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Introduction to Australia

Thanks to its low poverty rate, high quality of life and beautiful outdoor surroundings, Australia is becoming the new home for many Americans. Moving here, even for a few years, requires plenty of research and preparation.

For starters, Australia runs on a separate form of electricity, so you will either need new appliances or power adapters for your goods. There are three different time zones in Australia, and the seasons are flipped due to the country's geographical location (i.e. Christmas takes place in the summer).

Like the U.S., Australia is split up into different regions that they call territories, including Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Activities and Attractions in Australia

From breathtaking coastal beaches to the rugged Outback to dense tropical rainforests, Australia is packed with diverse outdoor terrain suited for the hippest of surfers and most adventurous of hikers. You definitely have more than enough opportunity to explore the great outdoors here. There are several World Heritage sites in Australia, most notably the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

Australia's cities are some of the most cosmopolitan on earth, especially Sydney, the country's largest city. Expect plenty of cultural attractions here, including the Sydney Opera House, an impressive fashion scene and great outdoor festivals. Melbourne is a hip metropolis with a fantastic reputation for food and drink, while Canberra is the nation's capital and boasts many of the country's best national monuments and outdoor attractions.

Currency in Australia

The national currency in Australia is the Australian dollar, which comes in increments worth $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Like the U.S., coins are also split up into cents and worth $0.5, $0.10, $0.20, $0.50 cents denominations and $1 and $2 coin denominations. While U.S. presidents and political figures are usually featured on their currency, Australian money highlights famous figures from all walks of life, from writers and inventors to artists and soldiers. Many of the credit cards that you already use in the U.S. are also common in Australia, including American Express, Visa and Mastercard.

Schools in Australia

In Australia, children attend school for 13 years, including preparatory grades and senior secondary grades. Children must maintain their schooling until age 16. Like the U.S., there are many types of schools to choose from, including government-run schools, faith-based institutions and houses of learning based on philosophies, such as Montessori schools. Australia boasts some of the best school systems in the world with small class sizes (there is a 30-student maximum), gifted and talented programs and high-tech learning facilities. 

Climate in Australia

Although the weather can vary based on territorial location, Australia enjoys a dry temperate climate with less than 600 milliliters of rain per year. Many of the northern states enjoy warm weather throughout the year, while the southern territories may experience chilly winters. Sydney, which lies in New South Wales, boasts 340 sunny days per year, while Melbourne enjoys four distinct seasons. Most cities in Australia are coastal, so they will have "wet seasons" with more rain, typically in the summer. If you enjoy a sub-tropical climate, the weather in Queensland, and especially the Gold Coast, is best suited for inland beach vacations because of its island-like weather.

Prohibited Items in Australia

There are certain items that you cannot bring into Australia, and these will be controlled by customs as soon as you enter the continent. According to the Australian Customs Serbive website, there are several things that you may want to be aware of, including:

  • Antibiotics
  • Weapons
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Tobacco products and paraphernalia
  • Incandescent lamps
  • Pesticides
  • Cat and dog fur products, including collars
  • Diamonds from the Ivory Coast or Kimberley Process
  • Glazed ceramic ware
  • Pornography or other objectionable material
  • Growth hormones and substances
  • Certain dog breeds
  • Ozone-depleting items or synthetic greenhouse gases
  • Paints, toys, paintbrushes,cosmetics or novelty items made with toxic materials.

Moving to Australia

One of the biggest obstacles in moving to Australia after you apply for a visa or green card, switch your accounts to Australian banks and companies and book your travel, is actually getting there. Flights from the U.S. to Australia are considered "long-haul" flights, meaning you will spend anywhere from 18 to 25 hours in the air. Thankfully, with Allied Van Lines, you don't have to worry about having all of your goods shipped from America to the Land Down Under. With vehicle transportation and full-service international shipping, you can focus on making Australia your new home without any added stress or concern. With an Allied agent, you can enjoy many excellent services, including cleanup and box and furniture inventory, that handle all aspects of your Australian relocation with ease.

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