Using the Government Directly

Please be aware that if you are filing your application yourself, you should do an extensive amount of research before proceeding. Please call Citizenship and Immigration Canada to learn more and visit the Sponsorship pages to learn about everything you need to do to get your spouse to Canada. The information can be found on Citizenship Immigration Canada's website.

Marriage to an Australian Citizen

Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to an Australian citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps.

If you want to bring your Aussie spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.

How We Can Help You Marry Your Aussie Fiance

To discuss the process to marry a citizen of Australia, contact us for a consultation. We can determine your eligibility to apply for permission to marry an Australian as well as advise you how you can prove you meet the requirements.

Immigroup will assist you throughout the entire application process from start to finish, including:

  • Determining your eligibility to apply;
  • Determining the likelihood of success for your particular case;
  • Ensuring your forms are complete and accurately reflect the details of your case for maximum chance of success;
  • Ensuring you have the necessary and appropriate documents to support your application;
  • Providing guidance on the best method to submit your application to the Aussie government for your circumstances;
  • Offering Top Priority service for extremely urgent cases;
  • Determining the best way to proceed once the outcome of your case is reached (applying for family sponsorship, applying for a visitor visa for your Aussie partner, re-application if necessary, etc.)

Contact us for a consultation to assist you with the Aussie marriage process.

Processing Time

Once the necessary documents are gathered, it usually takes the Aussie government up to 3 weeks to authenticate the documents.

If you then file a Canadian sponsorship application for your Aussie spouse or partner, this application takes an average of 10-12 months.

A visitor visa application for your spouse or partner to visit you in Canada while the sponsorship applications are processing takes an average of 3 –14 days.

Please see our pages on family sponsorship and Canadian visitor visa for more information on the processing times of these applications.

Costs of the Process

Legal Fees

Our fees are on a case-by-case basis. Top Priority service for clients who need to marry their Aussie fiancé urgently carries additional costs.

If you do not know where you stand, whether you are eligible to marry an Australian citizen, or how to proceed contact us for assistance.

Government Fees

In addition to the legal fees paid to a consultant or lawyer to assist you with this process, you must also pay a fee for filing the application, depending on the consulate where the application is submitted and other factors affecting the applicants. To learn about the costs of the sponsorship process, click here.

Australian Marriage Basic Requirements

Before a marriage ceremony can be solemnized, the bride and groom must decide where the marriage will occur and whether the ceremony will be a religious or civil event. Both forms of ceremony performed by an authorized marriage celebrant are recognized as legal marriages under Australian law.

A Notice of Intended Marriage - Form 13 must be completed and lodged with the person who is performing the ceremony (proposed celebrant) at least one calendar month, but no more than 18 months, before the preferred date of marriage. The Notice of Intended Marriage form may also be obtained from the proposed celebrant.

The marriageable age in Australia is 18 years for both men and women. Marriage of somebody who is 16 years but less than 18 years is possible only if the person they are marrying is 18 years or older. In this situation, parental consent and a judge or magistrate's order are required for the minor. Two people under 18 years of age cannot marry each other.

The bride and groom must show the proposed celebrant documentary proof that they are 18 years old or older. That proof must be a birth certificate if born in Australia. If the bride or groom were not born in Australia, then the celebrant can accept a valid overseas passport in lieu of a birth certificate.

If either person has been married before, that person must show the celebrant proof that they are free to remarry. That proof is usually a Certificate of Divorce (formerly a decree nisi of dissolution of marriage that has become absolute) or a death certificate.

The marriage certificate shown below contains the following information:

  1. Full name of Man
  2. Full name of Woman
  3. Date of Marriage
  4. Place of marriage
  5. Name of Celebrant
  6. Name of two witnesses

Changing your Name

If you were married in Australia a formal Change of Name is not required if you wish to take your spouse's name. A Standard Marriage Certificate is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation, such as your driver's license and passport, changed to your married surname.

If you decide to take your spouse's name the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) and the Passport Office will request your official Standard Marriage Certificate.

 

Family Members

If your Aussie spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Aussie Marriage document application.

If you have dependent children, they have no effect on the application to marry an Australian citizen.

How long is the Aussie Marriage document valid?

The document is valid for 6 months from the date of issue. If you do not marry your Aussie fiancé within 6 months of the issuance of the Aussie Marriage document, you must apply again with new supporting documents.

List of Australian Consulates in Canada

Australian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada

Australia Consulate and Trade Commission Vancouver, Canada

 

How to Call Canada From Australia

Calling Canada from Australia - Direct Dialing Numbers

To make a direct call to Canada from Australia, you need to follow the international dialing format given below. The dialing format is same for calling Canada mobile or land line from Australia.

To call Canada from Australia 

Dial 0011 - 1 - Area Code - TEL #

Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Canada from Australia.

  0011 - Exit code for Australia, and is needed for making any international call from Australia

  1 - ISD Code or Country Code of Canada

  Area code - There are 18 area codes in Canada. The area code is the first three digits of your telephone number.

When to call Canada from Australia - Time Difference

Knowing the time difference between the country from which you are calling and the recipient's country will ensure that you are not making untimely calls.

Canadian Province / Territory

Standard

Time

Daylight

Time

AB          Alberta

GMT-7

GMT-6

BC           British Columbia (most)

GMT-8

GMT-7

MB         Manitoba, Canada

GMT-6

GMT-5

NB          New Brunswick

GMT-4

GMT-3

NF          Newfoundland

GMT-3:30            

GMT-2:30

NT          Northwest Territories

GMT-7

GMT-6

NS          Nova Scotia

GMT-4

GMT-3

NU          Nunavut (Mountain)

GMT-7

GMT-6

NU          Nunavut, (Central)

GMT-6

GMT-5

NU          Nunavut, (Eastern)

GMT-5

GMT-4

ON         Ontario, (E)

GMT-5

GMT-4

ON         Ontario, (W)

GMT-6

GMT-5

PE           Prince Edward Island

GMT-4

GMT-3

QC          Québec

GMT-5

GMT-4

QC          Québec, (E)

GMT-4

NA

SK           Saskatchewan,

GMT-6

NA

SK           Saskatchewan, (Lloydminster)

GMT-7

GMT-6

YK           Yukon

GMT-8

GMT-7

                               

Standard Time Zones

 

Standard Time Zones of North America

 

Daylight Savings Time

From 2007, clocks following the new North American standard for Daylight Saving Time are to be turned forward by one hour on the second Sunday in March and turned back on the first Sunday of November.

 

List of area codes in Canada

Alberta

  • 403/587 (Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat)
  • 780 (Edmonton, Fort McMurray)

 

British Columbia

  • 250/236 (Victoria, Prince George, Kelowna)
  • 604/778/236 (Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria)

Manitoba

  • 204/431 (all of MB)

Atlantic Canada

  • 506 (New Brunswick)
  • 709 (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • 902 (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island)

Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon

  • 867 (all three territories)

Ontario

  • 416/647 (Toronto)
  • 519/226 (London, Windsor, Kitchener)
  • 613 (Ottawa, Kingston)
  • 705 (Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay)
  • 807 (Thunder Bay, Kenora)
  • 905/289 (Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Mississauga, Ajax, Markham [GTA])

Quebec

  • 418/581 (Quebec City, Rimouski, Chicoutimi)
  • 450 (Laval, Longueuil)
  • 514/438 (Montreal)
  • 819 (Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres)

Saskatchewan

  • 306 (all of SK)

 

How to Call Australia From Canada

Given below is the dialing procedure to call Australia from Canada. You will find information on how to make an international call from Canada to Australia.

