Everyday Life in Australia

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Table of Contents

So far, we have tried to explain everything you should know before and after your big move to Australia. From maintaining your CVs to introducing you to criminal penalties, we covered everything. Now, this is where you will get an idea about the regular, everyday life in Australia.

After settling in your new home with a fairly decent job, you may begin thinking about how you will manage your everyday routine. You will realize the things that you need and maybe maintain a list. Since it’s a new country for you, you might want to double-check before purchasing anything. The more your life comes to normal, the better you will feel about adding things to your new life. You may find it a hassle at first, but you will have a good idea about where to start by the end of this book.

Check out the basics of everyday life in Australia:

Internet

Internet

In this modern age, you cannot imagine a single day without the internet. We are so dependent on the internet that it feels like we are in Stone Age if we lose connection for some time. Not only do we need the internet for educational purposes, but it is also a useful way to stay in contact with loved ones.

A call over your cellular network to your family back home will be pretty expensive, but if you use a social app to make a call over the internet, it will practically be free of cost. So, what kind of internet service should you get?

The usage of ADSL internet has been common in Australia. It gives a decent speed and is relatively inexpensive. It uses copper cables that reach your home either underground or from overhead cables. It connects via a phone line already installed in your home. Recently, a newer and faster ADSL2+ is also available that promises better speeds.

Another option is the National Broadband Network (NBN). The NBN is the newest form of internet in Australia, and it has significantly improved internet speed throughout the country. It functions via optic fibers that allow the data to travel with the speed of light. Though this technology comes with several other assisting connections, optic fiber is still the most common option among Australian citizens[i].

The NBN technology has been limited to some areas with optic fibers. In contrast, for other areas, it uses fixed wireless connection, Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC), and satellite connection beams which are more favorable for remote areas. You can check the suitable plan for NBN and its availability in your area on their official website[ii].

A quick reminder about the factors you should consider before choosing an internet service provider:

  • Speed – a decent, stable speed that does not buffer mid-video.
  • Reliability – your internet provider should be able to give a certain level of performance.
  • Flexibility – you should be able to upgrade or downgrade your plan without additional charges.
  • Cost – good service does not necessarily have to be expensive.

Best Internet Service Providers

Following are some of the best service providers. You can choose from this list or do a quick neighborhood survey to see what others have gotten.

· Belong

Getting a connection from Belong is simple – you tell them your preferences, and they will make a flexible plan for you. Their basic plan includes unlimited data for 12 months at the rate of $65 a month. The standard speed with this plan is 50 Mbps, and it is broadband-only[iii].

· TPG

With over two million customers, TPG is famous for providing good value broadband packages. There are no hidden charges, and plan-making is hassle-free and straightforward. The standard plan has 10 GB of data per month at the cost of $29.9. It also comes bundled with a landline telephone connection[iv].

· Tangerine

The best thing about Tangerine is that it allows you to try their services for the first six months at lower prices than usual. Think of it as a trial period after which you can easily quit if you are not satisfied with their services. It gives 50 Mbps for the cost of $54.90 every month with unlimited data.

· Telstra

Telstra is the most famous and largest telecommunication company in Australia. With almost half the population using services from Telstra, it is also expensive compared to other service providers. For an astounding speed of 100 Mbps, it charges $100 with an unlimited data package. Telstra ensures to give the best performance even during peak hours.

· Dodo

Dodo is different than other providers because its services are not limited to the internet only. If you bundle your internet plan with electricity and gas services from Dodo, you will get a monthly discount for your internet usage.

Mobile Networks

Mobile Networks

As unusual as it may sound, the entire population of Australia uses one of the three mobile networks – Telstra, Vodafone, and Optus[v]. With Telstra covering 99% of the populated areas, these three giants have the highest ratings from its users. There are other smaller companies, but they are resellers of the three giants, allowing users to buy services at much cheaper rates.

