Dream Time Walks and Elevated Adventures
In the rainforests of tropical North Queensland, the cultural traditions of an ancient indigenous culture live on, and the wisdom of the old ways are shared in song, story and dance. Visitors are invited to listen and learn the esoteric secrets of bush medicine, and the nuances of a boomerang's flight. The region also holds more recent examples of human ingenuity, including a mountain railway that was one of the nation's most celebrated engineering feats of the late 1800s. More recent are a skyway that carries passengers high above the rainforest canopy, and amphibious vehicles that ford rivers and give access to a remote coastal wilderness.
- Best for: All travellers, from beach lovers to adventure enthusiasts
- Best season to visit: Year-round
- Weather: Cairns has hot, humid summers and cooler, dry winters. Temperatures typically drop a few degrees as you move offshore. Cyclone season runs from November to May
Cultural Activities in Australia Overview
A favorite starting point for rainforest tours and aboriginal cultural experiences in North Queensland is the village of Kuranda, home to the Rainforestation Nature Park and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Also popular is Cape Tribulation for coastal walks and tours of World Heritage sites at National Park.
Cultural Activities in Australia Tips
When you sign up for a Dreamtime Walk, you won't be sleepwalking. Instead, you will join one or more guides of Australian aboriginal heritage, who will both entertain and educate with explanations of the uses of native plants, finding bush food sources and the traditional relationships between indigenous people and the land.
Best Places for Cultural Activities in Australia
The Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience showcases one of the oldest surviving indigenous cultures in the world. The historic Kuranda Railway climbs into the heights of the Macalister Range through a series of hand-hewn tunnels and soaring trestles. Discover the secrets of the rainforest on a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walkthrough Mossman Gorge. Scan the banks for crocodiles on a Daintree River Cruise.
What to Pack for Cultural Activities in Australia
Keep your cool in tropical forests by choosing loose-fitting and moisture-wicking garments that allow for ample air flow while also providing sun protection. Add a brimmed hat, and lightweight but sturdy shoes for guided walks. Bring a swimsuit and towel, just in case. Tuck in a collapsible tote bag to bring back acquired souvenirs and handicrafts.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
American citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport to enter Australia with at least one blank page for the entry stamp. An Australian Visa is required, or if eligible, an electronic visa, through Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) at www.eta.immi.gov.au. The ETA replaces a visa and allows a stay of up to 90 days. The ETA may be obtained from their website for $20 AUD. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to apply for ETAs on behalf of travelers. Please note that American citizens who overstay their ETA or visa, even for short periods, may be subject to exclusion, detention, and removal.
Read about Australia's entry/exit requirements here.
There are no required immunizations for U.S. citizens to enter Australia, but we would always suggest checking with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel to Australia at Traveler's Health CDC Australia.
Culture and Customs
For visitors from North America, Australia may seem like a favorite cousin who talks a bit funny and never met someone they didn't like. Portrayals of the Land Down Under often include a “no worries” attitude, which is an accurate representation of the hospitality visitors can expect. But laid back can be far from boring. In stark contrast to the cosmopolitan coastal cities to the south, Cairns is not only the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef but also the nation's epicenter for outdoor sports and adventures. Big game fishing charters, speedboat runs, jet ski tours and parasailing adventures take place in warm tropical waters, while on land, skydivers, climbers and bungee jumpers shun their fear of heights. Forays into the rainforest take place on foot, aboard motorcycles and mountain bikes or via offload vehicle. Aboriginal parks provide a glimpse of Australia's cultural heritage; zip line canopy rides spice up rainforest tours and crocodile-spotting cruises along the Daintree River provide bucket-list bragging rights.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
Standard electricity in Australia is 230 volts, 50 cycles. When coming from the United States an adapter will be needed for U.S. items and a step-down transformer could also be required to convert 220/240 Volt to 110/120 Volt. The power outlets use 3 flat pin plugs in a different configuration than U.S. sockets.
The international access code for Australia is 61. Please check with your cell phone provider for international data and calling plans.
Many hotels, restaurants and bars offer WiFi.
The tap water is safe to drink and bottled water is available for purchase.
Language & Currency
English is the official language of Australia.
The currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and consists of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 as coins and notes are $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. You can exchange funds at all international airports in Australia upon arrival or at any bank.
Major currencies can be exchanged at banks and many hotels, with some stores also accepting U.S. currency. Purchases may be made using cash or major credit cards. Check the current exchange rate here.
Most of Australia uses 3 time zones.
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (+10 GMT).
Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) in South Australia and Northern Territory, which is 9 1/2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+9.5 GMT).
Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) in Western Australia, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+8 GMT).
Daylight Saving Time is observed in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania from the beginning of October to the beginning of beginning of April, at which point AEST becomes AEDT and ACST becomes ACDT daylight savings time and moves by 1 hour. The Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland don’t observe Daylight Saving.
Location, Size and Population
Australia, sometimes referred to as the island continent, is the only country that is its own continent as well. Australia is very large - similar in size to the United States at almost 3 million square miles. The continent of Australia is located between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.
Australia's population is 24,17 Million (2016).