11 Things Tourists Should Never Do When Traveling To Australia
Australia may be isolated from the rest of the world, but it’s surely one of the most beautiful places to discover and kick off your bucket list. This large country-slash-continent boasts its marvelous beaches, stunning rock formations, flourishing wildlife, and bustling cityscapes that appeal to both locals and travelers. Australians are also known to be warm, friendly, beach-loving, and sport-loving people who are fun to chill with.
But just like in other countries, there are certain things tourists are better off not doing in Australia. To stay out of trouble, save money, and enjoy your experience, here are 11 things you shouldn’t do in Australia.
- Never disregard the “swim between the flags at the beach” rule
Taking a dip at a major beach is one of the best ways to capture the beauty of Australia. Just make sure to swim between the flags, no matter how good your swimming skills are. The calm waters can turn into a riptide very quickly. Flags are set up by lifeguards to ensure you’re within their peripheral in case of trouble.
Don’t try to imitate the Aussie accent in public
Australians have their own way of speaking English, and oftentimes they’re being mocked for it – just don’t try to do it while in their territory. Don’t ever say G’day. Don’t try to imitate their tone or slang or make fun of it – you’ll just get roasted by the locals, saying you sound British or whatsoever.
2. Don’t step outside without wearing sunscreen
The sun can be cruel in this part of the globe – that’s why Australia has a high rate of skin cancer. Make sure to wear sunscreen, even when you’re not going to the beach. Wear protective clothing and a hat. Make sure to stay hydrated and stay out of direct sunlight too, especially between 11 am and 2 pm.
Never drive fast or drunk
It’s a universal rule, but some people find easy to get away with this in other countries. Not in Australia! They have sneaky undercover police and cameras, which will show up when you least expect it. You don’t want to spend your travel money on steep penalties.
Don’t swim at just anywhere
Before swimming, do a quick Google search of the coastal areas you’re headed too. If you’re going close to big cities, like Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and Melbourne, you’re safe. But if you’re on the West Coast, a.k.a the “shark central”, and anywhere else, you may want to be extra careful. Crocs, stingers, and other deadly creatures love the waters too.
Never stay anywhere suburban
It’s easy to get isolated and lost in Australia when getting around the suburban areas unless you’ve hired a car. In some cities, buses can also be a hit and miss. Always stay near a train or tram line where you’re assured to have reliable transportation back to your place or hotel accommodation.
Don’t take cabs, if possible, when getting around
Traveling to Australia on a budget? Skip the cabs and Ubers, and get around with accessible trams and buses. Australian cities are proud of their public transportation systems – they’re clean, easy to navigate, have more routes, and are extremely inexpensive.
Never travel to Australia when you’re broke
When visiting Australia, you should’ve prepared yourself to pay the price – literally. Everything is expensive, from hotel rooms and transportation to food and basic living expenses. That’s why it pays to hunt for money-saving deals, like cheap hotel accommodation where kids can stay and eat free, happy hours, free walking tours, and other exciting yet inexpensive experiences.
Don’t expect table service at all restaurants
The self-serving setting is common among casual restaurants in Australia. Typically you seat yourself, look over the menu, go to a counter, and place your order. Then, you’ll be given a stand with a number and wait ‘til a food runner brings you your order. Utensils, water, napkins, and condiments are also found in self-serve stations.
Don’t assume kangaroos are cuddly creatures (they’re not)
Your visit to Australia will never be complete without seeing these sweet wallabies. Just don’t expect them to be oh-so-cuddly when you get up close and personal. Kangaroos can be aggressive, especially if they’re cornered or if they feel threatened. They can attack fellow kangaroos, other animals, and humans.
Also, you might be surprised to find their national animal in their menus. Locals say they’re delicious, like a cross between venison and buffalo meat.
Don’t harass the local wildlife, seriously
If you come face to face with a cute kangaroo, koala, emu, or wombat in the wild (which isn’t impossible), just enjoy it from a distance. They should be left alone, in their natural habitat. Don’t be that obnoxious tourist, racing up to the innocent animal with your camera, trying to stick it in its face, for your social media whims.
Generally speaking, wildlife, whether big or small, shouldn’t be harassed by humans. When startled and provoked, you’re in danger. Bites can infect you. Kicks with strong hind legs can injure you. Don’t try to approach an animal too closely or scare it off.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is one of the resident writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a modern hotel, delivering top-class Parramatta accommodation in the heart of Western Sydney. Writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to petting her cat.