatively small, purpose-built national capital of Australia is home to plenty of museums
  • Adelaide — the "City of Churches", a relaxed South Australian alternative to the big eastern city's
  • Brisbane — capital of sun-drenched Queensland and gateway to beautiful sandy beaches
  • Cairns — gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas, Daintree National Park and many beautiful beaches and resorts; a great place for people to get away and relax
  • Darwin — Australia's tropical northern capital, at the top end of the Northern Territory
  • Hobart — picturesque and quiet capital of Tasmania and the site of the second convict settlement in Australia
  • Melbourne — Australia's second largest city, Melbourne is the nation's sporting, shopping, food and cultural capital, while also being regarded as Australia's most European city
  • Perth — the most remote continental city on Earth, on the south-western edge of Western Australia
  • Sydney — Australia's oldest and largest city, famous for its picturesque harbour and natural beauty

Other Muslim Friendly Destinations in Australia

  • Blue Mountains — a mountainous region in New South Wales, including the "Three Sisters" natural feature
  • Dandenong Ranges — these beautiful ranges offer world class gardens and picturesque villages
  • Great Barrier Reef — see first hand this natural wonder, off the coast of Queensland and easily accessible from Cairns
  • Great Ocean Road — a stunning coastal drive in Victoria past many scenic icons including the "Twelve Apostles" rocks standing in the ocean
  • Kakadu National Park — outback adventure travel, Indigenous People culture and nature activities in the Northern Territory
  • Nitmiluk National Park — includes the amazing Katherine Gorge, close to the town of Katherine
  • Snowy Mountains — almost entirely protected within national parks and home to a number of ski resorts
  • Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast — beachside and national park playgrounds north and south of Brisbane
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park — Uluru (commonly called Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) are iconic rock formations in the "Red Centre" in the middle of the Australian desert
  • Watarrka National Park — most famous for Kings Canyon, a mighty chasm reaching a depth of 270 metres

Islam in Australia

Islam is a vibrant and integral part of Australia's multicultural landscape, with a history that dates back more than a century. As one of the fastest-growing religions in the country, the Muslim community in Australia has made significant contributions to various aspects of society while also facing unique challenges.

Historical Background

The presence of Muslims in Australia can be traced back to the early 19th century. The first Muslims to arrive were indentured workers from the Indonesian archipelago, known as the "Malay" divers, who worked in the pearling industry in northern Australia. However, the most notable early Muslim community consisted of Afghan cameleers who arrived in the 1860s. These cameleers played a crucial role in exploring and developing the Australian outback, establishing trade routes, and providing essential transportation services in harsh desert conditions.

Demographics and Diversity

Today, Australia's Muslim population is diverse and multicultural, comprising individuals from over 60 different ethnic backgrounds. According to the 2021 Australian Census, Muslims make up approximately 3.2% of the total population, with significant communities in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. This diversity is reflected in the various cultural practices, languages, and traditions within the Muslim community.

Contributions to Australian Society

Muslims in Australia have made substantial contributions across various sectors, including business, education, healthcare, sports, and the arts. Prominent Australian Muslims have achieved success and recognition in their respective fields, exemplifying the community's positive impact on the broader society.

Business and Entrepreneurship: Many Muslim Australians are successful entrepreneurs, contributing to the economy through small and medium-sized enterprises. The halal industry, in particular, has seen significant growth, with Australian halal products being exported globally.

Education and Academia: Muslim scholars, educators, and students have made notable contributions to Australia's academic landscape. Universities across the country have Muslim academics who are leaders in their fields, and Islamic schools provide high-quality education to thousands of students.

Healthcare: Muslim healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and allied health workers, are integral to Australia's healthcare system. They provide culturally sensitive care and address the specific needs of Muslim patients, contributing to the overall well-being of the community.

Sports and the Arts: Muslim athletes have excelled in various sports, representing Australia at national and international levels. Additionally, Muslim artists, writers, and performers enrich Australia's cultural scene with their diverse perspectives and creative expressions.

Challenges Faced by the Muslim Community

Despite their contributions, Muslims in Australia face several challenges, including Islamophobia, discrimination, and socio-economic disparities. Negative stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam and Muslims can lead to prejudice and exclusion, impacting the community's sense of belonging and security.

Islamophobia and Discrimination: Incidents of Islamophobia, including verbal and physical abuse, vandalism of mosques, and online hate speech, have been reported across the country. These acts of discrimination can create an environment of fear and alienation for Muslims.

Socio-Economic Disparities: Some segments of the Muslim community experience higher levels of unemployment and economic disadvantage. Addressing these disparities requires targeted policies and programs to ensure equal opportunities for education, employment, and social inclusion.

Efforts Toward Integration and Understanding

Various initiatives have been undertaken to promote integration and mutual understanding between Muslims and the broader Australian society. Interfaith dialogues, community outreach programs, and educational campaigns aim to bridge cultural divides and foster a more inclusive society.

Interfaith Dialogues: Organizations and religious institutions regularly host interfaith events, bringing together people of different faiths to discuss common values, share experiences, and build friendships.

Community Outreach: Muslim community centers and mosques often organize open days, inviting non-Muslims to learn about Islam, observe prayers, and engage in cultural activities. These events help dispel myths and promote positive interactions.

Educational Campaigns: Schools and universities implement programs that educate students about cultural diversity and the contributions of various communities, including Muslims. These initiatives play a crucial role in shaping inclusive attitudes among young Australians.

What is the Geography of Australia

The landmass of Australia is either the world's smallest continent, or the world's largest island; making up most of Oceania's land area.

The nation of Australia includes the Australian mainland and some smaller islands (such as Tasmania). and is the world's sixth largest country, with a land area of 7,682,300 km² (2,966,152 square miles). It is comparable in size to the 48 contiguous United States although it has less than one tenth the population, with the distances between city's and towns easy to underestimate. Australia is bordered to the West by the Indian Ocean and to the east by the South Pacific Ocean. The Tasman Sea lies to the southeast, separating it from New Zealand, while the Coral Sea lies to the northeast. Papua New Guinea, East Timor and Indonesia are Australia's northern neighbours, separated from Australia by the Arafura Sea and the Timor Sea.

Australia is highly urbanised with most of the population heavily concentrated along the eastern and south-eastern coasts. Most of the inland areas of the nation are semi-arid. The most-populous states are Victoria and New South Wales, but by far the largest in land area is Western Australia.

Australia has large areas that have been deforested for agricultural purposes but many native forest areas survive in extensive national parks and other undeveloped areas. Long-term Australian concerns include salinity, pollution, loss of biodiversity and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

Weather in Australia

As a large continent Australia has a wide variety of climates. Most of the nation receives more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. Generally and the north is hot and tropical, while the south tends to sub-tropical and temperate. Most rainfall is around the coast and much of the centre is arid and semi-arid. The daytime maximum temperatures in the tropical city of Darwin rarely drop below 30°C (86°F) even in winter while night temperatures in winter usually hover around 15-20°C (59-68°F). Australian winters tend to be milder than those at similar latitudes in the northern hemisphere and snow never falls in most parts of the nation. Temperatures in high altitude areas of some southern regions can drop below freezing in winter (and sometimes even in the summer) and the Snowy Mountains in the South East experience metres of winter snow. Parts of Tasmania have a temperature range more similar to northern California and it is not unheard of for snow to fall in some mountainous regions of the state.

As Australia is in the southern hemisphere the winter is June–August while December–February is summer. The winter is the dry season in the tropics and the summer is the wet. In the southern parts of the nation and the seasonal temperature variation is greater. The rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year in the southern parts of the East Coast while in the rest of the south beyond the Great Dividing Range and the summers are dry with the bulk of the rainfall occurring in winter.

History of Australia

Indigenous People people have been living in Australia for at least 65,000 years. They arrived in successive waves from South and South-East Asia. With rising sea levels after the last Ice Age, Australia became largely isolated from the rest of the world and the Indigenous People tribes developed a variety of cultures, based on a close spiritual relationship with the land and nature and extended kinship. For thousands of years Australian Indigenous People people maintained a hunter-gatherer culture, or (in some areas) a semi-sedentary culture, in association with a complex artistic and cultural life, including a very rich tradition of story and song.

The modern impression of Australian Indigenous People people is largely built around an image of the "desert people" who have adapted to some of the harshest conditions on the planet (equivalent to the bushmen of the Kalahari), but many others lived in forested and well-watered regions. Australia provided a comfortable living for the bulk of the Indigenous People people among the bountiful flora and fauna on the Australian coast - until the arrival of Europeans.

Although a lucrative Chinese market for shells and bêche de mer (sea cucumber) had encouraged Indonesian fishermen to visit Northern Australia for centuries it was unknown to Europeans until the 1600s, when Holland|Dutch traders to Asia began to 'bump' into the North Western Coast. Early Dutch impressions of this extremely harsh, dry country were unfavourable and Australia remained for them somewhat of a marker sign pointing north to the much richer (and more lucrative) East Indies (modern Indonesia). Deliberate exploration of the Australian coast was then largely taken over by the French and the British. Consequently, place names of bays, headlands and rivers around the coastline reflect a range of Dutch, French, British and Indigenous People languages.

In 1770 and the expedition of the Endeavour under the command of Captain James Cook navigated and charted the east coast of Australia, making first landfall at Sydney/Sutherland Shire#History|Botany Bay on 29 April 1770. Cook continued northwards and before leaving put ashore on Possession Island in the Torres Strait off Cape York on 22 August 1770. Here he formally claimed the eastern coastline he had discovered for the British Crown, naming it New South Wales. Given that Cook's discoveries would lead to the first European settlement of Australia, he is often popularly conceived as its European discoverer, although he had been preceded by more than 160 years.

PortArthurPenitentiary - Part of the former Port Arthur (Tasmania) | Port Arthur convict settlement in Tasmania. The remains of the settlement form part of the 'Australian Convict Sites' entry on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Following the exploration period and the first British settlement in Australia was founded in 1788 at what is today Sydney, led by Captain Arthur Philip who became the first governor of the colony of New South Wales. This started a process of colonisation that almost entirely displaced the Indigenous People people who inhabited the land. This reduced indigenous populations drastically and marginalised them to the fringes of society. Originally comprising the eastern two-thirds of the continent and the colony of New South Wales was later split into several separate colonies, with Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land) becoming a separate colony in 1825, followed by South Australia in 1836, New Zealand in 1841, Victoria in 1851 and Queensland in 1859. On the other hand and the western third of the continent was not settled by Europeans until the British established a naval base in Albany (Western Australia) | Albany and then known as King George Sound in 1826. The Swan River Colony was formally established in 1829 at what is today Perth. The Swan River Colony was renamed "Western Australia" in 1832.

While Australia began its modern history as a British penal colony and the vast majority of people who came to Australia after 1788 were free settlers, mainly from Britain and Ireland, but also from other European countries. Convict settlements were mostly along the east coast, with scattered pockets of convict settlements in Western Australia. The state of South Australia, on the other hand, was settled entirely by free settlers. Many Asian and Eastern European people also came to Australia in the 1850s, during the Gold Rush that started Australia's first resource boom. Although such diverse immigration diminished greatly during the xenophobic years of the White Australia policy, Australia welcomed a successive series of immigration from Europe and the Mediterranean and later Asia, becoming a highly diverse and multicultural society by the late 20th century.

The system of separate colonies federated to form the self-governing British dominion of Australia in 1901, each colony now becoming a state of Australia, with New Zealand opting out of the federation. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop its agricultural and manufacturing industries and made a large contribution (considering its small size of population) to the Allied war effort in World War I|World War I and World War II in Europe as part of the British Commonwealth forces. Australia was directly attacked in the Pacific War. Australian troops also made a valuable, if sometimes controversial, contribution to the Korean War and the Indochina Wars|Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Australian Diggers retain a reputation as some of the hardest fighting troops along with a great social spirit.

