Australia has a reputation for the highest number of animals that can kill you, but sharks and venomous snakes are just the start. The first thing I thought when I got to Sydney is how familiar it was. The architecture and culture is so similar to home it doesn’t feel like you are 10 thousand miles away. It’s a comforting feeling and makes you let go of being alert that there are things you don’t know that you don’t know. Prepare for the unexpected by reading the below 5 not so obvious facts when moving to Australia from Europe.

FACT #1 The sun is dangerous in Australia

Everybody knows that the sun is really intense in Australia. Still, so many people fail to use sunscreen when moving to Australia from Europe, because they never got sunburned in Spain or Italy.
Unfortunately, the ozone layer is thinner above Australia, allowing more UV exposure. It can cause serious issues such as 2-3rd degree burns and skin cancer. There are free sunscreen in tubs for everyone to use at all events and outdoor activities. Please be safe and use it.

FACT #2 Swim between the flags

Most Australian beaches are secured by a group of volunteers to ensure the safety of those enjoying the sun and the ocean. One of the most important things is to only swim between the 2 red and yellow flags stuck into the sand. Patrons monitor this area. Read about beach safety on the Surf Life Saving’s website or pick up an information card at the airport, around communal areas on the beach and online. Make sure to read the instructions and take them seriously.

FACT #3 You can’t just wing it in Australia

I had to learn this the hard way. I flew into Gold Coast airport traveling to Byron (70km) only to find out that there was no train. The only way to get to Byron by public transport was a coach, it was running every 2 hours. Needless to say that the next bus running was fully booked. Moving to Australia from Europe I didn’t even consider that there wouldn’t be a train that doesn’t run at least every half an hour, but things work a bit differently down under. Make sure you plan your trips and transportation ahead when you travel in Australia.

FACT #4 You need to take extra petrol on a road trip

Moving to Australia from Europe we assume that there is a petrol station every 100km. The worst thing that could happen is that we need to call road assistance right? Things are slightly different when you are doing a WA road trip in Australia. You may drive hundreds of kilometres on the Outback without encountering anything other than bushes. There is no reception to call any help. Make sure you plan your trip and pack enough petrol and water.

FACT #5 Call 000 in case of emergency

In case something does happen when you are in the middle of nowhere and you don’t have reception (which happens a lot in Australia) there is a satellite based helpline that you can reach by calling 000.

Read more articles about Moving to Sydney.

Orsi – moving countries 5 times Orsi is now an expert on how to settle into a new place. Now she is based in Sydney blogging about life down under.

LIVING GUIDE FOR SYDNEY |The e-book expats wish existed when they moved

  • How to get a visa to Australia?
  • Where to live in Sydney?
  • What documents do I need for renting?
  • How much tax do I pay in Australia?
  • How to get around?
  • What insurance do I need?
  • Where are the best spots for dinner?
  • What shops and supermarkets are there?
  • How to apply for university?
  • How to find schools and nurseries?