Calling Australia from Canada - Direct Dialing Numbers

To make a direct call to Australia from Canada, you need to follow the international dialing format given in the box below. The dialing format is same for calling Australia mobile or land line from Canada.

To call Australia from Canada

Dial 011 - 61 - Area Code - TEL #

Follow the dialing format shown above while calling Australia from Canada

  • 011 - Exit code for Canada, and is needed for making any international call from Canada
  • 61 - ISD Code or Country Code of Australia
  • Area code - There are 5 area codes in Australia.  Dial area code of the city in Australia you are calling after dialing ISD Code. The format is 011 + 61 + phone number

List of area codes in Australia

Australia uses 8-digit local phone numbers preceded by a 2-digit area code.

  • 02 Central east region (New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory)
  • 03 South east region (Victoria, Tasmania)
  • 04 Mobile telephones (Australia-wide)
  • 07 North east region (Queensland)
  • 08 Central and west region (Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory)

Parts of rural New South Wales may also use the 08 and 03 area codes. Parts of rural Victoria may use the 02 area code

Australia is divided into three separate time zones.

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)

Covers the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales (with the exception of the town of Broken Hill), Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory

AEST is equal to Greenwich Mean Time plus 10 hours (GMT +10).

Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)

It covers the state of South Australia, the town of Broken Hill in western New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

ACST is equal to Greenwich Mean Time plus 9 ½ hours (GMT +9 ½).

Australian Western Standard Time (AWST)

It covers Western Australia.

AWST is equal to Greenwich Mean Time plus 8 hours (GMT +8).

The time difference between Canada and Australia depends on the time zone you are calling. Australia time zones are 10(GMT), 9.5 (GMT) and 8(GMT) hours ahead of GMT. Canada’s time zones are 8 (PST), 7 (MST), 6 (CST), 5 (EST) or 4 (AST) hours behind GMT (except for Newfoundland, which is 3.5 hours behind) so the difference between Australia and Canada can be as much as 18 hours (for Vancouver) and as little as 12 hours (for Halifax). +8)

Daylight-Saving Time

Australia Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time is the practice of advancing clocks one hour during the summer months of the year.  In Australia, Daylight Saving Time is observed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory.

Australia Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am (AEST) on the first Sunday in October and ends at 2am (AEST) (which is 3am Australian Eastern Daylight Time) on the first Sunday in April.

Since both countries are using Daylight-Saving Time, the time difference changes depending on when both Australia and Canada are experiencing Daylight Savings. In the Canadian summer time you need to add two hours when calculating the time difference between countries.

 

Emergency Information for Canadians in Australia

High Commission of Canada in Canberra

Commonwealth Avenue
Canberra ACT
Australia 2600

Telephone: 61 (2) 6270-4000
Fax: 61 (2) 6270-4060
E-mail: cnbra@international.gc.ca
Website: australia.gc.ca

View Larger Map

Consulate of Canada in Melbourne

No Address Available

Telephone: 61 (3) 9869-7160
Fax: No Fax
E-mail: canadamelbourne@bigpond.com
Website: australia.gc.ca

No Address Available
"The Consulate of Canada in Melbourne provides limited information and notary services, by appointment only."

Consulate of Canada in Perth

No Address Available

Telephone: 61 (8) 9322-7930
Fax: No Fax
E-mail: No Email
Website: australia.gc.ca

No address available.
"The Consulate of Canada in Perth provides limited information and notary services, by appointment only."

Consulate of Canada in Sydney

Level 5, Quay West Building
111 Harrington Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia 2600

Telephone: 61 (2) 9364-3000
Fax: 61 (2) 9364-3098
E-mail: sydny@international.gc.ca
Website: australia.gc.ca

View Larger Map

 

Australian Money

Australia was the first country in the world to have a complete system of bank notes made from plastic. These notes provide much greater security against counterfeiting. They also last four times as long as conventional paper money.

History of Australian Currency

Many forms of currency were used in the Australian colonies after the arrival of the first European settlers in 1788. In those early days, there was no standard currency that could be used as a medium of exchange and therefore goods were exchanged for goods in a barter system. An example of one commodity used as a currency in those days is rum. Some of the first official notes used in Australia were Police Fund Notes, issued by the Bank of New South Wales starting in 1816.

After Australia became independent nation from the British and the federation formed in 1901, the federal government became responsible for the developing and printing of the new currency. The Australian Notes Act was passed in 1910. In 1913 the first series of Australian notes were issued, based on the old British system of 12 pence to a shilling, 20shillings to a pound.

Australia’s notes

$100 Note

The $100 note depicts world-renowned soprano Dame Nellie Melba (1861–1931), and the distinguished soldier, engineer and administrator General Sir John Monash (1865–1931).

Dame Nellie Melba

$100 Note

 

$50 Note

The $50 note depicts Aboriginal writer and inventor David Unaipon (1872–1967), and Australia’s first female parliamentarian, Edith Cowan (1861–1932).

 

$20 Note

The $20 note depicts the founder of the world’s first aerial medical service (the Royal Flying Doctor Service), the Reverend John Flynn (1880–1951), and Mary Reibey (1777–1855), who arrived in Australia as a convict in 1792 and went on to become a successful shipping magnate and philanthropist.

 

 

$10 Note

The $10 note depicts the poets AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson (1864–1941) and Dame Mary Gilmore (1865–1962). This note incorporates micro-printed excerpts of Paterson’s and Gilmore’s work.

 

$5 Note

The $5 note depicts Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Parliament House in Canberra, the national capital.

 

 

Along with being printed on polymer, Australia's banknotes include a range of other security features designed to combat counterfeiting.

Australia’s coins

Australia’s coins are produced by the Royal Australian Mint, which is located in the nation’s capital, Canberra. Since opening in 1965, the Mint has produced more than 14billion circulating coins, and has the capacity to produce more than two million coins per day, or more than 600million coins per year.

$2 Coin

The $2 coin, which replaced the two dollar note in 1988, depicts an Aboriginal tribal elder set against a background of the Southern Cross and native grass trees.

$1 Coin

The $1 coin, which replaced the $1 note in 1984, depicts five kangaroos. The standard $1 design, along with the 50, 20, 10 and 5 cent designs, was created by the Queen’s official jeweler, Stuart Devlin.

50 cent coin

The 50 cent coin depicts Australia’s coat of arms: the six state badges on a central shield supported by a kangaroo and an emu, with a background of Mitchell grass (see fact sheet on Australia’s coat of arms).

50 cents

20 Cent Coin

The 20 cent coin depicts a platypus, one of only two egg-laying mammals in the world. It has webbed feet and a duck-like bill that it uses to hunt for food along the bottom of streams and rivers.

 

 

10 Cent Coin

The 10 cent coin depicts a male lyrebird dancing. The lyrebird inhabits the rainforests of Australia’s eastern coast.

 

5 Cent Coin

The 5 cent coin depicts an echidna, or spiny anteater, the world’s only other egg-laying mammal apart from a platypus.

 

The 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins are made of cupro-nickel, 75% copper and 25% nickel. The one and two dollar coins are made of aluminium bronze, 92% copper, 6% aluminium and 2% nickel. 

