Where does Australia get water from?

Australia / Practical Tips

  1. Destinations
  2. Australia
  3. Practical advice

  • Entry and exit
  • Drive
  • accommodation
  • Money matters
  • health
  • preparation
  • Behavioral advice

  • General country information


    Canberra is a planned capital and was chosen in 1908 as a compromise solution for the future capital due to the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney. Nowadays, the capital of Australia is also the eighth largest city in the whole country and, in contrast to all other national capitals, lies a good 100 kilometers from the coast in a cool, hilly and lonely highland.


    The German embassy is located in Canberra and can be reached as follows:
    Address: Canberra 119 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, ACT 2600.
    Phone: +61 2 62 70 19 11
    Fax: +61 2 62 70 19 51
    Postal address: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, 119 Empire Circuit, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia.

    There are other German consulates in the following cities:
    Sydney (+61 2 83 02 49 00)
    Melbourne (+61 3 96 42 80 88)
    Adelaide (+61 8 82 24 06 82)
    Brisbane (+61 7 32 21 78 19)
    Cairns (+61 7 40 41 53 44)
    Darwin (+61 8 89 81 20 10)
    Hobart (+61 3 62 70 22 66)
    Perth (+61 8 93 21 29 26)


    Although the crime rate is very low in Australia, you have to expect theft or break-ins, as in all large cities. Valuables (especially your passport, cash or cameras) should not be left in parked vehicles; this is especially true at viewpoints or at the parking lots of popular hiking trails. Care should be taken in Alice Springs, especially when it is dark.


    The official language of Australia is English.

    Climate and travel time

    Australia's seasons are exactly the opposite of those in Europe. Summer is from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August and spring from September to October. Over a third of the total area of ​​the continent lies north of the Tropic of Capricorn; there are thus tropical climatic conditions. In the tropical north of Australia the year is divided into the dry season (May - Oct) and the rainy season (Nov - April), in the southern regions there are four seasons. As a rule of thumb, May - October are statistically the best months in the tropical north. The center is best explored in spring or autumn. The south is best to visit in the (Australian) summer (although the winter here is also quite mild and outside the mountains free of snow and frost). If you want to discover different climatic regions on your trip, you will always make a compromise somewhere.
    The sun exposure is very intense in Australia. You should avoid the midday sun and use sun protection with a high sun protection factor (30+).

    Time zone

    Australia is divided into three time zones: Eastern Standard Time (EST = CET + 9 hours) in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland. In Southern Australia and the Northern Territory the clocks show Central Standard Time (CST = CET + 8.5 hours) and in Western Australia according to Western Standard Time (WST = CET + 7 hours). All states except Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia use daylight saving time from October to March.

    electricity and water

    Australian sockets have three flat plug-in slots (different from the ones in. The voltage is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz. Adapters are available in retail (drugstores, electronics stores), at airports and in major tourist information centers.

    Costs on site

    Gasoline costs, if necessary costs for rental cars (see rental car conditions, e.g. one-way rental, child seats etc.), if necessary food costs, costs for self-booked excursions on site, private expenses (e.g. costs for souvenirs, medication, etc.), tips, if necessary entrance fees, If applicable, parking fees, if applicable transport costs (e.g. taxi, bus, train, ferry)

    Entry and exit

    Travel documents and formalities

    Travel documents for German citizens must be valid for the entire duration of the stay. It should be noted that for an intermediate stay in another country, a minimum validity of the passport of 6 months after return is required.

    Entries made by children in a parent's passport are no longer valid since June 26, 2012. Every child needs its own identity document.

    Entry permit to the USA for flights with a stopover on US territory

    Anyone who makes a stopover in the USA on their journey to / from Australia must apply for an entry permit beforehand. As of January 12, 2009, all travelers from countries in the "Visa Waiver" Program (VWP), which also includes Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Netherlands, must arrive at least 72 hours before their intended entry into the USA (also for You must apply for a fee-based (USD 14.-) electronic entry permit via the Internet, which is known as the "Electronic System for Travel Authorization" (ESTA for short). Please apply for the ESTA in good time on the following website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Further information in German is available on the website of the Federal Foreign Office: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de.

    Important innovations since February 18, 2016:

    German citizens who have been in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen or Somalia since March 1st, 2011, regardless of the reason (including study trips, for example), or who have dual citizenship with one of these countries, are eligible for a visa Waiver Program (ESTA) are excluded with immediate effect and must apply for a tourist visa in advance at the American embassy or consulate to enter the USA.

    ESTA entry permits that have already been issued for this group of people are invalid!


    The travel documents must be valid for the entire duration of the stay. It should be noted that for a stopover in an Asian country, a minimum validity of the passport of 6 months is required!

