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Skin

 
"Sunbaker" from 1937 is possibly the most widely recognised of all Australian photographs.

Exposure to the sun at Australian latitudes frequently results in sunburn. Getting sunburnt can make you feel feverish and unwell and may take a few days or weeks to heal depending on the severity. It means you can't go back out into the sun until the sunburn fades, so getting sunburnt on the first day of your beach holiday can seriously reduce the fun of your trip. It can take as little as 15 minutes to burn in Australia on a fine summer's day, even in shaded outdoor areas. You should wear sunscreen (SPF 30+), clothing, and a hat to shade the sun.

Emergencies

The number 000 (called 'triple zero' or 'triple oh') can be dialled from any telephone in Australia free of charge. This number will connect you with the police, fire brigade, coastguard or ambulance service after you tell the emergency operator which service you need.

If you want to contact these services but the situation is not an emergency, don't call 000: you can call the police assistance line on 131 444. Poisons information advice, which can also advise on snake, spider and insect bites, is available on 131 126. Information on locating the nearest medical services can be obtained by calling 1800 022 222 (except for Tasmania).

If you require assistance during a flood, storm, cyclone, tsunami, earthquake or other natural disaster you can contact the State Emergency Service in each state (except for Northern Territory) on 132 500. You will be connected with your local unit and help can be organised from there. If the emergency is life-threatening, call triple zero instead.

Unless you are actively trying to insult someone, a traveller is unlikely to insult or cause offence to an Australian through any kind of cultural ignorance.

Australian modes of address tend towards the familiar. It is acceptable and normal to use first names in all situations, even to people many years your senior. Many Australians are fond of using and giving nicknames - even to recent acquaintances. It is likely being called such a name is an indication that you are considered a friend and as such it would be rare they are being condescending.

It is generally acceptable to wear revealing clothing in Australia. Bikinis and swimming attire are okay on the beach, and usually at the kiosk across the road from the beach. It is normal to wear at least a shirt and footwear before venturing any further. Most beaches are effectively top optional (topless) while sunbathing. Just about all women wear a top while walking around or in the water. There are some clothing optional (nude) beaches, usually a little further removed from residential areas. Thong bikinis (more commonly called g-string bikinis in Australia as thongs refer to flip-flop footwear) are fine on all beaches and some outdoor pools for both women and men although they are not as common as conventional beachwear. Some outdoor pools have a "top required" policy for women.

Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and permanent residents of Australia can work in Australia without any further permits, but others will require a work visa. It is illegal for foreigners to work in Australia on a tourist visa. Foreigners in Australia on a student visa are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time, and full-time during the school holidays. Working illegally in Australia runs a very real risk of arrest, imprisonment, deportation and being permanently banned from re-entering Australia. All visitors who do not hold Australian permanent residency or citizenship (including New Zealand citizens who aren't also Australian permanent residents or citizens) are not allowed to access Australian social security arrangements for the unemployed, and will have limited, or more usually, no access to the Australian government's health care payment arrangements.

Accommodation is readily available in most Australian cities and tourist destinations. It comes in a number of different styles.

Camping

Camping is a popular pastime. Most caravan parks will rent camping sites by the night, where you can pitch a tent, and these are available in most towns and cities. The caravan park will provide showers and toilets, and sometimes washing and cooking facilities. Sometimes for an additional fee. Expect to pay around $20 for a tent site, and a few dollars per person. You can even find caravan parks right on the beach, with lagoon swimming pools and playgrounds all free for guests.

National parks often provide free camping sites, which expect you to be more self-sufficient. Often toilets are provided and sometimes cold showers. Camping permits are sometimes required at popular parks, with some popular spots filling up during the holidays in summer. In Australia it is common to be within an hours drive of a national park or recreation area that will permit some form of camping, even in the capital cities. Expect to pay around $5–10 per night per person for a camping permit, and national park admission fees in the more popular national parks (e.g.: Wilsons Promontory National Park, Kosciuszko National Park, etc.), however entry and camping is free in the majority of national parks further from population and tourist centres.

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