Australian Wedding Customs

A wedding is just one of the many events which families celebrate and also can be both a personal and religious occasion. Other family celebrations include birth, baptism, birthdays and anniversaries, on most of these occasions there is always a cake. There are many wedding traditions and customs which are still being observed today. Each culture, religious, national, and ethnic group have their own unique traditions surrounding marriage and the wedding ceremony.

Australia has many wedding traditions just as many other countries. These traditions have taken root and developed for many centuries.

The Wedding Customs vary extremely in Australia, a country full of many cultures. In many instances, the traditions of the rest of the Western world are also practiced in Australia, particularly the British, Scottish and Irish traditions.

There are many interesting and wonderful wedding customs observed in different ethnic and religious groups in Australia, such as stamping on a drinking glass (Jewish), linking ribbon coronets worn by bride and groom (Greek), the groom arriving at the wedding on horseback (Indian), and sugared almonds being given to wedding guests (Greek, Italian and many other ethnic groups).

Usually, Australians prefer a casual wedding to a formal wedding. Their wedding ceremony as well as the reception normally takes place in a public place like a church, beach, hotel or park, though weddings in home gardens are comon too. 

The tradition of wearing a diamond wedding ring shows that the custom of some European countries hold strong, where there is a belief that diamonds are symbols of true love. The wedding ring should be in circular shape which shows the never ending love in couples. These rings are worn on the ring finger of the left hand because the vein of that finger connects directly to the heart.

Even though the Australians prefer a casual wedding tradition; the brides wear long white gowns. This white gown signifies the purity of the bride and that of the Australian culture. It also symbolizes future joy and hope for the couples.

Traditional Australian Wedding Dress:

 

 

 

One of the older Australian wedding tradditions is that a bible is given as a wedding gift; this bible is kept as a memorable family souvenir for future generations. There is usually a section in the bible to record the births and deaths of the family.

Since Australia is a British Commonwealth member, Australian marriages have many customs of Great Britain marriage traditions. Irish and Scottish weddings are also performed in Australia. Many of the wedding ceremony and reception traditions also are the same as those of the Western world generally. In Australia, for example, the traditional wedding ceremony exchange of rings, the wedding cake and the reception attended by friends and extended family are mainly of the Western world.

Traditionally Australian wedding ceremonies and receptions include all members of the bride’s as well as the groom’s families.The reception is always held at a venue often hired for this sole purpose by the couples. Sometimes Australian wedding receptions may sometimes take place in the home of the bride or groom.

The Australian wedding is always characterized by music, dance, songs, food and drinks.  The speeches and toasts are always undertaken by the father of the bride, best man and the groom. It is the duty of the best man to read out telegrams, letters cards and faxes from absent well-wishers on this occasion.

The aboriginal customs of Australia make Australian marriages colorful and different in many aspects from the rest of the world.

 

Aboriginal Marriages

Marriage was a vital and a central feature of traditional Aboriginal societies. The need to maintain high populations and thereby to ensure that there was always someone to attend sites and keep up traditions was matched by the desire to ensure that children were produced according to the right family groups and the correct family affiliations. Due to these reasons freedom of marriage was restricted by the traditions and prohibitions against the marriage of certain close relatives and by the rule of exogamy that is, marrying outside one’s group. An important factor that was considered in determining the parties to a marriage was the balancing of kinship obligations, including reciprocal obligations between individuals, families or larger groups. The interests of the parties, and their attraction or affection for each other, were considered less important to these obligations. The creation of marriage alliances and the obligations that this involved were closely linked with relationships to the land. Spiritual affiliation with land included a series of ritual obligations and duties often acquired through inheritance in either the male or female line, or both. And marriage was a primary means for maintaining attachment to land.

Traditional Marriage Arrangement

According to Aboriginal traditions, the age of marriage was very different for men as well as for women. This traditional and customary requirement differed between various parts of Australia. Usually, a girl would marry at or about the age of puberty and on the other hand, a man not until later maybe in his late twenties or even much later. Among some Aboriginal groups, marriages were often polygamous (where a husband has two or more wives). A wife, on the other hand, would have only one husband at a time, although usually she would be married to several husbands in succession, as the former husband died or the marriage broke up. There was, in most groups, no single marriage ceremony, although particular acts or events such as sharing a campfire would result in the recognition of the marriage by the community. Divorce could occur by mutual consent or unilateral decision by a man and in most cases without any particular formality or proper procedure.  Divorce was signified by the termination of cohabitation between the couples. However, if a wife run away or otherwise left a husband without his consent, he might try to bring her back by force, seek to punish her or her lover, or even seek compensation. In each of these respects he might be assisted by his kin. Similarly if a husband became involved with another woman his wife might be required by aboriginal customary law to ritually and publicly fight the other woman.

 One important way in which marriages were arranged according to Aboriginal customs and traditions was infant betrothal. Usually this was between a young girl and an older man. A man’s first marriage would not necessarily fall into this category: his first wife might well be an older widow. A girl could be betrothed either as a potential mother-in-lawor as a wife. Indeed it was possible for a girl to be betrothed before she was born and to grow up knowing who her future husband was likely to be. The promised relationship created a series of lifelong responsibilities and obligations between the young man and his promised wife’s relations. For example, the young man might be required to provide food for his future mother-in-law. While the girl was growing up she would normally have regular contact with her promised husband, so that when the marriage eventually took place he was no stranger to her. However, the fact that negotiations had taken place and promises made was no guarantee that a marriage would take place, or that a girl would consider herself obligated to remain married to her promised husband. Refusal to marry, or to perform obligations to family associated with marriage arrangements, would usually give rise to arguments, but if the prospective husband or wife persisted in refusal, renegotiation was possible. This might involve arranging a substitute or agreeing to compensate the aggrieved person in some way.

 According to Aboriginal traditions, the age of marriage was very different for men as well as for women. This traditional and customary requirement differed between various parts of Australia. Usually, a girl would marry at or about the age of puberty and on the other hand, a man not until later maybe in his late twenties or even much later. Among some Aboriginal groups, marriages were often polygamous (where a husband has two or more wives). A wife, on the other hand, would have only one husband at a time, although usually she would be married to several husbands in succession, as the former husband died or the marriage broke up. There was, in most groups, no single marriage ceremony, although particular acts or events such as sharing a campfire would result in the recognition of the marriage by the community. Divorce could occur by mutual consent or unilateral decision by a man and in most cases without any particular formality or proper procedure.  Divorce was signified by the termination of cohabitation between the couples. However, if a wife run away or otherwise left a husband without his consent, he might try to bring her back by force, seek to punish her or her lover, or even seek compensation. In each of these respects he might be assisted by his kin. Similarly if a husband became involved with another woman his wife might be required by aboriginal customary law to ritually and publicly fight the other woman.

 

Australian Wedding Decorations

Native Australian flowers such as banksias, bottle brush, waratah and eucalyptus are often used as decoration for the wedding or reception venue. The state flower for Queensland is the Cooktown Orchid, a beautiful flower perfect for a wedding reception venue. Other couples may opt for a more historical Australian pioneer style, decorating their venue with hay bales and wattle on the walls.

 

Australian Banksias Flower

http://members.ozemail.com.au/%7Ewildflowers/Arrangements/banksiavase.jpg

 

Australian Bottle Brush Flower

 

Australian Waratah Flower

By aussiegall from sydney, Australia (NSW Waratah  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Australian Eucalyptus Flower

 

Australian Cooktown Orchid flower

 

Australian wattle

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ab/Australian_Golden_Wattle_Blossums.jpg

 

 

Australian Traditional Wedding Food

Australian Fried Bread

Deep-fried bread rubbed in garlic. It is usually served with soup or stew or just eaten as a snack.

