Bring the Sun Block
The Australian sun is strong so make sure to bring plenty of Sunblock. My wife and I always latehr on the USnblock with an SPF of 85 or higher. On this particular trip my wife got terribly burned on her chest even with sun protection; it wasn't painful(she said) but it looked horrible.
Fruits & Nuts Will Break Your Hearts!
There're a million and one things that we are not allowed to bring into Australia. Yes, you like me, may have brought in one or two illegal items wittingly, or unwittingly.
My family had some food that was given on board the plane and had thought we were able to bring in the food since it was a Qantas flight. We declared whatever we know but got stopped right on our tracks when the customs picked out a banana. They accused us of trying of smuggle in the food. Smuggle in one banana? It was not even a comb of bananas!
Stern warning soon followed and we were told that they could have fined us AUD220 for the illegal food. They were not pulling a fast one as there were people around us who had to fork out that sum of money.
I can categorically say that they are much stricter now than before. If you're unsure of items that you should not be bringing into Australia, do check the website below. Or just declare that you have something even though really, you may just have a pen in your pocket.
Couple it with terrorist threat, it would be better if you walked through the airport customs naked since so many items are not allowed.
Get Your Visa!
This is Important
One thing I'd nearly forgot to do was to apply for visa. I was jolted out of my sleep when I realised that not getting the visa would mean, no trip!
I remembered that in the past, I had to drop by the Australian Embassy to apply for the visa, and it would take like 5 working days. Cold sweat! My fingers furiously typed on my laptop to find information about visa application.
"Thank God!", I blurted. The website tells me that I am eligible for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), meaning that I can do my application online.
Here're the following countries that allow for ETA-eligible passports.
Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and United States of America.
Here's the URL. http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/index.html
Redback and Other Spiders
The Perth area is known to be home of Redback Spiders which are a poisonous species and should be treated with due respect. Bites are painful and cause real trouble in case of allergic reactions - if in doubt, see a doctor.
These spiders are common in gardens, they like building their webs in rubbish heaps, piles of building materials, in sheds, they are happy in pit toilets where lots of insects assemble.
We visited local friends in a suburb of Perth and asked about Redback spiders.
"Ah yes sure we have them, there are usually some in the drain down there (pointing to a spot next to my chair).... No one home today? Let's have a look in the shed."
True Aussie coolness.
A minute later Eddie arrived with a plastic bowl with this beauty here in it.
I later learned that this one is not a Redback but a Red-Legged Widow, which is however not harmless either. Both species are closely related to the American Black Widow.
Conclusion: No paranoia but have a look first before grabbing into potential hiding spots, underneath your garden chair, underneath a dunny seat.Related to:
Friday Safety in the City
The City of Perth supports a safe walk route for city workers and shoppers back to their cars or public transport on Friday nights.
Between 9pm and 9.30pm, following the close of late night shopping, camera surveillance and patrols by police and City of Perth rangers is provided along a number of pedestrian routes out of the central retail precinct.
The Friday Night Safety Walk routes include Pier St, Barrack St, Forrest Place, William St, King St, Wellington St, the Railway Station Concourse and the area immediately surrounding the City Railway Station. Routes to nearby car parks along William St, Hay St and Pier Streets are also covered.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Will my mobile phone work in Australia?
Will my phone work-IT DEPENDS!!
Your phone needs to work on one of these networks: CDMA, GSM or 3G
To use the plan you are on, your phone/plan needs to needs to include 'International Roaming'.
Some providers will have reciprocal arrangement with other countries so that you will be charged local rates for local calls.
Others will not, and will be expensive to use.
You may be better off buying a local Sim card.
This of course means that you will have a new number which family and friends from home will not know(unless you tell them) if they want to reach you.
Pre-paid Sim cards are available at Perth airport as well as many other shops. They will cost you less than $30 including some calls.
If you are planning to travel to remote areas, check the coverage of the area before you choose a provider, some areas are not covered by all providers.
Check here: http://www.mobilephonesecrets.com.au/australian-mobile-phone-networks.html
NB. When checking coverage, don't presume that when a provider says they cover 95% of the population, that it will cover 95% of the area of the country. An extremely large proportion of the population live in the cities around the coast.Related to:
- Whale Watching
- Water Sports
No Dairy Products and Meat Products allowed
Pls note that dairy products and meat products are not allowed into Australia. The custom officers are very strict with declarations. If you are not sure if you have any forbidden items in your luggage, just go to the queue where you need to declare. Especially if you have any food items in your luggages, you had better declare it or faced heafty fines.
Our few bags of vacuum packed barbaque pork were confiscated. Even when we told they they were gifts for our firends, they were not allowed in. We were surprised even the individually vacuum packed BBQ Meat are not allowed. But our pork and fish floss packed in cans went through. At least we weren't left empty handed when we visit our friends.
We saw items like 3 in 1 coffee, Teh Tarik, instand noodles were all confiscated by the custom officers.
You will need to pay A$30 for storage fees, if you wish to redeem your items upon exit of Perth Airport.
Be extra careful driving in the rain.
I was driving to work yesterday(March 07), and as I was turning onto a side road, I saw the ute in front of me suddenly swerve.
'What the f... is he doing?' I thought, he looks as if he's about to 'chuck a u-ey'(turn around), he can't do that here, there's no room except for the grass verge with a steep curb around it!
I slowed down considerably.....a few seconds later the ute had hit the curb, bounced up it, continued to bounce across the rough ground and flipped right over onto it's side a few metres in front of me.
