Brisbane in Queensland
Brisbane in Queensland

Life in Australia: Everything you need to know about living in Australia

Live in Australia - Free Advice

Live Australia with Go To Australia - Free Advice on your life in Australia. Want to live in Australia? Apply now if you are interested in living in Australia! Registered experts answer your questions.

Living in Australia

Australia is the smallest, flattest, driest continent on Earth, and the sixth largest continent. The continent is divided into six states and two territories. The capital city is Canberra, and is situated in the Australian Capital Territory. The other states are New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the last territory is the Northern Territory. Most of the population can be found on the outer areas of Australia, along the coast.

Australia has a population of twenty one million, mostly situated in the capital cities. The indigenous population are the Aboriginals. Twenty five percent of Australia’s population are people born overseas, making it a diverse, multicultural society.

There are many tourist attractions, such as The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Whitsunday Islands, the Kinberley region, Kakadu National Park, Uluru-Kata Tjuta (formerly Ayer’s Rock), and Flinders Rangers. Tours are conducted regularly, and can be booked from your local travel agency.

Being one of the most outstanding economies of the world in recent years, Australia has a high-growth, low-inflation, low interest rate economy, which provides a high standard of living. There is an efficient government sector, a flexible labour market, a very competitive business sector and the cost of living is low. The national currency is the Australian Dollar.

Social events are plentiful, being surrounded by oceans, some common leisure activities are surfing, snorkelling, and swimming, fishing and boating. Sport clubs (such as AFL, NRL, and Cricket), gymnasiums, swimming pools, athletic tracks and other social clubs can be found locally all over the nation.

The cities have a vibrant night life, with night clubs, festivals, and hotels being open until late. Most streets are well lit and public transport by train, bus and tram is very cheap, even subsidised for concession card holders. Shopping centres and department stores are plentiful, housing cheap.

When you arrive in Australia you need to follow these necessary steps:
Apply for a Tax File Number – to register for a Tax File number you need to get in contact with the Australian Taxation Office. A tax file number is needed before you can receive an income of any type, such as a wage, salary, government payments and money earned from investments, such as money from interest on bank accounts.
Tax File Number applications can be sent to you, or alternatively, can be done online.
Tax return forms need to be completed every year, and the deadline is the 31st October.

Register with Medicare – Medicare is Australia’s health care system. To register you need a Medicare Enrolment Form. This form can be found on the Medicare website. If you do not register, you may have trouble receiving subsidies if you need medical attention at any time.

Open a bank account –there are many banks and financial institutions throughout Australia. Local bank branches can be found in even the most remote country locations.

Register with Centrelink – Centrelink assists those in need, and to assist people to become self-sufficient. To register you can apply at a local Centrelink branch.

Contact the Health Undertaking Service – Australia has very high standard of health, and to keep these standards up, people who migrate, either to migrate permanently, or a temporary visit, we must satisfy the health requirement specified in the Migration Regulations. Migrants need to complete an information form, which can be obtained from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Register for Schooling – Australia’s national language is English. English is taught throughout Australian Primary and High Schools. Other languages are taught also as lessons in high school, such as Japanese, Chinese, German, and Indonesian.

Enrol your children in a school – you will need to enrol your children, if any, at your local Public Primary or High School. You can register at your local school reception.

Apply for a driver’s licence – drivers licences are needed to drive a vehicle on public roads. Also your drivers licence is your most common form of identification. To obtain a licence you need to pass an assessment on driving, both theory and practical.

In case of an emergency, the number to dial is 000. The departments you can contact are the Police, Fire Department and Ambulance. These services are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The crime rate is low, and the reports of assault and violent crimes are minimal. The Federal Police and state police departments maintain the law well.

If you have itchy feet, and are ready to move, how about considering to make the move down under. Maybe Australia is the place for your future.

Australia is the largest island in the world and the third largest continent. Australia is located in the southern hemisphere, and we experience both tropical and temperate weather patterns, so weather conditions vary greatly on your location in Australia.

Australia was first settled in 1788 by the British Empire. The indigenous Australian population is known as the Aboriginals. Australia’s population mainly consists of immigrants, which makes Australia a multicultural society, with a population of approximately 21,618,330.