 

 

Australian Venison

Venison is browned with onions and garlic and combined with Worcestershire sauce, thyme and sometimes bay leaf.

By kteague (The ingredients before preparation auf flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Australian Squash

User:Badagnani [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Australian Cooked Beans

By Orderinchaos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Australian Corn

 

Australian Potato Soup

By jeffreyw (Mmm... potato leek soup  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Australian Traditional wedding Fruits

Australian Blueberries

 

Australian Raspberries

 

 

Australian Traditional Wedding Gifts

If you are attending a wedding in Australia, or are accompanying friends or relatives who are heading there for a destination wedding, it is good to know the types of Australian gifts that are traditionally given at weddings. Australian wedding gifts are rich in culture and can be special for the newlyweds' home.

 

Aboriginal Art

Choose aboriginal art that is native to Australian regions.If you go to an aboriginal art gallery, you will find indigenous paintings that span from contemporary to traditional pieces. From bright colors to bold patterns, aboriginal art is a special wedding gift that newlyweds can hang on their walls or put on display at home.

 

 

Opals

Australia is well known for its opal mines. Choose to integrate a piece of opal into a wedding gift for the bride and groom. You can purchase one precious stone and allow the couple to determine what to do with it; or select two opals set into his and hers bracelets for the couple to wear. You may even be able to find an artist who uses opals as a medium in her paintings or weaving.

 

Opal

By Hannes Grobe (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Australian Wine

Australia has a distinguished wine industry and sells its wine to over 100 countries in the world, according to Wine Australia. If you know that the newlyweds have a favorite wine - or if you at least know whether they prefer whites or reds - you can select a nice bottle of wine for them to enjoy at their leisure.

 

 

 

Eucalyptus Gifts

You will find a lot of eucalyptus fragrance products in Australia, such as bath soaps, body butter, oils and candles, because the eucalyptus tree is native to Australia. As such, work some eucalyptus-scented spa essentials into your wedding gift that the couple can enjoy

 

Eucalyptus bathing soap

Eucalyptus Soap by http://www.flickr.com/photos/freply/

Eucalyptus body oil is also often used; it slightly resembles cocoa butter.

Eucalyptus candles

 

Trip Gifts

From the beaches to the cities to the deserts, Australia offers a variety of exciting trips, tours and things to do for the active couple. Give the bride and groom a gift such as a snorkeling trip for two, a romantic boat ride on the coast or a backpacking trip through the desert. If the couple is less active, you can still accomplish an experiential gift by giving the couples tickets to the opera or theater or a gift card to a famous restaurant.

 

Custom Duties and Wedding Presents

Personal exemptions are based on the amount of time you have spent in Australia. These exemptions apply if;

  • You are a Canadian resident returning from a trip in Australia
  • You are a former resident of Canada returning to live in the country from Australia
  • You are a temporary resident of Canada. 

For a minimum absence of 24 hours you can claim goods worth up to $50 Canadian (excluding alcohol and tobacco). For 48 hours, you can claim goods worth $200. And for seven days, you can claim goods worth $750. Children and infants are also eligible for personal exemptions; parents or guardians can make the declaration on behalf of the child, as long as the item is for the child's use. 

Except for certain restricted items (such as firearms and explosives) you can bring back any amount of goods. But if the amount is more than that of your personal exemption, you will have to pay duty and any provincial or territorial assessments that apply. And if you don't qualify for a personal exemption, you will have to pay duty on the entire amount of the goods you bring in the country.

Gifts

You must declare all gifts to the Canada Border Services Agency. Gifts worth CDN $60 or less each may be brought into Canada duty-free and tax-free, but must be declared. For gifts worth more than CDN $60, you may have to pay duties and taxes on the excess amount. Tobacco and alcohol cannot be imported as gifts.

Wedding gifts

If you got married in Australia within three months of coming to Canada or if you plan to marry no later than three months after arriving in the country, you can bring in your wedding gifts free of duty and taxes. However, you must have owned and possessed the gifts while in Australia and before you arrived in Canada. In this instance, the requirement to have used the goods does not apply. These same conditions apply to household goods you bring in as part of a bride's trousseau from Australia.

Ownership, possession and use requirements

To import goods duty- and tax-free, you must have owned, possessed and used the goods prior to your arrival in Canada and Former Residents must have owned, possessed and used the goods for at least six months before returning to resume residency.

It is important that you meet these three requirements. For example, if you owned and possessed the goods without using them, the goods will be subjected to duty and taxes. Please note that leased goods are subject to duty and taxes because the Canada Border Services Agency does not consider that you own them. If you have bills of sale and registration documents, they can help you prove that you meet these requirements.

 

Exceptions to ownership, possession and use requirements

If you are a former resident then the six-month stipulation will be waived if you have been absent from Canada for five years or more. Therefore, you only need to have owned, possessed and used your personal and household effects/items for a period of time before you return to Canada.

 

Replacement goods

Replacement goods imported by Former Residents are also exempt from the six-month requirement. However, they must have owned, possessed and used the goods abroad before returning to Canada to resume residency. To qualify for the exemption, the goods must be replacements for goods that would have met the six-month ownership, possession and use requirements, except for the fact that they were lost or destroyed as a result of a fire, a theft, an accident or due to other unforeseen circumstances.

 

In addition, replacement goods must be of a similar class and about the same value as the goods they are replacing. You will need to show proof in order to support your claim. If you intend to claim replacement goods and to ensure that the goods qualify, you should call the agency responsible for requirements.

Declaring your goods

When you arrive, even if you have no goods with you at the time, you must give your list of goods to the border services officer at your first point of arrival in Canada. Based on the list of goods you submit, the officer will complete a Form B4 , Personal Effects Accounting Document, assign a file number to it and give you a copy of the completed form as a receipt. You will need to present your copy of this form to claim free importation of your unaccompanied goods when they arrive. Goods to follow may be subject to import restrictions before you can import them.

To facilitate the clearance process, you can complete Form B4, in advance before your arrival at the first port of entry in Canada. You can obtain a copy of the form on the Canada Border Services Agency’s Web site at http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/.

 

Disposing of goods you imported duty- and tax-free

If you import goods duty- and tax-free into Canada and if you sell or give the goods away within the first year of importing them into Canada, you will have to pay any applicable duty and taxes immediately. If you divert the goods for commercial use, the same rule applies.

 

Religion in Australia

At the time of European settlement, the Aboriginal inhabitants followed their own religions involving beliefs in spirits behind the forces of nature, and the influence of ancestral spiritual beings. Australia's Aboriginal people developed the animist spirituality of The Dreamtime and some of the earliest evidence on earth for religious practices among humans has been found in the archaeological record of their ancestors. Torres Strait Islander religion bore similarities to broader Melanesian spirituality. While Aboriginal people in Northern Australia would have had some contact with Maccassans prior to the permanent arrival of Europeans, the general isolation of indigenous Australian religion ended with the arrival of the first British settlers in 1788, where after subsequent immigrants and their descendants have been predominantly Christian.

During the 1800s, European settlers brought their traditional churches to Australia. These included the Anglican Church, and the Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Lutheran and Baptist churches.

With the exception of a small but significant Lutheran population of Germanic descent, Australian society in 1901 was predominantly Anglo-Celtic, with 40% of the population being Anglican, 23% Catholic, 34% other Christian and about 1% professing non-Christian religions.

