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soc.culture.australian FAQ (Part 4 of 6) (monthly posting)

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Neighborhoods ]
Archive-name: australian-faq/part4
Last-modified: 2 April 1996
Version: 3.10

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge

PART I (separate posting)
1.About soc.culture.australian
2.How to find Australians, Australian Information
  2.1 on the net
      2.1.1 Public access sites 
      2.1.2 Gopher and WWW
      2.1.3 Weather
      2.1.4 Finding people
      2.1.5 Other
  2.2 elsewhere
  3.1 Australian citizenship
  3.2 Dual Citizenship of other countries
  3.3 Visas
      3.3.1 For Foreigners in Australia
      3.3.2 For Australians in other Countries
  3.4 Immigration
      3.4.1 Addresses
      3.4.2 Criteria and Points System 
      3.4.3 Spouse/fiance(e) immigration              
      3.4.4 Employers sponsoring foreign employees
  3.5 Emigrants
PART II (separate posting)
4.Coming to Australia
  4.1 Quarantine
  4.2 Standards
  4.3 Cars
       4.3.1 Car Insurance 
  4.4 Shipping Information
  4.5 Miscellaneous        
  4.6 Australians Returning Home
5.Studying in Australia
  5.1 Overview of Australian Higher Education
  5.2 Postgraduate Study
  5.3 Miscellaneous Questions
  5.4 "Classification" of Australian Universities 
  5.5 Academic Addresses
  5.6 Australian Medical Schools
6.For Australians Overseas
  6.1 Radio Australia
  6.2 Newspapers:
  6.3 Australiana in the USA
  6.4 Video Conversion 
  6.5 Expatriate organisation
  6.6 Oz News
PART III (separate posting)
  7.1 Pre-Europeans
  7.2 European Discovery
  7.3 European settlement
      7.3.1 Penal Colony
      7.3.2 Gold Rush
      7.3.3 Post WWI Immigration
      7.3.4 Miscellaneous
           (includes Tasmanian Aborigines)
  7.4 Political History
      7.4.1 Independence
      7.4.2 Aboriginal Voting
  7.5 Wars
      7.5.1 Boer War
      7.5.2 World War I
      7.5.3 World War II
      7.5.4 Korea, Vietnam and others
  7.6 National heroes/Notable Australians   
  7.7 Miscellaneous
  8.1 Political System 
  8.2 Voting System 
  8.3 Current governments
  8.4 Taxation
  8.5 The Independence Debate
  8.6 Mabo
  8.7 Health Care
      8.7.1 Medicare
      8.7.2 Medicare Levy
      8.7.3 Doctors
      8.7.4 Fees
      8.7.5 Public Hospitals
      8.7.6 Private Hospitals
      8.7.7 Aged Care
      8.7.8 Skin Cancer
  8.8 Economic Information
PART IV (this posting)
9.Geography, Natural History
  9.1 Geographic information
  9.1 Cities and Population
  9.2 National Holidays
  9.3 Weather 
  9.4 Flora
      9.4.1 Extinct Species
  9.5 Fauna
      9.5.1 Monotremes
      9.5.2 Marsupials
      9.5.3 Tasmanian devils and Tasmanian Tigers
      9.5.4 Venomous Fauna
      9.5.5 Extinct and Endangered Species
      9.5.6 Koalas
  9.6 National Symbols
      9.6.1 Flag
      9.6.2 Coat of arms
10.Australian Life
  10.1 Housing
  10.2 Schooling
  10.3 Public Transport
  10.4 Roads
  10.5 Prices
  10.6 Shopping Hours
  10.7 Crime
  10.8 Sport
PART V (separate posting)
  11.1 Money      
  11.2 Jet-lag
  11.3 Responses to 3 questions      
  11.4 Travel Reports and Recommendations
       11.4.1 A Trip description 
       11.4.2 Uluru (Ayers Rock)
       11.4.3 Places of interest in Tasmania
       11.4.4 Accommodation tips to the low budget motorhome traveller (BB)
       11.4.5 Adelaide and SA
       11.4.6 Touring Australia by Motorcycle [C]
       11.4.7 Cheap travel agent [RM]
       11.4.8 Places of Interest in Melbourne
       11.4.9 Australia from south to north [JO]
  11.5 Advice for Australians in ....
       11.5.1 United Kingdom
       11.5.2 United States
       11.5.3 Canada
  12.1 Australian pronounciation
  12.2 Australian spelling
  12.3 Australian slang, word origins
  12.4 Australian word usage (misc)
PART VI (separate posting)
  13.1 Recipes and food
       13.1.1 Vegemite
       13.1.2 Sweets recipes: anzac biscuits, pavlova, lamingtons,
                                chocolate crackles
       13.1.3 Meat Pies, Damper, Galah, pumpkin soup
       13.1.4 Misc
  13.2 Songs 
       13.2.1 "Waltzing Matilda",  by Banjo Paterson (3 versions :-)
       13.2.2 "Advance Australia Fair", National Anthem
       13.2.3 "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", Eric Bogle
       13.2.4  "Tie me kangaroo down" (Rolf Harris)
  13.3 Literature
       13.3.1 Fiction
       13.3.2 Poetry
	- "My Country" by Dorothea McKellar
	- "The Man From Snowy River" by A.B. (Banjo) Paterson
       13.3.3 Children's Literature
       13.3.4 Non-Fiction
  13.4 Films 
  13.5 Music
       13.5.1 Classical
       13.5.2 Pop
       13.5.3 Jazz
       13.5.4 Other
   13.6 Opera
   13.7 Ballet
   13.8 Theatre
14. Contributors

A major reorganisation has been done (June 1994) and some sections are
incomplete. Contributions welcome - send to Stephen Wales,



9.1 Geographic information

Source for all the following data:  Australian Bureau of Statistics 1995
Year Book.  n/a = not available.

City, state and territory populations are estimates as at June 1993.

State/Territory		Population	Capital			Population
AUSTRALIA		17 661 468	Canberra		   298 600 

New South Wales		 6 008 578	Sydney			 3 719 000
Victoria		 4 462 064	Melbourne		 3 187 500
Queensland 		 3 112 597	Brisbane		 1 421 700
Western Australia	 1 677 616	Perth			 1 221 300
South Australia		 1 461 721	Adelaide		 1 070 200
Tasmania		   471 735	Hobart			   193 300
Aust. Capital Territory	   298 891	Canberra		   298 600
Northern Territory	   168 266	Darwin			    77 400

Norfolk Island		     2 000	Kingston		       n/a
Christmas Island	     1 275	Flying Fish Cove	       n/a
Cocos Islands		       586	Bantam			       n/a
Aust. Antarctic Terr.	    c. 100	Mawson			       n/a
Coral Sea Islands Terr.	         3	South Willis		         3
Heard and McDonald Is.	         0	-			         -


State/Territory		Area (sq km)	Coast (km)	Highest Point (m)
AUSTRALIA		 7 682 300	 36 700		Mt Kosciusko (2228)

Western Australia	 2 525 500	 12 500		Mt Meharry (1251)
Queensland		 1 727 200	  7 400		Mt Bartle-Frere (1611)
Northern Territory	 1 346 200	  6 200		Mt Zeil (1510)
South Australia		   984 000	  3 700		Mt Woodroffe (1440)
New South Wales		   801 600	  1 900		Mt Kosciusko (2228)
Victoria		   227 600	  1 800		Mt Bogong (1986)
Tasmania		    67 800	  3 200		Mt Ossa (1617)
Aust. Capital Territory	     2 400	     35		Mt Bimberi (1912)

Aust. Antarctic Terr.	 6 119 800	    n/a		spot height (4270)
Heard and McDonald Is.	       412	    102		Mawson Peak (2745)
Christmas Island	       135	    139		Murray Hill (356)
Norfolk Island		        35	     32		Mt Bates (319)
Cocos Islands		        14	     43		Horsburgh (6)
Coral Sea Islands Terr.	         3	   3095		South Willis (7)

Lord Howe Island is administered by New South Wales.
Macquarie Island is administered by Tasmania.
Ashmore and Cartier Islands are administered by the Northern Territory.
Jervis Bay Territory is administered by the Australian Capital Territory.

The foundation date given for the states is the date of formal proclamation of
the original colony as a self-governing political division in its own right.
For territories, it is the date of proclamation as a Commonwealth territory.

Order	State/Territory			Foundation Date
-----	-----------------------------	-------------------------
  1	New South Wales			7 February 1788
  2	Tasmania			14 June 1825
  3	Western Australia		18 June 1829
  4	South Australia			28 December 1836
  5	Victoria			1 July 1851
  6	Queensland			10 December 1859
  7	Northern Territory		1 January 1901
  8	Australian Capital Territory	1 January 1911
-----	-----------------------------	-------------------------

* Australian deserts [KH]

Desert           Location           Size (K sq mi)    Rank

Sahara           N Africa           3300                1
Great Victoria   SA-WA               250                5
Great Sandy      Sth Broome, WA      150                8
Simpson          E of "ther alis"     56               20
Sturt            N SA                 50               24

Of the 3.3 M mi^2 of "The Sahara" about 30% is occupied by "the Grand
Eng" (i.e. the great sand sea). According to the texts the Simpson is
also a "sand sea" and, from what I've seen of it, "a lot" of it is
comparable. ;-)

To aid comparisons:

State/Country    Size (K sq mi)
Vic                   88
NSW                  309
SA                   380
NT                   520
Qld                  667
WA                   975
Texas                267
France               213
U.K.                  94

I.e. the deserts of the Great WA Shield (i.e. Great Vic, Gibson and
Great Sandy) that kind-of run together (and I'm not getting down to
the country that runs along the Bite) account for quite a bit of
territory (i.e. 1/2 WA). Of course, "a lot" of it is fairly livable
country. People have been doing this for a few K years. ;-)

Artesian water underpins most of NSW, some of SA, most of NSW and Vic
and some coastal areas WA and NT. The drier climates are located off
of these (e.g. the WA Shield).

