Information and advice you will need for moving to Australia
The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD). The Australian Dollar can fluctuate against the British Pound so it is worth checking the exchange rate. Australian Dollar banknotes are made of polymer (plastic) and come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5.
Opening a bank account is easy in Australia. It is advisable to do some research before you travel as some institutions may allow you to open an account before you arrive. Once you’re there, it is advisable to open a bank account within six weeks – if you wait longer, you will need extra identification. All major banks offer online banking and electronic payment is very popular. EFTPOS debit and credit cards are widely used.
High-speed broadband and WiFi access is widely available in Australia. The international dialling code for Australia is 00 61. To dial the UK from Australia, the code is 00 44.
Australia has 13 time zones. The time difference between the UK and the major Australian cities is as follows: Canberra (+11 hours), Sydney (+11 hours), Melbourne (+11hours), Brisbane (+10 hours) and Perth (+8 hours).
Climate and Water
The Australian climate (summer is December to February; winter is June to August) makes swimming and water sports very popular. To avoid unnecessary risks, only enter the water in supervised areas and between the red and yellow flags. In addition, look for safety signs – they offer information on hazards, including rip currents, jellyfish and sharks. Shark sightings are rare.
Vehicles are driven on the left in Australia. Driving is safe and straightforward, but always be mindful of the long distances that can be involved. You can use a UK driving licence for three months, after which you must apply for a local licence. Speeding and drink driving are strictly policed in Australia. The limit for drinking and driving is stricter in Australia – it is advisable to avoid alcohol altogether if you’re driving.
The standard of healthcare is high in Australia. Healthcare provision is mix of public and private and Australia has a system of universal medical cover, Medicare. As a taxpayer in Australia, you will contribute automatically to Medicare. Usually, 100% of in-patient care and 75% of primary care costs are covered. You are encouraged to buy insurance to cover the shortfall. Private health insurance is available.
Australia has a good standard of education for all ages.
The emergency number to call in Australia for police, fire and ambulance services is 000.
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