Further waves of migration helped to reshape the profile of Australia's religious affiliations over subsequent decades. The impact of migration from Europe in the aftermath of World War II led to increases in affiliates of the Orthodox Churches, the establishment of Reformed bodies, growth in the number of Catholics (largely from Italian migration), and the creation of ethnic parishes among many other denominations. More recently, immigration from South-East Asia and the Middle East has expanded Buddhist and Muslim numbers considerably, and increased the ethnic diversity of existing Christian denominations. In the 21st century, religion in Australia is predominantly Christian. According to the 2001 Census religion affiliations were found be as follows: 27% Catholic, 21% Anglican, 21% other Christian denominations and 5% non-Christian believers.

In the 2011 Census, 61.1% of the populations were recorded as adhering to Christianity in Australia. Historically the percentage has been far higher and the religious landscape of Australia is diversifying, along with multicultural immigration and growing numbers of irreligious people, 22.3% of Australians declared "no-religion" on the 2011 Census, and a further 9.4% did not answer the question. The remaining population is a diverse group that includes growing Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist communities. The Constitution of Australia of 1901 prohibits the Commonwealth government from establishing a church or interfering with the freedom of religion.
 

 

Christian Churches in Australia

Sydney

Hillsong Church

1-9 Solent Circuit

Baulkham Hills NSW 2153, Australia

(02) 8853 5353

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Hillsong Church is a Pentecostal mega church affiliated with Australian Christian Churches (the Australian branch of the Assemblies of God) and located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Brian and Bobbie Houston began the church in 1983 as the Hills Christian Life Centre in Baulkham Hills. Hills Christian Life Centre later merged with Sydney Christian Life Centre at Waterloo. Over 20,000 people attend services each week.

Hillsong Church by Matt Malone [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Melbourne

Scot's Church

99 Russell Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

(03) 9650 9903

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Originally founded in 1837 at a different location in Melbourne, the current Scots' Church was built in the 1870s. The church is presbytyrian and holds both a traditional service and a more contemporary service each Sunday. The church also holds a special service each year related the final for the Australian Football League.

 

 

 

Buddhist Temples

Nan Tien Temple

180 Berkeley Road

Berkeley NSW 2506, Australia

(02)4272 0600

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Nan Tien Temple opened its doors in October 1995 and is one of the branch temples of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhism, which was founded in 1965 by Master Hsing Yun. In 2005 Fo Guang Shan counts more than 120 branches around the world. It is located at Berkeley, Wollongong NSW Australia.

Nan Tien Temple by By . Adam (talk).Adam.J.W.C. at en.wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Pagoda by By . Adam (talk).Adam.J.W.C. at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Vat Khemarangsaram Cambodian Buddhist Temple

Address: 68 Tarlington Parade
Bonnyrigg NSW 2177
Tel: (02) 9724 5455

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Completed in 1998, the Cambodian Temple Khemarangsaram temple is typical of traditional Khmer Buddhist architecture. Set high on a hill, it is an incongruous sight surrounded by the Bonnyrigg shopping centre car park and a Bunnings store. Entering the temple, you are met with the sight of a large bronzed image of Buddha, surrounded by smaller images, flowers and candles. The temple's interior is decorated with pictures and paintings of the Buddha, monks and nuns.

http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/46110164.jpg

 

 

Mosques

Gallipoli Mosque

15-19 Gelibolu Parade

Auburn New South Wales 2144, Australia

(02) 9646 5972

 

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Gallipoli Mosque By J Bar (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Places to Honeymoon

Australia is a multicultural and beautiful country full of the most romantic places in the world. It is home to some of the most astounding beaches and rain forests in the world. Surrounded by the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, there are a multitude of beautiful locations for romantic resorts. Whether you prefer to swim in the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy a candlelit dinner on the beach or parasail over the ocean, you will enjoy vacationing with your loved one at one of the many spectacular Australian resorts.

Hotels

InterContinental, Sydney

InterContenental Hotel, Sydney

The five-star Intercontinental Hotel is located in the center of Sydney's business district. Built in 1851 as a Treasury Building, the hotel is a famous Sydney landmark that combines a unique charm and ambiance with the highest levels of facilities.
The main attractions and sights of interest in Sydney are at your disposal as the hotel is nearby the Royal Botanical Gardens and just a short walk away from the Opera House, Circular Quay and the historic Rocks area.

117 Macquarie Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
2 9253 9000

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Amora Hotel Jamison, Sydney

Breakfast at the Amora Hotel by http://www.flickr.com/photos/teamaskins/

The Amora Hotel Jamison is a boutique hotel offering luxurious surroundings in the midst of the city’s greatest attractions. Top floor suites feature city views with several windows. The Amora features an on-site full-service spa offering romantic couples massage treatments. Suites feature separate living area and located on the top floors. Additional features include 24-hour room service, personal safe, blackout blinds, stocked mini bar, plush bathrobes, luxurious linens, wireless Internet access, in-room stereo and mood-lighting. Hotel highlights feature a swimming pool, balcony, spa, sauna and steam room. On-site dining includes the Charr Restaurant, featuring steak, seafood and modern Australian cuisine and the Gallery Restaurant, which serves international cuisine. The Amora is within walking distance of Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and the shopping district.

11 Jamison Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
9696 2500

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Four Seasons Sydney

View from the Four Seasons, Sydney by http://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/

Situated in the city's historic Rocks area, the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (formerly the Regent) is only a short walk away from Sydney's major shopping and business districts and offers splendid views of the famous Opera House and Sydney Harbour.

199 George St.
Sydney, NSW 2000
2 9250 3100

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Interior

 

 

BLUE Sydney Hotel

Water Bar at BLUE by By Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces.Ss2107 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Blue Sydney is literally located on the Wharf at Woolloomooloo, Sydney, and enjoys striking views of the Sydney Middlemost and and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

 

6 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
2 9331 9000

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Darling Hotel Sydney

The Darling Hotel is a brand new Sydney hotel. The Darling Sydney further develops the Star City complex in the heart of central Sydney, with fantastic transport links across the city. There are 171 luxurious rooms at The Darling Sydney, with the top floors dedicated to cutting-edge 2 and 3-room suites. Designed by Lawrence Lee, the suites feature floor-to-ceiling harbour views, bespoke furniture, fireplaces, media rooms, and butler service.

80 Pyrmont St.
Pyrmont NSW 2009
2 9777 9000

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Darling Harbour Hotel

PARKROYAL Darling Harbour Hotel is located on the city-side of Darling Harbour. Its central location means that guests who are in the hotel's 345 rooms enjoy views of Darling Harbour and the nearby landmarks such as Cockle Bay, King Street Wharf and the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

150 Day St.
Sydney NSW 2000
2 9261 1188

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Hayman Island Resort

Hayman Island By Ed Yourdon (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/2119562978/) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled off the coast of Queensland in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, he Hayman Island Resort is renowned for its superior location, elegance and first class service making it Australia’s most celebrated and awarded private island destination. With easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman is a fantastic place for snorkelling, diving and sailing; all of which can be arranged by the resort. The sweeping coral fringed beaches are also outstanding with pure white sands and crystal turquoise waters. Each of the resorts villas has views of the shore along with private terraces or balconies or if you really wanted you could opt for a themed penthouse!