For those intending travel around any of the above -- I note that
Winter daytime temps average in excess of 30 C, Summer daytime temps
average in excess of 40 C. Nighttime temps in Summer are around 10 C
and Winter around 0 C. (We are taking a lot of territory into account
here -- the extremes from place-to-place are up to 10 C above/below
these figures).

9.2 National Holidays

(a) General Descriptions.

Australia Day: January 26th (holiday often taken on the nearest Monday
to this date to make a long weekend.)  Jan 26th 1788 was the day the
First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour to establish European

Religious holidays: 
Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas (Dec 25th), Boxing Day (Dec 26th)

Anzac Day: national holiday, April 25th (if it falls on a Sunday some
states move it to Monday, most don't [JB]?).  To remember those who
died serving their country.  April 25th, 1915 was the date of the
first landing of ANZACs at Gallipoli.

Other holidays (varies depending on State): New Year's Day (Jan 1st),
- Queen's Birthday (June), Labour Day. Each state also has "Show Day".

(b) Holidays for 1996 [AR]

1 Jan	New Year's Day
10 Jan	Devonport Cup Day Tas
26 Jan	Australia Day
26 Jan	Hobart Cup Day S.Tas
13 Feb	Royal Hobart Regatta S.Tas
28 Feb	Launceston Cup Day N.Tas
4 Mar	Eight Hours Day Tas
4 Mar	Labour Day WA
12 Mar	King Island Show Day Tas
18 Mar	Canberra Day ACT
5 Apr	Good Friday
6 Apr	Easter Saturday Not WA, Vic
8 Apr	Easter Monday
9 Apr	Bank Holiday
25 Apr	Anzac Day
6 May	Labour Day Qld
6 May	May Day NT
20 May	Adelaide Day
3 Jun	Foundation Day WA
10 Jun	Queen's Birthday Not WA
5 Jul	Alice Springs Show Day NT
12 Jul	Tennant Creek Show Day NT
19 Jul	Katherine Show Day NT
26 Jul	Darwin Show Day NT
5 Aug	Bank Holiday NSW
5 Aug	Picnic Day NT
14 Aug	Brisbane Show Day Qld
30 Sep	Queen's Birthday WA
4 Oct	Burnie Show
7 Oct	Labour Day ACT,NSW,SA
10 Oct	Launceston Show Day N.Tas
18 Oct	Flinders Island Show
24 Oct	Hobart Show Day S.Tas
4 Nov	Recreation Day N.Tas
25 Dec	Christmas Day
26 Dec	Boxing Day
26 Dec	Proclamation Day SA

9.3 Weather 

* Climate Information for each city [JO]

               Temperature               Rainfall
               (mean in Celsius)       (mean in mm)
Sydney           22                         102
Melbourne        20                          47
Brisbane         25                         164
Adelaide         23                          20
Perth            24                           8
Hobart           17                          48
Darwin           28                         409
Canberra         20                          60
Sydney           12                         101
Melbourne        10                          48
Brisbane         15                          57
Adelaide         11                          66
Perth            13                         174
Hobart            8                          53
Darwin           25                           1
Canberra          5                          39

Sydney in September October (useful for Sept Sydney 2000)

Quoting from the 'Australian Weather Calendar':[MJ]

	                  September     October
av max temp                  20.2        22.3
av min temp                   9.8        12.8
days > 35C                    0           0
days < 2.3C                   0           0   (no frosts)
av hrs/day of sunshine       7.8        8.0
av monthly rainfall (mm)      60          76
no of rain days (av)         10         11

[MJ] The following climate data was copied from the Australian Weather
Calendar.  If you see a number that is clearly wrong it is because I
mistyped it.  Please note that these are statistical averages over
(long) records (more than 100 years for the state capitals).  As such
they do not indicate what you may necessarily expect.  Much of
Australia has variable weather, particularly the south (e.g. Melbourne
in January has an average maximum temperature of 25.7 but can expect 4
days over 35).

Also note that over the 100+ years of data there have been "cool" and
"warm" decades.  Average temperatures for the last 20 years will, for
several cities at least, be a little higher than the figures quoted
here.  Finally, the column giving number of days > 35 refers to
maximum temperature, and the column of days < 2.3 refers to the
minimum temperature.  This corresponds to an expected number of days
of frost. A "rainday" is any day on which at least a trace (0.1mm) of
rain is recorded in a standard rain gauge.


Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        28.5     16.6       5       0        10.6     20        4
Alice Springs   36.0     21.2      21       0        10.2     35        5
Brisbane        29.1     20.9       0       0         8.3    164       13
Canberra        27.7     12.9       2       0         9.7     58        7
Darwin          31.7     24.8       0       0         5.7    414       21
Hobart          21.5     11.7       0       0         8.0     48       11
Melbourne       25.7     14.0       5       0         8.6     48        8
Perth           31.5     16.7       9       0        10.7      8        3
Port Headland   36.3     25.3      19       0        10.5     56        5
Sydney          26.2     18.4       1       0         7.5    100       11
Townsville      31.2     24.1       1       0         7.8    283       15
Weipa           31.9     23.9       1       0         5.5    448       21

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        28.5     16.8       4       0        10.3     21        4
Alice Springs   34.9     20.6      16       0         9.9     42        5
Brisbane        29.0     20.8       0       0         7.7    174       14
Canberra        27.0     12.9       1       1         9.3     56        7
Darwin          31.4     24.6       0       0         5.9    349       20
Hobart          21.6     11.9       0       0         7.2     39        9
Melbourne       25.7     14.3       3       0         8.5     47        7
Perth           31.7     17.4       7       0        10.2     14        3
Port Headland   36.2     25.3      17       0        10.2     98        7
Sydney          26.2     18.7       1       0         7.4    111       11
Townsville      30.9     23.8       0       0         7.1    296       16
Weipa           31.4     23.9       0       0         4.8    410       20

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        26.0     15.2       2       0         8.4      24        5
Alice Springs   32.5     17.4       9       9         9.7      37        3
Brisbane        28.2     19.2       0       0         7.6     142       14
Canberra        24.4     10.7       0       0         7.9      55        7
Darwin          31.8     24.4       0       0         6.7     312       19
Hobart          20.1     10.7       0       0         6.3      47       11
Melbourne       23.8     13.0       1       1         6.8      52        9
Perth           29.5     15.7       4       0         9.1      15        4
Port Headland   36.7     24.4      22       0         9.8      44        4
Sydney          25.2     17.2       0       0         7.0     127       12
Townsville      30.4     22.8       0       0         7.3     212       14
Weipa           31.6     23.5       0       0         5.3     337       20

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        22.1     12.7       0       0         7.2     44        9
Alice Springs   27.9     12.5       1       0         9.4     14        2
Brisbane        26.4     17.1       0       0         7.4     94       11
Canberra        19.7      6.7       0       4         6.9     52       12
Darwin           32.6     23.9       1       0         8.7     99        9
Hobart          17.2      8.9       0       0         5.2     52       12
Melbourne       20.2     10.6       0       0         5.6     58       12
Perth           25.2     12.7       0       0         7.3     46        8
Port Headland   35.1     21.1      17       0         9.8     22        2
Sydney          22.8     13.9       0       0         6.6    109       11
Townsville      29.4     20.4       0       0         7.7     68        8
Weipa           31.9     22.6       0       0         7.1    112       10

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        18.6     10.4       0       0         5.3     68       13
Alice Springs   22.9      8.3       0       2         8.4     18        3
Brisbane        23.5     13.8       0       0         6.4     87       11
Canberra        15.2      3.1       0      13         5.5     49        9
Darwin          31.9     22.1       0       0         9.5     21        2
Hobart          14.3      6.9       0       1         4.2     49       14
Melbourne       16.6      8.5       0       1         4.4     58       14
Perth           21.4     10.3       0       0         6.0    108       13
Port Headland   30.3     17.1       2       0         8.9     29        3
Sydney          19.9     10.5       0       0         5.8     98       11
Townsville      27.4     17.5       0       0         7.3     37        6
Weipa           31.5     21.3       0        0        7.5     16        3

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        15.8      8.5       0       0         4.6     72       15
Alice Springs   19.8      5.2       0       9         8.4     14        3
Brisbane        21.2     11.0       0       0         7.3     76        8
Canberra        12.0      0.9       0      18         5.0     38        9
Darwin          30.5     19.9       0       0         9.9      1        1
Hobart          11.9      5.2       0       4         3.9     56       14
Melbourne       13.9      6.7       0       3         4.0     50       14
Perth           18.7      9.0       0       1         5.0    177       17
Port Headland   27.4     13.9       0       0         8.7     19        3
Sydney          17.4      8.2       0       0         6.1    129       11
Townsville      25.4     14.3       0       0         7.9     22        4
Weipa           30.6     19.6       0       0         7.4      4        1

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        14.9      7.5       0       0         4.8     67       16
Alice Springs   19.4      4.0       0      12         9.0     15        3
Brisbane        20.6      9.5       0       0         7.5     66        7
Canberra        11.1     -0.2       0      22         5.6     42       10
Darwin          30.4     19.3       0       0        10.0      1        0
Hobart          11.5      4.5       0       6         4.4     54       15
Melbourne       13.3      5.8       0       4         4.5     49       15
Perth           17.6      8.0       0       1         5.4    163       18
Port Headland   26.9     12.0       0       0         9.1     10        2
Sydney          16.8      6.6       0       1         6.6     69        9
Townsville      24.8     13.6       0       0         8.4     15        3
Weipa           30.5     18.9       0       0         7.5      2        1

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        16.1      8.0       0       0         5.8     62       16
Alice Springs   22.3      6.1       0       7         9.7     11        2
Brisbane        21.7     10.1       0       0         8.5     43        7
Canberra        12.7      1.0       0      19         6.6     48       12
Darwin          31.2     20.6       0       0        10.2      7        1
Hobart          12.9      5.1       0       4         5.0     52       15
Melbourne       14.8      6.5       0       2         5.2     51       16
Perth           18.3      7.9       0       1         6.4    116       16
Port Headland   28.9     13.0       0       0        10.2      4        1
Sydney          18.0      7.7       0       0         7.9     80       10
Townsville      25.9     14.7       0       0         8.3      2        1

