General photos from around Australia

The great Aussie open road is real and easily reached. Australian cities are not cursed with all-day traffic jams. Getting out to the countryside for a leisurely scenic drive is quick to do. Driving in Australia is not as stressful as in most other countries today.

Australian electrical sockets are a brutally practical affair. 3 pins and square contacts is how it's done. The supply is 220 volts at 60 amperes - so British and South African appliances will cope, but North American appliances will burn out. More about such practicalities are dealt with in the guide.

The famous cute, cuddly Australian koala bear. Their numbers are believed to have been halved by the drought in Australia over the past 10 years. It is not unheard of to see koalas in the outer suburbs of the cities and towns. They are quite harmless and sleep for 20 hours a day.

Kangaroos are almost exclusively to be found in the countryside. Very rarely do they venture in to the cities. When exploring the countryside you will occasionally come across groups of 'roos' standing in a field, grazing peacefully. If you're patient you'll see a leadership fight between two kangaroos who appear to box each other. I spotted these two pugilists in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide.

The countryside in Australia is surprisingly varied. Most people who have never visited Australia have in their heads images of the dry, dusty, red Outback that occupies most of the centre of the country. You will find that the coastal strips are quite lush and fertile, that is one of the reasons why the cities are sited there.

Cars drive on the left hand side of the road in Australia. Signs such as the one depicted in the photograph are to be found around tourist sites to warn visitors who drive on the other side of the road to remember how to drive in Australia. Road safety is taken very seriously in Australia.

Across Australia restaurants pour out on to the street outside. This is largely to comply with Australia's tough anti-smoking laws. It is also pleasant to dine al fresco as the weather is usually agreeable and you won't be harassed by beggars in Australia.

Public parks in Australia tend to be of a very high standard. They are popular with familys with children as there are child-safe swings, barbecue facilities, etc. Public parks in Australian cities are often used as venues for large family and friends get-togethers. It is a shame that in other countries the climate is not as accomodating or the parks simply aren't safe. The scene in the picture was in the seaside suburb of Glenelg in Adelaide, South Australia.

Australians take environmental issues very seriously. Recycling is almost a national obsession nowadays. There is a curious (well, to me at least) national character trait when it comes to recycling. Ozzies simply put their unwanted goods on the lawn at the front of their houses. Passersby then simply help themselves to whatever they want. You'll be amazed at what some people throw away. After a week or so, whatever has not been taken away by the public, the local authority (council/municipality) will remove. Once a month the local authority comes around with very large trucks to remove anything people are unable to dispose of themselves, such as old fridges and other large items - all for free.

They have some clever ways of storing boats and other vessels in Australia. 80% of Australia's population lives near the sea, so they enjoy their water-based sports. I took this picture in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The cost of parking illegally in Australia is high. Many migrants to Australia bring some bad parking habits with them which cost them dearly. It is cheaper to be a law-abiding citizen (or permanent resident) of Australia.

Australia has a love affair with signs. They are everywhere and cover a wide range of topics, even the obvious ones, such as this one pictured above. Literacy in Australia is almost 100%, so there are no excuses for doing the wrong thing.

The Australian postman is affectionately called a "postie". In cities they go about their duties on bicycles while in the suburbs and countryside they use motorcycles - all the while making themselves as visible as possible by wearing yellow.

The typical Australian has a good sense of humour and they are not afraid to exhibit this on their cars. I saw this honest person in Geelong, Victoria.

The Australian advertising industry makes heavy use of humour. This is a billboard that made many a passing driver smile.

Every Christmas leads to a variety of charity raising activities across Australia. Pictured here is a scene from a charity fun run, in true Australian fashion.

Australia has a variety of housing stock that sometimes co-exist side-by-side. Streets of terraced housing are rare and only to be found in a few historic streets in the cities. It is quite safe to park your car on the public roads at night. Crime is very low in Australia.

Aussie humour doesn't just stretch to funny number plates. Why stop there? Why not use the entire vehicle?

Immigrants Welcome! Highly skilled immigrants are welcome in Australia. Institutions in Australia are geared towards dealing with newly-arrived immigrants. Here a bank proclaims that it wants to and can help immigrants in Australia. This photo I took at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Joondalup, northern Perth.

The typical Australian driver is very safe, courteous and considerate. However, some of them struggle to park close to the pavement. I find this to be especially true in Perth. This car is actually parked and not just passing on the road. This was in Northbridge, Perth.

Here is an Australian electrical plug.

The beaches in Australia are almost always spotlessly clean. How is this done? Well, people are expected to clean up after themselves - and their pets. They are also given the means to do so. Pictured is a "doggy-dumpage" disposal bag dispensing unit. These are to be found on popular beaches all across Australia. This one is at Cottesloe Beach in Perth.

The Australian government (and therefore society) follow a somewhat enlightened approach to drug abuse. If you're going to use a syringe, they want you to dispose of it responsibly. Such disposal units are to be found in public toilets.

This sign is to be seen alongside the roads all over Australia. The further from the cities you travel, the more types of signs warning you about different types of wildlife you will see. The Australians take great pride in their successful conservation efforts and it is something of a cultural trait.

This beach is at Apollo Bay, near the southern point of The Great Ocean Road. Most Australians are regular beach-goers and they are spoilt for choice.

The Australian coastline is characterised by countless lighthouses that were vital before the advent of air travel. They still play a role today, but many serve as tourist attractions because of the views that they afford. The lighthouse pictured is near Cape Otway on the Great Ocean Road in the state of Victoria.

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Copyright © 2005 - 2011 Vaughan Vandenberg. All rights reserved worldwide.

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