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Pinnacles Resort and Spa

Pinnacles Resort is the ultimate in 5 star luxury self-contained accommodations situated in Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef & the fabulous Whitsunday Islands.

All 29 stylish 1, 2 & 3 bedroom self-contained apartments are unique, tastefully decorated & boast magnificent Coral Sea views. The one bedroom apartments have an internal spa tub whilst the two & three bedroom apartments include balcony jacuzzi’s and all with king size bed, flat screen Tv’s & Broadband Internet access.

16 Golden Orchid Dr.
Airlie Beach QLD 4802
7 4948 4800

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Angsana Resort and Spa

Palm Cove

Nestled snuggly in the beautiful village of Palm Cove, Angsana Resort & Spa Great Barrier Reef is your gateway to the longest coral reef and oldest rainforest on earth. It is the only resort in the Cairns and Palm Cove region to boast absolute beach frontage to the magnificent Coral Sea.

The resort boasts 3 swimming pools, our rock pool & Jacuzzi is heated during the cooler months for your enjoyment.

1 Veivers Road
Palm Cove QLD 4879
7 4055 3000

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By http://www.flickr.com/photos/skyseeker/

 

Beaches

New South Wales

Sydney: Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach By Rabs003 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bondi beach is the most famous beach in Australia.  It is the primary beach destination for both locals and tourists. It is just minutes outside of Sydney and is always filled with surfers, bathers and sun tanners who are just looking for the perfect beach experience. Apart from the beach itself, there are many restaurants nearby where couples can go and hang out after spending a day at the beach.

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Bondi Beach By Andrea Schaffer from Sydney, Australia (Bondi beach  Uploaded by berichard) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Jervis Bay: Hyams Beach

Hyams Beach By albinfo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hyams Beach is located on the east coast, south of Sydney. It’s facing Jervis Bay; the beach is listed in the Guinness World Records book as having the whitest sand in the world. Plus, this is Australia, so you’ll have plenty of room to share your love with your spouse.

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Hyams Beach By Dave Naithani (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Tamarama Beach, Sydney

Tamarama Beach By Nomad Tales (Own work) [CC-BY-2.1-au (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.1/au/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tamarama is a small, deep beach with great sand and surf, plus just enough simple amenities. There is a park at the back of the beach and one solo beach cafe. Though the current is strong here, the water provides opportunities for swimmers, body surfers and surfers. If you do body surf, be ready for a short, fast ride. As long as it's not overcrowded it's an absolutely stunning beach.

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Tamarama Beach By emmett anderson [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Manly Beach, Sydney

It is probably the ultimate tourist beach because of its proximity to Circular Quay.  The ferry ride on this beach will give you an opportunity to take some of the most picturesque shots of Sydney's Central Business District.  The following activities are available; swimming, surfing available.

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Manly Beach by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sam67fr

 

Coogee Beach, Sydney

Dawn at Coogee Beach by By Dion Hinchcliffe (Flickr: Dawn in Coogee Beach) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Coogee beach is a gorgeous beach with plenty of cafes, bars and hotels. Though it is definitely a cut below Bondi beach when it comes to popularity, it has both a great night and day life which enables visitors to enjoy themselves both day and night.

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Coogee Beach by Stefano at wikivoyage shared [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Victoria

Brighton Beach

Bright Beach Change Rooms By Beau Wade from New York, NY, United States (Brighton Beach, Melbourne 2003) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Melbourne is also a famous beach destination in Australia. Brighton Beach in particular is one of the most popular because it has really nice clean sand that makes relaxing on the beach coast a wonderful experience. Once there you will also enjoy the swimming experience because the water is just the right temperature and the waves are mild. Don’t miss the wonderful views of the city skyline from Brighton Beach.

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Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Fir0002, made available under GFDL

90 Mile Beach by http://www.flagstaffotos.com.au/

Victoria is also home to Ninety Mile Beach which is at Lakes Entrance east of Melbourne. It is one of Australia’s biggest beach destinations for boating and sailing. Fishing is also a popular activity at this beach.

 

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90 Mile Beach from Space

 

Western Australia

Cottesloe

Cottesloe Beach By Bram Souffreau [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Perth is also a well-visited romantic Australian destination for beach loving couples. In fact, most visitors to Perth go there for the sand and surf because it is one of the more laid-back Australian beach destinations. Visit Cottesloe, which happens to be one of Perth’s most popular and wonderful beaches.

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Cottesloe Beach By Michael_Spencer from Perth, WA, Australia (Cottesloe Beach  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Green's Pool

Photo coming soon

Queensland

Fraser Island

Fraser Island Shipwreck

Just off the coast of Queensland is Fraser Island, which is one of the largest sand islands in the world. This romantic beach destination is completely surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches with very little else that makes up this island. There are several sand dunes across the island and a collection of ancient trees that are there to complete the ambience of this perfectly beautiful and secluded island.

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Fraser Island, Queensland - The world's largest sand island

 

There are numerous beaches in Australia. If you'd like to see more, we'd love to have your photos.

Historic, Romantic and Scenic Places

New South Wales:

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House at night By Diliff (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most instantly recognizable landmark. With its soaring, sail-like arches that dominate its unique construction, the Sydney Opera House has come to represent Australia just as the Eiffel Tower represents France or the Roman Coliseum represents Italy. Queen Elizabeth II opened the structure to the public on October 20, 1973 and since that time the Opera House has become the busiest public venue in the world with some 3000 performances each year and a yearly audience of over 2 million. Guided tours are available, and over 200,000 people a year visit the architectural marvel each year just to tour and explore it.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pau

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is locally known as “The Coathanger”. It is the world’s most massive steel arch bridge with the highest point soaring 134 meters above the harbour below. The bridge opened in 1932 and stands as an architectural marvel to this day. Images of the bridge are instantly recognizable around the world. Visitors to the area can take advantage of the Bridge Climb where, for a fee, they are escorted into the network of catwalks to the top of the span in the center. From here, the most spectacular view of Sydney Harbour can be experienced. The Bridge Climb can be taken during the day, twilight, or night for different panoramic perspectives.

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Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney

 Royal Botanic Gardens. I, Sailko [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Botanic Gardens were first established in Sydney by Governor Bligh in 1816. Located near the center of downtown Sidney and the Sydney Opera House, the Gardens provide a stark contrast to the surrounding urban area and unparalleled views of Sydney Harbour from a natural setting. Covering 30 hectares and adjacent to the 35 hectares making up the Domain, there are over 7500 species of plants represented here. Throughout the year there are presentations in the Gardens including art instruction, guided walks, tours of the historic Government House, and Aboriginal heritage tours.

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Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains By Adam.J.W.C. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

It is considered the favorite mountain romantic getaway destination for Sydney's urban dwellers, known for its wilderness parks, hiking trails and scenic views. The Blue Mountains are a World Heritage designated wilderness area.

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Blue Mountains By Adam.J.W.C. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Northern Territory

Uluru / Ayers Rock

Uluru at sunset By Toursim NT [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is the world’s largest monolith, or single piece of stone, on the planet. Uluru is the traditional name given to the monolith by the local Pitjantjatjara people of the region who greatly revere the structure and attach significant spiritual importance to it. Uluru stands in stark contrast to the desert scrub surrounding the huge sandstone formation. Much like an iceberg in the cold seas, much of Uluru’s mass is hidden underground, but above ground Uluru soars 348 meters high and has an elliptical shape with a circumference of 9.4 kilometers. Guided walking tours are available of this geological marvel and Uluru is particularly notable for its striking appearance at different times of the year as it appears to change colors with the different light angles.