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        18.4      9.2       0       0         6.6     51       13
Alice Springs   26.6      9.9       1       1        10.0      9        2
Brisbane        23.8     12.6       0       0         9.1     32        7
Canberra        15.9      3.0       0      13         7.4     51       10
Darwin          32.4     23.1       2       0         9.8     17        2
Hobart          15.0      6.3       0       1         5.9     52       15
Melbourne       17.1      7.8       0       1         5.7     59       15
Perth           20.0      8.8       0       0         7.4     68       13
Port Headland   32.2     15.2       5       0        10.8      1        1
Sydney          20.2      9.8       0       0         7.8     60       10
Townsville      27.5     17.1       0       0         9.5     10        2
Weipa           33.3     20.0       4       0         8.6      6        1

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        21.3     11.1       0       0         8.4     44       11
Alice Springs   30.8     14.7       7       0        10.0     21        5
Brisbane        25.7     15.7       0       0         8.5     98       10
Canberra        19.2      5.9       0       6         8.7     66       11
Darwin          33.1     25.0       2       0         9.5     71        6
Hobart          16.9      7.7       0       0         6.4     64       16
Melbourne       19.6      9.3       0       0         6.8     68       14
Perth           22.3     10.1       0       0         8.8     48       10
Port Headland   34.5     18.0      15       0        11.5      1        1
Sydney          22.3     12.8       0       0         8.0     76       11
Townsville      29.3     20.5       0       0         9.8     23        5
Weipa           34.8     21.4      15       0         9.2     27        2

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        24.4     13.1       2       0         9.1     31        8
Alice Springs   33.5     17.8      13       0        10.2     26        5
Brisbane        27.3     18.0       0       0         8.5     95       10
Canberra        22.5      8.5       0       2         9.1     62       10
Darwin          33.1     25.3       2       0         8.4    142       12
Hobart          18.6      9.2       0       0         6.9     55       14
Melbourne       21.8     11.0       1       0         7.4     59       12
Perth           25.4     12.4       1       0         9.9     26        7
Port Headland   36.1     21.1      18       0        11.8      3        1
Sydney          23.9     15.0       1       0         8.1     83       11
Townsville      30.7     22.8       1       0         9.4     53        7
Weipa           34.6     23.2      13       0         9.1    105        8

Where          av max   av min   days>35  days<2.3   Sun   rainfall  raindays
                 C        C         #       #      hrs/day    mm        #

Adelaide        26.8     15.1       4       0         9.5     26        6
Alice Springs   35.4     20.1      18       0        10.3     37        5
Brisbane        28.8     19.9       0       0         8.7    126       11
Canberra        26.0     11.1       1       0         9.4     53        8
Darwin          32.6     25.3       1       0         7.2    229       16
Hobart          20.2     10.7       0       0         7.3     57       13
Melbourne       24.1     12.7       2       0         8.1     59       11
Perth           28.5     14.6       4       0        10.7     12        4
Port Headland   36.6     23.7      20       0        11.4     19        2
Sydney          25.6     17.2       1       0         8.3     77       10
Townsville      31.4     23.9       1       0         8.9    127       10
Weipa           33.3     23.9       5       0         7.4    253       15

Here's some statistics from "Australia in Brief" from the Commonwealth
Bookshop: [TN] "Weather in Australia's capital" (A rain day is a day
on which rainfall is 0.2 mm or more)

	Hours	Rain-	# of	Mean temp	Mean temp
	sun	fall	rain	hottest		coldest
	/day		days*	month		month
Adel	7.6	 559	122	23.0		11.1
Bris	7.9	1217	123	25.0		15.0
Canb	7.5	 629	108	20.3		 5.4
Darw	8.5	1669	110	29.2		24.8
Hoba	5.9	 628	160	16.5		 7.9
Melb	6.3	 655	147	19.9		 9.5
Pert	7.9	 869	119	24.0		13.2
Sydn	6.7	1219	139	22.1		12.0

Online weather information [IC]

It's possible to find out the current weather for any state of
Australia from the Victorian Bureau of Meteorology via telnet.

% telnet 55555
|           ************ VIC WEATHER - MAIN MENU ************
|           1  = CURRENT MELB FORECAST
|           2  = CURRENT VIC FORECAST
|           [...] 
|           9  = INTERSTATE FORECASTS .................(menu)
|enter choice => 1
|***********************START MELBOURNE FORC*********************
| Forecast for Melbourne issued by the Bureau of Meteorology Melbourne
| at 2145 on 21/09/1993 for WEDNESDAY.
ie Typical Melbourne Weather :-) [IC]
| MIN = 8  MAX = 16
| OUTLOOK THURSDAY.  FINE.                              MAX = ABOUT 17
| OUTLOOK FRIDAY.    FINE.                              MAX = ABOUT 19
| OUTLOOK SATURDAY.  MAINLY FINE.                       MAX = ABOUT 19
| MELB       MELBOURNE CITY           10.5

GOPHER: The Bureau of Meteorology has just set up a Gopher server to
provide forecast information for each state and territory around
Australia.  Currently only textual information is available, but we
hope to add charts and satellite images sometime in the future.  The
server is known as "" and should be accessible
through AARNET at the normal Gopher port (i.e port 70).  Please note :
This service is initially purely experimental and will not be
supported outside normal office hours. Contact : Justin Baker, Central
Operations and Systems Branch, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne,
Australia e-mail :

* Miscellaneous facts: Temperatures at the coldest place in Australia
plunged to the lowest ever recorded Tuesday night (June 28, 1994).
The temperature at Charlotte's Pass in the Snowy Mountains in the
state of New South Wales dropped to -23C.  Australia's previous record
low of -22.2C was measured at Charlotte's Pass July 14, 1945, and
again August 8, 1947.  The country's record for the highest shade
temperature still stands after 105 years. This was 53.3 degrees
recorded at the outback town of Cloncurry in Queensland January 16,

* There is an Ozone FAQ on sci.environment which is more likely to be
correct than what gets periodically posted on s.c.a.!

9.4 Flora

9.4.1 Extinct Species

[PB] The following is an extract from a document on the Environmental
Resources Information Network gopher at ANU.  This is only the Extinct
species-the posting would be about four times as long if I also
included endangered and vulnerable species.  This is a very long list,
which would probably be longer if there had been more time to document
the species which existed before the start of the industrial
revolution.  Many more probably went extinct before we even knew they


Acacia  murrumboensis, Acacia  prismifolia, Acacia  volubilis, 
Acanthocladium  dockeri, Acianthus  ledwardii, Amphibromus  whitei,
Argentipallium  spiceri, Argyreia  soutteri, Beyeria  lepidopetala,
Caladenia  atkinsonii, Caladenia  pumila, Calothamnus  accedens,
Centrolepis  caespitosa, Choristemon  humilis, Coleanthera  virgata,
Deyeuxia  drummondii, Deyeuxia  lawrencei, Dicrastylis  morrisonii,
Didymoglossum  exiguum, Diplazium  pallidum  pallidum, Eriostemon  falcatus,
Euphorbia  carissoides, Euphrasia  arguta, Euphrasia  sp. Tamworth 
(Rupp s.n. -/9/1904),
Frankenia  conferta, Frankenia  decurrens, Frankenia  parvula,
Glyceria  drummondii, Grevillea  divaricata, Gyrostemon  reticulatus,
Haloragis  platycarpa, Hemigenia  clotteniana, Hemigenia  exilis,
Hemigenia  obtusa, Huperzia  serrata, Hutchinsia  tasmanica,
Hydatella  leptogyne, Hymenophyllum  lobbii, Hypsela  sessiliflora,
Lasiopetalum  rotundifolium, Lemmaphyllum  accedens, Lepidium  drummondii,
Lepidium  peregrinum, Leptomeria  dielsiana, Leptomeria  laxa,
Leucopogon  cryptanthus, Leucopogon  marginatus, Lycopodium  volubile,
Marsdenia  araujacea, Menkea  draboides, Musa  fitzalanii,
Nemcia  lehmannii, Oberonia  attenuata, Olearia  oliganthema,
Opercularia  acolytantha, Ozothamnus  selaginoides, Persoonia  prostrata,
Phlegmatospermum  drummondii, Pimelea  spinescens  pubiflora, 
Platysace  dissecta,
Plectrachne  bromoides, Prasophyllum  subbisectum, Prostanthera  albohirta,
Pseudanthus  nematophorus, Ptilotus  fasciculatus, Ptilotus  pyramidatus,
Rapanea  sp. Richmond River (J.H. Maiden & J.L. Boorman NSW 26751), 
Scaevola  attenuata, Scaevola  macrophylla,
Schoenus  natans, Senecio  georgianus, Stylidium  merrallii,
Stylidium  neglectum, Tetraria  australiensis, Tetratheca  elliptica,
Tetratheca  fasciculata, Thomasia  gardneri, Trachymene  scapigera,
Trianthema  cypseloides

9.5 Fauna

[AT] Australia's plants and wildlife are very different to any other
continent.  This stems from Australia's long isolation and the climatic
conditions during this isolation.  Australia's isolation began as
Gondwanaland began to break up a 150 million years ago.  Up to about 60
million years ago a journey was possible Australia to South America
through Antartica.  Then came a period of almost complete isolation as
Australia.  drifted north.  In the last 10 million years a sea journey
from Asia has became easier but even the island hopping of very recent
immigrants like man would have involved a sea journey of at least 50km.

9.5.1 The Monotremes

[AT] The most remarkable of Australia's Gondwanan passengers are the
Platypus and echidnas.  These are egg-laying mammals known as the
monotremes.  Female monotremes incubate their eggs for 1-2 weeks.
After hatching the young depend on milk secreted by their mother for
3-5 months.  Monotremes occur only in Australian and New Guinea.