    German citizens need - just like citizens of all EU countries - an electronic visa to enter Australia, the Before you travel must be obtained. At www.immi.gov.au, the passport details for all passengers and an email address must be given in an electronic form, and some questions must be answered. The travelers will then be informed by email whether they are allowed to travel as "eVisitors". In most cases, the message will be sent within minutes. The eVisitor visa is saved at the border crossings and takes the place of a visa sticker or stamp in the passport that has to be obtained before the trip. The electronic visa is valid for 12 months and entitles you to stay in Australia for tourist purposes for a maximum of 3 months. It is given free of charge by the Australian side.
    If you apply via Umfulana, you will be charged € 15 per person.

    Further information is available on the websites of the Federal Foreign Office: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de and the Australian Embassy Berlin: http://germany.embassy.gov.au/


    Very strict regulations apply to the importation of drugs, weapons, animals, animal products, medication (it is imperative to have a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor with you) or food. If you are not sure about something, please report it to customs to be on the safe side. Food, plant and animal products from abroad can bring devastating pests and diseases into Australia. This includes fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, vegetables, seeds, hides, feathers, wood and plants. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) checks or x-rays all baggage and uses sniffer dogs to track down products that pose a high risk of quarantine. AQIS also provides waste containers for quarantined items at international airports. Failure to declare food, plant and animal material can result in severe penalties.


    (International driving licence

    Since the German or EU driving license is only issued in the national language, it is essential to bring proof of proof in English (international driving license) with you in addition to the national driving license! You can apply for this at your local road traffic office. Attention: The international driving license is only valid in connection with the national driving license and not alone!

    Danger: It has already happened that old gray or pink driver's licenses are NOT accepted and no car has been handed over! Please be sure to get your EU driving license and BEFORE DEPARTURE additionally the international driving license! If you do not have an international driver's license, you will NOT get a car!

    The renter of the vehicle must be able to show a valid driver's license as well as a credit card, which must be made out in his name! Credit cards from fellow travelers are not accepted and vehicle acceptance may be refused.

    Conduct in traffic

    If you want to drive in Australia, you should consider the following important points:
    All motorized vehicles drive on the left side of the road.

    The permitted alcohol limit is 0.5 per mille.

    If you turn (and there are no stop or right of way signs), vehicles coming straight ahead from the right must give way. If you turn right, you have to give way to oncoming vehicles turning left.
    At T-junctions, whoever approaches the end of the street must give the others the right of way.

    Vehicles in the roundabout drive clockwise and have right of way. When entering a roundabout, however, you are already flashing in the direction you want to drive (i.e. if you want to drive out to the left, you flash left; if you want to drive straight ahead, you don't flash at all; if you want to take the right exit, flashes turn right when driving in!) At large roundabouts, flash left briefly when driving out of a roundabout.

    Speed ​​limit

    The speed limit on country roads and state highways is 100 km / h. In residential areas, the speed limit is usually 50km / h.

    Car breakdown / accident

    If your car breaks down, all you need to do is call the free breakdown service number of your rental car company. In the event of an accident, please first call the police (Tel: 000) and your rental company (not their breakdown service). You will then be given further help here.


    Note on the Bruce Highway on the east coast (Sunshine Coast - Cairns)
    Due to the expansion of this road, there are always delays at the numerous construction sites. The travel time should be calculated a little more generously here. (As of December 2015)

    Navigation devices

    A navigation system is usually the best option, although it can be confusing in more remote areas. Often one can be borrowed with a rental car; a good alternative is to download software for your smartphone. "HERE Maps" offers a free service. A search is not possible offline, but you can already query the geodata via WLAN in the hotel and save it as a favorite. HERE Maps navigation isn't very detailed. TomTom or Navigon offer more detailed directions for an annual fee. If you already have a navigation system, you can download the relevant maps in advance.


    Check in

    The hosts expect you to arrive in the afternoon between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., unless a different check-in time is specified in your documents. If you plan to arrive after dark, please call the hosts to inform them. If you have an early arrival time (flight) and would like to move into your room earlier, please let us know when booking. We can then book the previous night for you. Otherwise you can of course leave your luggage in the accommodation, have a coffee and freshen up. If the room is not occupied the night before your arrival, you can move into it earlier.


    Some accommodations also offer dinner. If no dinner was booked through Umfulana, you have the option of booking this in advance while you are out and about up to about one day before arrival. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet or have certain food allergies, the hosts will be happy to take this into account. Please advise us of any special dietary habits on the booking form.


    Spend the night in the outback
    Since there are often no small accommodations in remote areas such as Western Australia and the Red Center, we have to fall back on the existing motels, hotels and resorts there. Some of these are a bit simpler and only functional. Rooms with separate beds are not always available. Breakfast is often not included and has to be paid on site. Usually there is a restaurant / café of its own or within walking distance.

