The Australian currency has become increasingly competitive against major international currencies like the US dollar and the euro. Daily living costs such as food and accommodation are still fairly inexpensive in comparison to many similar countries.
Australia is considered a country with high value for money and choice. Basic necessary information about accommodation and finances are presented in below: · Home-stay (with an Australian family) AUD $110-270/week · University residence (on campus with or without meals and cleaning) AUD $80-250/week · Rental (share house, unit, apartments) AUD $70-400/week
Working while you study
Basically, when you are granted an Australian student visa you will be able to apply for work permission. Permission to work allows you to work up to 20 hours a week on a casual basis during course time and full-time during vacation periods. Family members can also work up to 20 hours a week throughout the year. In the case of students who have commenced a masters or doctorate course, family members can work unlimited hours.
Australians love their sport. They love art; from cinema, literature and music to theatre, dance and the visual arts. Australian culture wouldn't be what it is without its multicultural dimension.
- Relaxed lifestyle
- Love for outdoor activities and sports
- Supermarkets, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets (including Halal food)
- Dress is casual
Australia is a country with 21 million citizens. A clean, safe and lawful society with freedom of religion; besides quality food and a high quality healthcare has provided a high quality life style for its residents.
Leisure - What you can do in your spare time
One thing that can be said of most Australians is that they really know how to live their leisure time to the full. Whether it's enjoying a 'barbie' (barbecue) and game of backyard cricket; barracking (cheering) their team at football, soccer, rugby, netball (or just about any other sport you can think of); celebrating at one of the many festivals and events held annually across the country; or throwing a tent in the car and heading off camping in the wilderness, there's always something happening – and many opportunities for visitors to get involved.
It doesn't take much to convince an Australian to celebrate or be entertained and it makes sense to follow this light-hearted lead during your stay.
Australia's arts festivals attract people from all over the country to see drama, dance, music and visual arts. The huge Festival of Sydney, which takes up most of January, includes a number of events from open air concerts, to street theatre and fireworks. The Adelaide Arts Festival takes place at the beginning of March in even-numbered years. Womadelaide, Adelaide's outdoor festival of world music and dance, takes place in the second week of March each year. Melbourne has a Comedy Festival in April, the world's biggest Writers' Festival in September and the fabulous Melbourne International Festival in October. A couple of festivals celebrating Aboriginal arts and culture include the Stompen Ground Festival, which is held in Broome in October, and the Barunga Wugularr Sports & Cultural Festival, held near Katherine in June.
Sporty fun includes Darwin's Beer Can Regatta in August, when a series of boat races are held for “boats” constructed entirely of beer cans, while Alice Springs holds the Henley-on-Todd, a boat race on a dry river bed! More mainstream events include the Sydney to Hobart yacht race (from Boxing Day); the Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne, March); Australian Rules Football (around the country from March to September; see Sporting Australia above); and the country-stopping Melbourne Cup horse race on the first Tuesday in November.
Gay festivals include Sydney's massive, flamboyant Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, in February/March, and Melbourne's January/February Midsumma Festival. (See the Events sections of the individual state/territory summaries on this site for more detailed festival listings).
Australians also love their pubs and bars - you'll usually find one or the other wherever you are in the country. Australia has long had a strong pub culture, which extends from the big cities to 'the bush' (that is, anywhere away from the cities). There are classic Aussie pubs in tiny country towns like the Birdsville Hotel in outback Queensland, and more refined versions, such as Sydney's Paddington Inn Hotel in Oxford St, Paddington. Bar culture is a more recent phenomenon, with the big cities leading the way, especially Melbourne with its incredible number of bars. Many pubs and bars across the continent also regularly feature live bands and/or DJs.
Then there's cinema, theatre, dance, clubbing, opera, classical music, jazz. the list of entertainment options is endless. The best way to find out what's on is through local newspapers and free entertainment magazines, newspapers and/or websites.
Being such a huge and diverse country, there are countless ways to explore this great continent. Following are two sample itineraries to get you started: one a well-trodden route, the other well off the beaten track.
Hordes of travellers stay on the beaten track on Australia's sun-loving east coast, following this beach-themed route. From Sydney, meander along the Pacific Hwy through central and northern New South Wales towns with idyllic beach locales. Soak up the serenity of Port Stephens, the watersports-mad Myall Lakes National Park and the stunning, plateau-top rainforests of Dorrigo National Park. Join the wild and famous in Byron Bay, then head over the Queensland border into the state capital, Brisbane, via the party town of Surfers Paradise.
Bruce Hwy then winds along the coast into the far north. Nature lovers should visit the whale-watching haven of Hervey Bay and, further north, the blissful Whitsunday Islands, the coral charms of the Great Barrier Reef and the scuba-diving heaven of Cairns.
Across the Continent: Cairns to Perth
The following is a long, difficult route from the tropics to the Indian Ocean – few roads are less travelled than this 4,560km trail. There are many potential hazards in heading off the beaten track into the Australian outback, so wherever you go, make sure you're well informed and fully prepared. Start in Cairns and head west to Normanton, the biggest town in the Gulf of Carpentaria region, then south down the Matilda Hwy to the rough mining town of Mt Isa. To the southwest is the frontier outback town of Urandangi, after which you run into the Plenty Hwy, a boring – or to some, gloriously desolate – road with plenty of bone-jolting challenges (4WD recommended). Over 500km later you'll hit the Stuart Hwy and then the dead-centre city of Alice Springs.
The Lasseter Hwy turn-off takes you to amazing Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the captivating Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) rock formations, beyond which is the beginning of the Great Central Rd. This lonely trail, suitable for well-prepared 2WDs and lined with saltbush, spinifex and desert oak trees, stretches 750km to the tiny gold-mining town of Laverton, from where it's another 400km to a much bigger gold-mining town, Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Finally, the ocean beckons from behind the beaches of Scarborough and Cottesloe in Perth.