[RG] The Echidna is a small termite eating monotreme.  The Echidna's
back is covered with spines (a similar defense system to the
porcupine, though the two animals are not related).  It's short legs
are adapted for digging - the forelegs for digging into termite
mounds, and the hind legs for digging into the ground.  The animal's
defense is to quickly bury itself while raising the spines.  Very few
predators are capable of attacking the Echidna (though I believe
Dingos have managed to).  The Echidna is one of the world's two
monotremes (the other of which is the Platypus) which are the only egg
laying mammals.  It's species name is Tachyglossus Aculeatus.  Many
people in Australia mistakenly call them "porcupines", though a more
correct colloquial name for them is the Spiny Anteater.

[AT] To be picky there actually two species of Echidna and hence 3
extant monotreme species.  The Long-Beaked Echidna (Zachyglossus
bruini I think) is found in Papua New-Guinea.  The Short-Beaked
Echidna is found in both PNG and Australia. Both species have been
split in the past.  Echidnas also eat ants and occur in areas without
termites but not in areas without ants (but maybe there are no areas
with termites but no ants).

Like the Platypus, Echidnas possess receptor capable of detecting
minute electrical currents.  The Platypus presumably uses them for
detecting the nerve impulses of prey.  Its not obvious how the
Echidnas' receptors are useful.  One suggestion is that they allow
detection of trace concentrations of gases associated with termite
colonies when the gases dissolve on the Echidna's snout and produce
minute electrical currents.

Also remarkable is the diversity of habitats Short-Beaked Echidnas
occupy.  Everything from the arid interior to alpine areas of the Snowy
Mountains.  In the last 2-3 years researchers have monitored Echidnas
in the Kosciusko high country through the winter and found their
temperature regulation more complex than previously thought.  In the
past it was suggested monotremes had primitive temperature regulation
because they maintain a lower temperature than placentals and it
fluctuates more.  Clearly its not that simple and their temperature
regulation may be as well-adapted as many placental mammals.

9.5.2 Marsupials

Marsupials are another group of mammals distinguished by their method of
reproduction.  Their young are born at very early stage and crawl to
their mothers nipple where remain attached as they grow.  Often these
nipples a protected by a fold of skin forming a pouch.  This is
well-developed in the kangaroos where the young remain in this pouch for
up to 9 months and for some time after that occasionally return to the
pouch.  In some marsupials pouches are temporary and lost after
breeding, other marsupials have no pouches at all.  The pouches of
wombats and Koalas face the rear.

A few species of possum occur in North America and a larger number in
South America otherwise marsupials are restricted to Australia and a few
islands north of Australia.  They are known from fossils in Europe,
Africa and Asia.

Globally most mammals fall into a third group called the placental
mammals (or eutherians).  Apart from marine mammals, the only placental
mammals native to Australia are bats and rodents.  Even so they make up
almost half our mammal species.

One group of rodents seems to have made a long sea journey from Asia at
least 5 million years ago and has adapted considerably to Australia
conditions.  Other rodents have arrived from Asia more recently.  A
recently discovered bat fossil, apparently the oldest known anywhere,
indicates bats were present in Australia much longer than previously
thought and may have been present in Australia before it became isolated.

Marsupials are sometimes described as more primitive than placental
mammals.  This is the result of Eurocentric bias causing differences to
be perceived inferiorities.  Neither reproductive method is consistently
superior to the other.

Many thought that Australia's marsupial diversity results from isolation
protecting them from placental mammal competition.  A recent discovery
of a placental tooth disproves this, showing terrestrial placental
mammals reached Australia before it became isolated but did not persist.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket in Brisbane has Kangaroos
in an enclosure that will willing eat out of the palm of your hand.
You may also find some at Alma Park Zoo in Narangba, north of Brisbane
(to quote the TV commercials - Take the Bruce Highway north and follow 
the signs.)

See the separate section below for Koala information.

9.5.3 Tasmanian devils and Tasmanian Tigers [KB]

The Tasmanian Devil population is relatively large and is on the
whole very healthy. There is some problem with a heartworm type
parasite which has (of course) originated from introduced
species.  The government authority is aware of this and are
maintaining close watch and quarantine on infected groups. It
shouldn't be too great a problem. Tasmanian Devils are a quasi
animal emblem some suggest ambassador for the state so any threat
to their survival is taken very seriously.

A bit about the TD, they do hunt, even climb trees, but generally
prefer to consume carrion aka dead wallabies, livestock, etc.
The TD species appears to one of the few natives that actually
have thrived and increased in population with the arrival of
European man.  Especially now we have a brutally efficient means
of producing carrion aka the motor vehicle which leaves plenty of
road kill for the devils.  We also have the tendency to aggregate
large numbers of live food such as hens and sheep for the devils
to maraud occasionally.

Historically the devils used to follow the now extinct Tasmanian
Tiger.  Looked much more like a large dog actually.The TT was a
notoriously inefficient hunter which just used to lay in wait for
prey and lunge onto them as they passed, normally only managing
to wound them and then tracking the animal until it was so weak
from blood loss etc that it was able to be slaughtered. It is
suggested that the TT would then feed off its kill until the
devils arrived on masse and drove it away. Consequently when
European man arrived with their sheep the TT soon adapted to this
new abundant and tractable food source and got a reputation for
killing livestock. In my opinion the new settlers own dogs were
much more likely to have killed most of the livestock, they still
do. As history will show the government of the day reacted to the
hysteria about the TT and offered a sizable bounty for each TT
scalp. The last known TT died in captivity in 1933.

Two large marsupial carnivores found their last refuge in Tasmania.  The
Thylacine and the Tasmanian Devil disappeared from mainland Australia
within the last few thousand years probably because of competition with
the Dingo after it was brought to Australia by man.  The Dingo never
reached Tasmania.

The Thylacine's similarity to a large dog is why it was sometimes called
the Tasmanian Wolf, its stripes led to it also being called the Tasmania
Tiger.  Its main prey are thought to have been kangaroos and wallabies.
Alleged predation on sheep led to a long campaign government-funded
persecution but its rapid decline at the start of this century may have
been also caused by disease.  The last known Thylacine died in Hobart
Zoo in the 1930s.  Unsubstantiated sighting still occur, including on
the mainland but many believe the Thylacine is extinct.

The Tasmanian Devil is much smaller - roughly similar in body shape to a
Corgi.  Its prey ranges from invertebrates to mammals larger than
itself.  It prefers carrion which its powerful jaws are well adapted to
consuming.  Tasmanian Devils are not endangered. They occur throughout
Tasmania perhaps in larger numbers than when Europeans arrived.

9.5.4 Venomous Fauna

Australia's array of venomous fauna is unmatched by any other country.
They are *not* a serious concern for tourists.

Red-Back Spider, more commonly known in the U.S. as a Black Widow; it
        is found all over Australia.

The Box Jellyfish or Sea Wasp (Chironex sp.).  The most dangerous
jellyfishes.  Sting produces excruciating pain, respiratory distress,
cardiovascular effects and sometimes death.  Over 70 deaths known. An
antivenom is available but if death occurs it is usually within 10
minutes.  Occurs in shallow coastal waters of northern Australia from
November to April.  Does not affect Great Barrier Reef resort areas.

Blue-ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena sp.).  The most dangerous octopuses.
Shy inhabitants of reefs and tidal pools.  If handled may bite producing
rapid painless paralysis, breathing difficulties and sometimes death
through suffocation within minutes.  Death unlikely if artificial
respiration supplied.  Few deaths known but likely some undiagnosed.

Inland Taipan/Fierce Snake (Oxyuranus microlepidotus).  Probably most
venomous bite of any land snake.  Found in remote arid areas of inland
Australia.  Average bite injects sufficient venom to kill over 100,000
mice.  Three bites known but no fatalities.  Another ~20 Australian land
snakes are capable of causing death but fatalities uncommon since
antivenoms became widely available.  About 20 sea snakes found in
Australian waters are also capable of causing death but bites rare as
they are normally only encountered by divers and fishermen.

Funnel Web Spider (Atrax sp).  Some of the the most dangerous spiders.
Species occur in variety of habitats around Australia.  Sydney Funnel
Webs are common in some Sydney suburbs.  Since the availability of
antivenom fatalities rare.  A number of other Australian spiders are

Stonefish (Synanceja sp. )  Probably most venomous fish. Well
camouflaged inhabitant of northern Australian reefs.  If stepped on
dorsal spines inject venom causing immense pain.  Death unusual but
symptoms are extreme and long lasting.  Antivenom available but hot
water produces great relief of symptoms.  Many other Australian fish
possess venomous spines but only a few approach the Stonefishes in
potency.  For most species stings are unlikely unless handled.

Cone Shells (Conus sp.) Most dangerous molluscs.  Attractive inhabitant
mainly of water.  Predatory molluscs which can if handled inject a venom
with neuromuscular toxin.  Few Australian fatalities.

Trapdoor Spider
	Not deadly but can still give a nasty bite
Tree Funnel-Web
	Another member of the Sydney variety's Atrax family which can be
	found in northern NSW and Qld, but usually only in rainforests)
Bird-Eating Spider
	Another relative of the funnel-web, and potentially just as

Red Bellied Black Snake
Brown Snakes
Death Adder

Important note for people overseas: There are effective antivenines for
all the dangerous poisonous land creatures in Australia.  The Black Widow in
the US is more dangerous than the Red-Back Spider because there is no
reliable anti-venine in the US.  To my knowledge, the only really
dangerous poisonous creature here for which there is no specific
anti-venine is the Clarence-river Tiger Snake, which can be effectively
treated with normal Tiger Snake anti-venine anyway.

Other Dangerous sea-creatures: Sea Snakes, Sharks, Box Jelly Fish.

Some things to note about the snakes above: The sea-snake has very
short fangs - in fact 5mm wetsuits are effective protection (provided
the snake tries to bite the wetsuit! ;).  Of the land snakes, the most
dangerous is the Taipan, since it will attack unprovoked.  I have seen
all of the snakes above except for the sea snake, and they were all in
more of a hurry to get out of my way than I was to get out of theirs!

I believe in terms of toxicity, the daddy-long-legs spider has a venom
more dangerous than the funnel-web, but doesn't have the fangs or
quantity to actually be dangerous to large animals. 

