Australia is a large and diverse country, with a variety of landscapes and climates depending on the location. The seasons in Australia are opposite to those of countries in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning summer is from December to February and winter falls between June and August. Likewise, autumn and spring are during opposite months from those in North America and Europe. Always remember to pack for the season and never go anywhere without sun screen.
Summers are extremely hot, particularly in the northern Tropical Zone. Many of the major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, lie in the Temperate Zone to the south, which also enjoys high temperatures in the summer months. In the winter the temperature in the southern states can drop significantly and it frequently rains, particularly in Melbourne and Tasmania. It’s always a good idea to bring warm clothes, especially for the cold evenings.
As a result of the huge distances involved, travelling around Australia requires careful planning. It’s a good idea to have a credit card at hand, either for car rentals or domestic flights. American Express is one of the most commonly accepted credit cards in Australia and is accepted in most shops, restaurants and businesses. Velocity rewards cards can earn you velocity rewards and status benefits such as priority check in and global lounge access which can be a great privilege on a long trip.
Valid British and American licenses can be used for driving in Australia, but most companies require a credit card to secure bookings.
Australia is famous for its rugged landscapes and diverse wildlife — not all of which is cuddly and friendly. The outback is a paradise of adventure, but it’s important to be prepared before venturing off into the wilderness. Always stock up for a road trip in advance, packing extra water, food, petrol and survival supplies in the event of an emergency. Make sure to create an itinerary to factor in petrol stops on long drives. Petrol stations accept major credit cards such as American Express.
Be prepared for coming into contact with the indigenous animals of Australia, many of which live in the cities as well as the wild. Do some research into the kind of spiders, snakes or even crocodiles that you might encounter along the way, and always be prepared for an emergency. Keep a safe distance at all times and do not attempt to wander off alone without the services of a trained guide.