Below you will find useful information for travelers visiting Byron Bay, and Australia in general, from overseas.

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Australian Visa Information

Local Weather and Climate Info
Australian Slang Dictionary
Byron Bay is 10 hours ahead of GMT (GMT/UTC +10 hours). Byron Bay has daylight savings time from 2am on the last Sunday in October until 3am on the last Sunday in March. All clocks are turned forward one hour for the duration of daylight savings time.

Byron Bay has a General Post Office (Post Code 2481) located in the CBD . A local postage stamp is 50c which will get a normal letter to anywhere within the country. Overseas mail generally goes via air unless specified otherwise and it takes around 4 to 5 days to get to most international destinations. As a general guide you can send a postcard to the UK or the USA for around $1.50

There are branches of almost all the Australian "National" banks throught the town. All banks provide electronic banking facilities including ATMs outside almost all branches.

There is a decimal currency in Australia, with bank notes for five, ten, twenty, fifty and one hundrend dollars. You can use this currency converter to get a more accurate conversion from 180 different currencies.

Changing foreign currency can be done quickly and efficiently at most banks.

As a rule, tipping is not expected in Byron Bay, however, it is customary so if you are happy with someone who has tried that little bit harder and gone the extra mile, then a tip is in order and always appreciated. Giving a small tip (10% of the bill) in a restaurant is in order if the service is good.

Getting Around
Taxi services are usually plentiful within the CBD.
Cars drive on the left hand side of the road. If you're not used to it, take care when crossing the road - you should always use a "zebra crossing" to cross safely.

Seasonal Information
The temperature in Byron Bay, on average, ranges from 23 C (72 F) in summer to 13 C (55 F) in winter. The seasons in Australia are :
  • Spring : September 1 through November 30
  • Summer : December 1 through February 28 or 29
  • Autum : March 1 through May 31
  • Winter : June 1 through August 31
Smoking is not permitted in government buildings and on most public transport, including domestic flights.

In a life threatening emergency dial 000 for Fire, Ambulance & Police.


Population: 18,943,000 (1999 est.)

Total area: 7,682,300 sq km (2,966,200 sq miles)

Capital: Canberra

Chief of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by Governor-general Sir William Deane
Head of government: Prime Minister John Howard Australia

Official name: Commonwealth of Australia.

Form of government: federal parliamentary state (formally a constitutional monarchy) with two legislative houses (Senate [76]; House of Representatives [148]).

Official language: English.

Official religion: none.

Currency: 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents.

Time zones: 3, Sydney is 10 hrs ahead of GMT

Population density: 6.3 people per sq mile, 2.4 people per sq kilometre.

Largest Australian City: Sydney ( Pop: 3,900,000)

Australia also has a Territory in the Antarctic called "Australian Antarctic Territory")

Urban-rural Pop (1996): urban 85.0%; rural 15.0%.

Population projection: (2000) 19,117,000; (2010) 21,018,000.

Ethnic composition (1996): white 95.2%; aboriginal 2.0%; Asian 1.3%; other 1.5%.

Religious affiliation (1991): Christian 74.0%, of which Roman Catholic 27.3%, Anglican Church of Australia 23.9%, other Protestant 19.2% (Uniting Church and Methodist 8.2%, Presbyterian 4.3%), Orthodox 2.8%, other Christian 0.8%; Muslim 0.9%; Buddhist 0.8%; Jewish 0.4%; no religion 12.9%; other 11.0%.

Place of birth (1996): 73.9% native-born; 26.1% foreign-born, of which Europe 12.4% (United Kingdom 6.3, Italy 1.3%, Greece 0.7%, Germany 0.6%, The Netherlands 0.5%, other Europe 3.0%), Asia and Middle East 5.6%, New Zealand 1.6%, Africa, the Americas, and other 6.5%.
Immigration (1996): permanent immigrants admitted 96,970, from United Kingdom and Ireland 12.8%, New Zealand 11.8%, China 7.6%, Vietnam 4.8%, Hong Kong 4.6%, India 4.4%, Philippines 3.9%, South Africa 3.2%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 3.2%, Yugoslavia 3.1%, Sri Lanka 2.2%. Refugee arrivals (1994-95): 13,600.

Birth rate per 1,000 population (1996): 14.1 (world avg. 25.0); (1993) legitimate 75.0%; illegitimate 25.0%.

Death rate per 1,000 population (1996): 6.9 (world avg. 9.3).

Total fertility rate (avg. births per childbearing woman; 1996): 1.82.

Marriage rate per 1,000 population (1996): 6.0, Median age for brides and bridegrooms is 26.8 years and 29.2 years respectfully.

Divorce rate per 1,000 population (1996): 2.7.

Life expectancy at birth (1996): male 75.4 years; female 81.1 years.

Major causes of death per 100,000 population (1995): diseases of the circulatory system 296.0; cancers 190.0; respiratory diseases 52.0; accidents, poisoning, and violence 41.0; endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases 23.0; digestive system diseases 21.0; nervous system diseases 17.0.

