10 Things You Should Know Before Making the Move Down Under

With 3 Australian cities dominating the 2017 Economist’s, 10 “most liveable” cities* – it’s no wonder why everyone is making the move down under. While we might be biased, we believe Australia is the best country in the world and we know you will love it too!

If you’re planning to make the big move, here are 10 things you should know prior to migrating:

1. Jaywalking is a Crime
Crossing an intersection when the pedestrian light is red is illegal in Australia and you could be fined up to $48 if you do it in Brisbane and $75 in New South Wales. To avoid this hefty fine, we recommend walking to the nearest pedestrian crossing and waiting until the pedestrian sign signals it is safe.

2. Sunscreen is a MUST
Australia is notorious for its strong sunlight and burning hot summers. To avoid looking like a lobster, we recommend purchasing 30+ sunscreen and applying it


Photo: Young woman applying sunscreen lotion on the beach

often. This can be purchased at most super markets, gas stations and pharmacies.

3. Tax File Numbers are Crucial
If you plan to work in Australia and earn an income, a Tax File Number is a MUST. Tax File Numbers are unique numbers distributed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) that identifies you for tax and super purposes. To apply for a Tax File Number please visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Apply-for-a-TFN/

4. Australian Outlets are Different
If you plan to charge any devices or use any electrical goods you will need to purchase an Australian adapter and possibly a voltage converter. In Australia our power adapters are V shaped and consist of 2-3 pins. Additionally, the main voltage in Australia is 230V 50Hz. If your countries appliances are not within this voltage range, it is highly recommended that you purchase a voltage converter in addition of a power outlet to avoid any dangerous incidents or damages to your products. You can find power adapters and voltage converters at most shopping centres and post offices.

5. Stay on the Left
In Australia we drive on the left-hand side but something you might not be aware of, is that we also walk on the left-hand side of footpaths.

6. Magpies are Not Your Friends
While Magpies may look like cute, innocent birds… Be warned, they are not. During mating season (July to November), otherwise known as ‘Magpie Swooping Season’, male magpies are known for swooping and attacking cyclists, walkers and runners. The Brisbane Council is all over this though, and during this season they will place warning signs at bus stops and highly active magpie areas.

7. Tipping isn’t Expected
Unlike other countries around the world, tipping in Australia is not expected. There are several reasons behind this, but the main reason is that servers here receive a good, liveable wage making it unnecessary. If you do want to show your appreciation for good service though, we are big on reviews and feedback. You can leave reviews on social media, directly with the restaurant, Google or Yelp.

Another important note to add to this, is that it is mandatory for restaurants to include tax and services chargers to their prices. So, what you see, is what you get!

8. We Love Drive-Through Shops
Drive-Through shops, also known as Drive-Thru’s are very popular in Brisbane! Some popular drive-through options include fast food restaurants, alcohol stores and coffee shops.

9. Smoking Laws are Strict
Smoking in Australia and in particular Brisbane is very strict. In Brisbane it is illegal to smoke in any outdoor public space like a beach or playground. People caught smoking in inappropriate areas will receive a hefty fine, so it’s important to know the laws before you light a cigarette.


Photo: Smoke and orange glow. Outdoor background.

To view the full list of Tobacco laws in Queensland please visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy/atods/smoking/laws

10. Australian Money is Waterproof
In Australia, all our notes are made of Polymer and are essentially waterproof. This was introduced in 1996 when Australia became the first country in the world to feature an entire line of polymer banknotes. Cool right? So, if you have money in your pockets at the beach, don’t stress because we have you covered!

*- http://www.eiu.com/home.aspx