Can anyone remember a serious attack recently?  The thing with all
poisonous creatures is to treat them with the respect they deserve and
give them a wide berth.  Try killing a Taipan with a shovel and you are
asking for trouble - they can strike across a distance of at least two
metres.  If you're not sure what kind of spider or snake it is, assume
it *is* dangerous, and avoid it anyway.

Only one snake has ever looked like it was going to strike at me - a
small-eyed snake, which as it turns out is not dangerous.  But when it
did - you should have seen me levitate backwards out of it's way! 8^)

Once when walking with a friend in Lamington National Park, she
suddenly stopped.  I walked up and said "What's the problem?".  She
pointed a quivering finger at a snake a few metres away.  "Snake!" she
said.  "Oh, sure.  It's a Tiger Snake,"I replied.  "You didn't *have*
to tell me that!"she said... *laughter* The snake in question was
sunning itself in a patch of sun, and was fast asleep, digesting a
meal.  I doubt it knew we were there.  Spiders and snakes are just
more of nature's beautiful creatures - treat them with respect and
they're not a problem.

9.5.5 Extinct and Endangered Species

The last two hundred years have been disastrous for Australia's mammals
with perhaps as many as 18 species becoming extinct (the status of
several is uncertain).  This is far worse than any other continent.  50
or more years latter it is hard to be certain of the exact causes but
for 16 of the 18 species most think the primary cause was one or more of
three introduced species: cats, rabbits and foxes.  Grazing by domestic
stock may also have affected some species.  For the Thylacine and the
Toolache Wallaby extinction came more directly from hunting.

Many more mammals exist now only as small declining populations or
survive only on tiny offshore islands.  Saving these species will
present great difficulties.

Australia's plants are the other group to have suffered badly in the
last 200 years.  Around 100 species seem to have become extinct and
another 200 of Australia's 20,00 plants are endangered.  A further 3,000
species are placed in the less serious categories of rare, vulnerable or
threatened.  Many plant communities are not adequately conserved.

Australia's birds have fared better.  Only one species has been
lost from mainland Australia - the Paradise Parrot.  Island species
have fared worse with a number of species lost from Norfolk and
Lord Howe islands.  Emu species found only on Kangaroo Island and
King Island have also been lost.


Aplonis fusca			Norfolk Island Starling
Columba vitiensis godmanae	Lord Howe Pigeon
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae erythrotis	Macquarie Island Parakeet
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens	Lord Howe Parakeet
Dasyornis broadbenti littoralis	South-western Rufous Bristlebird
Dromaius baudinianus		Kangaroo Island Emu	
Dromaius minor			Dwarf Emu/King Island Emu
Drymodes superciliaris colcloughi	Roper River Scrub-robin
Gerygone insularis		Lord Howe Warbler
Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadicea	New Zealand Pigeon (Norfolk Island Race)
Lalage leucopyga leucopyga	Norfolk Island Long-tailed Triller
Nestor productus		Norfolk Island Kaka
Ninox novaeseelandiae albaria	Lord Howe Boobook Owl
Notornis alba			White Gallinule
Psephotus pulcherrimus		Paradise Parrot
Rallus pectoralis clelandi	Lewin's Water Rail (western race)
Rallus philippensis maquariensis	Macquarie Island Rail
Rhipidura cervina		Lord Howe Fantail
Turdus xanthopus vinitinctus	Lord Howe Island Vinous-tinted Thrush
Zosterops strenua		Robust White-eye

Caloprymnus campestris		Desert Rat-kangaroo
Chaeropus ecaudatus		Pig-footed Bandicoot
Conilurus albipes		White-footed Rabbit-rat
Lagorchestes asomatus		Central Hare-wallaby
Lagorchestes leporides		Eastern Hare-wallaby
Leporillus apicalis		Lesser Stick-nest Rat
Macropus greyi			Toolache Wallaby
Macrotis leucura		Lesser Bilby
Notomys amplus			Short-tailed Hopping-mouse
Notomys longicaudatus		Long-tailed Hopping-mouse
Notomys macrotis		Big-eared Hopping-mouse
Notomys mordax			Darling Downs Hopping-mouse
Onychogalea lunata		Crescent Nailtail Wallaby
Potorous platyops		Broad-faced Potoroo
Potorous tridactylus gilberti	Gilbert's Potoroo
Pseudomys fieldi		Alice Springs Mouse
Pseudomys gouldii 		Gould's Mouse
Pteropus brunneus		Percy Island Flying Fox
Rattus macleari			Christmas Island Rat
Rattus nativitatus		Christmas Island Rat
Thylacinus cynocephalus		Thylacine

9.5.6 Koalas

There are moves to eliminate the handling of captive Koalas but visitors
who must pet a Koala may wish to try the places below.  Call beforehand
to check.

- Sydney, New South Wales: The Australian Wildlife Park (outside
Sydney). 830-9187. (In USA: 800-423-2880).

- Melbourne, Victoria: Phillip Island Animal Park (two hours
east of Melbourne).

- Brisbane, Queensland: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (Fig Tree Pocket);
Bunya Park (in Brisbane).

- Brisbane, Queensland: Gondwana Sanctuary at Southbank in Brisbane also 
allows you to hold koalas and be photographed by them.  

- Canberra, ACT: Rehwinkel's Animal Park about 20 mins drive north of
Canberra (can pet kangaroos and wallabies ? koalas)
Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, about 30 minutes south of Canberra, 
viewing only but of semi-wild koalas in a natural setting.

- Adelaide, South Australia: Cleland Wildlife Reserve (near Mt. Lofty).
61-8-339-2444. Fax 61-8-370-9623.  Cudlee Creek Wildlife Park (Cudlee
Creek, in the hills outside Adelaide).

- Perth, West Australia: Cohunu Wildlife Park in Caversham, WA, just
outside Perth

9.6 National Symbols

9.6.1 Flag

In vexillogical terms, the Australian flag is a defaced blue ensign.
In the upper hoist (top left corner) is the Union Flag (ie the flag of
the United Kingdom). On the fly (right) of the flag, are 5 white
stars, representing the Southern Cross, a constellation of stars
generally only visible in the southern hemisphere.  Each of these
stars has 7 points except for the smallest star which has only five.

Directly below the Union Flag is a large 7 pointed white star called
the Federation Star, representing the federation of the colonies of
Australia in 1901 to become an independent nation of the British
Commonwealth.  There is one point for each of the six states, and one
to represent all of Australia's internal and external territories.

The length:height ratio of the flag is 2:1.

* History of the Australian Flag

Australia's national flag was chosen from a national flag competition
held in 1901.  Initially started by a Melbourne newspaper, the
competition was taken up by the new Federal Government, and it
attracted 32 823 entries.  Although not a part of the official entry
rules, the judges proscribed that the design *must* contain the Union
Flag.  The winning design was in fact shared by five people who
submitted almost identical entries.  Australia's first Prime Minister,
Edmund Barton, announced the winning design in Melbourne on 3
September 1901.  The design had a mixed reception and caused much
controversy at the time.

The original design was as described above, except the Federation Star
contained only 6 points and the Southern Cross was represented by
stars ranging from 5 to 9 points to indicate their relative apparent
brightness in the night sky.  The design was modified to the current
design on 22 May 1909, but in fact the flag did *not* have official
sanction as Australia's national flag, and wasn't always flown as
such, until the Flags Act of 1953 was passed by the Menzies

There is some agitation to change the current design to one that does
not include the Union Flag in view of Australia's changing
relationship with Britain.

[BJ] The main organisation advancing the case for a new Australian
flag is Ausflag.  Ausflag is an apolitical, non-profit organisation
seeking to promote high quality debate about Australia's national

Ausflag was established in 1981 by Harold Scruby and other interested
Australians with the objective of securing the popular support of the
Australian people for the adoption of a truly Australian flag.

Ausflag has an excellent World Wide Web site at:

This site provides detailed, accurate information about Australian flags of
the past and present and many proposed designs for a new Australian flag.

9.6.2 Coat of arms

[BJ] The Australian Coat of Arms shows a kangaroo (left) and an emu
(right) holding a shield that contains the six state badges (left to
right on first row: NSW, Vic and Qld, below are SA, WA and Tas).
Underneath the shield is a spray of Golden Wattle blossoms,
Australia's floral emblem.  Above the shield is the seven pointed
federation star.

9.7 Miscellaneous

For anyone chasing facts and figures about Australia I would recommend
The Book Of Australia Almanac, "The essential information book on
everything Australian". (524 pages) My copy is the 1991-92 Ed. which
cost me $2 at a sale in Melbourne, so I assume that there is a later
edition out now.  Published by Hodder & Stoughton, 10-16 South St,
Rydalmere, NSW, 2116 [JN]

* Relative sizes of countries.  Before the breakup of the USSR, the
order was: USSR (by far the biggest, more than twice the size of any
other country), then Canada, China, USA (inc. Alaska), Brazil and
Australia, making Australia number 6 in area. That Brazil was slightly
bigger than Oz was a bit of a surprise to me.  I haven't seen the
stats for Russia, but given that in round figures it was something
like 22 for the USSR to 9 for Canada, the order seems unlikely to have
changed. [JH]

* Time Zones. Australia has three basic time zones; Eastern Central
Time (EST) (NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas) GMT+10, Central (SA, NT) GMT+9 1/2,
and the west coast GMT+8.  NSW, SA, Vic, Tas, ACT put their clocks
forward an hour for "Daylight Savings" over the summer.  (WA, Qld, and
the NT do not.  [SW] Queensland had a referendum for Daylight Saving
in 1990 after a trial summer the year before.  Due largely to the
country vote, the referendum failed by something like 53%/47%.)



10.1 Housing

* Housing in Melbourne [miscellaneous contributors]

There are several kinds of things that you can rent: a unit, an
apartment, a townhouse and a house.  An apartment usually refers to a
dwelling in a multi-story structure.  There is no garden to maintain.
There are more of apartments closer to the city.  A unit is a dwelling
in a single-story structure that is usually connected to its
neighbouring units. There will usually be 3--6 units in a block.  2
bedroom versions of units are the most common starting at about $120
pw. 3 bedroom varieties are available but I do not know the price (I'd
guess about $150 pw).  You can find units all over the city. You might
have a small area of garden to look after.  A townhouse is like a
unit, but free-standing (ie not connected to neighbouring town houses)
and may be a two-story building. I think that the rent is similar to
the unit. You might have a small area of garden to look after.  I
think that you know what a house is. Houses in Melbourne are commonly
either weatherboard or brick veneer. No basement. No attic. 3 bedroom
and 4 bedroom versions are commonly available for rent.

