Living in Australia

When you arrive in Australia, what can you expect? With our beautiful beaches, crystal blue waters and pristine rainforests, Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world and has one of the lowest population densities per square kilometre.

Currency

Australia's national currency is the Australian dollar, which comes in notes denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and one and two dollar denominations. In 1996 Australia became the first country in the world to have a complete series of polymer (plastic) notes.

Weather

Australia experiences temperate weather for most of the year, but the climate can vary due to the size of our continent. The northern states typically experience warm, humid weather much of the time, with the southern states experiencing cooler winters.

December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring.

Victoria’s weather is marked by a range of different climate zones, from the hot, dry regions of the northwest to the alpine snowfields in the northeast. Melbourne has a reputation for its changeable weather, often referred to as having ‘four seasons in one day'.

Find out more about Australia's weather

Culture and customs

Australia’s culture consists of a rich tapestry of traditions, legends and folklore, as well as a love of sport and the great outdoors. Australians love to take advantage of the weather by enjoying outdoor social events, and Melbourne in particular has access to some of the world’s most famous sporting events, including:

  • the Australian Tennis Open
  • the Australian Formula One Grand Prix
  • the Australian Football League Grand Final 
  • the Melbourne Cup horse race.

Australia defines itself by its Indigenous heritage, a vibrant mix of cultures, innovative ideas and a thriving arts scene.

Hotspots and things to do here

Melbourne

Melbourne, Victoria’s coastal capital, is a city of stately 19th-century buildings and tree-lined boulevards. In the central business district you can explore laneways and arcades. There are also cafes and restaurants dotted throughout the city. 

Southbank, the Melbourne Arts Precinct, is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne (a performing arts complex) and the National Gallery of Victoria, which displays Australian and international art. 

Melbourne is packed with attractions, from the famous MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) and lush parks to grand libraries and museums, all wrapped up in a vibrant atmosphere.

Geelong

Situated on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Geelong is the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula and the famous Great Ocean Road. 

Wandering along the stunning waterfront of Victoria's second-largest city, you’ll pass public artworks, landscaped gardens and fine dining eateries. Take a dip in the art deco-style pool or kick back in the promenade complex and restored pavilion at Eastern Beach.

Warrnambool

Warrnambool is a regional centre and former port centre along the Great Ocean Road. It has a dramatic location on a plateau behind a steep bluff, defined by rivers to the east and west, overlooking the sheltered Lady Bay. 

There are interesting historical buildings and attractive streetscapes, but perhaps the biggest surprise is the range of superb beaches right at the city's front door. 

High-quality local produce is celebrated in many of Warrnambool's best restaurants, cafes and bistros, and are a must for any foodie.