Australia and Britain passed the Australia Act in 1986, ending any remnant power the British parliament may have had to pass laws for Australia. The British Queen remains as the head of state with an (Australian) appointed Governor-General as her representative in Australia.

During the second half of the 20th century and there was growth in Indigenous People activism, accompanied by a greater willingness by the general community to acknowledge both the indigenous cultural legacy (particularly in the visual arts) and the darker side of colonial history. Significant areas of the nation have been returned to indigenous ownership as a result of the land rights movement. In 2008 and then-prime minister Kevin Rudd delivered an official apology to the Indigenous People people in Parliament for the atrocity's committed against them by the white majority. An Indigenous People ceremony has also been incorporated into Australia's State Opening of Parliament since 2008 as homage to its indigenous legacy.

Economy

The service industries, including tourism, education and financial services, account for just over half of the Australian Gross Domestic Product – about 60%. Within the service sector, tourism is one of the most important industries in Australia, as it provides employment, contributes $73 billion to the economy each year and accounts for at least 11% of total exports.

Primary industry - mining and agriculture - has accounted for most of Australia's exports in the 20th and 21st centuries.Iron ore and coal are by far the largest exports, along with wheat, f/ beef and wool. The mining sector is sensitive to global demand for iron ore, with events in the Chinese and Indian economies having direct impacts.

Australia has a comprehensive social security system and a minimum wage higher than the United States or the United Kingdom. Due to a lack of supply, manual labourers and tradesmen are well-paid in Australia, often more so than white collar professionals.

Politics in Australia

Australia has a federal system of government, with six state and two territory governments, as well as a national government. It also has several overseas territories in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, which are given considerable autonomy and often not fully integrated with the rest of Australia. Laws vary slightly from state to state, but are for the most part fairly uniform.

The national parliament is based on the British Westminster system, with some elements being drawn from the American congressional system. At the federal level it consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. Each Member of the House of Representatives (colloquially known as a Member of Parliament (MP)) represents an electoral division, with more populous states having more electoral divisions and hence, more MPs. On the other hand, similar to the U.S. Senate, each Australian state has an equal number of senators, with 12 senators being directly elected by the people in each state and 2 senators each from the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory. The Prime Minister is head of the national government and is the leader of the political party (or coalition of parties) which has the most Members in the House of Representatives.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom is also King of Australia and the head of state and is represented in Australia by the Governor-General. As recently as 1975 and the Governor-General was able to dismiss the incumbent government and then-Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Since then the constitutional ties have weakened and the roles of the Queen and Governor-General are now largely symbolic, with the Prime Minister being the one who wields the most authority in government. A referendum to change Australia to a republic was defeated in 1999 (the idea to replace the Queen with a political appointee wasn't to the liking of most Australians). Republicanism in Australia remains a regular conversation point, albeit low on the list of real priorities.

The Cabinet of Australia serves as the executive branch and is headed by the Prime Minister, who appoints his Cabinet ministers from among the members of both houses of Parliament. The judicial branch is topped by the High Court of Australia, which replaced the UK Privy Council as the highest court of appeal in 1986.

State and territory governments are organised similarly to the national government with a state parliament serving as the legislature, a Premier (Chief Minister in the territories) serving as the head of the state government and its own judiciary. There is also a Governor for each state serving as the Queen's representative in a mostly ceremonial role.

The two major political parties in Australia are the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party, which operates in coalition with the National Party (referred to as the "Coalition"). There are smaller parties such as the Greens and independents. The Liberal Party is a centre-right conservative party, with the term "liberal" referring to a free market economy.

Foreign policy is very much Pro US and you could almost say Australia converts foreign policies on behalf of the U.S. in the Asia Pacific region and is often ignored by other Asian countries such as the ASEAN member countries.

Culture & Tradition of Australia

Australia has a multicultural population practising almost every religion and lifestyle. Over one-quarter of Australians were born outside Australia and another quarter have at least one foreign-born parent. Virtually every large Australian city and town reflects the immigration from Europe, Asia and the Middle East and the Pacific that occurred after World War II and continued into the 1970s. In the half century after the war Australia's population boomed from roughly 7 million to just over 20 million people. The city's of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are culturally very diverse and home to communities originating from all corners of the globe.

In all major city's you will find a variety of quality of global foods available in some Halal restaurants. Melbourne especially promotes itself as a centre for the arts, while Brisbane promotes itself through various, multicultural urban villages. Adelaide is known for being a centre for festivals and for German cultural influences, while Perth is known for its food and culture, pearls, gems and precious metals and the international fringe arts festival. Smaller rural settlements generally still reflect a majority Anglo-Celtic culture often with a small Indigenous People population. Most rural centres still welcome visitors and generally have a history and local produce to share.

There are roughly half a million Australians who identify as Indigenous People people who live throughout the nation in city's and in rural Indigenous People communities. Although not particularly obvious to a new visitor and there are many opportunities and cultural activities for people wanting to explore Indigenous People culture.

Contrary to popular mythology, descendants from the original fleets of British convicts are a minority and even during the years of transportation free settlers outnumbered convict migrants by at least five to one. Nevertheless, it is seen as a badge of honour for someone to be 'Australian Royalty' in having been descended from a convict, however tenuous that connection may be.

Australians can be more socially conservative than some European cultures, but tend to be relaxed in their religious observance. Modes of address are casual and familiar and most Australians will tend to address you by your first name from first contact and will expect that you do the same to them.

Public Holidays in Australia

The national holidays in Australia are:

  • 1 January: New Year's Day
  • 26 January: Australia Day, marking the anniversary of the First Fleet's landing in Sydney Cove in 1788.
  • Easter weekend ("Good Friday", "Easter Saturday", "Easter Sunday" and "Easter Monday"): a four day long weekend in March or April set according to the Western Christian dates. Many Australians travel on Easter weekend, so expect hotel rooms and airtickets to sell out months in advance.
  • 25 April: ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps), honouring military veterans
  • Second Monday in June: Queen's birthday holiday (celebrated in Western Australia in September, with WA observing Foundation Day a week earlier)
  • 25 December: Christmas Day
  • 26 December: Boxing Day

Many states observe Labour Day, but on different days. Most states have one or two additional statewide holidays, with Victoria and South Australia having a day off for a horse race (The Melbourne Cup and The Adelaide Cup). Western Australia has Foundation Day typically the first Monday in June (recognising the founding of the state since 1829) but also celebrates the Queen's Birthday at a different date to the rest of the nation, either at the end of September or early October, due to the usual June date is such close proximity to Foundation Day.

When a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and the following Monday (and Tuesday if necessary) are usually declared holidays in lieu, although the celebrations and the retail closures will occur on the day itself. Most tourism attractions are closed Christmas Day and Good Friday. Supermarkets and other stores may open for limited hours on some public holidays and on holidays in lieu, but are almost always closed on Christmas Day (25 December), Good Friday, Easter Sunday and ANZAC Day morning.

Other than official holidays and there are also days of national or regional cultural significance that might as well be holidays such as:

  • AFL Grand Final: The championship game of the Australian Football League and the most watched event perennially on the Australia sporting calendar. Expects all pubs to be packed full of people watching the game, while many Muslim will hold big watching parties in their homes. Held on the last Saturday of September or first Saturday of October.
  • NRL Grand Final: The championship game of the National Rugby League. Particularly popular in Queensland and New South Wales. Usually held on the last Sunday of September or first Sunday of October.

Peak holiday times

Most attractions in Australia remain open year-round, some operating at a reduced frequency or shorter hours during the off-peak season.

Salaried Australians have at least four weeks of annual leave and school children in the major population centres have January as a long break. Domestic tourism is strongest after Christmas and throughout January and the Easter school holidays.

Summer tends to be the peak travel season through much of the south, with the winter (dry) season the peak travel season in the tropics.

Australian teenagers celebrate the end of school at the end of November and early December for the 3 weeks known as schoolies. The volume of teen revellers can completely change the nature of some of the city's and towns they choose to visit, especially coastal towns like Byron Bay in New South Wales and the Gold Coast in Queensland and various localities along the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Time

Australia can obtain up to five different time zones during the daylight savings period and four at other times. Time zone boundaries do not always follow state boundaries. For instance and the town of Broken Hill, although in New South Wales, follows South Australia time and Norfolk Island has its own time zone despite being a part of New South Wales.

In the east, Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria always have the same time. Queensland doesn't observe daylight saving, so it is an hour behind the other eastern states during that period.

In the centre, South Australia and the Northern Territory are half an hour behind during the winter, but the Northern Territory doesn't observe daylight saving while South Australia does. During daylight saving South Australia remains half an hour behind New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, but moves half an hour ahead of Queensland. The Northern Territory remains half an hour behind Queensland, but moves an hour and a half behind New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.

In the west, Western Australia is two hours behind the eastern states in winter and also doesn't observe daylight saving.It moves three hours behind the eastern states that observe daylight saving (remaining two hours behind Queensland).

There are no official abbreviations or names for Australian time zones and you may see a few variations used. EST, CST, WST along with EDT, CDT are sometimes used. Sometimes AEST, etc., with the 'A' prefix distinguishing them from the North American time zones with the same names.In conversation and the abbreviations aren't used. People tend to say Sydney time, Brisbane time, or Perth time. Expect blank stares from most if you start talking about Central Summer Time.

In those states which observe daylight saving, it commences on the first Sunday in October and ends on the first Sunday in April.

State/Territory Standard Time Daylight Saving Time
Western Australia UTC+8 N/A
South Australia UTC+9.5 UTC+10.5
Northern Territory UTC+9.5 N/A
Queensland UTC+10 N/A
New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania. ACT UTC+10 UTC+11
Norfolk Island UTC+11 N/A

Power

The mains supply voltage standard is 230 V with a type I plug (angled live/neutral pins with a straight earth). Popularly referred to as a "two-forty volt socket".Hotel bathrooms will often have a type C and A socket marked "for shavers only" that will down-convert to 110 V for a North American style socket for shavers. Voltage is compatible with Europe and you'll just need a conversion plug that can be obtained from supermarkets and convenience stores (as well as the airport). From North America or other 110 V countries, check your appliance for voltage tolerances before using a conversion plug.

Famous Mosques in Australia

Among the many places of worship, several mosques stand out for their historical significance, architectural beauty, and the vibrant communities they serve. Here is a look at some of the most famous mosques in Australia.

Lakemba Mosque (Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb Mosque) - Sydney, New South Wales

Lakemba Mosque, also known as the Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb Mosque, is one of the largest and most well-known mosques in Australia. Located in the southwestern suburbs of Sydney, it serves as a spiritual and community hub for Muslims across the region. Established in the 1970s by the Lebanese Muslim Association, the mosque has a capacity to accommodate thousands of worshippers, especially during significant Islamic events like Ramadan and Eid. Its distinctive architectural style, with a large central dome and minarets, makes it a prominent landmark.

Auburn Gallipoli Mosque - Sydney, New South Wales

The Auburn Gallipoli Mosque is another iconic mosque located in Sydney. Built in the 1970s by the Turkish Muslim community, the mosque is named in honor of the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, reflecting the strong ties between the Turkish and Australian people. The mosque's design is inspired by classical Ottoman architecture, featuring a large central dome, intricate tile work, and minarets. It serves as a cultural and religious center for the Turkish community and other Muslims in Sydney, offering various educational and social programs.

