Koalas and Kangaroos, if you’ve never been to Australia, chances are these are the things that you associate with the land down under. Australia may feel like a different world, with different landscapes, wildlife and culture. Although the country is generally laidback, it will help your journey if you follow these dos and don’ts.
1. Observe traffic rules. It may be confusing at times but people drive on the left. So make sure that you are on the left side of the lane when driving or waiting for the bus!
2. Wear a helmet when biking! Wearing a helmet is mandatory in Australia and you will be fined if you violate the rules.
3. Beware of drop bears – Drop bears are a type of predatory koala that drop from the trees. When backpacking or hiking, be vigilant of them.
4. Bring your own beer and meat to barbecue parties. If you get invited to a barbecue party, it is expected for you to bring your own beverage and meat.
5. Sit in the front seat with the taxi driver. It is common curtesy to always ride in front with the taxi driver; it is considered respectful.
6. Call the host ahead to check if you should bring food. Make sure to confirm with the host if you need to bring food so you can save yourself from awkward moments!
7. Wear sunscreen! Don’t underestimate the Australian sun. You can get serious sunburn if you don’t wear sunscreen when going out.
8. Indicate when you’ve finished eating your meal by putting your fork and knife together at the center of your plate.
9. Thank the bus driver when getting off the bus, it will brighten the bus driver’s day if you thank them when leaving the vehicle.
10. Avoid riverbanks in Australia’s Northern Territory. Avoid swimming or trekking near riverbanks in this area to save yourself from unwanted encounters with crocs.
1. Don’t tip; tipping is not necessary in Australia since servers are not reliant on tips to get by.
2. Don’t pet Koalas. It is not advisable to pet Koalas as it may cause the animal distress. In some states like NSW, there are government regulations stating where it is not permitted.
3. Don’t smoke, even in areas where smoking is not prohibited, smoking is frowned upon.
4. Don’t attempt to climb Uluru. Although it is not illegal to climb Mount Uluru, it holds a cultural significance to the indigenous people of Australia.
5. Don’t swim outside red and yellow flags. Even if the water is crystal clear, do not attempt to swim outside of the flags as it can be very dangerous.
6. Don’t be offended when they use your first name. Australians are very casual and use first names, even if you’ve just met for the first time.
7. Don’t drive at night. It is discouraged to drive at night in some rural areas due to wildlife that might cause accidents on the road.
8. Don’t swim in the ocean without reading warning signs as some oceans are not safe to swim in. Make sure you read warning signs before diving straight in!
9. Never ignore storm warnings! Storms can be deadly in Australia so be sure to take the necessary precautions.
10. Don’t feed wild animals. Feeding wild animals is a no-no as you might be feeding them food that is not good for their diet. Instead, leave water if you must.