    Money matters


    The unit of currency is the Australian dollar (AUD or A $). A dollar has 100 cents, prices are always rounded up or down to the next 5c. There are no restrictions on the import or export of foreign currency. Anyone who imports cash worth more than AUD 10,000 must declare this to customs.


    Withdrawing cash from a machine is possible with EC or credit card, provided that the machine and your EC card have the corresponding internationally valid Maestro symbol. Please check with your bank whether your EC card has been activated for withdrawing cash in Australia.

    Means of payment

    Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at all banks, some hotels and exchange offices. Major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.


    Health insurance

    German statutory health insurances do not pay in Australia. It is strongly advised to take out health insurance abroad. If possible, it should also cover a return transport to Germany. As a rule, the patient pays the treatment costs in advance and then receives the costs reimbursed in Germany.


    There is no compulsory vaccination for Australia. However, anyone entering from a country or staying in a country with yellow fever up to six days prior to entry must show a valid vaccination certificate. No further health certificates are required to enter Australia.


    Anyone who is bitten by a poisonous spider, snake or scorpion (rather rarely) should contact a doctor immediately; Antidotes are present. In the tropical north one should beware of crocodiles in coastal waters, rivers and at water holes. In the cooler southern coastal waters, shark alarms are triggered every now and then.

    A very poisonous jellyfish species, the so-called "box jelly fish" or "stinger" occurs from October to April in the north and north-east coast of Australia. The neurotoxin secreted can be fatal. On beaches secured with nets (stinger nets) you can swim at any time of the year, as well as off the coast on the open sea, as on snorkeling trips to the Great Barrier Reef.


    In the tropical regions and in the outback, you should also think of an insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing (long cotton trousers, long cotton shirt, socks).

    Bush flies
    In Western Australia and in the Red Center, there may be an increased incidence of very annoying bush flies. The best way to protect yourself against these unpleasant little black flies, which like to fly in ears, noses and eyes, is with a hat including a net, which you can also buy in Australia.

    Drinking water

    Tap water is safe to drink in Australia.

    Jet lag

    When you arrive after your long haul flight, it is advisable to stretch your legs instead of lying down. Explore your surroundings and go for a walk. Have a nice evening and go to bed early so that your body can get used to the new daily rhythm as quickly as possible.



    In Australia, people generally wear casual clothes. For business meetings and work lunches as well as going to the theater and in good restaurants, however, emphasis is placed on appropriately formal attire. Men are not allowed to enter casinos without jackets and ties. The cloakroom depends on the part of the country and the time of year. For the tropical regions you should think of sun protection (sunscreen, headgear and long-sleeved clothing) and clothing made of light materials, as well as comfortable shoes. When traveling to any other part of Australia, be prepared for cooler temperatures, especially at night.


    It is advisable to inquire with your telephone company about the international possibilities for using your mobile phone in Australia before leaving. Alternatively, you can buy an Australian SIM card in Australia.TELSTRA offers a good service here because they are well represented throughout the country and have very good network coverage. It is possible to order a SIM card online with credit, or to buy a card on site in the numerous shops that can be found using the online shop finder: https://www.telstra.com.au

    If you want to travel without a mobile phone, you can use a so-called calling card, which you can buy at any kiosk, newspaper shop, internet café, etc. The card can be used from the landline network, the phone booth, but also from the cell phone (not recommended as it is too expensive). The cards are not put into the phone, but you rub off a pin number, call the specified number, enter the pin number according to the announcement ("hash key" means "#" by the way) and then dial the desired number. If you want to call abroad from Australia, you have to dial 0011. You can reach Germany under the number 001149.

    Make calls on Skype
    Another inexpensive telephony option is Skype. You can not only make calls from Skype to Skype via Skype, but you can also purchase credit with which it is possible to call German landline or mobile phones at low cost. Since all B & Bs and hotels usually have either a LAN or Wifi connection, this is also a viable option.

    Behavioral advice

    Alcohol and cigarettes

    Australia is a very non-smoking-friendly country. Smoking is prohibited in public transport and public buildings such as shopping malls, banks, airports, hotels and restaurants. Smoking is strictly prohibited indoors in almost all accommodations. It is polite to have the hosts "approve" you to smoke and to ask where you can smoke.


    Basically, there are good supply options in coastal areas.
    In Western Australia north of Perth, on the other hand, there are relatively few cheap shopping opportunities, so it's best to pack your car full of drinks and other groceries in Perth.


    Tips are hardly expected in Australia. No additional service charge is charged in hotels and restaurants.


    Walks through bush and wilderness
    If you are planning a bush hike, inquire about the length and difficulty of the route and hire a local guide for long and demanding hikes. If you go without a guide, let someone know where you are going and when you can expect to return. Wear suitable footwear, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent, and bring rain gear, a map, and plenty of water. Use maps and signage as a guide for walks. Stay on the hiking trail, avoid crossing safety gates, and stay away from cliffs.

    Please do not feed animals.