Melbourne City Mosque - Melbourne, Victoria

Situated in the heart of Melbourne, the Melbourne City Mosque, also known as the Islamic Council of Victoria's City Mosque, is a significant place of worship for the city's Muslim population. Established in the 1980s, the mosque is known for its welcoming atmosphere and its role in promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding. The mosque offers a range of services, including daily prayers, religious education, and community events, making it a vibrant center for Muslims in Melbourne.

Hobart Mosque - Hobart, Tasmania

The Hobart Mosque holds the distinction of being the oldest mosque in Tasmania. Established in the 1960s, it has been serving the Muslim community in Hobart and the surrounding areas for decades. The mosque is a modest yet essential place of worship, reflecting the small but diverse Muslim population in Tasmania. It plays a crucial role in fostering community spirit and providing a space for spiritual growth and communal activities.

Adelaide City Mosque - Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide City Mosque, located in the heart of Adelaide, is the oldest surviving mosque in Australia. Built in 1888 by the Afghan camel drivers who contributed significantly to the exploration and development of the Australian outback, the mosque stands as a testament to their enduring legacy. The mosque features a distinctive design with four minarets and serves as a vital spiritual center for the Muslim community in Adelaide. It is also a historical site, reflecting the rich heritage and contributions of early Muslim settlers in Australia.

Perth Mosque - Perth, Western Australia

Perth Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Western Australia, established in 1905 by the Afghan cameleers and other Muslim settlers. Located in Northbridge, near the city center, the mosque has been serving the spiritual needs of the Muslim community for over a century. Its traditional architecture, with a simple yet elegant design, makes it a significant landmark in Perth. The mosque is not only a place of worship but also a community hub that hosts various cultural and religious events.

Local Language in Australia

The English language is universally spoken and understood in Australia. Australian English as generally spoken is distinctive in accent and idiom. It mostly developed from the speech of south-eastern England in the late 18th and early 19th centuries but is more nasal.

Nevertheless, as Australia is a global melting pot, particularly in the major city's, you will encounter cultures and hear languages from all around the world and you will often find areas and suburbs that predominately reflect the language of their respective immigrant communities. Foreign languages are taught at school, but students rarely progress past the basics.

Australian English generally follows British spelling conventions and vocabulary choices, although it is also known for its own colour and colloquialisms. People in rural areas may have a broader accent, using some of the slang words that have become outmoded in metropolitan areas, while highly educated urban dwellers sometimes use a cultivated accent similar to that of their British equivalents. Australian slang should not present a problem for tourists except possibly in some isolated outback areas. Australians understand different varieties of English and you may look foolish in your attempts at the local slang.

There is little regional variation in Australian English, although accents tend to be broader outside of the large city's and the pronunciation of certain words like "dance" and "chance" varies between regions. Most regional differences come down to word usage. For example, swimming clothes are known as cossies or swimmers in New South Wales, togs in Queensland, and bathers in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia. Many indigenous communities around Australia and the Torres Strait Islands speak English as a second language.

It is common to find signs in a second language, except in urban areas with a high population of Asian immigrants and students, where signs and restaurant menus in Vietnamese phrasebook|Vietnamese and Chinese phrasebook|Chinese are a common sight; and also around Cairns and the Gold Coast in Queensland where some signs (but not road signs) are written in Japanese phrasebook|Japanese or Chinese phrasebook|Chinese, due to the large number of tourists. Some warning signs at beaches are written in several foreign languages.

Visitors who do not speak basic English will find communicating with Australians difficult and should do some advance planning. Some tour companies specialise in offering package deals for Australian tours complete with language guides.

Over a hundred Indigenous People languages are still known and spoken by Indigenous People people, particularly those living in rural outback communities and those in the Torres Strait Islands. These languages are all different, so you won't see an "Indigenous People" phrasebook in the travel bookshops. Almost all Indigenous People people speak English as well, although residents of some remote communities may not be fluent in the language.

The standard sign language is Auslan (standing for Australian Sign Language). When a sign interpreter is present for a public event, he or she will use Auslan. Users of British and New Zealand Sign Languages will be able to understand much, though not all, of the language. Auslan and NZSL are largely derived from BSL and all three languages use the same two-handed manual alphabet. Users of sign languages that have different origins (such as the French Sign Language family, which also includes American and Irish Sign Languages) will not be able to understand Auslan.

Travel to Australia

Entry requirements

All visitors - apart from citizens of New Zealand - require a visa in advance of travel.

If you are visiting for a holiday of less than 90 days and there are three types of visas you may apply for, depending on your nationality.

  • TAS3/etas Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) subclass 601 is available on-line to nationals of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea (ROK) and the United States. In addition, citizens of Taiwan are also eligible for an ETA, but must apply through an approved Taiwanese travel agent, or by e-mail through the relevant Australian diplomatic mission if living abroad. A service fee of $20 applies. This fee can sometimes be avoided if you obtain your ETA through a travel agent when booking your travel with them. Some online agents may also sell ETAs.

Travelling on a United Kingdom passport|Despite the strong historic links between the UK and Australia and there are actually no differences in visa requirements for citizens of the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union. This is also applicable to working visas. It is unclear if there will be any changes after the UK's anticipated departure from the EU in March 2019.

  • eVisitor (subclass 651) for citizens of the European Union, EEA, Switzerland and a few European microstates. These visas are free, but otherwise effectively identical to the ETA. You must apply on-line.
  • Visitor Visa (subclass 600). Passport holders of 55 countries, including all the ETA and eVisitor eligible countries and Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates|UAE can make applications on-line. Other nationalities must apply using the paper form and may need to visit an embassy or visa processing centre.
Like the ETA and eVisitor, a Visitor 600 is by default issued for a three month stay. Unlike the other options however, a 600 visa can be issued for a longer stay of up to one year. For more than a three month stay, you will likely be asked for supporting documentation about the reason for your visit and your ties to your country of origin and may need to attend an interview. Depending on your nationality and the embassy or visa processing centre may also require you to have an Australian sponsor before issuing the visa. The fee is $140. ETAs and eVisitors are valid for multiple entries within a 12-month period. If you're eligible for either, it may be easier to stay the three months you're allowed, go to New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand or some other country reachable by a low cost airline for a few days and come back - restarting the 90-day clock. Doing this more than once, however, may cause immigration authorities to become suspicious, so proceed with caution if you pursue this route.
There is a special arrangement for parents of Australians, including Australian permanent residents. The 600 visa can be valid for 18 months, three years, or five years and allow a maximum stay of 12 months during an 18-month period, depending on the circumstances.

In most cases, ETAs and eVisitors are approved instantly and the visa will be issued and available for use instantly. If further enquiries are needed you may be asked to return to the application system later to see if you've been approved. Over 90% are processed the same day. In the worst-case scenario your application can be diverted for manual checks that can take months. if you have a complex national history, or any criminal record (including minor offences) you should allow plenty of time for the application.

If you are visiting Australia to work, study or for medical treatment, check to make sure you have the right kind of visa, as a tourist visa may not be sufficient. Breaching the conditions or planning to breach the conditions of your visa will result in visa cancellation, deportation, and/or a period of exclusion.

For all tourist visa classes you must be able to demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially for the time you intend to spend in Australia and meet character requirements. If you have a criminal conviction, contact an Australian Embassy or visa processing centre before applying or making travel arrangements.

Inorganic powder limitation - Passengers on transit through Australia are prohibited to carry more than 350 ml or 350 grams of inorganic powder into aircraft's cabins.

If you are transiting through Australia, remain airside for a maximum of 8 hours, have a confirmed onward booking, have the correct entry documentation for the onward destination and are a citizen of New Zealand and the European Union, Andorra, Argentina, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus and the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa and the Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea (ROK), Switzerland, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (regardless of nationality status) and the United States, Vanuatu or Vatican City, you do not need to apply for any advance visa. All other passengers who transit through Australia must apply for a free-of-charge Transit Visa (subclass 771) before travel.

New Zealand citizens may travel to and work in Australia for any length of time without a pre-arranged visa - a Special Category New Zealand Citizen visa (subclass 444) will be granted to them on arrival. Non-citizen permanent residents of New Zealand are not eligible for visa-free entry. New Zealand citizens may still be denied entry on the basis of criminal convictions and should seek advice from an Australian diplomatic mission before travel.

At selected airports, visitors who are citizens of Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and the United States may make use of the SmartGate for automated immigration clearance when entering Australia. Being able to use SmartGate does not exempt you from visa requirements.

There is no paperwork to complete when leaving Australia, just a simple passport check.

Customs and Quarantine

Australia has strict quarantine requirements regarding importing animal and plant derived products (any food, wooden products, seeds, etc.) You must declare all such material, even if the items are permitted. Baggage is frequently scanned and may be examined by dogs. You may be fined $220 on-the-spot if you accidentally fail to declare, or even prosecuted in serious cases. Declared material will be examined and, depending on the circumstances, may be retained, disposed of, returned to you, or treated by quarantine at your expense. (You may have to pick the item up at a later time.) Processed and sealed Chocolates and other confectionery are usually permitted after being declared and examined, as are reasonable quantities of infant formula with an accompanying infant. Different rules apply depending on the origin country of foods and the state in which you are entering Australia. Check with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for more details.

Travellers who are 18 years old or older are allowed to bring up to 2.25 litres of beverages and up to 25 cigarettes or 25 grams of other tobacco products (including cigars) into Australia duty-free. These items may not be imported by anybody under the age of 18 and travellers who exceed their duty free allowance are liable to tax on all goods of that category, not just the amount in excess of the limit.

Some shells, coral and items made from a protected species are also prohibited to discourage the trade in items that may originate from a threatened ecosystem or species.

While there are no restrictions on the amount of money that can be brought in or out, Australian customs also requires you to declare if you are travelling with $10,000 or more (AUD or its equivalent in foreign currency) and you will be asked to complete some paperwork. Not declaring may expose you to a fine, feasible seizure of the cash, or in the worst case even arrest.

What is the best way to fly to Australia

Australia is a long way from anywhere else in the world, so for most visitors the only practical way of getting into Australia is by air.

Australia's main point of entry is Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport (IATA Flight Code: SYD). Other major entry points into Australia are the airports at Melbourne (IATA Flight Code: MEL), Brisbane (IATA Flight Code: BNE) and Perth (IATA Flight Code: PER). There are also limited international services into Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin and the Gold Coast, Townsville and Christmas Island.

Sydney is a 3-hour flight from Auckland, New Zealand, a 7-11 hour flight from many countries in Asia, a 14-hour flight from the west of the United States and Canada, a 14-hour flight from Johannesburg, a 13-16 hour flight from South America and up to a 24-hour flight from western Europe (including a stopover). On account of long journey times from some destinations, most travellers from Europe must have a stop-over, commonly in Singapore Changi Airport|Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Suvarnabhumi Airport|Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. Since March 2018, Qantas-Australia operates a nonstop flight from London Heathrow Airport to Perth taking "only" 17 hours — the first ever regular nonstop route between Europe and Australia. Though if you're heading to elsewhere in Australia you still need to add a few hours for transfer and a domestic flight.

If you have to switch to a domestic flight in a gateway city, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth all have separate domestic terminals, requiring some time and complexity to trans check the guides. Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and the Gold Coast all have gates in the one terminal building or within easy walking distance of each other.

Australia's national carrier is Qantas, which together with its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar operate many flights into Australia from all 6 inhabited continents of the world. Virgin Australia , together with its low-cost subsidiary Tigerair flies several routes from North America, south-east Asia and the Pacific islands into Australia. For those coming from Europe, Singapore-Airlines and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific make good alternatives to Qantas-Australia, British Airways or the Gulf airlines for flights into Australia. Some routes into Australia are operated by Discount airlines in Australasia such as AirAsia X, AirAsia Indonesia, Scoot and Jetstar Airways.