The northern regions of Australia such as the northern territory and Queensland and some areas of Western Australia and experience tropical weather and the seasons are divided into the wet season and the dry season. The temperature can get much hotter in the wet season. Natural disasters associated with tropical weather, such as cyclones, floods, and thunderstorms frequently occur in the wet season.

The temperate regions experience much cooler weather. The winter months are in the middle of the year from June to August, and the summer months around the end of the year, around December to February. Maximum temperatures vary from 40 degrees in summer to 15 degrees in winter. Minimum temperatures vary from 25 degrees in summer compared to 5 degrees during the winter months.

Many tourist locations can be found in our beautiful country. Each city has many activities and places to visit. Some of Australia’s top tourist attractions are:

➢ The Great Barrier Reef
➢ Hamilton Island
➢ Uluru (AKA Ayers Rock)
➢ Sydney Harbour Bridge
➢ Sydney Opera House
➢ Blue Mountains
➢ Many National Parks and reserves

Australia is known as a sporting country. Many sports such as Rugby League, Aussie Rules Football, Soccer, Cricket, and many other sporting clubs can be found in the suburban areas of your local city. The Australian Institute of Sport is a college in the ACT that educated and trains athletes for international sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, and other major sporting events.

If you decide to make the decision to move to Australia, you will never be bored. There are many of activities, sports and clubs to join and participate in some fun activities and have a good time. Enjoy!

Australia is a relatively new country without a long history but the history it does have is fascinating and in some ways devastating. When Europeans settled in Australia during the 1700s they did not take into consideration the natives of the land and the Indigenous Peoples of Australia were treated poorly.
Located in the Southern Hemisphere; Australia is a unique, multicultural country with a diverse range of races, population, climate, history and geography.

Australians are generally a friendly, laidback people with an outgoing sense of humour (Aussies love a good laugh).

The coastal towns of Australia is where most of the population can be found as the Outback is mostly dry, desert land where water is scarce and the heat soars.

Buying a house is relatively easy in Australia as long as you have had a job for at least six months.

Other aquatic adventures Aussies partake in include surfing, sailing, diving and for the children nippers (where Aussie kids are taught water safety). Visitors to Australian shores need to be sun smart as those who do not cover up and apply sunscreen regularly are exposing themselves to sunburn and possibly skin cancer.

Along with its competitive nature, Australia is an inventive nature with world class inventions including (but certainly not limited to) the Hills Hoist (rotating clothes line), plastic disposable syringes, long-wearing contact lenses as well as the bionic ear.

Personal Safety

Whilst living in Australia is relatively safe, you should still take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. At night, don’t walk alone, keep to well-lit paths and avoid empty or isolated areas.

At all times of the day, keep your valuables secure and out of view, and be conscious of your surroundings. Lock all doors and windows whenever you leave the house, and preferably while you are at home as well.

All Australian homes are fitted with compulsory smoke alarms to protect you from fire; you should check the batteries twice a year.

Australia’s beaches are a major attraction. Check that the beach you swim at has a lifeguard, and always swim between the red and yellow flags. If you go out on a boat, ensure you wear a lifejacket.

Abiding by the Law

Certain laws in Australia may differ to the ones you are used to.  Laws relating to alcohol and tobacco prohibit their sale to persons under the age of eighteen. Smoking is prohibited in most indoor public areas as well as many outdoor ones.  All illicit drugs are banned from sale, possession or use.

In the course of public life, it is an illegal offence to offer or receive a bribe.  Furthermore, you cannot discriminate against a person on the basis of gender, race, nationality, political or religious beliefs, marital status, disability or sexual preference.

It is a crime to commit violence against any person, animal or property, as it is to carry any kind of weapon.

On the road, Australian law requires a helmet to be worn when riding a bicycle or motorcycle, and that every driver to hold a valid driver’s license.

Managing Finances

If this will be your first time living independently away from home, brace yourself for the realities of financial responsibility! Research, planning and self-discipline are all practises that will serve you well during this adjustment period.  Try to research and forecast the cost of everything, as there can be hidden costs in each transaction.