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Queensland

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef from space

The whole continent of Australia is a land of unique natural wonders, but the Great Barrier Reef is the most famous. The Great Barrier Reef is, by far, the world’s largest coral reef system stretching 2600 kilometers in the aptly named Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland. With an area of over 300,000 square kilometers, the huge reef system can make the sole claim that it is the only visible living structure from outer space. The Reef is truly a natural wonder populated with unusual wildlife like the dugong, Loggerhead sea turtle, and many species of dolphins. The area is a major tourist destination with over 2 million visitors a year. This massive visit has given rise to the debate on the environmental impact of the numerous feet tramping on the fragile coral.

 

Lizardfish on the Reef By Richard Ling (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Castle Hill

Castle Hill, Townsville

Uluru is the most famous, but not the only huge monolith in Australia. Another is Castle Hill, a huge pink granite rock. Paved roads go to the summit of Castle Hill, offering excellent views of the coastal city of Townsville below. Castle Hill served an important purpose for the area in WWII when military bases and defensive batteries were installed there. Rumors from the era indicate a network of underground tunnels was built under Castle Hill and even a bunker inside the Hill, lending some urban legend mystique to the site. Today there are several tunnels where the entrances are cordoned off by steel poles, giving credence to the legend.

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Tasmania

Port Arthur

Inside Port Arthur Penal Colony

Port Arthur is a great tourist destination full of Australian history. Founded as a penal settlement in 1830, Port Arthur originally served the British Empire as a timber station. Industry in the area soon followed and by the 1840s Port Arthur had a convict population of over 1100. However, by the 1870s the convicts were gone and left the buildings of the period that stand to this day that weren’t destroyed by fires in the late 19th century. Tourists soon followed after the settlement closed with an interest in viewing the horrors of a British penal colony. Preservation of Port Arthur as a historic site was established with the creation of the Scenery Preservation Board in 1916. Today, ongoing archeological studies continue to dig up the penal colony past.

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Port Arthur Penal Colony by Martin Pot (Martybugs at en.wikipedia) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

South Australia

Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy By Nachoman-au (A digital photograph taken by myself.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Coober Pedy  is most famous for the unusual lifestyle of a significant population of it’s local residents who live underground all year. This practice came about when local resident sought escape from the oppressive heat before the days of modern air conditioning. Also known as the Opal Capital of the World, Coober Pedy was first established as an opal mine in 1915. Today tourists can visit the old opal mines, visit underground churches, and lodge underground in a motel. The local golf course, with no grass, is played at night with glowing golf balls and a portable divot to tee from. The area is also devoid of trees and served as the backdrop for the post-nuclear apocalypse film titled Mad Max beyond Thunder dome by Australian son Mel Gibson

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Warning Sign, Coober Pedy

 

South Australia

Kangaroo Island

View from Remarkable Rocks by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Oberpepe

Kangaroo Island is a pristine natural haven teeming with Australia’s unique wildlife. The wildlife here thrives in its natural state with koalas sleeping away their days in the trees, platypus occupying local streams, and wallabies and kangaroos hopping across the open spaces. Kangaroo Island is a must see for tourists to the area, there is no other spot on the Australian continent where wildlife viewing is so plentiful in a natural setting. This natural wonder is dotted with caves and striking rock formations. The area is also rich in history in locations such as Reeves Point on the island which was the first European settlement in South Australia.

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Remarkable Rocks by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Sam67fr

 

Western Australia

The Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park)

Termite Mounds in the Bungle Bungles By Ouderkraal (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Bungle Bungles are unique, beehive-shaped sandstone formations located in Purnululu National Park that was created after the discovery of the structures. Long known to the local Aborigines, the Bungle Bungles were only discovered by western civilization in the 1980s when a television crew came upon them. This fact can help the reader understand how remote the Bungle Bungles are in the heart of the Australian Outback some 250 kilometers south of Kununurra. It’s a tough trek getting there as one must first venture along 80 kilometers of dirt roads only navigable by four-wheel drive. The trip is well worth it as the area is a breathtaking natural environment with the Cathedral and Piccaninny Gorges, and the Echidna Chasm. If venturing here be sure to bring your hiking garb, as you will need it.

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Bungle Bungles by http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Kdhenrik

 

Traditions and Customs of Australia

Australia’s diverse culture and lifestyle reflect its liberal democratic traditions and values, geographic closeness to the Asia–Pacific region and the social and cultural influences of the millions of migrants who have settled in Australia since World War II.

Australia is a product of a unique blend of established traditions and new influences. The country’s original inhabitants, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, have one of the world’s oldest continuing cultural traditions. They have been living in Australia for at least 40 000 years and possibly up to 60 000 years.  

 

Christmas Traditions in Australia

Australians live on the world's largest island, which is also the world's smallest continent. Most of Australia's immigrants came from England and Ireland, bringing their Christmas customs with them.

Australia is the Land Down Under, where the seasons are opposite considering other countries’ seasons. When Australians celebrate Christmas on December 25, it is during summer vacation. Most of Australia is a hot, dry desert, known as the Outback. The grassy or marshy savannas are called the Bush. But most people in Australia live in the green coastal areas of the southwest.

The most popular event of the Christmas season is called Carols by Candlelight. People come together at night to light candles and sing Christmas carols outside. The stars shining above add to the sights and sounds of this wonderful outdoor concert.

Carols by Candlelight

Carols by Candlelight by http://www.flickr.com/photos/docklander/

Australian families love to do things outside. They love to swim, surf, sail, and ride bicycles. They like to grill meals outdoors on the barbecue, which they call the "barbie."

Ferns

Families decorate their homes with ferns, palm leaves, and evergreens, along with the colorful flowers that bloom in summer called Christmas bush and Christmas bellflower. Some families put up a Christmas tree. Outdoors, nasturtiums, wisteria, and honeysuckle bloom.

Ferns by By Crusier (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Christmas bush

Christmas Bush by By Jason Hollinger (Christmas Bush  Uploaded by Amada44) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Christmas bellflower

Christmas Bells By Doug Beckers from Killcare Heights, Australia (christmas bell 1  Uploaded by Orchi) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Public Christmas decorations

Christmas Bulb By Scott Sandars from Melbourne, Australia (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas festivities begin in late November, when schools and church groups present Nativity plays. They sing carols throughout the month of December.

On Christmas Eve, families attend church together. Some children expect Father Christmas to leave gifts, and others wait for Santa Claus to visit and deliver gifts.

After opening presents on Christmas morning, the family sits down to a breakfast of ham and eggs. Then the family goes to church together.

On Christmas Eve in families that observe Irish traditions, the father sets a large candle in a front window of the home to welcome Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus. The youngest child in the family lights the candle. The family goes to midnight mass and attends church on Christmas Day, as well. Afterwards there are parties and festive visits.

Christmas Day is when families and close friends gather together from all over Australia. The highlight of the day is the holiday midday dinner. Some families enjoy a traditional British Christmas dinner of roast turkey or ham and rich plum pudding doused in brandy and set aflame before it is brought to the table. The person who gets the favor baked inside will enjoy good luck all year round.

New Year Celebration

New Year is considered as a time of fresh start and optimism. The whole of Australia engage in enthusiastic celebrations of New Year, with customs and traditions observed. They follow the rule of Georgian calendar, and thus consider January 1 as the date and celebration of New Year. New Year celebrations are traditionally made over an extended period of six days, with January 6 being the last day of celebration.

