👥 Population: 25 million
🌍 Region: Oceania
🗣 Languages: English
🚙 Drive on the: Left
💵 Currency: Australian Dollar, AUD, A$
☎️ Calling Code: +61
Australia is a vast country in the southern hemisphere, roughly the same size as the USA geographically speaking. Because of its hot, dry interior, most major population centres are located on the coasts. Places in Australia consistently rank highly in various quality of life indexes.
🦘 There are 40 million kangaroos in Australia. It is also the national animal.
🍷 Over a trillion bottles of wine are produced in Australia every year.
🌏 It is the only continent-nation in the world, meaning that it's a continent as well as an independent nation.
Unless you're a New Zealand citizen, everyone needs some sort of a visa to visit Australia.
Under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealand citizens can travel to, live and work freely in Australia.
Depending on your country of origin you must either apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or an eVisitor visa before travelling to Australia. With either option you can enter as many times as you want in a 12 month period, with a maximum of 3 months for each visit.
Australia has a points based immigration system in which there are legal pathways to permanent residency through work, investment, or business. It is a notoriously difficult country to migrate to, so specific recommendations won't be made here.
Travel Insurance is recommended.
There is no limit to the amount of cash you take into Australia but you do have to declare anything over A$10,000. Make sure to find out whether you need to tell your bank of your travels as many, as a security feature, will freeze your account.
You can withdraw cash at any ATM in Australia by using your local bank card. Bear in mind that these often have high fees and your bank may also charge you.
Consider opening an e-money/digital money account such as Wise or Revolut as you can save a considerable amount in withdrawal, conversion and transfer fees.
You can pay with your credit or debit card in most establishments. VISA or MasterCard are accepted everywhere that accepts card payments. Even though American Express and Diners Club are accepted widely, they will most likely not be accepted by small businesses such as restaurants, corner shops etc.
You can send cash to yourself if need be, with companies such as WesternUnion, MoneyGram and Remitly but bear in mind that they each have a process and fee. Another option is to open an Australian bank account with a bank such as Westpac or NAB. You can do this either before you travel or in a branch when you arrive.