Private aviation

Private aviation companies such as Australia Jet Charter and JetCorpAustralia offer direct private flights year-round using a variety of aircraft. Popular airports for charter jets include Sydney Bankstown Airport, Gold Coast Airport and Melbourne Essendon Airport.

Travel by boat to Australia

Cruise ships are available mostly in the November to February cruising season and there are usually about 10 ships that arrive in Australia from other countries during this time. You can cruise to Australia and then fly home. Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean all offer cruises to Australia across the Pacific.

There are no international ferry services operating.

By overland transport

There was a time when a couple of tour operators offered overland trips from London to Sydney, with only a short hop by air from South East Asia to North Western Australia while the bus went by barge. The only such tour operator is Madventure which runs 4 different routes: 26 weeks through Iran, Pakistan and India; 26 weeks through the Caucasus & Central Asia; 64 weeks around Africa and the Middle East, & South Asia; and 64 weeks through Africa and the Middle East and the Caucasus, & Central Asia.

For those determined to travel overland as much as feasible from Europe, you can travel independently to Singapore from Europe by train and/or bus on scheduled services and fly from there to Perth (3,500 flight kilometres). For the truly determined overland traveller, you can get a ferry from Singapore to Indonesia and make your way across to Bali, where you can fly to Darwin (2,000 flight kilometres). For the intrepid, ferries to West Timor, a bus to Dili and a flight to Darwin will mean only 700 kilometers in the air.

Travel to Darwin by cargo ship/ barge by ANL and Swire (the only two routine cargo haulers between Dili and Darwin) is not permitted (June 2022). For determined travellers, you may be able to obtain passage from Singapore by freighter vessel, organized through a travel agent.

Transportation in Australia

Australia is huge but sparsely populated over much of its area and you can sometimes travel many hours before finding the next trace of civilisation, especially once you leave the south-eastern coastal fringe.

Almost all modern Australian maps, including street directories, use the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA) as their grid reference, which is for all purposes identical to the WGS84 used by the GPS. You can locate most things on an Australian map or street directory if you just have the " GPS coordinates".

Quarantine

There are restrictions on carrying fruit and vegetables (including honey) between states and even between regions of states that are involved in fruit growing. If you are driving long distances or interstate, or flying between states, don't stock up on fruits and vegetables.

How to travel Australia by car

Australia has a generally well-maintained system of roads and highways and cars are a commonly used method of transport. All the mainland state capitals are linked to each other by sealed highways. Some parts are dual carriageway but many sections are one lane each way. Roads linking minor centres (or what can look like short-cuts on the map) can be narrow or gravel roads.

Major hazards on Australian roads are wildlife and large trucks. Be sure to take extra care when driving at dusk or in the dark, as the risk of animal collisions increases significantly. Major regional areas have sealed (paved) dual-lane roads, but isolated areas may have poorly maintained dirt roads or even tracks. Distances and speeds are specified in kilometers and fuel is sold by the litre. There are no tolls on roads or bridges outside of the urban areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. While public transport is usable in the city's of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, a vehicle is handy, sometimes even crucial, to get around anywhere else.

Australia drives on the left. Overseas visitors who are used to driving on the right should take care when they first drive and again when they are driving on country roads with little traffic.

Generally, overseas licenses are valid for driving in Australia for three months after arrival. If the licence is not in English, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required in addition to your licence. Licensing regulations and road rules vary slightly from state to state.

Australia's low population density and large size makes for long driving times between major centres. Some indicative travel durations, not including any rest periods, are:

It is almost imfeasible to predict your travel duration just by knowing the distance. Seek local advice for the best route and how much time to allow. The maximum speed limit on most rural Australian roads is 100 km/h. Sometimes this is increased to 110 km/h. Average speed is seldom above 80 km/h due to the bad road conditions and limited overtaking opportunities. On some national highways that traverse mountain ranges and travel through small towns, even averaging 60 km/h can be a challenge.

While major highways are well serviced, anyone leaving sealed (paved) roads in inland Australia is advised to take advice from local authorities, check weather and road conditions and carry sufficient spare fuel, spare parts, spare tyres, matches, food and water. Some remote roads might see one vehicle per month or less.

Cellular coverage is non-existent outside of major highways and towns and you should take some precautions in case of emergency. It is a good idea to advise a person you know and trust of your route and advise them to alert authorities if you do not contact them within a reasonable amount of time after your scheduled arrival at your destination. Carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or satellite phone should be considered when travelling in remote areas, especially where you may not be able to make contact for several days. Police will not automatically start looking for you if you don't report in. Make sure you get one with a GPS built in. These can be borrowed from some local police stations, such as those in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. If you want to hire one, sort it out before you leave a major city, as you won't find hire places in small towns. Expect to pay around $100 to hire for a week, or $700 to buy one. Don't expect an immediate rescue even if you trigger a PLB.

Heat and dehydration at any time of year can kill you. If stranded, stay with your vehicle and do what you can to improve your visibility from the air. Do not take this advice lightly; even local people die out there when their vehicle breaks down and they are not reported missing. If you do have to abandon your vehicle (say you break down and then get a lift), call in quickly to the local police station, to avoid the embarrassment and cost of a search being started for you.

Car rental

Major city's around Australia have multiple outlets providing a wide range of rental vehicles from major international rental companies. In smaller towns vehicle rental can be difficult to find. One-way fees often apply from smaller regional outlets.

Conditions upon the use of rental vehicles usually exist on travelling into or out of Western Australia and the Northern Territory or on the vehicle ferries to Tasmania, Kangaroo Island and Fraser Island. Rental cars in capital city's usually have unlimited mileage.In small towns they usually only include 100 kilometers a day before a extra charge is applied. Some companies allow travel on any gazetted road, while others forbid travel on a gravel/dirt road unless you hire a four-wheel drive. Always ensure you thoroughly check the vehicle for any damage, including all window glass and the roof panels and document any found in detail with the renter before leaving the depot.

You must have a licence written in English or an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your home country to drive anywhere in Australia. Check the contract conditions carefully if you are under 25 and also check that your licence class matches the vehicle you wish to rent before you book it.

Companies include Redspot, Avis, Hertz, Budget, stralia Europcar, Thrifty, Aries and al.com.au/ Bayswater.

Smaller cars you can hire can be manual (stick-shift), whereas anything larger will mostly be automatic.

If you do not hold an Australian driving licence, some rental vehicle companies will require you to take a free arners-permit/tourist/ driver knowledge test, aimed at tourists, that covers the basic road rules, or will take you on a short trip to assess whether you are competent behind the wheel.

Campervans

A campervan is a vehicle, usually a minivan, converted into a motorhome (recreational vehicle), most often catering to the vast number of young European and American backpackers traversing the nation. The East Coast from Sydney to Cairns is especially abundant with happy, hungover youths travelling around in these vehicles.

Campervans vary widely in fitting and quality, with some featuring showers, toilets, kitchens and more, while others have little more than mattresses in the back. They are generally suited for 2–6 travellers depending on the vehicle's size. Check the extra charges very carefully and make sure that you are not paying the same or more for a lesser quality vehicle.

Don't assume hiring a camper will be a cheaper way of seeing Australia. The cost of fuel varies greatly depending on where you are. Fuel costs in outback Australia are much higher than urban areas. Add on the cost of hire, etc. and staying in hostels will often be a cheaper and more comfortable option but the freedom of having your own four wheels may make up for it.

Prices can change dramatically depending on the travel period. So don't expect to find a affordable campervan rental over Christmas and new year's eve for example. Suppliers also fix prices depending on availability. Like flight tickets, it's always cheaper to book in advance.

Car purchase

There is a substantial second hand market in cars and campers for GenZ Backpackers wishing to do extended road trips around Australia. Take common-sense precautions if purchasing a car. Remember the importance of a thorough mechanical checklist, licensing, registration and insurance. State government services are available free of charge to ensure it is unencumbered by a finance arrangement and that it has not been previously written off as a result of an accident.

  • Travellers Auto-Barn
  • Gumtree has a backpackers guide to buying camper vans in Australia. It also lists vehicles for private sale and from dealerships.
  • VINNER REVS Check by entering a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), a VINNER REVS Check report tells you if there is any money owing on a car, or if it's been previously written off or stolen. You can check against a vehicle identification number or chassis number and it works for most states and territories including New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Redbook is an Australian vehicle pricing authority. Find out the market price of any vehicle.

Best way to travel in Australia by a Taxi

Larger towns and city's have taxi services. Uber is available in major city's. There are several smartphone taxi booking applications such as myDriver, GoCatch that make finding a licensed taxi simple.

Outside of city's, towns may have a limited taxi service. Maybe one or two drivers who may be part time. Smaller or remote towns may have no service at all.

When travelling alone, it is customary for a passenger to sit in the front passenger seat, next to the driver, rather than in the back, however if you prefer to sit in the back then it isn't really a problem.

What is the best way to fly to Australia

Due to the large distances involved, flying is a well-patronised form of travel in Australia. Services along the main business travel corridor (Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane) are run almost like a bus service, with Flights leaving every 15 minutes during the day.

The best fares are almost always available on the most competitive routes, whereas routes to remote destinations with fewer flights tend to be more expensive. Qantas-Australia actually do often offer competitive prices, so don't ignore that option just because they are the national carrier. There are only a handful of main airlines in Australia, so it won't take long to compare their prices on domestic routes:

  • Qantas and the full-service national carrier, flying to major city's and some larger regional towns;
  • Virgin Australia, a nationwide full-service airline, flying to major city's and a few larger regional towns;
  • Jetstar, Qantas's discount arm with limited service and assigned seating.
  • Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia's low cost carrier with a hub in Melbourne and flying to Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Hobart, Mackay, Perth and Canberra, prices are very competitive, but delays are frequent and chance of flight cancellation quite feasible.

Several airlines service regional destinations. Expect discounts on these airlines to be harder to come by and for standard airfares to be above what you would pay for the same distance between major centres.

  • Qantaslink and the regional arm of Qantas-Australia, covering the smaller city's in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia;
  • Regional Express, covering larger towns & city's on the eastern seaboard and in country South Australia;
  • Skywest, covering regional Western Australia, Bali and Darwin;
  • Airnorth, covering the Northern Territory;
  • Skytrans Airlines, covering regional Queensland.
  • Sharp Airlines, covering several regional towns in Victoria and South Australia.

Charters

Scheduled aviation only flies to a handful of the thousands of airports around Australia. There are numerous options to charter aircraft that may take you direct to smaller country towns or even offshore islands. The costs can be comparable to scheduled airlines if there are 3 or more people flying in a group. The Australian Private Pilots Licence permits private pilots to carry passengers and to recover the cost of the plane hire and fuel from passengers, but not to advertise for passengers or fly commercially. That said, if you check the web pages of local flying clubs and there are always private pilots willing to fly on a fine weekend if someone is willing to put in for the cost of the plane and fuel.

Travel by train in Australia

Visitors from areas with well-developed long distance rail systems such as Europe and Japan may be surprised by the lack of high-speed, inter-city rail services in Australia. A historical lack of cooperation between the states, combined with sheer distances and a relatively small population to service, have left Australia with a national train network that is relatively slow and used mainly for freight. Nevertheless, train travel between city's can be very scenic and present opportunities to see new aspects of the nation and can be a cost-effective way to get to regional towns and city's, which tend to have more expensive flights than those between the state capitals.