Since New Year is a public holiday, Australians along with their friends and families come out of their houses to be a part of the group celebrations along the beautiful beaches, discotheques, pubs, clubs, hotels, and social parties organized for the same purpose. Celebrations continue for the first six days of New Year. The highly passionate New Year celebrations in Australia are popular worldwide, which is the reason why Australia emerges to be the favorite tourist spot among visitors in and around the time of New Years’ time.

Traditionally, people prefer to make a visit to the Church to offer their prayers to the Almighty God. People along with their families make an early morning visit to the local churches in order to get God’s blessings for the New Year. Traditional practice of formally announcing the arrival of New Year is usually considered officially to be the twelve rings of the bell in the Church on the midnight of the New Year. As soon as people hear the twelve rings, they mutually show their bliss by cheering and making noises through drums, trumpets, horns, and other musical instruments. It is followed by sharing of hugs, kisses, and New Year wishes with all those who are present. Also, beautifully crafted show of fireworks, which take place at exactly 00:00 hours of January 1, is something which people enthusiastically and eagerly wait for.

 

New Year Fireworks

Fireworks in Sydney By Linh_rOm (http://www.flickr.com/photos/linh_rom/3356798888/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

New Year in Sydney:

Sydney hosts one of the most fascinating New Year celebrations worldwide. With the arrival of New Year, the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is lit up with more than 80000 fireworks, creating an extraordinary and unforgettable experience for the spectators. The degree of firework is intense and extravagant to an extent that it can be viewed anywhere within the radius of 16 km. around Sydney. The fireworks are perfectly string along with the soothing music, presented by a group of vocalists of Sydney Council. Another major attraction is the Sydney New Year beach party, along with other New Year parties thrown on the eve of New Year, in which people pleasantly engage in with activities such as bonfires and camping. A ride through a cruise is necessary to complete the New Year celebration experience in Sydney.

New Year in Melbourne:

Melbourne Fireworks by http://www.flickr.com/photos/sufw/

Melbourne is another major hub for celebrating New Year with an experience that remains engraved in mind till the end of time. Melbourne is highly popular for the parties it throws on New Year’s Eve. Discotheques, pubs, hotels, and restaurants saw masses of people coming and enjoying high energy parties, especially where arrangements are made for special buffets and exceptional dinners. The famous rock bands performing across the Melbourne city add a complete new vigor to the New Year celebration. Another major attraction which one can’t afford to miss is the depiction of the Chinese-Australian rituals, as a part of which traditional practices of ‘sacrificing to ancestors’, are performed with dedication and enthusiasm in the China town in Melbourne.

 

Major Festivals in Australia

Melbourne International Arts Festival

Melbourne International Arts Festival has a reputation for presenting unique international and Australian events in the fields of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, multimedia, free and outdoor events over 17 days each October. First held in 1986 under the direction of composer Gian Carlo Menotti it became the third in the Spoleto Festival series - joining Spoleto, Italy, and Charleston, United States. Melbourne's Spoleto Festival changed its name to the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts in 1990. In 2003, the Festival was renamed Melbourne International Arts Festival.

 

Brisbane Festival

Brisbane Festival is Brisbane 's foremost international multi-arts festival, offering an outstanding program of theatre, dance, music, opera, multimedia, and free community events for the residents of Brisbane and its visitors. Held every two years in September, it endeavors to include the entire community in its program of activities by having intellectual rigour, international artistic credibility and an extremely broad grass-roots support base. Consequently, Brisbane Festival is about a lot more than just putting on shows, it encourages participation from everyone in the greater community across the country and even among Australians worldwide.

 

Ten Days on the Island, Tasmania

Tasmania’s flagship celebration of island arts and culture, Ten Days on the Island, boasts of a multitude of events in 50 locations across the island. Events and activities range across all types of music, dance, visual arts, theatre, literature, food and film. Individual artists and companies come from all corners of the globe, and a number of local artists also take part. It takes place in March

 

Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts

The Adelaide Festival of Arts has created a strong tradition of innovation since 1960 inspiring celebration and presenting diverse art from across Australia and around the world. Held in the warm South Australian autumn in every 'even' year, this is a large-scale multi-arts event of extraordinary richness and diversity.

 

Perth International Arts Festival 

The Perth International Arts Festival is the oldest annual international multi-arts festival in the southern hemisphere and is Western Australia's premier cultural event. The first Perth Festival was held in 1953 and it now offers the people of Western Australia some of the best international and contemporary drama, theatre, music, film, visual arts, street arts, literature, comedy and free community events. Some other events on the program include the Contemporary Culture program and the Perth Visual Arts Festival.

 

National Multicultural Festival, Canberra

The National Multicultural Festival is held over two weeks and features the very best in local, national and international music, dance, food and creative arts. Festival favorites include the Food and Dance Spectacular, the Greek Glendi, Carnivale, the International Concert and the Pacific Islander Showcase

 

Salaries in Australia

The Australian annual employee earnings survey data shows a new milestone for the pay packets of Australia's 9.8 million workers, with salary increases pushing the mean earnings for all workers into four figures for the first time. The average weekly pre-tax income in 2010 was $1035; a rise of $40 from the previous year, to take the annual salary to $53,820.The average male worker earns $1227 a week and their female counterparts $819 a week. Full-time workers now average $1267 a week in pay, or $65,884 a year, and part-time workers have an average income of $468 a week, or $24,336 a year. Salaries have increased by 57 per cent since 2000, when the average weekly earnings was $659 a week.

 Australia is a great place to work if you happen to be an operations manager, IT project manager or construction project manager - at least where salary is concerned. All three positions commands a median salary of over AU$90,000. The salary survey also makes it clear why searching for the average salary in Australia isn't particularly informative; finding the average salary earned across an entire country tells very little about what salaries are actually like in different industries, cities and employment settings. Considering Salary Survey of Australian Cities, Sydney is listed as having the highest salaries, which isn't too surprising given that Sidney is the largest city in Australia. Runners up for high median salaries include Perth and Canberra. Regardless of location, larger companies tend to offer higher salaries.  However, many small companies in Australia are also able to offer competitive salaries. 

 

Average annual Earning per State/Region in Australia

State

Average Annual Wage

Tasmania

                                                                             $60,518

South Australia

                                                                             $63.305

Victoria

                                                                             $65,608

Queensland

                                                                             $66,882

New South Wales

                                                                             $69,514

Northern Territory

                                                                             $72,602

Capital Territory

                                                                             $79,513

Western Australia

                                                                             $79,934

Australia’s best-paid workers are those employed in the mining industry, with ordinary earnings averaging a $115,960 a year.

 

Best Paying Sectors in Australia

Sector

Avg. Min

Avg. Max

Average

Average Australian Salary

               

 

$99,578

Accounting

$45,905                

$144,474

$83,445

Admin/Office Support

$35,421

$89,264

$53,797

Automotive

$33,571

$120,000

$66,153

Banking & Financial Services

$45,773

$233,913

$88,412

Community, Sport & Leisure

$35,353

$127,524             

$65,946

Construction, Building & Architecture

$48,502                

$195,000

$120,911

Customer Service & Call Centre

$38,571

$102,447             

$55,918

Education and Training

$38,510

$117,582             

$63,680

Engineering

$56,862

$210,180

$130,245

Executive / Corporate Strategy

$59,392

$255,455

$132,235

 

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