Most areas in the north-western, eastern or south-eastern areas, within
about 10km of the CBD would be suitable.  Rent would probably be about
A$200 a week depending on the location.  You could expect a 3 bedroom
house on a reasonable block (quarter acre or bit smaller), with a
decent sized backyard.  3 bedroom apartments are uncommon in

Most of the northern and western suburbs are in general perfectly
safe, but are traditionally poorer areas and the quality of housing is
not good.  Some of them (esp.  Carlton) have been gentrified and are
now very beautiful, but be careful.  There has been a large scale
movement back into the city centres in Australia over the last 20
years, so that the poorer and less safe areas are now generally in the
outer suburbs.  I believe this is different from the US situation, but
it does mean you can have both a nice place to live and a reasonable

Melbourne has been assessed as the worlds most livable city. You will
not find the crime that you would be used to in Jersey or the crime
that is present in Sydney.  One of the nicer things about Melbourne is
that there's almost nowhere which is genuinely unsavoury to live.
Parts of the city are unsightly and much is visually uninteresting.
The prettier areas are northeast and east.  Southeast gets you the
beaches and west and north is cheaper and more industrial.

There are not really any areas which compare to the slum/ghetto areas
of large US cities. However, of course some areas are "better" than
others.  Very generally, the south east, and eastern suburbs are more
middle class.  The further out you are, the cheaper housing gets. The
really posh areas are Toorak, Brighton. The northern and western
suburbs are more low-middle and working class. Plus there are some
inner city areas that used to be working class but are now pretty
yuppified (Carlton, Fitzroy).  Find somewhere close to a train or tram
line if you are going to commute to the city centre.

* Housing in Sydney [BJ]

Sydney is a big place.  It's population is about 3.7 million,
depending on where you stop counting.  It spreads in every direction
from the CBD (Central Business District) until the sea or mountains
stop it.  Sydney has about 950 suburbs and 40 local government areas
("Councils"), 15 of which are cities in their own right.  Sydney also
has the highest population density in Australia.  Most dwellings
within a 10 km radius of the city centre are apartments, terrace
houses, or townhouses, with a smattering of semis (semi-detached
houses) and detached houses (on blocks of land that would be
considered tiny in other Australian cities) depending upon the suburb.
However, Sydney is generally clean and green, with lots of trees and
parks to compensate.

Outer suburbs and newer suburbs usually consist exclusively of
detached housing, but it is now State Government policy to enforce
higher density housing to contain the urban sprawl, which now sees
Sydney's outer suburbs a 60 kilometre drive from the city centre.

Sydney has by far the most expensive housing in Australia.  Luxury
homes with city and/or harbour views easily command multi-million
dollar price tags to purchase, or cost thousands of dollars a *week*
to rent.  Sydneysiders are obsessed with views and will pay to get
them.  The average price of a 3 bedroom house in Sydney is about
A$230,000, the average price of a 2 bedroom apartment is about
A$160,000, but the variation is enormous depending upon style and
location.  The typical rent is *approximately* 1/1000th of the value
of the dwelling per week.

Sydney's suburbs are generally classified by "area", going clockwise
from the city centre, in the following way:

- Inner City (CBD, Kings Cross, Pyrmont, Ultimo, Surry Hills)
- Eastern (Paddington to Vaucluse and Waverley)
- South Eastern (Kensington to Malabar)
- Southern (Rockdale to Sutherland and Cronulla)
- South Western (Canterbury, Bankstown, Liverpool, Campbelltown)
- Inner West (Glebe and Marrickville to Ashfield)
- West (Croydon to Parramatta)
- Far West (Blacktown to Penrith)
- Blue Mountains (Emu Plains to Katoomba)
- North West (Blacktown to Windsor)
- The Hills (Pennant Hills, Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill)
- Far North (Asquith to Brooklyn)
- Upper North Shore (Lindfield to Hornsby)
- Mid North Shore (St Leonards to Chatswood)
- Lower North Shore (Longueville to Mosman)
- Northern Beaches (Manly to Narrabeen)
- Peninsula (Mona Vale to Palm Beach)

Unlike many American cities, the suburbs closer to the City are
*generally* considered to be more desirable, and those further away,
less desirable, but this is by no means true in all cases.  There is
no widespread inner-city decay in Sydney, in fact it tends to be the
reverse, with many people lovingly restoring old inner city terrace
houses, or moving into expensive new apartment complexes complete with
swimming pools, squash courts and gymnasiums.

Sydney has a large number of Manhattan style residential towers (some
up to 50 floors) in its city centre, unlike Melbourne, which has
virtually none.  It is common for companies repatriating staff to
Australia for extended stays to arrange long term rent of these
apartments, or rent one for two weeks to enable that person to find
their own place to rent after arriving.

The Eastern Suburbs are considered the most prestigious, with City and
Harbour views, closely followed by the rival Northern Suburbs (the
"new money" Lower North Shore, and "old money" Upper North Shore).
Expect to pay big dollars in these areas to buy or rent.  To make life
complicated, there are prestigious areas within otherwise unremarkable
suburbs.  For example, a small part of Strathfield is very prestigious
and houses there command twice the price of other houses less than a
kilometre away.

This geographical snobbery in Sydney is far stronger than in any other
Australian city.  It may not be overt, but it is an undercurrent in
many people's thoughts.  Some in the Eastern Suburbs never dare cross
the harbour to visit the rival Northern Suburbs or vice versa.  Some
think all the cultural unwashed live west of Ashfield.  People who
live in the West hate being stereotyped by the snobs in the East and

Surfies live on the northern beaches, trendies live in the Inner City,
the evangelists live in The Hills, and many suburbs noted for their
high concentration of one particular ethnic culture, whether true or
imagined (South Africans in St Ives, Chinese in Haymarket and
Chatswood, Vietnamese in Cabramatta, Arabs in Lakemba, Italians in
Leichhardt, etc etc).  Sydney is a real patch-work quilt.

* Canberra [TN]

Housing is getting expensive in Canberra.  A median house price
(probably 3-4 bedrooms, ensuite, 2 car garage, 0.2 acres) is about
$160,000, and rents for say $180-200 per week.  That is second only to
Sydney.  However, the medan house price is somewhat misleading as the
standard of the houses is not directly comparable city to city.
You probably get much more for your money in Canberra than most other
cities, and the housing is newer.

Canberra is organised as a group of towns, where each town has a town
centre, with shopping malls, offices, service districts (specialist
shops, car yards, mechanics etc).  The city is very attractive, well
layed-out, nice parklands, lots of space.  The surrounding mountains
and bush are peaceful and beautiful, and it is only a 10-15 minute
drive from the city to be in genuine bushland.  Lots of virgin forest
and mountains for outdoor enthusiasts, rivers and lakes for canoeing
and fishing.

It's about 1-1.5 hours drive to the coast, and there is some nice
coastline.  Bateman's Bay is the closest and is therefore a bit
overcrowded with Canberrans.  A bit further north or south (say 50km)
gets you to some quiet beaches.  Good camping there too.  A lot of
Canberrans own beach houses.  Sydney is 300 km away on mostly freeway,
close enough for an easy weekend trip.

Jobs tend to be with the government or universities/CSIRO, or
companies that supply these directly or indirectly.  There is a
growing private sector, which has little to do with government.

Culture: some good restaurants if you ask around (as anywhere).  At
least one twin art cinema, plus three or four other cinemas.  More of
the touring cultural events visit Canberra than you would expect
because the population (approx 350,000?) is relatively well off and
educated.  There is a lot of additional culture because it is the
national capital, such as the Australian National Gallery, National
Library, etc.  However, Canberra is not like Sydney or Melbourne in
terms of choice or frequency of cultural events, or venues.

Canberra has two universities, Aust National Uni and Canberra Uni.

10.2 Schooling

Schools are Prep,1-6 (primary) and 7-12 (secondary or high school),
- in WA, where primary school is years 1 to 7, and secondary school is
years 8 to 12. [AW];
- in Qld where there is no equivalent to Prep unless you send your
kids to Kindergarten / Pre-School (optional), and primary ranges from
1-7, Secondary is 8-12.
- in Catholic Schools in SA:prep-5 junior, 6-9 middle 10-12/13 senior.
This is often internal and many parish primary schools extend up to
year 7 for the parents who want to send their kids to a state school
for high school. [KW]

Attending school is compulsory until the age of 16.

The school year goes from the end of January or first part of Feb.
until the middle of December.  There are school holidays between each
term.  The school year has 4 terms (3 in Tasmania) with a week off at
Easter, 2 weeks in July (winter), 2 weeks at the end of Sept. or first
of October.

Most schools have uniforms - public and private.

[KW] In South Australia whilst all schools have uniforms State,
schools do not and cannot make it compulsory to wear them.  My
understanding of other states is that it is the same there.  What will
often happen however is that kids are encouraged to wear the colours
of the uniform.  Most wear the correct colours but never the actual
uniform, with the exception is that many girls do wear their summer
uniform.  With private school, you either wear it or don't come to
school anymore!!

* State vs Private

The majority of australian children attend State schools.  No actual
figures, but it appears the number of children attending private
schools is on the increase. One person thought this was leading to the
closing down of many state schools, however this may also be due to
falling overall enrollment due to lower birthrates.

Private schools fall into different categories. The majority of
private schools are Catholic, and often do not cost much, being
subsidised by the church. The others are called "Independent" schools,
which usually means they have affiliations with some protestant
religion.  The top independent schools are very expensive and very
prestigious, but there are a range of independent school with less
prestige and less expensive.

Geelong Grammar, where Prince Charles went for a year, is known as the
Eton of Australia.