The following is a summary of the most basic network plans offered by each company[vi]:

Plan Data Cost
Telstra Small Upfront SIM Plan 40 GB $55/month
Optus Optus Choice Plan 20 GB $45/month
Vodafone SIM Only Lite Plan 40 GB $40/month

 Transport

Transport

We know that it is difficult to purchase a vehicle straight away after moving. Fortunately, Australia’s transportation system is very convenient and practical. If you want to save money, public transport is the best option for you. It is cheap but comfortable.

In busier cities like Sydney, public transport can get hectic. Do not be surprised by the number of peak-hour traffic jams in Sydney. Travel to and from work can be tiring and frustrating, especially if you work in CBD (Central Business District). If possible, try to get an apartment near your workplace. It could save you a bit of time. Sydney’s public transport is not entirely bad. It can seem expensive, but you could opt for traveling by train if you can afford it.

· Buses

Buses are the most common form of public transportation in Australia. Not only are they cheap but if you choose a bus from one of the city bus networks, they can be comfortable too. Cities like Hobart, Canberra, and Darwin have bus networks throughout the city. These buses are air-conditioned and equipped with Wi-Fi and USB chargers. You can use these bus services to travel from one city to another too.

The average bus ticket is $3.30, but it depends on the distance you are traveling[vii].

· Trains

Trains are the most convenient, economical way of traveling from one state to other. Except for Hobart and Darwin, all cities have connecting train networks. Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Gold Coast offer travel by the light rail system. You can also travel between suburbs in the cities via tram. The average cost of a train ticket is $1.80, while a tram it is $2.20.

· Taxi

A relatively expensive and less exhausting way of traveling within the city, taxis are perceived as a private mode of transportation. Taxis serve the public just like any other public transportation. You will find taxi stands throughout the city, but you may have to wait for an available cab. You can also use an app like Rydo to book a taxi if you are in a hurry. Taxis usually charge fare with a meter. Some drivers might try to negotiate rates with you, but it is best to decide the fare based on meter reading.

Shopping

Aussies enjoy both online shopping and doing physical shopping. You will find large stores on nearly every corner when you visit Australia, providing various stores from which to choose. However, people may complain about the stores based on their service, operational hours, or other factors. Fortunately, the list below shares the best places to shop in Australia.

1. Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

Named after Queen Victoria of the Royal United Kingdom and Ireland, you can find the best fashion brands you may want. These stores include Calvin Klein, Brando, Coach, Hugo Boss, Golden Line Jewelers, Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Cho, and others It is on George Street in Sydney. Previously shut down for restoration, the Queen Victoria Building today depicts exceptional artwork and includes more than 180 stores.

2. Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne

Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne

Chadstone Shopping Centre, also known as Chaddy by the locals, is one major shopping center located in Melbourne, and claims to be the biggest shopping mall in Australia, with its shop floor space of 129,924 square meters.

With over 530 stores located in Chaddy, on an average day, it may have somewhere around 50,000 visitors. In contrast, the busy days may go up to 68,000 visitors, which makes a total of 20 million visitors annually. Many of the world’s famous brands are here, including Dior, Tiffany & Co., Chanel. Myer, Zara, and others also exist here. There isn’t one but many supermarkets working in this mall at a single instance, including Aldi, Kmart, and Target.

3. Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre, Perth

Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre, Perth

If you are staying in Perth, the best place for shopping is The Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre, the biggest mall in Western Australia. Just take a look at the picture, which shows a wide variety of restaurants, brands, food courts, and best of all, a soothing ambiance as well. You can also find home improvement products and apparel there.

However, many people find inconvenient regarding this mall because it is 12km away from the Central Business District of Perth. Try to find the nearest railway station and book a ride to the Cannington Railway station. The Westfield Carousel is only about 600 meters from there that are approximately 15 minutes of walking distance.

4. Brisbane Arcade, Brisbane

Brisbane Arcade, Brisbane

Brisbane Arcade is known for jewelry shopping mainly and has other businesses, including restaurants, fashion stores, beautyproducts, and other such items. Designed by Richard Galley between 1923 and 1923, Brisbane Arcade is almost 100 years old. The address of Brisbane Arcade is 160 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD. The inside of the Brisbane Arcade has some of Australia’s earlier heritage and culture represented as well.