Particularly when evaluating accommodation alternatives, consider all cost factors:  rent, cost of transport to and from your institution, and any utilities included in the rent price.  You should also ask whether the rent is likely to be increased during your tenancy.

Utilities, food and groceries, tuition fees and textbooks are all expenses which can sneak up on you, so try to calculate and budget for them in advance.
Holders of Student Visas are permitted to work 20 hours per week, however well-paying part-time work can be hard to be find.  You should never count on part-time work to finance any of your essential living expenses.

Student Life in Australia, what to expect on your everyday routine

Living in Australia is an experience like no other, from a new environment, a new continent, to meeting new people and friends and experiencing a journey that you never thought you would, so here is what you can mostly expect on your everyday journey doing everyday things:


Australia is also known for shopping and buying great items.  The hours of the malls usually run from 9:00am to 5:00pm seven days a week, with late night shopping until 9:00pm on Thursday and Fridays, so enjoy those days and go out late to shop once your school work is done.  Some supermarkets open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is great if you ever just need to go grab something for dinner or you forgot an item.  However, keep in mind most large chain supermarkets, like Coles and Woolworths, are open until about 10pm every day, still giving you enough time to go get anything you need.


There are many banking institutions which mean many options.  Normal hours are from 9:30am to 4:00pm Monday to Thursday and 9:30am to 5:00 pm on Fridays.  Some banks are open on Saturday mornings, but all are closed on Sunday and public holidays.  Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are ready fro withdrawals 24 hours a day.

Most stores and supermarkets have Electronic Funds Transfer at point of Sales (EFTPOS) terminals where you can pay for your good directly from your bank account, so as long as you have the money in your bank account to cover what you are buying just use the EFTPOS to purchase your items and you can even make withdrawals.  This is another reason why is not so important to carry large amounts of cash with you on hand, you can visit any EFTPOS and quickly withdraw money and pay for items.

Australia’s four major banks with branches are the Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and National Australia Bank (NAB).  There are plenty of smaller banks too are just as good.  You can search for more banks at

Postal services

Want to send something to someone and make sure they get it? Postal services are provided by Australia Post and mail delivery; services are from Monday to Friday.  For larger packages, a card will be left in your letter box for you to take to your post office to pick up the item.  The postal service is reliable, you can count on them to deliver your package or making sure you receive yours, they are efficient with next day delivery, within the same city too!  Most post offices are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.  They also sell stationery, post bags, phone cards and stamps; you can pay some bills here too, like electricity and telephone.


In Australia local calls can cost about 30cents and are not timed, so for 30 cents you talk all you please.  Interstate and international calls costs vary depending on your service provider.  If you have broadband access at home, if can be cheaper to set up a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) plan for your calls.

Public telephones are available an accept coins and pre-paid phone calls.  Cell phones are also very popular and are available from a variety of service provider.  You can purchase a pre-paid phone or a post-paid phone (contract phone service).

A pre-paid phone is a great option for students with limited funds.  You pay for the phone handset upfront (or buy a basic phone for under $100).  A post-paid phone handset is generally free, unless you want something more particular with certain elements included then it can cost you and no matter what you will be bind to a contract with the provider for two years.  You just need to establish which plan would be best for you and your needs.
You can find some plans that cost as little as $20 a month that provide you with $100 worth of calls and text messages.

Major telephone service providers in Australia are Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodaphone.


Australia has hundreds of Internet Service Providers.  Plans vary in cost and speed of downloading.  You can find information at  Depending where you live is the options you might have and it’s also the speed you might get.


Public libraries in the cities, town are usually open six days a week (closed on Sundays) and stocks plenty of books, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, magazines, journals and e-books.  If your library does not have what you are interested in you can place an order at another library that does have what you are looking for and ask the library to order it for you.  Borrowing items are free but you will need to join the library in order to have this access and therefore would have a membership card.

You have a period of time with the items you took out and late fee will incur a small fee.


Since March 2009 the free to air digital network has up to 15 digital channels.  You do not need to purchase a license to view free to air or digital channel but there is a monthly subscription fee for the channel available on Foxtel and Austar.