I was the first to stop....thoughts racing at the speed of light... OMG OMG OMG is the driver alright? ...Don't panic, don't panic... pull in carefully... make sure your car won't get hit by traffic coming round the corner... make sure to put the brake on properly... make sure there's nothing coming before you get out ...
As I ran back to the overturned vehicle I was thinking, 'please let him be alright, please let someone else stop too'.
As I reached the ute the driver was climbing out of the top(unharmed),white and shaking.
It had just rained after being dry for a long time, which brings months of accumulated oil to the surface and the roads are EXTREMELY slippery. Drivers often forget that you need to brake more slowly when it's wet and he was driving too close to the car in front of him and skidded and lost control.
I've seen it happen several times after summer rain, hence the warning SLOW DOWN WHEN IT RAINS!!
Sometimes the rain is extremly heavy and roads will be liable to flooding, intersections are often affected.
Additionally, especially during the first rains of the summer, there are power cuts when the (above ground) cables short out because of the dust collected on them. This of course means that the traffic lights don't work!
If you are drivng and there is a sudden downpour, pull over if you feel unsafe, the heavy rain rarely lasts long.Related to:
- Water Sports
- Budget Travel
places not to visit at night
ok, i am a long time perth resident, and i meet a lot of backpackers and international students
i live in cottesloe, lucky me, i have just moved there. ( i have also backpacked in germany)
train lines that i wouldn't take at night, unless with a big group of friends, or other students are the midland line and the armadale line. the freo line is good. i have never seen anything scary on it.
but the armadale line can get some scary night life.
joondalup, i haven't travelled on too often, but don't get off at glendalow. i have heard that it has problems, and i have seen a few burnt out cars there.
avoid aborigionals, especially if they look like comming up to you, they will ask you for money, just walk away. they think i am a tourist sometimes. this is most likely to occur in the city. there are lots in freo as well, but these are just the drunk sleepy ones. in the city they are more likely to be sniffers. there are also some white bums that sleep in the streets of freo at night. they just smell.
some are nice, i have some excellent aborigional friends. i am not predjudiced. just a female looking out for others, especially foreigners who aren't used to living in perth.
on the freo line you just get drunks. on the other lines you get sniffers.
other places to avoid, especially at night, rockingham, kwinana, victoria park
places safe at night: fremantle, cottesloe, nedlands, swanbourne.
actually at cottesloe, there is a path that leads to freo. there are some underlying trees that were going to be cut back. there is a bend and just around the bend is a monument about some explorer from the netherlands discovering fremantle. don't igo under these trees at night. a girl was raped and i have been warned by a few people, including guys who won't walk there
the government houses mentally disturbed people at some flats in the nearby suburb of mosman park.
i have a german shepherd :)
whenever you can travel in groups. but the freo line is safe if you are alone, i am always alone on this lineRelated to:
- Study Abroad
It happens every year, someone is injured or killed by stupidly standing on dangerous slippery rocks towards the southern region of Perth. All it takes is one big wave to wash you away. Be aware of your surroundings, big waves look so beautiful but they can be unpredicatable mainly in the winter time!
Dogs die in the forest
Do not enter any of the forests or reserves with a dog in your car and certainly do not let them roam the forests. There is poison everywhere. The English in their wisdom imported foxes and cats into Australia. The foxes multiplied and the cats became feral, resulting in the extermination of much of the indigenous wild life. Now the game wardens are fighting back. They have developed a poison from indigenous plants which is lethal to the foxes, and dogs, but does not affect native animals. Leave your animals at home, if you want to visit the forests, or watch them die. You have been warned!Related to:
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- National/State Park
Don't let your guard down
Though Perth is the safest place in Australia (by my standards anyway) you shouldn't let your guard down. Pick pockets and bag snatchers target the elderly and distracted, more often than not in broad daylight, with lots of people around. Be wary of leaving your wallet in your back pocket and always hold your bag across the front of your body.
I have never been targeted myself, though I have heard some ripper stories from friends visiting the city. Security and Police presence has been upgraded in recent years, and I would have to say, that I feel much safer walking through the City now.
So don't fret so much that you can't have a good time in this beautiful city of ours.
Carefuyl driving pays
Do not drink and drive! Do not speed, despite the temptation of the excellent roads.
The fixed cameras are signposted and the mobile ones are annonced daily on the radio, but the police have mobile booze buses and speed cameras, which move about at will. For the booze buses, they set up a mobile road block and randomly test all drivers. The penalties for drinking or speeding are horrendous. It's not worth it. Take the extra five minutes, or a taxi, even if they are expensive. It will be cheaper in the long run.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Houseflies Houseflies and more Houseflies!
The summer season of Perth reminds folks of bright sunshine, hot days and lovely visits to the beaches...and as well as hordes of houseflies!
The further you go away from the city, the more you meet.
Eager they always are, buzzing and humming around you, seeking just a fleeting of a chance to get to you eyes, your nostrils, your mouth, your ears, your sweat stained back....anything to get to precious moisture. They made my visit to the Pinnacles just that little more interesting.
So watch out for your most ardent fans this summer season!Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Every arrival must complete a customs declaration form. If in doubt, ask or put yes. Do not try to bring any organic material, including cheese, meat or drugs, into Australia without declaring it to customs on arrival.
They have these cute beagles who sniff out the best hidden contraband, and then customs give you a real going over, but really politely. The possible fines are humongeous.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
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