Parents send their children to private schools for a number of
reasons: parents perceive they will get a better education; there will
be more discipline; children are more likely to get into the "top"
courses at university (Law, Medicine, Economics/Commerce); religious
education; better teachers.

It is true that private schools can and do suspend or expel students,
whereas this is almost impossible from a State school, because the
government is obligated to educate everyone up to the age of 16.  As
to the other factors, some research has shown that the overriding
predictor of educational success for a child is the parents' social
class and their education aspirations for the child. It has also been
shown that tertiary students from State high schools do better at
University than students with similar entrance marks.

A common perception is that anyone who afford it will send their child
to a private school, but there are actually many people who believe in
State education (my parents, for example [AN]).

* Completing High School

Each state has a different system for completing high school and
university entrance, and many states have changed the system in recent

Victoria's old HSC has been replaced by the VCE (Victorian Certificate
of Education), done over years 11 and 12. Students are required to do
English, Australian Studies and a certain number of other units. Each
unit is assessed internally by CATs (Common Assessment Tasks). [Are
they going to bring back external exams? AN].

In South Australia it is still called Matriculation but is very
different to the old external exam system.  The new system involves
splitting topics into uni entrance and non-uni entrance.  Eg Chem is
uni entrance but typing isn't.  I think you get two years to do it and
then in year 13 can repeat some topics if you like to improve the
grade.  To get into uni you must take at least 5 uni entrance topics.
If you take more the best 5 are taken to give your entrance score.
The marks are out of 20 so you get an entrance score out of 100.  This
is not the whole picture by far but it is what the kids applying for
uni must do. [KW]

[SW]  Queensland had the dubious TE (Tertiary Entrance) Score until the
late 80's/early 90's when it was replaced by the Student Profile. As I 
understand it, both systems are under a shroud of mystery as to exactly
how they work. 

[Any recent high school grad's or secondary teachers care to comment ?]

10.3 Public Transport

* Melbourne

Public transport isn't great.  If you work in the city and live near a
train, tram or bus line, it is OK for commuting.  You will probably
want a car for shopping etc.  The central suburbs of Melbourne
(including most of the above) are serviced by trams.  These are a
cheap and effective way of getting to work.  Trains also service the
entire metropolitan area, _but_ the lines radiate into the central

* Sydney [BJ]

By Australian standards the public transport in Sydney is excellent.
By international standards, it's probably pretty average.

By far the largest people mover is the electric train system.  A quite
extensive network of lines criss-crosses the City and outlying areas,
with approximately 290 railway stations (10 underground) and 1700
kilometres of tracks.  The system only goes underground in the CBD and
Eastern Suburbs.  Nearly one million passenger trips are made each
day.  The only areas not served by trains are the Northern
Beaches/Peninsula (although plans are being considered to remedy this)
and the Northwest.

The trains are generally frequent (2-10 min at peak times), on time,
clean and fast.  If you live near a train station it is certainly the
easiest way to go to the city.  Driving into the city is actively
discouraged with extremely high parking fees, up to A$40 per day.
Trains are moderately effective for going from suburb to suburb.  A
variety of single/return trip, periodical and regional tickets are

The train system used to run 24 hours a day until 1988, when 1-4 am
services were replaced by buses (ostensibly as a safety measure, but
really a cost- cutting one).  The State Government runs a fast and
frequent bus service in areas without trains, or as connecting
services to train stations.  Timetables are usually coordinated.  Some
services run 24 hours a day.  Again, many types of tickets are
available.  For infrequent travellers, the "TravelTen" ticket (a
no-expiry-date ten trip card) is the best value.  In the outer
suburbs, the only bus services are privately run and fairly expensive.
Most people will drive their car to a railway station and park in the
commuter car parks instead.

Probably the most pleasant way imaginable to travel to work is by
ferry.  Harbourside suburbs are well served with regular State
Government run ferries and connecting bus routes.  The Manly ferry
trip is internationally known.  New services have been recently
introduced to serve suburbs further up the harbour with high speed
catamaran type ferries ('JetCats').  JetCats also run to Manly.

Finally, Sydney has a 4 kilometre, 7 station Monorail loop running
between Darling Harbour and the City.  The majority of users are
tourists, with the rest commuters, mostly using it as a shuttle
between their company sponsored parking spaces at Darling Harbour and
the City.

A railway line to the airport is under construction also.

[TT] Getting around in Sydney if there for at least a week is easy
with the colour-coded TravelPass.  There are various prices, depending
on the area you want to cover (and sometimes whether you want buses
or trains) but I always find that the Green travelPass covers
just about everything a tourist would want to see.  It is valid for a
week, starting the day you buy it and costs about A$25 and covers
all trains, buses and ferries in the area bounded by Chatswood,
Lidcombe, Pittwater, Epping, Kogarah (including all Eastern Suburbs).
Does not include Manly Hydrofoil or Airport express bus or monorail
but just about everything else. *Really* convenient, too.

* Brisbane [SW]

Queensland Rail has a fast efficient suburban train system.  Services
generally run from 5am till midnight with half hourly services during
non peak periods that go to 10-15 minutes apart during peak.  There
are 7 main 'lines', 4 to the north and 3 to the south/southwest.  At
least 90% of the suburban trains are air-conditioned electric trains.
There are still a few diesel hauled.  Basically all trains travel
through the three inner city stations covering Fortitude Valley,
Central (Central Downtown) and Roma Street (Northern Downtown).
Trains are usually on time.  Safety on the trains during daylight
hours is almost guaranteed.  Even at night it's pretty good (I've
never felt threatened) but there are security guards roaming the
trains randomly at night).

Brisbane City Council also operates a pretty good bus service.
Train/Bus connections can get you almost anywhere.

* [Other contributions? AN]

10.4 Roads

* Sydney [BJ]

Roads in Sydney are a mixed bag.  Some are atrociously potholed or
rough, simply buckling under the sheer pounding of thousands of cars
and trucks each day.  Others (such as the new privately run Tollways)
are extremely smooth, fast, and beautifully landscaped (some call them

There are seven main arterial links in Sydney called "Metroroads".
These roads follow a freeway or tollway if there is one, or the
largest main route (usually 6 lanes) if there isn't.  They are
excellently signposted and the route number is indicated by a single
digit in a white hexagon.

There are five radial links into the city centre, namely Metroroads
1,2,4 and 5.  M1 runs from north to south and goes right through the
CBD (actually through the Harbour Tunnel), and so forms a link in each
direction.  There are also two ring links (Metroroads 3 and 7), with
M3 at a radius of about 10 km from the CBD, and M7 about 20 km.  M6
doesn't exist yet.

Away from the Metroroads are State Roads.  These are main roads that
form feeders to the Metroroads, are usually at least 4 lanes, and are
also generally well signposted.  Route numbers are indicated by a 2 or
3 digit number in a blue shield.

Away from State Roads, you're in suburban territory.  Signposting is
optional.  Take your street directory.

* Canberra [TN]

Canberra has very good schools, roads, services etc.  Your day to day
life is without many of the hassles of bigger cities.  The traffic is
light (except for peak 10-minutes, rather than peak-hour), and most
main roads are devoted to being roads, and don't have houses, shops
etc on them (this makes it safer for bicyclists and motorcycles).
This can make Canberra look empty to the uninitiated.

10.5 Prices [1993]

These are averages, and there are significant variations.

  1 litre of Milk                              $1
  1 loaf of bread                              $1.25
  1 kilo of minced [Ground] Beef               $5
  1 pair of Levis' 501s                       $70
  1 one trip intracity bus ticket              $2
  1 monthly bus pass                          $60
  the daily paper                              $0.60
  the cheapest brand new Toyota Corolla    $17000
  1 five year old smaller Japanese car
    with 80000 KM on it                     $7000
  1 museum pass                                $6
  one month's rent on a 2 bedroom apartment:
    VERY location-dependent, ranging from $300 to $1500, average ~= $800.

Assuming petrol is at 72c/l, and an exchange rate of US$ -> AUS$ of
$0.66, this puts a petrol cost of $1.72/gallon. (that is US$ and US
gallons). [IS]

[JM] Last week [Sept 93] a newspaper article appeared describing a
survey of the cost of living in a number of countries.  It appeared to
be aimed at companies trying to establish a suitable living allowance
for their employees when posted overseas.  The survey indicates that
Australia is the cheapest of a sample of ten countries.  I have
reproduced the results published below:

                        Mar 92          Mar 93
                        ======          ======
        Japan           234.60          271.70
        Russia          170.10          189.90
        Sweden          199.30          167.10
        China           140.10          150.30
        Germany         138.00          146.40
        Singapore       129.10          138.30
        Hong Kong       127.50          136.00
        USA             107.70          114.70
        UK              122.90          110.10
        Australia       100.00          100.00

(I suspect the figures have been normalised to show Australia at $100
in each case.  This removes the effects of inflation in Australia -
which is low anyway - and currency fluctuations of the Australian
dollar against the others.)

The survey is based on a basket of goods including food, stamps,
laundry, cinema tickets, hair styling, clothing, electrical goods,
restaurant meals and drinks at a bar.  It excludes mortgages and cars.
I don't know if it includes rent, but it is possible to rent 3 bedroom
houses in the Melbourne suburbs for about $150/week.  (In relatively
good, but not expensive or inner suburban areas.  However, it depends
on what you are looking for, a "quality executive" style home will
cost you considerably more.)

The survey was prepared by Employment Conditions Abroad.  The local
spokesman is a Dr. Peter Rogers of Pacific Personnel.  (Phone 03 - 329
8352, fax 03 - 328 3489) I suspect they are a consulting company and
the full report will cost you a fair bit.

* A note on costs in Sydney

[HG] From "The Sydney Morning herald" (reproduced without permission) Sep 94.

"Sydney cheap for food, dearer for transport" - Sydney citizens slave for 11
minutes to earn enough money to buy a kilogram of their daily bread, while the
residents of Caracas toil for two hours for the same sustenance.

"Prices and Earning Around the Globe", the Union Bank of Switzerland's latest
analysis of international purchasing power, contains many comparisons to make
Sydneysiders puff with pride. But other statistics will leave them envious of
greener grass. 