The long-distance rail services that do exist are mainly used to link regional townships with the state capital, such as Bendigo to Melbourne, or Cairns to Brisbane. In Queensland, a tilting train operates from Brisbane to Rockhampton and Brisbane to Cairns. Queensland also has passenger services to inland centres including Longreach (The Spirit of the Outback), Mount Isa (The Inlander), Charleville (The Westlander) and Forsayth (The Savannahlander). There are also inter-city train services operated by Great Southern Railways on the Melbourne-Adelaide (The Overland), Sydney-Adelaide-Perth (Western Australia) | Perth (Indian Pacific) and Adelaide-Alice Springs-Darwin (The Ghan), however these are not "high-speed" services and actually cost more than flying, so if you do not enjoy train travel as part of your holiday then this is probably not for you.

Tasmania has no passenger rail services. The Northern Territory has the rail line linking Darwin to Adelaide through Alice Springs only and the Australian Capital Territory has a single train station close to the centre of Canberra.

Long distance train operators

Indian Pacific Bellevue, Western Australia-small - Indian Pacific

  • Great Southern Railways - A private train operator running luxury tourist train services, The Ghan, The Indian Pacific and The Overland between Sydney, Broken Hill, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne.
  • NSW Trainlink Regional - Links Sydney to Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra and regional connections to most New South Wales towns, including Dubbo, Coffs Harbour and Wagga Wagga.
  • V/Line - Train & coach services in Victoria, including combined Train and Coach services between Melbourne and Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra.
  • Queensland Rail - Long distance passenger train services in Queensland, including its flagship Spirit of Queensland service between Brisbane and Cairns.
  • The Savannahlander - A privately-run train service that links Cairns with the outback town of Forsayth, using old legacy trains and providing overnight lodging and tours on the way.
  • TransWA - State government run, operating train services to Kalgoorlie and Bunbury. TransWA also operates coach services to much of the state where former rail services operated in the past, especially the South West of the state.

Rail passes

No rail pass includes all train travel throughout Australia, however if you are a train buff that intends travelling extensively by rail and there are some passes that may save you money. Plan your trip carefully before investing in a rail pass. Country train services are infrequent and can arrive at regional destinations at unsociable hours.

  • Discovery Pass. Use any NSW Trainlink services (trains and coaches). Get anywhere in NSW and north to Brisbane and south to Melbourne.
  • Queensland Rail Coastal Pass and Queensland Rail Explorer Pass.

Local public transport

Cityrail-millennium-M32-ext - A suburban train in Sydney D2.5007 + C2.5111 bourke - Melbourne is well served by an extensive tram network.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Wollongong and Newcastle (New South Wales) | Newcastle have train and bus services integrated into the city public transport, with trams also running in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney and ferries in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. The remaining capital city's have bus services only. See those city guides articles for public transport details.

Some regional city's and towns have local bus services, but see the destination guides for service information, as frequency can be poor and weekend and evening services non-existent.

By motorail

Australia had a tradition of motorail, allowing you to carry carry your vehicle with you on special vehicle carriages attached to the back of the train. This service is now only available on Great Southern Railways between Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. You cannot remove your vehicle at any of the intermediate stations.

Travel by Bus in Australia

Bus travel in Australia is affordable and convenient, although the distances involved for interstate connections are daunting. Greyhound has the largest bus route network. There are no bus services from the other capital city's to Perth.

  • Firefly Express - , 1300 730 740 (local rate), +61 3 8318 0318 (international callers) Firefly Express has services connecting Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
  • Greyhound - , 1300 473 946 (local rate) Greyhound travels to over 1100 destinations in Australia daily every day of the year. It has a variety of ticketing options allow you to travel at your own pace, hopping on and off as many times as your ticket allows.
  • Murrays - ☎ +61 13 22 51 Murrays has services connecting Canberra with Sydney and the South Coast (New South Wales) | NSW South Coast and Snowy Mountains|snowfields.

Travel by boat to Australia

Sydney, Brisbane and Perth have ferries as part of their public transport system. Some smaller roads in the regional areas still have punts to carry cars across rivers and canals. The islands of the Barrier Reef have some scheduled services and there are a few cruises that cross the top of Australia as well.

However, large inter city ferry services are not common.

  • The Spirit of Tasmania. The only long distance ferry route connects Tasmania to the mainland and carries cars and passengers on the route across Bass Strait daily between Melbourne and Devonport.
  • Sealink connects Kangaroo Island, Australia's second largest southern island to mainland South Australia with regular vehicle ferries.
  • Sea SA offers an short cut across the Spencer Gulf between Adelaide (Wallaroo) and the Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula. The service has been suspended frequently, but is operating as of Dec 2018.

Travel by bicycle in Australia

Cycling the long distances between towns in Australia is not common and most long distance highways in Australia have poorly facilities for cyclists. for example, to cycle between Sydney and Brisbane you would have to allow 2–3 weeks with around 80–100 km per day.

Intrepid travellers do manage to cover the longer distances by bicycle and have a different experience of Australia. Long distance cyclists can be encountered on the Nullarbor and other isolated highways.

In some states, former railway lines have been changed into rail trails. Rail Trail Australia website has good material of routes off the main highways, with the Murray to the Mountains Train being the best quality trail with the most to see and do along the route.In Western Australia long distance cycle trails have been developed for mountain bikers. The Munda Biddi trail is many days through bushland, with huts provided for camping along the route.

Wherever you cycle - if you leave the urban sprawl of the capital city's, careful planning is required to ensure the correct supplies are carried.

Take a Hiking Tour in Australia

Walking through some parts of Australia is the only way to experience some particular landscapes. In Tasmania the Central Highland Overland Track and the South Coast Track are good examples of walking/hiking holiday to do items. The Bicentennial National Trail is one of the longest trails in the world, stretching from Cooktown in Northern Queensland, to Healesville.

What to see in Australia

Wildlife

Australian flora and fauna is unique to the island continent and the result of having been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Amongst Australian animals are a large group of marsupials (mammals with a pouch) and monotremes (mammals that lay eggs).Just some of the animal icons of Australia are the kangaroo (national symbol) and the koala. A visit to Australia would not be complete without taking the chance to see some of these animals in their natural environment.

Wildlife parks and zoos

  • Wildlife parks and zoos are in every state capital city, but also check out the animal parks if you are passing through smaller towns, like Mildura or Mogo, or staying on Hamilton Island. See the Warrawong Fauna Sanctuary if you are in South Australia, or visit the koalas with best view in the world, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

In the wild

Tassy Devil

  • Kangaroos and wallabies are in national parks all around Australia. You won't see any kangaroos hopping down the street in Sydney/City|Central Sydney, but they're common on the outskirts of most urban areas.
  • Wombats and echidnas are also common, but harder to find due to their camouflage and tunnelling. See lots of echidnas on Kangaroo Island.
  • Koalas are present in forests around Australia, but are notoriously very hard to spot and walking around looking upwards into the boughs of trees will usually send you sprawling over a tree root. Best seen during the day and there is a thriving and friendly population on Raymond Island near Paynesville (Victoria) | Paynesville in Victoria. You have a good chance on Otway Coast, on the Great Ocean Road, or even in the National Park walk near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Emus are more common in central Australia. You will certainly see some if you venture into the outback national park at Currawinya National Park|Currawinya
  • Platypus are found in reedy, flowing creeks with soft river banks in Victoria, Southern New South Wales and the very southern region of Queensland - seen at dusk and dawn - you have to have a bit of luck to see one. Try the platypus reserves in Bombala or Delegate in New South Wales, or in Emu Creek at Skipton (Victoria) | Skipton just out of Ballarat.

Convict sites

Much of Australia's modern history was as a penal colony for convicts from the United Kingdom and there are many historical sites that still stand as a reminder of the days of convict transportation. Perhaps the most famous of these sites are Port Arthur in Tasmania and Fremantle Prison in Perth/Fremantle|Fremantle, located near Perth, Western Australia. There are also many other sites scattered throughout the nation.

Landmarks

Australia has many monuments, famous the world over. From Uluru in the red centre, to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney.

Small Australian towns have a tradition of making big sculptures as monuments. See Big things in Australia.

Sports

Sport is an integral part of the Australian culture from the capital city's to country towns. As a testament to this, Australia has a track record of being one of the best performing teams at the Olympics despite its relatively small population. The majority of games are played over the weekend period (from Friday night to Monday night). Australian sports fans are generally well behaved and it is not uncommon for fans of two opposing teams to sit together during a match, even if the teams are bitter rivals. While the cheering can get really passionate, actual crowd violence is extremely rare.

The term "football" can be ambiguous in Australia and differs in meaning depending on where you are and who you are talking to, however the term on its own is almost never used to refer to association football, which has been known as "soccer" in Australia. In general, "football", or the slang term "footy", refers to rugby league in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, while it refers to Australian rules football anywhere else in Australia.

  • In the winter in Victoria Australian Rules Football (Aussie Rules, or in some areas just "footy") is more than just a sport, it is a way of life. Catch a game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Although originating from and most popular in the state of Victoria and the premier national competition, known as the Australian Football League (AFL), has teams from Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast as well. The AFL Grand Final, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground either in late September or early October each year, is the most watched event on the Australian sporting calendar.
  • In summer, international cricket is played between Australia and at least two touring sides. The games rotate around all the capital city's. To experience the traditional game catch the New Year's test match at the Sydney cricket ground played for 5 days starting from the 2nd of January, or the Boxing Day Test match in Melbourne. Or for a more lively entertaining form, that only takes a few hours, try a twenty-twenty match. The final form is "One Day" Cricket, international matches generally start from 13:00 and finish at 22:00 or 23:00 (a "Day-Nighter"), with most domestic and occasional international matches played from 11:00 to 18:00. The Australia Day One Day International is held in Adelaide every 26 January. The Ashes is a series of five test matches played between the Australian and English national teams.It is held in Australia every three or four years and is one of the highlights of the cricket calendar. Whenever Australia hosts the series and the five matches are held in the five largest city's of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
  • The Australian Open, one of the tennis Grand Slams, is played annually at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Or the Medibank International in Sydney/Sydney Olympic Park|Sydney Olympic Park in January.
  • Catch a Rugby Football Super Rugby game, with teams playing from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Japan in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney during late Summer/Autumn. The Australian national team and the Wallabies, also host international teams during winter, including New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina for The Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri Nations tournament).
  • Rugby Football is a winter game played mainly in New South Wales and Queensland, with the National Rugby League (NRL) competition being the premier competition. Teams include Melbourne in Victoria, Brisbane, North Queensland and the Gold Coast in Queensland, a team from New Zealand, with the rest of the teams coming from suburban areas in Sydney and some in regional areas of New South Wales such as Newcastle and Canberra. The competition culminates in the NRL Grand Final, which is held every year in the Stadium Australia in Sydney. The biggest event in the rugby league calendar of Australia is the State of Origin series between teams representing the states of New South Wales and Queensland, which consists of an annual series of three matches of which two are are played in Sydney and Brisbane and the third is played in either of those city's or sometimes, Melbourne or Perth. Many fans consider the level of play in the State of Origin series to be even higher that that in the Rugby League World Cup.
  • Netball is Australia's largest female sport and there are weekly games in an international competition between Australia and New Zealand teams.
  • Soccer is a growing sport that is aspiring to reach European levels. Many immigrants and second generation Australians hail from European countries where passion for the sport is very high. The Australia national team (the Socceroos) won the Asia cup for the first time in 2015 and have raised the sport's profile significantly. There is a national A-League, which is a fully professional league involving teams from Australia and one from New Zealand, with games played weekly during the summer. Most city's have a semi-professional "state league" played during winter, with most clubs being built around a specific ethnic/migrant community, for example a Newcastle (New South Wales) | Newcastle league side Broadmeadow Magic, which was built around the city's' Macedonian population.
  • F1 Grand Prix The Melbourne Grand Prix in March takes place on a street circuit around Albert Park Lake, only a few kilometers south of central Melbourne. It is used annually as a racetrack for the Australian Grand Prix and associated support races.
  • V8 Supercars are a popular form of motor racing unique to Australia involving powerful cars, comparable to NASCAR racing in the United States. Events are held all over the nation between March and early December. The famous Bathurst 1000 is traditionally held in October.