Night Life

Night Life

Australia may have a chill vibe to it, but there is nothing like a good night out with friends and loved ones. You might even be surprised to know how wild an Australian night can be. Many cities have secret bars and cafés where you can hang out with your friends and enjoy a drink or two. Just a quick reminder that you must be 18 years or older to order alcoholic drinks. So, it’s better to keep an ID with you if you plan to have fun.

You will be walking on a regular street in Melbourne, and an unmarked door will lead you into the Eau de Vie, where they use liquid nitrogen to chill out drinks instead of ice. Finding these hidden bars is no less of an adventure, especially if you are with some friends.

For beer enthusiasts, you will have to choose between a middy, schooner, or a pint. Wondering what these are? They are the measurements of beer in a regular Australian bar. A middy serves 10 ounces, a schooner 15 ounces, and a pint will get you 20 ounces of beer[viii].

If you are moving to Sydney, there is no chance that you will miss a show in the Sydney Opera House. Unlike its name, the Sydney Opera House hosts more than just opera. You can find shows for gigs, comedy, ballet, and many more. It would make a perfect night for a date too!

There are many more ideas for a night out in Australia. You will have to look around and find some on your own too. Your stay in Australia will be enjoyable 100 times more if you share it with good company.

Dating in Australia

Dating in Australia

Life in a foreign land can be daunting unless you find people who match your energy. Since every place has a way of doing things, whether asking out people or planning a general hang out, you might find yourself lost. While making friends in a new place is not that difficult, dating someone in a new place is a whole new story.

This feeling of being lost is not abnormal at all. Many people in Australia feel the same way, even the locals. There are no hard and fast rules about dating in Australia. People like to take their time and get to know the other person before making a bold move. It also means that if you ask out someone you like right after interacting with them for the first time, there is a high chance that you will be rejected politely.

It is common in Australia to see more than one person at a time before jumping to a conclusion. People don’t get exclusive the second they meet someone. Everyone prefers to hold several meetings, and if they think they are compatible with each other, they might call themselves a couple. It is also okay for a person to make the first move and start a conversation, regardless of gender. So, if you see a nice person in a café or at college, feel free to go ahead and talk to them[ix].

Australians are not at all judgmental. Instead, they are so casual that it does not matter who pays for the food on a date. Generally, the one who suggested the outing ends up paying, but it is also getting increasingly common to split the bill. This strategy is common among teenagers and students because we all know, students are always low on money.

You can also use social platforms like Facebook to hook up with someone. Australians love Facebook: there is a very tiny chance that your crush does not have an account. If everything fails, you can always log in to one of the many dating sites and apps. Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble are just a few examples. They all work  similarly. There are also apps designed for international students specifically[x].

Since you are away from home, it might be freshening to know someone from your home country. Otherwise, you can always appreciate diversity and know someone from an entirely new culture.

[i] “Internet Providers.” Retrieved from https://www.iselect.com.au/internet/internet-providers/

[ii] https://www.nbnco.com.au/connect-home-or-business/check-your-address

[iii] “Top 10 internet service providers in Australia compared.” Retrieved from https://www.comparebroadband.com.au/get-top-10-internet-providers-in-australia.htm

[iv] “Top 10 internet providers in Australia.” Retrieved from https://www.finder.com.au/broadband-plans/providers

[v] “Mobile Phone Coverage in Australia.” Retrieved from https://whatphone.com.au/guides/mobile-phone-coverage/

[vi] Anula Wiwatowska (May 10, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/Guides/who-has-the-best-mobile-coverage

[vii] “Transport in Australia.” Retrieved from https://www.moovaz.com/australia-moving-guide/transportation-in-australia/

[viii] “Australia’s Best Bars and Nightlife.” Retrieved from https://www.australia.com/en/things-to-do/food-and-drinks/australias-best-bars-and-nightlife.html

[ix] Rebecca MacFarlane (February 11, 2021), “Eight Tips for Dating in Australia.” Retrieved from https://insiderguides.com.au/dating-in-australia/

[x] Insider Guides (February 11, 2021), “Dating Apps for International Students.” Retrieved from https://insiderguides.com.au/dating-apps-international-students/

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