Educational attainment (1995). Percentage of population age 15 to 64 having: no formal schooling 0.3%; incomplete secondary education 36.3%; completed secondary 17.8%; post secondary, technical, or other certificate/diploma 33.7%; university 11.9%.

Average workweek (1995): 40.5 hours (16.8% overtime).

Criminal offenses(1996). Offense rate per 100,000 population for: murder 3.8; sexual assault 78.7; assault 620.8; auto theft 672.2; unarmed robbery, burglary, and housebreaking 4,608.2; armed robbery 34.0.

Households possessing (1995): automobile 85%; telephone 95%; refrigerator 99.7%; air conditioner 32.3%; personal computers 23.0%; washing machine 90.0%; central heating 3.9%; swimming pool 10.1%.

National economy Gross national product (1996): US$367,802,000,000 (US$20,090 per capita).
Agriculture, forestry, fishing (1995-96): livestock slaughtered 6,066,400 (cattle 3,474,300, sheep and lambs 1,005,000, poultry 964,600, pigs 589,200); wheat 4,602,000, wool 2,686,800, barley 1,347,000, sugarcane 1,319,700, cotton 851,000, grapes 680,600, potatoes 378,000, oats 311,000, apples 269,800, bananas 254,700, sorghum 242,000, oranges 214,800, rice 216,000, tomatoes 166,000, carrots 133,000, pears 73,400, onions 54,100, peaches 50,000, pineapples 43,300, corn (maize) 41,000, tobacco 40,000, cauliflower 33,700; livestock (number of live animals; 1997) 121,900,000 sheep, 26,250,000 cattle, 2,410,000 pigs, 73,509,000 poultry; roundwood (1995) 22,458,000 cu m; fish catch (1995) 219,499 metric tons.
Mining and quarrying (metric tons [tons of contained metal]; 1995-96): iron ore 142,936,000; bauxite 42,655,000; zinc 930,000; lead 455,000; copper 437,000; tin 8,175; gold 253,504 kg; diamonds 40,693,000 carats.

Land use (1995): agricultural and under permanent cultivation 6.3%; other 93.7% (of which, meadows and pastures [1994] 54.2%).

Foreign trade Imports (1995-96): $A 77,819,000,000 (machinery 33.4%, of which office machines and automatic data-processing equipment 7.7%; basic manufactures 14.2%, of which textile yarn and fabrics 3.0%, paper and paper products 2.5%, iron and steel 1.8%; transport equipment 13.5%, of which road motor vehicles 10.2%; chemicals and related products 11.4%; mineral fuels and lubricants 5.5%; food and live animals 3.7%; crude materials [inedible] excluding fuels 2.0%; beverages and tobacco 0.6%).

Major import sources: US 22.6%; Japan 13.9%; UK 6.3%; Germany 6.2%; China 5.1%.
Exports (1995-96): $A 75,999,000,000 (food and live animals 20.1%, of which cereals and cereal preparations 6.5%, meat and meat preparations 4.3%, sugar, sugar preparations, and honey 2.3%, dairy products 2.2%, crude materials excluding fuels 19.4%, of which metalliferous ores and metal scrap 11.4%, textile fibres and their waste 5.3%; mineral fuels and lubricants 16.6%, of which coal, coke, and briquettes 10.3%, petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas 4.2%; basic manufactures 12.9%).

Major export destinations: Japan 21.6%; South Korea 8.7%; New Zealand 7.4%; US 6.0%; China 5.0%, Singapore 4.7%; Taiwan 4.5%; Hong Kong 4.0%.

Education and health Literacy (1996): total population literate, virtually 100%.

Health: physicians (1995-96) 45,800 (1 per 400 persons)

Infant mortality rate (1996) 5.7.

Food (1995): daily per capita caloric intake 3,068 (vegetable products 66%, animal products 34%)

The largest National park in Australia is Kakadu, in The Northern Territory, covering 19,000sq km.

Australia is the 6th largest country in the world at 7,686,848 sq km (2,967,909 sq miles) The largest is Russia, 17,070,289 sq km (6,590,867 sq miles).

To help put this in perspective, consider this Australia is almost the size of the USA, excluding Alaska, it is four fifths the size of Canada, nearly three quarters the size of the whole of Europe,or 25 times larger than Britain and Ireland put together.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service, services 80% of the country, handling 153,000 consultations each year and flying more than 8,810,000km (5,471,010 miles) to do so.

Australia is regarded as a continental land mass rather than an Island. If it were an Island it would come in at number 6 of the most highly populated countries in the world.

The highest mountain in Australia is MT Kosciusko at 2,228 m (7,312")

The Australian Desert is the 2nd largest in the world, covering 3,800,000aq km (1,470,000sq miles). The world's largest is The Sahara Desert in North Africa at 9,000,000 sq km (3,500,000 sq miles).

The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's largest world heritage area at 34,870,000 hectares (86,163,770 acres). It is the largest complex of coral reefs and islands in the world. There are 2600 individual reefs and 300 islands extending 1250 nautical miles from south to north off Queensland's coast.

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