Halal Tours and Excursions in Australia

  • Gibb River Road
  • Gunbarrel Highway
  • Oodnadatta Track
  • Stuart Highway: crossing Australia north-south
  • Military museums and sites in Australia

Top Muslim Travel Tips in Australia

Bondi 1 - Australia is known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (Bondi Beach pictured) Gold-Coast-Skyline-at-Night - Surfers Paradise, located in the Gold Coast, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the nation, boasting some of the world's greatest beaches and located near an array of theme parks

Swim

  • in the surf. Australia has seemingly endless sandy beaches. Follow the crowds to the world-famous Sydney/Bondi|Bondi Beach in Sydney, or Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Or find a stretch all for yourself (but beware of dangerous rips on beaches, it is considerably safer to find a patrolled beach). The surf is smaller and warmer in the Tropical North, where the reef breaks the swell and larger and colder in the south with waves rolling in from the Southern Ocean. (And yes, in the middle it is just right).
  • in calm tropical oceans. Cable Beach in Broome is swept pristine daily by the tide, has perfect sand and warm water - go in winter.
  • in thermal pools. South of Darwin there are many natural thermal pools such as Berry Springs & Mataranka, neighbored by palms and tropical foliage. The most expensive resort in the world couldn't dream of making a swimming swimmingpool this good.
  • in freshwater lakes. Inland Australia tends to be dry, but there are freshwater lakes where you would least expect them. Explore inland of Cairns at the Atherton Tablelands, or head outback to the Currawinya National Park.
  • in rivers. If its hot and there is water and there will be a place to swim. Wherever you are, just ask around for the favorite swimming spot, with a waterhole and rope to swing on.
  • in man-made pools. The local swimming swimmingpool is often the hub of community life on a summer Sunday in the nation towns of New South Wales and Victoria. Many of the beachside suburbs of Sydney and Newcastle have man made rock/concrete pools called 'baths' where you can swim beside the ocean beaches.
  • on the beach! Find your spot by the water and get out the towel. Tropical north in the winter, down south in the summer. As always when in Australia, protect yourself from the sun.

Bushwalking

Bushwalking is a popular Australian activity. You can go bushwalking in the many National parks and rainforests.

Book a Diving trip in Australia

Giant clam with diver - A scuba diver looking at a giant clam on the Great Barrier Reef

  • Snorkelling take a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef on the Queensland coast, or the Exmouth (Western Australia) | Ningaloo Reef off the coast of Western Australia. Or take a trip out to Julian rocks off Byron Bay, or just dive in off the beach to see the tropical fish in Bundaberg.
  • Scuba diving in Australia|Scuba Diving

Sports

  • Golf
  • Rock Climbing
  • Mountain Biking. Try the trails in the Snowy Mountains or black mountain in Canberra, or cycle for days along the Munda Biddi Mountain Bike trail in Western Australia.
  • Horse Riding. The horse has a rich tradition in the settlement of Australia since the arrival of the first European invadors. Relying on the horse to travel the vast distances and harsh environments of Australia was the foundation of a strong and lasting relationship between Australians and their horses. Today horse riding in Australia includes many recreational and occupational activities from cattle musters on vast stations, to the multimillion-dollar racing industry. On the outskirts of towns and city's and out in the rural landscape, you will see the many pony paddocks and much loved horses that are a testament to the ongoing passion and commitment Australian horse owners have to their horses and the enjoyment they bring.

Halal Ski Holidays in Australia

  • Skiing. New South Wales and Victoria have well developed ski facilities. Tasmania can also have skiing for a few months of the year, given the right weather.

Surf

  • Surfing. If you think Australia is the most unpopulated and most remote place on earth were you can go to escape any trace of human contact, just find a good surf break in the most remote corner of Australia and you will be guaranteed to find someone surfing it. Australians love to surf and wherever there is surf there are Aussie surfers, any time and under any conditions. Virtually every coastline, except along the top end from Cairns across to Karatha has surf and surfers there to ride it.

Thrill activities

  • Sky Diving, all around Australia
  • Hot Air Ballooning, in Canberra, Brisbane or in the Red Centre#Do|Red Centre.
  • Kitesufing and windsurfing in and around Geraldton, Western Australia and at Coronation Beach and the windsurfing and kitesurfing capital of Australia

Royal shows

Each of Australia's states and mainland territories is home to a royal show, which are agricultural fairs that also feature amusement rides and other forms of entertainment and serve as Australia's equivalent of state fairs in the United States. These shows are held in the respective state and territory capitals, usually during the spring or autumn months.

What to buy in Australia

Pitt Street Mall February 2016 - Pitt Street Mall in Sydney is one of Australia's busiest shopping neighborhoods

What is the living cost in Australia

Fast changing currency valuations|The Australian dollar is one of the world's more dynamic currencies, partly because of its relation to commodity prices such as iron and coal. Within the past 10 years the 'Aussie' has swung between 50¢ to $1.50 to the United States dollar, making the cost of visiting range from reasonable to very expensive depending on exactly when you are there.

Australia is generally an expensive place to visit, with some surveys having ranked Australia as the third most expensive country in the world in terms of consumer prices, only behind Norway and Switzerland.

Dorm lodging in a national capital is around $30, but can run as low as $15 in Cairns or cheaper backpacker centres. A basic motel in the nation or in the national capital suburbs would cost around $100 for a double. Downtown hotel lodging in capital city's can be obtained for around $150 upwards for a double. Formule 1/Motel 6 style hotels (which are not common) can be around $60–90 for a double.

Car hire will cost around $65 a day. Public transport day passes from $10–20 per day depending on the city.

A café meal costs around $10–15 and a main course in a restaurant goes from around $17 upwards.

A basic takeaway meal - a burger, fancy sandwiches, or couple of slices of Pizzas would cost $5–10, a Big Mac costs $4.50 and you can usually grab a pie for around $3, or a Sausages roll for $2.50. A takeaway Pizzas from Pizzas Hut big enough to feed two costs around $10.

A middy/pot (285mL) of house organic juice will cost you around $4 and a glass of house around $6 in a low end pub. To take away, a case of 24 cans of organic juice will cost around $40, or a bottle of around $8.

An airfare between neighbouring eastern capitals is around $120 each way but can get as low as $60 if you book at the right time, or around $350 to cross the nation assuming that you are flexible with dates and book in advance. A train trip on the state run trains will usually cost slightly less. A bus trip, a little less again. A train trip on the private trains will be the most expensive way to travel.

There is usually no admission charge to beaches or city parks. Some popular National Parks charge between $10 and $20 per day (per car, or per person depending on the state) while more out of the way National Parks are free. Art Galleries and some attractions are free. Museums generally charge around $10 per admission. Theme parks charge around $70 per person.

Tax

Australia has a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST) that applies to all goods and services except unprocessed foods, education and medical services. GST is always included in the displayed price of any consumer purchases. Receipts (tax invoices) will contain the GST amount.

Tourist Refund Scheme

If you buy goods over $300 at one place at one time you can obtain a refund of the GST if you take the items out of Australia within 60 days. Unlike in many other countries, this applies to both Australian citizens and foreigners. Make sure you get a tax invoice from the supplier (which will have the goods itemised and the GST paid and the ABN of the supplier). Pack the items in hand luggage and present the item(s) and the receipt at the TRS, after immigration and security when leaving Australia. If any of the items have to be checked in for whatever reason, make sure that you locate the customs office and let customs officers sight the goods before checking-in your bags. Also allow at least an extra 30 minutes before departure and if feasible enter the details online before you arrive at the airport. The refund payment can be made by either cheque, credit to an Australian bank account, or payment to a credit card. There is no refund available for GST on services. Remember the goods are now considered duty-free and you'll have to pay GST on them if you bring them back into Australia and they are in excess of your duty-free allowances.

Credit cards

Credit cards are widely accepted in Australia. Almost all large vendors such as supermarkets accept cards, as do many small stores. Australian debit cards can also be used via a system known as EFTPOS. Any card showing the Cirrus or Maestro logos can be used at any terminal displaying those logos. Visa or MasterCard are the most universally accepted cards and then American Express and then Diners Club with other cards either never or very rarely accepted. American Express and Diners Club are accepted at major supermarket and department store chains.

Smaller shops may have a minimum purchase amount to use a credit or debit card, due to the fixed transaction costs they have. Others may simply discourage use of cards for small purchases.

All Australian issued cards use a PIN for purchases. If you have an overseas issued card without a PIN you can still sign for purchases, however, shopkeepers unused to dealing with overseas cards may not be aware of this. If you can, try to have a PIN on your card if your bank allows it. If not, you may have to explain that you have an overseas card at places that expect you to have a PIN - and wait while they find a pen.

Contactless credit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are accepted at virtually all terminals. If the purchase is over A$100, a PIN is required.

Credit card extra charges are imposed at all vehicle rental agencies, travel agents, airlines and at some discount retailers and service stations. Surcharges are far more common and higher for American Express and Diners Club (typically 2%-4%) than they are for UnionPay cards (typically 1.5%).

UnionPay cards are becoming more common in tourist shops and restaurants due to the rising number of Chinese visitors. It is difficult to use them in other businesses however.

Haggling

Bargaining is uncommon in Australian stores, though vendors are usually willing to meet or beat a quote or advertised price from a competing retailer. It's also worth asking for a "best price" for high-value goods or purchases involving several items. For example, it would not be unusual to get 10% off an item of jewelry that was not already reduced in price. The person you are dealing with may have limited authority to sell items at anything other than the marked price.

Tipping

Tipping is not customary in Australia, although tips are accepted if you freely choose to give one.

Restaurants are required to include the cost of service and taxes in posted prices. You may, however, choose to leave a small tip if the service was exemplary. When paying by credit card, some higher end restaurants give the option of adding a tip to your payment, although it is completely optional. Other places provide a coin jar by the cashier labelled 'Tips', but more often than not, diners do not leave one. Bartenders are rarely tipped.

Other types of service personnel, including hotel staff, porters, tour guides, food delivery drivers and hairstylists do not expect to receive tips.

Tipping is also not expected in taxis and drivers will typically return your change to the last 5 cents, unless you indicate that they should round the fare to the nearest dollar. It is not unusual for passengers to instruct the driver to round up to the next whole dollar.

Casinos in Australia generally prohibit tipping of gaming staff, as it is considered bribery. Similarly, offering to tip government officials will usually be interpreted as bribery and can potentially be treated as a criminal offence.

Trading hours

Australia's base trading hours are Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00. Shops usually have a single night of late night trading, staying open until 21:00 on Fridays in most city's and on Thursdays in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Sunday trading is common in the main city's but does not exist in all rural areas. Opening hours beyond these base hours vary by the type of store, by location and by state. See our localised guides for more local information.

Major supermarket chains in main centres are generally open at least until 21:00 on weekdays (and often until midnight), but generally have reduced hours on weekends. Convenience stores such as 7/11 are open 24 hours in major centres.

Fast food restaurant chains are commonly open 24 hours or at least very late. Many food courts in downtowns typically close by 4PM and completely closed on weekends if targeting office workers, but other food courts in Shopping Centres have longer hours.

