You might be planning to make a move Down Under alone, with family, with work, or with friends for a fresh start or change of scenery. Our currency partner FC Exchange has highlighted some of the interesting things you might not know about Australia ahead of your move Down Under.
Australia is only slightly smaller than the USA
When you think of the US, you might think of a sprawling land with lots of states and cities and exciting places to visit. In comparison, you might think of Australia as a beachy island with a laid-back lifestyle, but did you know Australia’s not that much smaller in size than the US?
Australia is actually the world’s sixth-largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the USA, and Brazil, coming in at 7,692,024 km2, and is the world’s biggest island. In fact, Australia is as wide as the distance between London and Russia’s elaborately beautiful city, Moscow.
You'll find kangaroo burgers on the shelves
It might not be for everyone, but kangaroo meat is widely available and on the shelves in the local supermarkets. It’s seen as a low fat and healthy red meat, used as an alternative to beef and lamb. You’ll even find it in restaurants.
Australia leads the way in feminist thinking
You might be interested to know that Australia was the second country in the world to give women the right to cast their votes. Back in 1902, the newly established Australian Parliament decided to remove gender discrimination and pass the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which allowed women the right to vote in federal elections and also stand for Parliament.
There are thousands of beaches to choose from
Have you ever wondered how many beaches Australia has? The figure comes in at over an astonishing 10,000! For expats keen to get in the water and try their hand at diving, sailing, snorkelling, surfing, or even just lie on the beach and lap up those golden rays, Australia has plenty of choices.
What’s more, the beaches aren’t the pebbly seaweed-strewn escapes like some you might find in Britain; Australia has soft sand in shades of white or gold, with crystalline blue waters and brightly coloured reefs – heaven!
Most properties are by the sea
It’s been estimated that around 85% of Australians live in close proximity to the coast, within a range of around 30 miles. It’s not surprising people want to be so close to the sea for a relaxing after-work barbie with a cold one in the sun or weekends in the water.
Australia’s coastline is stunning; the Great Barrier Reef is a collection of 2,500 reefs and has bagged the title of largest living structure in the world. It can even be seen from space!
There's plenty of local wine
If you’re partial to a cool glass of Sauvignon on the weekends or enjoy a good wine tour, Australia is your place. There are 60 wonderful designated wine regions in Australia that expats living Down Under can enjoy.
There are the Alpine Valleys, Margaret River, and Hunter Valley to name a few, and they all come with stunning views, so you can sit back, enjoy your favourite glass of tipple and take in the views.
Australia is full of surprises
If you’re keen to move Down Under you might have a stack of things you’re planning to do: visit the Sydney Opera House, enjoy a stroll on Bondi Beach, take part in a rainforest trek; the possibilities are endless. But it’s worth remembering that Australia is full of surprises.
Lake Hillier is a gorgeous bubble-gum pink colour and remained undiscovered until 1802. The water is pink due to the high levels of salt, which create a red dye, and it is best seen by air in a helicopter tour as it contrasts well with its green surroundings. You can even go for a swim in it, so pack a swimsuit!
Snow lovers can still get their fix
When you think of Australia, you might only think of sunny days and stretching beaches, but actually, there’s plenty of snow to be found in the Australian Alps. These mountains even get more snow than the Swiss Alps and the best time to go is between June and September.
Australia houses the world's biggest camel herd
It might surprise you to learn that Australia has the world’s biggest camel herd, consisting of over 750,000 of the creatures, roaming wild in the Outback. Camels came to Australia when they were imported from countries such as Arabia, India, and Afghanistan in the 19th century. They were brought over to work in the Outback, but when technology advanced, they were made redundant and let loose.
However, they cause numerous problems, including drinking lots of water which is detrimental to farms, as well as damaging fences and other infrastructure they come across.
The Australian dollar set a global trend
The Australian dollar was the first banknote to be printed using a polymer substrate instead of the traditional paper, between 1992-1996. However, since 1998 all Aussie banknotes have been made of polymer which enhances durability, keeps counterfeiting down, improves hygiene, and enables them to be recycled into plastic products when they reach the end of their life cycle.
If you’re looking to move Down Under and would like to discuss moving your money overseas with an industry expert, contact FC Exchange and find out how you can get more currency for your money.