The Australian ( is Australia’s national newspaper.  Each state has is own major newspaper as well as several regional newspapers and tabloids.

You can do a search for your local paper on

New South Wales
The Sydney Morning Herald –

The Melbourne age –

The Brisbane Courier Mail –

Australian Capital Territory
The Canberra times –

South Australia
The Adelaide Advertiser –

Western Australia
The West Australian –

Northern Territory
The Northern territory News –

The Hobart Mercury –

There are also locally produced foreign-language newspapers available in Australia and some international locales in some districts.  That way you can stay up to date with everywhere.

Multicultural community groups

Joining groups associated with your home community can be a good way of finding support in Australia, making new friends, learning more about yourself.  There are many ways you can join a community group, for instance where you live they have groups formed already, or in your institutions you can join a club or social activities, you can even create a group yourself and post up adds for anyone interested.

Some handy website links to help you find groups in your areas:

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Western Australia
South Australia
Northern Territory
Links provided by the Australian government

Way of life in Australia

If you travel around the world, you will most likely be able to see that etiquettes, values and social behaviours can be quite different in different countries. Sometimes you may even experience differences between cities of the same country! Regardless of where you are from and what you're used to, you will still find some differences between your way of life and the Australians' way of life.

To make the most of your visit to Australia as an Au-pair, it is very important to learn as much as you can about Australia and its people. To help you get started, here is a short list of what the OZ way looks like:

  • Addressing people- When you would like to get attention from those older than you are, always add Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms in front of the persons' family name. However, if the person feels comfortable, he or she may ask you to call them using their first name. When addressing people who are your age or younger, you can usually address them using their first name.
  • Greetings- To greet someone formally, use phrases such as good morning and good evening. To greet someone in informal situations, things like hi, hey and hello are fine.
  • Please and Thank you- Be polite and use please and thank you when you ask for something and when you receive something.
  • Clothing- You can dress casually and comfortably in almost all situations in Australia. If you're required to dress up, you will normally be informed beforehand.
  • Personal space- Don't stand too close to anyone in any situation. An arm's length is usually a good distance to keep.
  • Queues- People stand and wait in a line for services (e.g. Ticket counters, taxis). A line of people in such a situation is called a  queue. If you wish to receive the same service, you need to go to the back of the line and wait like everyone else. It's very impolite to 'jump the queue', so don't do it!
  • Be punctual- If you arrange to meet someone at a certain time, try to show up at that allocated time. If you cannot make it to the meeting, call to let the person know beforehand.
  • Smoking- Smoking is banned in most private and public buildings. If you're unsure and would like to smoke, ask to get permission.
  • Fair go- Australians believe that everyone should get equal opportunities. The belief that everyone should be able to get a 'fair go' is one of the most significant values held by Australians. The Australian Constitution also protects the social, political and legal rights of all people in Australia.
  • Spitting- Don't spit in public, it is unpleasant and also illegal.
  • Littering- Don't litter. If caught, you may be fined.
  • Personal hygiene- You should shower daily and frequently wash your hands. If you're blowing your nose or if you sneeze, cover your mouth and use either a tissue or handkerchief.  This is polite and it can minimise the spreading of any potentially harmful diseases.
  • Table manners- You will usually be expected to use cutlery. However, at informal meals (e.g. Picnic or barbecue), you can usually use your fingers. If unsure, watch what the others are doing or ask.
  • Cultural exchange- It is important to look at the au-pair experience as an opportunity to share your culture and to learn about the culture of your host family. Essentially, you are exchanging cultures. So, share your own cultural perspectives and also keep an open mind, be understanding and be willing to learn, look at and do things differently.
  • Communication- It is extremely important to communicate with your host family and your programme coordinator. Tell your host family about your day with their children, share stories, discuss concerns and feelings appropriately. Be respectful, polite and honest when communicating.
  • Responsibilities- It is important that you understand what is required of you and take your responsibilities seriously and complete the tasks to the best of your ability. Taking good care of your host familys' children will be an essential part of your stay. Other responsibilities may include cleaning after yourself and helping with cooking.
  • Respect- You should respect your host family and expect to be respected in return. You should be considered as a member of your host family. You should complete all tasks and responsibilities given to you as best as you can, but you should not be treated like a servant in anyway. Mutual respect is key and it can be achieved through communication!

