Language - Predominantly English. Many first- and second-generation immigrants are bilingual, the most commonly spoken languages being Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Mandarin and Vietnamese. Aboriginal languages are spoken by around 12% of Australia's 550,000-strong Aboriginal-origin population.
Religion - Australia has no state religion, but the population is predominantly Christian. In the 2011 census, 66.1% identified with Christian faiths, 22.3% reported no religion, and 7.2% identified with non-Christian religions including Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
Flight time - Direct flights from London 18.5 hours (Perth) to 22 hours (Melbourne/Canberra).
January - Sydney Festival, a programme of events involving over 1,000 artists from Australia and abroad covering dance, theatre, music and visual arts.
February - Spirit Festival of Aboriginal arts and culture, Adelaide.
February/March: Sydney Mardi Gras, celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride.
Moveable (2014: 21 March to 9 June) - Biennale of Sydney, international festival of contemporary art.
March - WOMADelaide world music festival.
March/April - Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
May - Ord Valley Muster, two-week festival of Aboriginal dance, song, art and performance, Kununurra, east Kimberley.
May - Tasmanian National Trust Heritage Festival, month-long series of events including walks, tours, fairs, displays and talks.
June - Barunga Wugularr Sports and Cultural Festival, Aboriginal arts crafts and dance, 80km south of Katherine.
June (biannual) - Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.
August/September - Melbourne Writers' Festival.
September - Wagga Wagga Jazz & Blues Festival, New South Wales.
September/October - Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Queensland.
October - Melbourne Festival, flagship international festival of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia and outdoor events.
Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.
Passports must be valid for the full duration of your stay. If you are visiting another country or countries en route to or from Australia, be sure to check any further entry requirements.
Australian dollars are issued in five denominations: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, and coins in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2. Notes of all denominations are commonly used in daily transactions, though some outlets may refuse a $100 note for small transactions. All bank notes have an anti-fraud clear plastic window in the bottom right-hand corner, and counterfeits are rare.
ATMs are plentiful in both cities and country areas, and most allow withdrawals from international card networks such as Cirrus or Maestro, usually in denominations of $20 and $50 only. Some non-bank ATMs do not allow withdrawals from credit cards. Some older ATMs issue $50 notes separately from $20 notes, so check your withdrawal carefully. Australian banks generally charge $2 per transaction.
It is advisable to carry a small amount of currency at all times for smaller purchases, but electronic payment via the EFTPOS network is almost universally accepted for transactions over $10. Travellers' cheques are not generally accepted as legal tender except by major hotels but, along with foreign currency, can be changed for cash at banks and bureaux de change.