Fuel/service stations are open 24 hours in major centres, but often close at 6pm and on Sundays in country towns.

Australia's weekend is on Saturday and Sunday of each week. Retail trading is now almost universal in larger city's on weekends, although with slightly reduced hours. Again, Western Australia is an exception with restrictions on large stores opening on Sundays.In smaller country towns shops are closed on Sundays and often also on Saturday afternoons.

Tourist-oriented towns and retail outlets may stay open longer hours. Tourist areas within city's, such as Sydney/Darling Harbour|Darling Harbour in Sydney have longer trading hours every night.

Australian banks are open Monday-Friday 09:00-16:00 only, often closing at 17:00 on Fridays. Cash is available through Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) 24 hours and currency exchange outlets have extended hours and are open on weekends.

Halal Restaurants & Food in Australia

Whether you're a local or a visitor, exploring the top Halal restaurants in Australia promises a culinary journey that tantalizes the taste buds and enriches the dining experience. Here are some of the top Halal restaurants in Australia that you must try.

Efendy - Sydney, NSW

Located in the heart of Balmain, Efendy is a celebrated Turkish restaurant that brings the rich flavors of Anatolian cuisine to Sydney. Chef Somer Sivrioglu combines traditional recipes with contemporary twists, creating a menu that features mouth-watering dishes such as lamb koftes, pide (Turkish pizza), and mezze platters. The restaurant’s commitment to using fresh, locally sourced Halal Meat ensures a delightful and authentic dining experience.

Mamak - Melbourne, VIC

Mamak, named after the ubiquitous Malaysian roadside eateries, offers a taste of Malaysia in the bustling city of Melbourne. Famous for its freshly made roti canai and satay skewers, Mamak provides a Halal-certified menu that includes a variety of traditional Malaysian dishes. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly service make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Rumi - Brunswick East, VIC

Rumi, a Middle Eastern gem located in Brunswick East, is known for its warm hospitality and exquisite cuisine. The restaurant's Halal menu features a range of flavorful dishes, including lamb shoulder with Persian lime and saffron, Chicken Kebab, and a variety of mezze. Rumi’s use of traditional cooking techniques and authentic ingredients ensures a memorable dining experience.

Sahara Restaurant - Perth, WA

Sahara Restaurant in Perth offers an exceptional selection of Moroccan and Mediterranean dishes. The Halal-certified menu includes tagines, couscous, and Kebab, all prepared with aromatic spices and fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s cozy ambiance and attentive service make it a perfect spot for a family dinner or a romantic evening out.

Zaaffran - Sydney, NSW

Zaaffran, located on Darling Harbour, is a premier Indian restaurant that boasts stunning waterfront views and an extensive Halal menu. Specializing in North Indian cuisine, Zaaffran offers a variety of dishes, including butter Chicken, lamb biryani, and tandoori prawns. The restaurant's elegant setting and flavorful food have earned it a reputation as one of Sydney's top dining destinations.

Little India - Adelaide, SA

Little India in Adelaide is a beloved spot for those craving authentic Indian cuisine. The restaurant's Halal menu features a wide array of dishes, from spicy Curries to tandoori specialties. Little India’s use of fresh herbs and spices ensures that every dish is bursting with flavor, making it a must-visit for Indian food enthusiasts.

Fattoush - Brisbane, QLD

Fattoush brings the vibrant flavors of Lebanese cuisine to Brisbane. The Halal-certified restaurant offers a menu filled with classic dishes such as falafel, shawarma, and fattoush salad. The warm and inviting atmosphere, combined with the rich, aromatic flavors of the food, makes Fattoush a favorite among Brisbane’s Halal food lovers.

Zam Zam - Hobart, TAS

Zam Zam in Hobart is a hidden gem that offers a delightful array of Pakistani and Indian dishes. The Halal menu includes biryanis, Kebab, and rich curries, all prepared with traditional recipes and fresh ingredients. The cozy, family-friendly environment makes Zam Zam a perfect place for a relaxed meal with loved ones.

Study as a Muslim in Australia

Australia is a popular destination for University students, especially from East Asia, South East Asia and India. Australia offers world class universities in an English speaking environment, along with potential opportunities to actually gain resident and work visas on a path to citizenship. If you are intending to study in Australia, you will need to be on a visa class that allows this. Students and academics invited to visit Australian universities will generally also need an appropriate visa, even if their visit is of a short enough period to be covered by a tourist electronic visa. For very short term or part-time courses, check with your Australian consulate or embassy.

Australia also happens to be a great place to get Barista certification, with graduates being maybe able to command higher wages in coffee shops back in their home countries. Such courses can usually be conducted on a standard tourist visa.

eHalal Group Launches Halal Guide to Australia

Australia - eHalal Travel Group, a leading provider of innovative Halal travel solutions for Muslim travelers to Australia, is thrilled to announce the official launch of its comprehensive Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Australia. This groundbreaking initiative aims to cater to the diverse needs of Muslim travelers, offering them a seamless and enriching travel experience in Australia and its surrounding regions.

With the steady growth of Muslim tourism worldwide, eHalal Travel Group recognizes the importance of providing Muslim travelers with accessible, accurate, and up-to-date information to support their travel aspirations to Australia. The Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide is designed to be a one-stop resource, offering an array of invaluable information on various travel aspects, all carefully curated to align with Islamic principles and values.

The Travel Guide encompasses a wide range of features that will undoubtedly enhance the travel experience for Muslim visitors to Australia. Key components include:

Halal-Friendly Accommodations inAustralia: A carefully selected list of hotels, lodges, and vacation rentals that cater to halal requirements, ensuring a comfortable and welcoming stay for Muslim travelers in Australia.

Halal Food, Restaurants and Dining in Australia: A comprehensive directory of restaurants, eateries, and food outlets offering halal-certified or halal-friendly options in Australia, allowing Muslim travelers to savor local cuisines without compromising their dietary preferences in Australia.

Prayer Facilities: Information on masjids, prayer rooms, and suitable locations for daily prayers in Australia, ensuring ease and convenience for Muslim visitors in fulfilling their religious obligations.

Local Attractions: An engaging compilation of Muslim-friendly attractions, cultural sites such as Museums, and points of interest in Australia, enabling travelers to explore the city's rich heritage while adhering to their values.

Transport and Logistics: Practical guidance on transportation options that accommodate Muslim travel needs, ensuring seamless movement within Australia and beyond.

Speaking about the launch, Irwan Shah, Chief Technology Officer of eHalal Travel Group in Australia, stated, "We are thrilled to introduce our Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide in Australia, a Muslim friendly destination known for its cultural richness and historical significance. Our goal is to empower Muslim travelers with accurate information and resources, enabling them to experience the wonders of Australia without any concerns about their faith-based requirements. This initiative reaffirms our commitment to creating inclusive and memorable travel experiences for all our clients."

The eHalal Travel Group's Halal and Muslim-Friendly Travel Guide for Australia is now accessible on this page. The guide will be regularly updated to ensure that Muslim travelers have access to the latest information, thus reinforcing its status as a reliable companion for Muslim travelers exploring Australia.

About eHalal Travel Group:

eHalal Travel Group Australia is a prominent name in the global Muslim travel industry, dedicated to providing innovative and all-inclusive travel solutions tailored to the needs of Muslim travelers worldwide. With a commitment to excellence and inclusivity, eHalal Travel Group aims to foster a seamless travel experience for its clients while respecting their religious and cultural values.

For Halal business inquiries in Australia, please contact:

eHalal Travel Group Australia Media: info@ehalal.io

Buy Muslim Friendly condos, Houses and Villas in Australia

eHalal Group Australia is a prominent real estate company specializing in providing Muslim-friendly properties in Australia. Our mission is to cater to the specific needs and preferences of the Muslim community by offering a wide range of halal-certified residential and commercial properties, including houses, condos, and factories. With our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction, and adherence to Islamic principles, eHalal Group has established itself as a trusted name in the real estate industry in Australia.

At eHalal Group, we understand the importance of meeting the unique requirements of Muslim individuals and families seeking properties that align with their cultural and religious trainings. Our extensive portfolio of Muslim-friendly properties in Australia ensures that clients have access to a diverse selection of options tailored to their needs. Whether it's a luxurious villa, a modern condominium, or a fully equipped factory, our team is dedicated to assisting clients in finding their ideal property.

For those seeking a comfortable and modern living space, our condos are an excellent choice. Starting at US$ 350,000 and these condominium units offer contemporary designs, state-of-the-art facilities, and convenient locations within Australia. Each condo is thoughtfully designed to incorporate halal-friendly features and amenities, ensuring a seamless integration of Islamic values into everyday living.

If you are looking for a more spacious option, our houses are perfect for you. Starting at US$ 650,000, our houses provide ample living space, privacy, and a range of customizable features to meet your specific requirements. These houses are located in well-established neighborhoods in Australia, offering a harmonious balance between modern living and Islamic values.

For those seeking luxury and exclusivity, our luxury villas in Australia are the epitome of sophistication and elegance. Starting at US$ 1.5 million and these villas offer a lavish lifestyle with private amenities, breathtaking views, and meticulous attention to detail. Each luxury villa is meticulously designed to provide a serene and halal environment, allowing you to enjoy the finest living experience while adhering to your Islamic principles. For further details please email us at info@ehalal.io

Muslim Friendly hotels in Australia

Accommodation is readily available in most Australian city's and tourist destinations. As with everything else in Australia it tends to be on the expensive side by international standards.

Hotels

All state capitals have a number of 4 or 5 star standard hotels, often with upmarket restaurants, bars, room-service and other premium hospitality services. Other 2 or 3 star hotels are scattered around the inner-city's and inner suburbs.Best to check local guides and reviews to know what you are in for. Most hotels offer internet connectivity, occasionally for an inflated fee. Most hotels (distinct from the nation pubs known as hotels) have private bathroom facilities. It isn't unknown for all options to run out during major events in city's such as Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Go camping in Australia

Camping is a popular pastime. Most caravan parks will rent camping sites by the night, where you can pitch a tent and these are available in most towns and city's. The caravan park will provide showers and toilets and sometimes washing and cooking facilities. Sometimes for an additional fee. Expect to pay around $20 for a tent site and a few dollars per person. You can even find caravan parks right on the beach, with lagoon swimming pools and playgrounds all free for guests.

National parks often provide free camping sites, which expect you to be more self-sufficient. Often toilets are provided and sometimes cold showers. Camping permits are sometimes required at popular parks, with some popular spots filling up during the holidays in summer. In Australia it is common to be within an hours drive of a national park or recreation area that will permit some form of camping, even in the capital city's. Expect to pay around $5–10 per day per person for a camping permit and national park admission fees in the more popular national parks (e.g.: Wilsons Promontory National Park, Kosciuszko National Park, etc.), however entry and camping is free in the majority of national parks further from population and tourist centres.

Some other camping areas are run by government or even local landowners. Expect around $10 per person per day, depending on the time of year.

You can try your luck sleeping on a beach or pitching a tent overnight in a highway rest area, or out in the bush for a free bed. Most rest areas and beaches prohibit camping and many even prohibit overnight parking to discourage this. Generally the closer you are to civilisation or a tourist area and the greater the chance of being hassled by the authorities.

Camping in state forests is often preferable to national parks if you're after a camping experience over sightseeing, as collecting of your own fire wood is allowed (sometimes felling of trees is permissible dependent on the area) and camping is not restricted to camp sites. Some other activities that are generally allowed in state forests that are not allowed in national parks are: bringing in dogs/pets, open fires, motorbikes and four-wheel driving. State forests are generally free to stay in, although you will need to check locally if public access is allowed.