As a society, Australia is rated very well around the world. It has the highest living standards of any country in the southern hemisphere. Australia is rated highly by the United Nations (UN) Human Development wing and has consistently topped the list for livability and economic endurance. Australia?s capital cities have been voted the most livable in the world and with small crime rates, stable democratic systems, good employment prospects, and a highly functioning and harmonious multicultural emphasis.

Australia is a country that is exceptionally attractive for prospective migrants. With its mix of natural beauty, tremendous mineral resources, highly developed communications and technological edge, Australia has sustained 10 years of economic growth at 4% per annum. That has been accompanied by low inflation and low interest rates, while the next five years look to be prosperous as well with the economy expected to grow by 3% per annum.

Population wise, Australia has a similar growth rate to Europe and Australia?s migrant program accesses the gap between available employment and the people who are available to fulfill those positions. That means, that Australia has a highly thought through migration program that seeks to place people in employment as quickly as possible in jobs that meet and match their particular educational qualifications, experience, and skill set.

Australia is a highly developed country with natural and awe-inspiring beauty, technologically savvy, and is unique in world history with the world?s oldest continuous culture (50 000 years) and the planet?s only continent that is its own country. Australia, both modern and aboriginal is worth understanding. The country?s economic indices, excellent quality of life, and multicultural emphasis, that is open to immigration from other countries makes Australia a great place to immigrate too.

And Australia is seeking migrants who have education and/or vocational training. Australia also seeks to reunite families as part of its migration programs, along with programs directed at refugees and those desiring refugee status. The Australian government is dedicated to a policy of active anti-discrimination and in 1996 the Prime Minister made a parliamentary statement that emphasized anti-discrimination as part of government policy that was accepted by the House of Representatives who voted unanimously to endorse the statement.

The statement affirmed Australia's commitment to actively countering racial and social intolerance regardless of race, religion, creed and so forth. The Australian government affirmed the principles of equality for everyone who lives in Australia, is a citizen, or travelling through the country.

We in conjunction with our affiliates, have special deals to offer to make your stay in Australia even more enjoyable.

You will find that going to the beach on New Year’s Eve or skiing in July/August is very popular in Australia as this continent is part of the southern hemisphere. Australian summer days can be very hot, whereas during winter the days are still warm and dry, but the nights are much cooler.

Outdoor activities (especially barbeques) and all water and sports activities make life very appealing in Australia.

There are many opportunities for you to explore life in Australia either individually or in small groups during day trips and over a longer period.

Extraordinary places to experience the natural environment include The Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park and Ayers Rock, or you may be interested in the exciting life in the large cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth.

If you are a commercial provider of services related to tourism, you may ask us for a special advertisement package.

Live in Australia - Free Tips & Advice!

Living in Australia


All major cities in Australia have their own shopping districts, most shops within a CBD are open 7 days a week with late night shopping on Thursdays and Fridays til 9pm. Supermarkets and other suburban retail outlets are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5 pm except for Thursdays when they are open until 9pm.


There are many banks available in Australia, based in most suburban and CBD locations. Banks are open to the public Monday to Thursday from 9:30am to 4:00pm, Fridays they are open until 5:00pm. Some of the larger banks in busier locations open on Saturdays from 9:30am to 12:00pm.

ATMs or Automatic Teller Machines are available where ever there is a branch, as well as in many other locations around Australia. ATMs are available for use 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Postal Services

Australia Post is the major postal service in Australia. There are post offices located in most major shopping centres as well as in various other locations. Open from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm as well as some shops opening on Saturdays from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Here customers can post letters, buy stationary equipment, apply for passports, pay bills etc. Mail is delivered from Monday to Friday, except for public holidays.


Services and costs will depend on a plan and provider that the consumer has chosen. Most local calls cost around 30 cents and are not timed. There are also many public telephones located across Australia, these are coin operated.

