10 Tips for Your First Trip to Australia • The Blonde Abroad

10 tips first trip to australia

Australia is the birthplace of The Blonde Abroad and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart (I came up with the concept of this very blog while sitting at a cafe near Sydney Harbour!).

When I first left the corporate world in search of something else, my first stop was Australia. I spent nearly two months living on the East coast of Oz and I couldn’t get enough! 

The country has a beauty and diversity unlike anywhere else—there’s the cool coastal city of Sydney, the street-art-saturated hub of Melbourne, and all the gorgeous environments in between.

From the otherworldly landscapes to the animals to the scuba diving spots…and don’t even get me started on the food—Australia definitely deserves a spot on your bucket list. Ready for an adventure of a lifetime down under?

Here are my top tips for your first trip to Australia!

Bondi Beach, Sydney

Take Sunscreen Seriously

Did you know Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world?

The sun is much stronger in Australia and it needs to be properly respected. This means regularly applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, and protective clothing, as well as a hat during midday. You will even see little kids running around daycare slathered in sunblock and donning (the cutest) bucket hats.

Take your skincare seriously!

Why You Should be Traveling with Reef-Safe Sunscreen

While wearing sunscreen is extremely important to protect your skin, did you know that it can cause damage to our planet’s reefs?

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melbourne christmas summer

Seasons are Reversed

If you are coming from the Northern Hemisphere, be sure to keep in mind that the seasons are reversed. In Australia, like the rest of southern Africa and most of South America, Christmas actually falls at the hottest time of the year.

It can be a bit confusing when you read tips from locals because they will refer to the months of December through February as summer. Keep this in mind when you’re planning for the weather as well!

Plugs are Different

The plugs in Australia are type I (230V/ 50HZ)…

which are the same as those in China. I would highly recommend buying a universal adapter with surge protection. Getting a one-in-one saves a lot of trouble. It just works everywhere for everything so you don’t have to worry about bringing the right adapter.

Stay Safe

I am not talking about pickpockets!

In Australia, it is the critters with more than two legs you have got to watch out for! Australia is actually one of the safest places in the world, but there are a lot of poisonous spiders…and snakes, and jellyfish.

If you’re out bushwalking (what Aussies call hiking), make sure to keep an eye out for Jack Jumpers (venomous ants)!

It is best to drive during the day.

Try to avoid driving at night—especially at dusk and dawn—as this is when crepuscular animals come out foraging for food. Roadkill is a HUGE issue in Australia and accounts for the loss of so many critters. Your trip will be more relaxed if you can stick to driving during the day.

No Need to Tip

Just say thanks!

Did you know the minimum wage is $18.93 AUD per hour (about $13 USD)? Unlike the US where servers depend on tips, Aussie workers make a standard hourly wage and don’t expect tips.

Explore Tasmania

If you have time to go even further afield, get over to Tasmania. The charming town of Hobart is a hidden treasure and sometimes you can even catch a glimpse of the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis)! This Smithsonian guide to the Southern Lights is full of great info!

Purchase a SIM Card

Getting a SIM card will make your time in Australia much easier. The cards are cheap (you can often find them for around $2) and you can get a simple data plan for a low cost.

Generally speaking, Optus or Amaysim are good options for urban coverage. If you are going to be traveling away from the metro areas, Telstra offers wider coverage at a slightly higher price.

australia road sign

Stay Left

Just like Aussie driving, when you’re walking down under, stay to the left. It keeps the flow of foot traffic moving smoothly and stops those awkward sidewalk dances.


Australia is such an incredible location full of diverse landscapes and is a great place to experience, especially if it’s your first solo trip. Have a fantastic time, mate!

Oh, and make sure to stock up on Tim Tams while you’re there—they’re Aussie’s answer to the Oreo. You’ll thank me later!

sydney opera house blonde girl

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