The bank analysed prices, wages and working hours in 53 cities around the world
in the second quarter of this year and updated its international economic
indicator - the Big Mac index.

It takes 26 minutes for a Sydney worker to earn enough money to buy a Big Mac
and a large serving of French fries. To save for this save repast, a worker in
Chicago need only work for 14 minutes while a Londoner must labour for 36
minutes. But to afford this Mac meal in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, an
average wage-earner would have to work for 11 hours.

Sydney was the 12th cheapest city for overall food prices. A range of 39 food
and beverage items which cost $354.30 in Sydney was $1,268.46 in Tokyo.

For prices excluding rents, Sydney was only the 32nd most expensive city
surveyed. Tokyo was the most expensive followed by Lagos (mostly because of
high inflation and a currency pegged to the US dollar), Oslo, Zurich, Geneva,
Copenhagen and Singapore.

The cities with the lowest cost of living were Johannesburg, Budapest, Caracas,
Bombay, Prague and Nairobi.

Workers in Switzerland, Denmark and Japan earned the most in gross hourly
wages, with Sydney's employees 23rd on that list. Sydney secretaries earned
$28,939.22 gross per annum, more than their counterparts in London ($24,882.32)
and Toronto ($23,665.25). But a Genevan secretary earned $60,583.

It is not only the secretaries who are well-paid in Switzerland. The average
gross annual income of Sydney's bus drivers, $21,636.80, compares with $63,693
for Genevan bus drivers. But it was favourable in comparison with the
$14,875.30 earned by those in Singapore.

For passengers, it cost $2.40 to take public transport 10 kilometres or 10
stops in Sydney while New Yorkers only paid $1.70. The same trip cost $4.11 in

Those who preferred to drive paid $19,878.81 for a popular four-door car in
Sydney while the average American paid $17.444.67. But spare a thought for
drivers in Singapore, who paid $74,106.04 for a Mitsubishi Lancer because of
high taxes aimed at curbing traffic.

Monthly rent for a medium-priced three-room flat averaged $581 in Sydney while
New Yorkers paid $1256 and Hong Kong residents paid $1,540. Johannesburg
landlords only expected $230 each month.

And for fashion victims, a medium-priced selection of women's clothes - dress,
jacket, skirt and shoes - cost Japanese women $2,582.89 while their Sydney
sisters faced a retail therapy bill of $581.49. The same look cost only $486.83
in Los Angeles and $459.78 in London.

10.6 Shopping Hours

* Sydney [BJ]

City and Suburban shopping centres:
	Mon-Wed		0900-1700
	Thu		0900-2100
	Fri		0900-1800
	Sat		0800-1700
	Sun		1000-1600
	Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Darling Harbour:
	Mon-Sat		1000-2100
	Sun		1000-1800
	Closed Christmas Day.

Kings Cross:
	Mon-Sun		24 hours

In addition, many supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Food Plus) and fast
food chains such as McDonalds have 24 hour outlets in various

* Brisbane

Mon - Wed  : 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Thu        : 8:30 am - 9:00 pm  Suburbs
             8:30 am - 5:30 pm  Inner City
Fri        : 8:30 am - 5:30 pm  Suburbs
             8:30 am - 9:00 pm  Inner City
Sat        : 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sun        : Closed

Some locations (e.g. Queen Street Mall) are partially open on Sunday.

10.7 Crime

* Sydney [BJ]

The crime in Sydney is often overstated.  Yes, there are parts in
which it is unwise to walk alone at night.  On the other hand,
allegedly dangerous areas like Kings Cross are often quite safe
because it is always crowded 24 hours a day and heavily patrolled by
Police on foot.  Just don't start a fist fight there :-) Overall,
Sydney is really a very safe city for its size if you use your common
sense and avoid obvious dangers.  At night, travel with someone else
if you are unsure, or at least look like you're *not* unsure if alone.

On trains, sit in populated carriages near the Guards Carriage
(indicated by a blue light on the side) if you're worried.  Transit
Police patrol trains and this has greatly increased safety at night.
Sydney also has a chapter of the NYC "Guardian Angels" riding
nighttime trains.  At train stations at night, wait in the well lit
striped areas of the platform.  Major stations have 24 hour video
surveillance and large red "Emergency Help" buttons on the platforms
that immediately summons the Police should you be in trouble.
Sydney's nighttime trains are 4 carriages long, but now they lock the
first 2, so you have to sit near the guard.  They've painted "Night
Safe Area" on the platforms where the unlocked carriages stop. [RA]

Buses are generally safe at any hour, and incidents on Ferries and the
Monorail are rare.

Always lock you car when leaving it, even at a petrol station, and
never leave *anything* on view in the car that isn't bolted down or
welded to it.  Especially do not leave anything valuable, a wallet,
handbag, or spare change on view.  Cars are broken into for $2 or an
umbrella (really - it happened to my wife!).  Also, don't leave a
Street Directory on the seat.  It looks like you're visiting an
unfamiliar area, and hence will be away from your car for some time.

10.8 Sport

* Australian Rules Football 

This is the main football code played in Vic, SA, WA and Tasmania.
The Australian Football League consists of 10 teams based in
Melbourne, plus Geelong, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. (It was
established a few years ago from an expanded VFL.) Fixtures, results,
statistics and match reports are available from Pre-season night competition begins the
end of February. Main season is end of March to August, with finals
series in September. West Coast won in 1992, Essendon won the flag in
1993. The latest winner (1995) was Carlton, defeating ?????? by 59 points.

There is a competition of about 8 women's teams in Melbourne, but the
sport does not seem to be growing.

(If it isn't obvious, Melbourne is the home of this "sport".
Melbourne's winter football mania is one great reason NOT to be there
in winter! [CP, who probably still has cleat marks on his back from
his school days] :-P.)

* Rugby League/Rugby Union

The main football codes in NSW and Qld are RL/RU. Rugby League is the
professional sport (reigning premiers are the Cantebury Bulldogs, who
beat Manly 24-4 this year), rugby union is still "amateur".

Australia won the Rugby League World Cup in October 1995 for the 5th time
running, beating England ??-?? contains some postings about rugby union in 
Australia (though is dominated by discussion of the rugby union 5 nations
competition and the World Cup). contains some information about rugby league
in Australia (much in the same vein....).

[MJ] Australian scores are generally posted weekly to r.s.r.l.
There is also a WWW site (British, but it has Australian information)

For the 1995 season, the current 16 team format is expanding to 20
teams.  The 4 expansions teams are the Auckland (NZ) Warriors,
Queensland Crushers (could be South Queensland, not sure), the North 
Queensland Cowboys (based in Townsville and the Western Reds from Perth.
The draw is becoming a Conference style draw like the NFL in the US.

The 1996 season has been torn asunder by the rival Super League.
As far as I know, it's a 10 team competition that has split from the 
ARL and is sponsored by Rupert Murdock's News limited.

[If you have information on ARL v SL, send it on in.]

Women's rugby in Australia is still in it's infancy (we did not send a
team to either the 1991 or 1994 World Cups), but in 1994 the rugby
union championship was held for the 3rd year, and the number of
Australian teams competing increased from 4 to 14, plus one from NZ.
Christchurch beat the ACT in the final 13-5. The first test between NZ
and Australia will take place in September 1994.

[SW] Rugby League is played by girls up to age 12 or 13 in both
schools and weekend competition in mixed teams with boys. I believe
that after that age they are no longer allowed to play mixed.
However, I did see an article on Wide World of Sports on Channel 9 in
August 1993 depicting a Rugby League for Women Grand Final out of

* Cricket 

The most widespread summer sport is cricket. Australia plays regulars
Tests against England (for the Ashes), NZ, India, the West Indies,
Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and now that they have been re-admitted to the
fold, South Africa.  Each summer there are two touring teams which
play in a 3-way One-Day series.  The state competition is for the
Sheffield Shield (4-day matches), which is only semi-professional.
(Qld has never won this :-).  Many men and boys play club cricket on
the weekends (usually Saturday).

Women's cricket has been established quite a long time (first Test
versus England in 1934) but continues to be a minority sport for
women. There are about 100 club sides in Melbourne. The Australian
women's team is the best in the world; I believe there has even been
some TV coverage of Test and/or One-day cricket recently.

Note: live commentary of cricket matches is available via IRC
(Internet relay chat). It is available on the channel #cricket and
people discuss the match on #crickettalk. Information on this is
posted regularly to There is a cricket information
service, called CricInfo, available on gopher - access it by :

* Baseball

There is the ABL (Australian Baseball League). It is only 3-5 years
old.  There are 8 teams - Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, 2 from
Melbourne, Adelaide, Waverley and Perth. The season consists of 14
games of regular season played in January and February of each year.
The Brisbane Bandits won the competition in 1994. [SW]

* Basketball

NBL consists of 14 teams (although Hobart Tassie Devils might not
play in 1994 because of financial problems).  Season is usually
from March/April until September. Each team is only allowed 2
imports (i.e. non Australian citizens). NBL was created in the
late 70's and has expanded since then, with several of the
original teams either leaving or being renamed/relocated. [SW]

* Athletics

* Horse Racing

Is everywhere. Traditionally Australians love to gamble. The Melbourne
Cup is the biggest race of the year. There is a holiday for it in
Melbourne.  For a few minutes on the Tuesday after the first Monday in
November the whole country stops to listen (supposedly).  Work place
sweeps proliferate. Phar Lap, which won the Melbourne Cup in 1930, is
a national hero, and his stuffed body may be seen in the Melbourne

* Netball

There are over 1/2 million registered netball players in Australia, so
it is by far the most popular women's sport.

* Softball

Is the most popular women's summer sport.

* Soccer

[contributions? AN]

* Other Sports.

Field hockey is very popular for both men and women, and we do well in
International competition. Many people play squash.  Other sports
played include badminton, volleyball, table tennis, yachting, rowing,
swimming, cycling... [any more? AN]

| | | | | |   Stephen Wales               | Internet:
|M|I|N|C|O|M  Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.    | No employer opinion included

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