Mobile phones tend to be the most popular communications method, with many cheaper pre paid phones available. Mobile phones can now be purchased from retail outlets, post offices as well as phone companies and even online. Purchase a prepaid HTC camera phone so you can capture all of the beautiful images and landscapes while in Australia.


There are many internet providers in Australia, with dial up, ADSL and wireless services available. Many people choose to link their internet and phone together for the same bill. If the customer chooses not to have a land line then wireless pre paid internet is a great option.


Libraries are great for students here you can borrow a huge range of books, DVDs and CDs. All customers need to do is purchase a membership at a local library and all items borrowed are free of charge, providing they are returned. Libraries are open 6 days a week Monday to Saturday. Libraries are located in most shire or council districts.


Most Australians use the free to air channels, there are 6 main channels available for viewing for free. Currently the government is bringing digital TV which will add an additional 15 channels for regular watches. Consumers of digital television will need to purchase either a digital ready television or a box which allows viewing on a regular television. For those who can afford it cable television is also available, this can be quite expensive how ever.


Each state has their own newspaper with only "The Australian" newspaper reaching the whole country. Community papers are also available through either the mail or at local shopping centres, these are free of charge.

The local newspapers are available 7 days a week, the most popular are, in New South Wales the "Sydney Morning Herald. In Victoria "The Age".

In Queensland the most popular in the "Brisbane Courier Mail". In the ACT the "Canberra Times". In South Australia the "Adelaide Advertiser".

Western Australia's most widely spread paper is the "West Australian". In the Northern Territory the locals purchase the "Northern Territory News" and in Tasmania the "Hobart Mercury" is the most purchased local paper.

Multicultural Community Groups

There are many groups in Australia designed to help foreigners feel more at home. A multicultural community group is run by people from the same country and is a great way to meet people.

Culture and Society

Australia is generally a very accepting country, as well as being very laid back. New comers will find lifestyle and culture quite different. As long as people are respectful, polite and non judgmental Australians will be accepting.

Priding it self on being a country of equality, Australians do not accept racist and sexist behavior.

Unacceptable behavior includes, smoking in government buildings, shopping centres, airports, public transport or in any public buildings or meeting places. Littering is also illegal and there are many bins provided on the sidewalks of most streets.

Culture Shock

Remember Australia is a brand new environment, feeling home sick is normal. Usually this feeling will disappear once the new surroundings become slightly more familiar.

If this feeling does not go away it may pay to see the international counsellor at the educational institute.

Australian Laws

Australia is a very free country, there are no restrictions on where they can live, how they can dress, what relationships they have or what they say (providing this is not a racist or sexist comment).

It is illegal in Australia to purchase or consume alcohol and cigarettes in the consumer is under 18. Smoking has been banned in public places due to health risks. No one is aloud to carry weapons or have illegal drugs on them. All acts of violence towards humans or animals will not be tolerated, all acts of violence will be prosecuted severely.


Social Life in Australia

Australia has a lot of respect for its egalitarian policy. Even though this is so one has to acknowledge the fact that there still exist different social classes to which different people belong. These classes may be classified as the upper class, middle class and the working class.

The upper class largely consists of people who are property owners as well as those who control capital.

The middle class has those people whose jobs are classified as non manual. Some of the professions in this class are doctors, accountants, engineers among others.
The working class largely consists of those in occupations that are manual in nature. There is however a belief that socioeconomic mobility is possible. This is even supported by the 'give one a fair go' attitude among Australians.

When it comes to symbols that show the class in which one belongs to, not all can give a clear cut line of distinction between two consecutive classes. The upper class may dress in expensive clothes, drive expensive cars and live in up market dwellings.

Material things however can be a misleading indicator. Take clothes for example, other than money, there are other factors that influence the clothes that a person may choose to put on. For example some well-off teenagers may have clothes in line with the fashion more that those that would be said to be of their class.

Also, one may choose to dress in a style that is depicting a certain subculture rather than class. In the same way those in the middle class may dress expensively and drive expensive cars bought by money from a loan.

The better class symbols are such things as the entertainment preference, engagement in certain types of sporting activities, speech patterns as well as arts.

More Information about Living in Australia

Immigrate to Australia

Your Visa for Australia