It’s an easy place to live; its people are laid back and unpretentious, gracious toward visitors, always ready for a good time. But to generalize isn’t fair . . .the sum of what Australia “is” will be a compilation of your own unique experience of Oz’s people and places.
The first thing to keep in mind is just how large Australia is … roughly the same size as the US. From Brisbane to Sydney is one day’s drive, and from there to Melbourne another 12 hours’ drive. Perth to Sydney is four solid days on roads with few petrol/gas stations or hotels/motels. Flying from one destination to the next, then hiring a car, is preferred by most travellers. Public transport is available in major cities.
Depending upon the time frame, decide what you want to see. A week is adequate for Sydney. If you want to visit several tourist icons such as the Great Barrier Reef in the northeast, Uluru and Alice Springs in the Outback, and Margaret River in Western Australia, you’ll need a month. And that’s rushing things. If possible, avoid travelling to Australia during their school breaks and the Dec/Jan summer holiday. Aussies are serious travelers and often get away during the two week break between 10 week terms. Flights and accomodations may also be less expensive.
What to pack is determined by where you go and the time of year. Sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes are necessities. Keep it simple. Dress is very casual. The winter (June through August) is usually cool and rainy; include a fleece or jumper and rain gear.
You’ll need a tourist visa to visit Australia. Details available at this website: www.immi.gov.au/visitors/tourist/visa-options.htm
And for fun, get familiar with Aussie slang before you make the trip. It’s like learning another language.