Planning on moving to Australia?
If you do have a desire to move down under and plans are in the works, then this article is for you. Know that there’s so much more to the country than just kangaroos, beaches, beer, barbecue and long, hot summers.
Like most people moving to Australia, you’re likely to have expectations and preconceived notions about Aussies and life here. However, as you get settled, you’ll come to realise how different expectations could be from reality – which, in many cases, isn’t necessarily bad.
So, without further ado, here are 10 things you wish you knew before moving to Australia:
1. Being friendly is an important trait.
Just like the rest of the world, there are friendly and not-so-friendly Aussies. However, in general, when someone asks ‘how are you?’, they really want to know how you’re doing.
It’s not just a form of exchange of pleasantries but a real question where the one asking is ready to sit and engage in a long conversation.
Moreover, it’s a common practice to call people by their first name – even ones you’re not familiar with or you only know professionally.
So if you hail from places where people are more formal or reserved, learn to be more casual and respond to friendly banter.
2. Australia is massive.
The total land area of Australia is 7,692,024 square kilometres.
Although not as large as the continent of Europe (10,180,000 square kilometres), it’s amazing to know that Australia is just one country.
The European continent, meanwhile, comprises 50 sovereign states.
Australia is so huge that just exploring one section of it, like Western Australia, could take months if you want to see and experience everything.
Can you imagine how much time it’ll take to explore the whole country itself?
3. The country has strict laws regarding alcohol.
You may have seen the stereotypical depiction of the carefree Aussie with a beer in hand making merry any time of day one too many times.
Although Aussies do love to have fun like the rest of us, the rules concerning alcohol consumption are quite strict, as non-adherence could mean substantial penalties and other costs.
The laws on alcohol restrictions vary, depending on the state or territory. In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), for example, there are permanent alcohol-free places.
As for New South Wales, Sydney has its own alcohol restrictions, as do the other councils in the area.
In Queensland, apart from community alcohol restrictions, you can apply to make your house a dry place (so no alcohol consumption is allowed, no exceptions) in certain communities.
In general, the different states have alcohol-free areas and even holidays. For example, in Melbourne, alcohol consumption in public places in the Central Business District (CBD) is banned every day of the entire year.
The same ban also applies on New Year’s Eve (31 December), the Melbourne Moomba Festival and the Australian Grand Prix.
4. It is mostly hot, but it does snow in a few places.
The sweltering hot summers in Australia are legendary; in some places, summer temperatures can go as high as 40°C or more.
In fact, with the current climate crisis, it is predicted that by 2040, it could get as hot as 50°C in the summer.
That would mean more fatal heat waves for everyone, including animals.
Then there’s the Australian Alps, which is said to receive more snowfall than Switzerland – it’s probably why it’s the official local ski holiday destination.
Hopefully, the climate crisis won’t strike so hard that even this snowy place could be threatened and start to lose snow.
5. It is insanely expensive to live in cities.
In Sydney and Melbourne especially, property prices are so high, very few can afford to buy new homes in these cities.
But during the pandemic when working from home became the norm (and may continue to be offered for the long term), some families living in cities began moving to the countryside to enjoy living in larger homes that won’t break the bank.
However, even that couldn’t stop the rise in the cost of residential property prices in most cities in the country.
Besides expensive property, most everything else is costlier in the city.
6. Getting a job could take time.
There are some people fortunate enough to have a job waiting for them when they get here.
You are far better off focusing on getting settled into the country (assuming you have enough money to do this) and taking your time on finding a role that suits you.
When first moving in to Australia, it helps to use a respected removalist such as AA City Removals or ZOOM Removals to name a few, who can help you move quickly and efficiently into your new surroundings.
Ensure you have a working bank account, a phone number along with other elements to moving in with a new address.
And before committing to a move here, consider what you could offer Aussie employers. For example :
- Are you a skilled worker or a university graduate with a few years of experience?
- Are people with your background and skills in demand?
If no opportunity presents itself fast enough when you get here, would you be financially prepared?
7. Summer bushfires are common.
Every year, bushfires occur in rural Australia. These fires usually happen when it is hot and the winds are strong, and the dry vegetation forms a perfect fuel load to power up a fire.
A bolt of lightning, lit cigarette butt or even an arsonist could start a fire that would destroy not only forests, wildlife habitats and property but also human lives.
If you live in a bushfire area and as a general precaution, be on the lookout for fire warning signs or announcements, and do what you can to prepare your property for bushfire season.
Usually, there are plenty of live updates which can be found online.
You will also most likely small smoke in the air when “controlled burning” takes place in order to reduce the risk of a fire going out of control.
8. Aussie television could be bad.
Depending on your taste, what’s on offer on Australian television might not meet your expectations.
It’s usually saturated with reality TV and very American-focused crime thrillers or TV shows and shows no sign of slowing down.
Moreover, Australian news is mostly about what’s going on in the country locally, so don’t expect global news to pop up.
9. The country is beautiful.
It’s true that there are some deadly snakes and spiders here, but that’s not what makes Australia.
The country’s massive size makes it a place of great geographical significance, and the number of national parks and natural wonders here attest to that fact.
The country is spoilt for choice when it comes to landmarks and scenic views, these include some of the following:
- Great Barrier Reef
- Uluru or Ayers Rock
- Shark Bay
- Pinnacles Desert
- Daintree River and Forest
- Lord Howe Island
- Bungle Bungles
- Ningaloo Reef
- Hunter Valley (or Wine Country) and many more.
So if you love road trips and exploring in general, then Australia will not disappoint!
10. Aussies appreciate proper coffee.
Australians love their coffee, and the robust café culture reflects this. However, don’t expect to find people lining up at Starbucks, as local coffee shops continue to give the multinational a run for its money. Aussies prefer properly brewed artisan coffee.
Besides, Australians are nationalistic and would prefer to patronise local businesses that generate jobs for Aussies and help the economy thrive. There are lots more to discover about Australia when you get to live here.
See you soon!
Other Pointers Before Moving To Australia
We’re feeling generous. As a result, we’re giving you a few more tips you might want to consider before moving down under.
- Depending on where you end up moving to, the weather varies in different parts of Australia. For example, up in Queensland, it tends to be quite hot and sticky whereas in Melbourne the state is known for unpredictable weather.
- Be wary of the sun in Australia. It is no secret that its rays are strong in this part of the world and so using plenty of sun cream when it is needed is advisable!
- The healthcare system is excellent in Australia, in fact, it is one of the best. You will however need to sign up for the local healthcare system by obtaining a Medicare Card, there is more information on the government website about all this.
- It is extra useful to own your own car/vehicle. While there is public transport readily available, it is simply easier to own a car.
- The seasons are the opposite to what it is in Europe. For example, while the Winter months run from December to February this is fact the Aussie summer period.
- The internet isn’t great, so be prepared to be cut off often. This can be quite a shock to people who are used to reliable broadband access.
- Take advantage of all the local attractions while living in Australia, there are for example some fantastic zoo’s to visit including the famous Taronga Zoo.