Hostels and backpackers

Budget hostel-style lodging with shared bathrooms and often with dormitories is roughly $20–30 per person per day. Facilities usually include a fully equipped kitchen with adequate refrigeration and food storage areas. Most hostels also have living room areas equipped with couches, dining tables and televisions.

Houseboats

Houseboats are available to rent on some scenic rural rivers and provide an excellent opportunity to spend time in the wilderness. These usually have kitchens in them so you can bring your own food to cook.

Station wagons and vans

In most parts of Australia it is illegal to sleep in your vehicle but it is feasible to get around this by simply rigging up curtains all around the windows so no one can see in from the outside. Trade vans can be picked up for as little as $1,000, with a more trustworthy van setting you back no more than $3,000-4,000. Add a mattress, pillow, portable gas cooker, cookware and a 20 L water container and you are off. If you get caught the fine could be as much as $150 each, so do it at you own risk. But if you are strategic in where you stay you probably won't get caught. Just be sensible and don't disturb the local residents. Also, be aware of parking restrictions in certain parts of the city's and town, although overnight parking restrictions are rare. The parking inspectors can be ruthless and a $100+ fine is not uncommon.

All city's and towns in Australia have free public toilets. Many parks and most beaches have free electric barbecues as well. Popular beaches have fresh water showers to wash the salt water off after you swim, so for those on a tight budget (or for those that just love waking up at the beach) simply wash in the ocean (please do not pollute the ocean or waterways by using detergents or soaps) and rinse off at the showers. Almost all taps in Australia are drinking water and the ones that aren't will be marked. Service stations (petrol/gas) almost always have taps, so these are a good place to refill the water containers each time you refuel.

Some of the best experiences you may have in Australia will be by taking that road on the map that looks like it heads to a beach, creek, waterfall or mountain and following it. You may just find paradise and not another soul in sight. And lucky you, you've got a bed, food and water right there with you.

Travelling in a small group lowers the fuel bill per head, as this will likely be your biggest expense.

Enjoy and respect the land by taking your rubbish/bottles/cigarette butts with you and disposing of them properly.

How to work legally in Australia

Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and permanent residents of Australia can work in Australia without any further permits, but others will require a work visa. It is illegal for Foreign Muslims to undertake paid work in Australia on a tourist visa. Be aware that any form of compensation for services performed, monetary or otherwise (e.g. room and board), counts as payment in Australia, meaning that such work would be illegal on a tourist visa. Volunteer work is allowed provided it is incidental to the trip (i.e. not the main purpose for the trip). Foreign Muslims in Australia on a student visa are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during the school holidays. Working illegally in Australia runs a very real risk of arrest, imprisonment, deportation and being permanently banned from re-entering Australia. All visitors who do not hold Australian permanent residency or citizenship (including New Zealand citizens who aren't also Australian permanent residents or citizens) are not allowed to access Australian social security arrangements for the unemployed and will have limited, or more usually, no access to the Australian government's health care payment arrangements.

Payment and taxes

Most Australian employers pay via direct deposit to Australian bank accounts and therefore you should open a bank account as soon as feasible. Some banks allow you to open account from abroad, for example Commonwealth Bank and HSBC.

You should also apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) as soon as feasible. You can apply on-line for free at the Australian Tax Office website, though you can generally get it quicker if you just go to one of their offices. You can start working without one, but you are advised to get one as soon as feasible as your employer would have to withhold tax from your salary at the highest rate should you not provide one. Register your TFN with your bank as soon as feasible, otherwise any interest you accrue will be taxed at the highest rate. The Australian financial year runs from 1st July to 30th June and tax returns for each financial year are due on 30th October, four months after the accounting period ends. Check with Australian tax agents about Australian tax liability and filing an Australian tax return.

Australian employers will make compulsory payments out of your earnings to an Australian superannuation (retirement savings) fund on your behalf. Visitors on temporary working visas who are not citizens of Australia or New Zealand should claim this money when they leave Australia. This payment has been known as a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP). New Zealand citizens can transfer their superannuation money to their New Zealand KiwiSaver account; contact your provider to arrange this.

Working holidaymaker scheme

Australia has a working holidaymaker program for citizens of certain countries between 18 and 30 years of age. It allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the time you first enter. You may work during that time, but only for 6 months at any one employer. The idea is for you to take a holiday subsidised by casual or short-term jobs. If you're interested in a working holiday, some useful skills and experience might be: office skills to be used for temp work; or hospitality skills to be used for café or restaurant work. An alternative is seasonal work like fruit picking, although much seasonal work will require that you work outside the major city's. Working for 3 months in seasonal work will allow you to apply for a second 12-month visa.

You can apply online for a working holiday visa, but you must not be in Australia at the time. It takes just a few hours to process usually and it costs about $440 (as of March 2022). On arriving in Australia ask for the working holiday visa to be "evidenced", so you can show your future employer.

Backpacker Jobs Australia, Backpacker Job Board, Jobaroo and Australia Backpackers Guide provide general information to prepare a one year trip around Australia. It's recommended to arrive in Australia with sufficient funds. The cost of living in Australia is quite high and it may take a few days or weeks to get a job.

Work visas

Work visas in Australia change frequently and sometimes without any notice, so always check with your local Australian High Commission, Consulate or Embassy and the Immigration Department's website.

The most straightforward way to get a work visa (subclass 457, 186 & 187) is to find an Australian employer who will sponsor you. Your employer will need to demonstrate that they cannot hire anyone with your skills in Australia. Locally advertised jobs are usually explicit in requiring a valid work visa before your application can be considered. Getting the visa might take a couple of months from the beginning of the application process and you will need a medical examination by a doctor approved by the immigration officials before it can be granted (among other things, you will need a chest x-ray to show that you do not have tuberculosis). An employer with a good background and efficient immigration lawyers could get your 457 approved within a week. Your work visa will only be valid for the employer who sponsored you and you will have to leave within 30 days of your employment ending.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187) is the easiest employer nominated visa to acquire, although you will have to live and work in a designated 'regional' area. These areas are mostly rural and far removed from the larger city's, although Adelaide does count in this scheme.

Skilled independent visas (subclass 189, 190, 489) may be pursued if you have a valuable specialised skill and don't want to be tied to a specific employer.

There is also a temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) which allows graduates of Australian universities to stay on and work in Australia and is usually valid anywhere from 18 months to 4 years depending on your level of education and your major. Your major must be from a list of skilled occupations for which there is a labour shortage in Australia. This list is updated every year and whether or not you qualify for this visa is dependent on the list at the time of your graduation, not at the time you begin your studies.

Immigration

You can apply to immigrate as a skilled person or business person, but this process will take longer than receiving a work visa. You can also apply for permanent residency as the holder of a work or study visa, but your application will not be automatically accepted. If you have a lot of money and there are several investor's visas available which allow you to live in Australia with a view of obtaining permanent residency. After four years of legal residency which must include one year as a permanent resident, you are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship.

Volunteering

There are several volunteer opportunities in Australia. Many worldwide organisations offer extended travel for those wanting to volunteer their time to work with local residents on projects such as habitat restoration, wildlife sanctuary maintenance & development, scientific research, & education programs such as Australian Volunteers, World Wildlife Fund, International Student Volunteers Australia, 360.com Gap 360 and Xtreme Gap Year.

Local Customs in Australia

Australian modes of address tend towards the familiar. It is acceptable and normal to use first names in all situations, even to people many years your senior. Many Australians are fond of using and giving nicknames - even to recent acquaintances. It is likely being called such a name is an indication that you are considered a friend and as such it would be rare they are being condescending.

Most Australians are happy to help out a lost traveller with directions, however many urban dwellers will assume that someone asking "excuse me", is asking for money and may brush past. Looking lost, holding a map, looking like a backpacker or getting to the point quickly helps.

Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians likely arrived in the Australian landmass 50,000 years ago and number over half a million people today. They have faced significant discrimination over the years since European settlement took their traditional lands and sensitivity should be given at all times. Indigenous People people actually come from many different 'nations' with distinctive cultures and identities that spoke up to 250 different languages before European settlement.

Many areas of Indigenous People land are free to enter. Some areas carry a request from the Indigenous People people not to enter and you may choose yourself whether or not to honour or respect that request. An example of an Indigenous People request is climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock). No law prohibits people from climbing the rock (except in heat, rain or strong winds), however, local indigenous communities (The Anangu) request that you do not climb. Uluru holds great spiritual significance to the Anangu. The Anangu feel themselves responsible if someone is killed or injured on their land (as has happened many times during the climb) and request tourists not to place themselves in harm through climbing. Many people who travel to Uluru do climb, however, so you certainly won't be on your own if you choose to do this.

Some Indigenous People land requires permission or a permit and some areas are protected and illegal to enter. You should check before making plans to travel off the beaten track. Permits are usually just a formality for areas which regularly see visitors, or if you have some other business in the area you are travelling through. Often they are just an agreement to respect the land you are travelling on as Indigenous People land. Some Indigenous People Land Councils make them available online.

If you need to refer to race and the politically correct term is Indigenous Australians. Indigenous People people is usually okay and referring to sacred sites and land as Indigenous People sites, or Indigenous People land is okay too. Avoid using Aborigine or Indigenous People as a noun to describe a person, as some people see negative connotations in these words. The contraction "Abo" is deeply offensive and should never be used. The word Native is also offensive.

Other areas to consider when interacting with Indigenous Australians are:

  • Australia Day is considered a day of invasion by many Indigenous People people
  • It is best not to mention the name of a deceased person to an indigenous Australian. Though Indigenous People custom varies, it is best to avoid the possibility of offence.
  • Permission to photograph an Indigenous People person should always be asked, but in particular in the more remote areas such as Arnhem Land.

Islamophobia & Racism in Australia

Australia is outwardly a multicultural and racially tolerant society and there are strong laws that prohibit hate speech and other forms of discrimination on grounds of race. Nevertheless, racism is still a sensitive subject for a nation still not fully reconciled to its history of colonial occupation. Forced appropriation of Indigenous People lands along with formal discrimination, state-sanctioned racism and even forced separation of Indigenous People children (known as the Stolen Generations) from their families extended well into the 20th century. Gradual change throughout the last century saw the abandonment of the white-only immigration policy, citizenship for the Indigenous People people and the establishment of large communities of Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin.

Visitors to Australia are fortunately unlikely to encounter random incidents of racial abuse. If it does happen then you can report it to the police and expect action to be taken. Violent incidents are even rarer.

Words referring to racial background can be used between friends of different ethnic groups, but it is strongly advised not to try them out yourself. You may well hear Pom (British), Yank (American), Paki (Indian sub-continent) and Wog (of southern European or middle-eastern) being used. In particular British people would regard some of these terms as particularly racist, but they are used far more casually in Australia. Never refer to Indigenous People people as "Abos" - as it is regarded as a racist term.

There are anti-immigration and anti-multicultural groups that operate in Australian society, for the most part agitating against the immigration of people from Muslim and African countries. As a visitor you would be unlikely to come into contact with them, although if it's late at night in a pub and you start prodding people for their racial views and then all bets are off - be prepared for anything. Melbourne has recently experienced some violent crime involving youths of African descent, which in turn has been greatly exaggerated by much of the local media and many politicians, fuelling racist sentiments.

It is not offensive to use Aussie (Ozzie) to describe Australian people, but it isn't a term Australians generally use to self-identify. They are more likely to apply it to things (Aussie Rules, etc.) than to themselves. When the chant of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - Oi Oi Oi goes up at an international sporting event, some Australians will cringe and others will join in. Often this depends on their own perceived social standing, or their state of inebriation, or both.

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