Short story of Australia
Before the settlement of Australia by the Europeans the territory of states of the continent was inhabited only by the locals today called aborigines, who, according to scientists, appeared on the Green Continent more than forty thousand years ago. It is possible that the sailors from different countries landed on the coast of Australia in the Middle Ages. The Europeans only became known to this faraway place early in the second half of the last millennium BC.
Before the first European explorers arrived in the Great Australian land, the continent existed only in myths. The official opening time of the continent by Europeans is in 1770, when the fleet of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain led by the legendary James Cook approached the coast. While still in the seventeenth century, these places were discovered by marine researchers from the Netherlands and Tasmania.
In general, the colonization of Australia was primarily due to the fact that the British had lost their chances to rule on the lands of North America. For this reason the British decided to found a new colony. The first inhabitants were convicts with their guards. By the end of 1830 the British colonizers managed to captured the entire continent and this is when the first voluntary settlers have arrived.
In the late nineteenth century large deposits of gold were found in Australia, which had a direct impact on the increase of immigrants who arrived to make a fortune.
The Commonwealth of Australia was established at the beginning of the twentieth century. It consisted of six separate colonies and was the British dominion. Australia regained the independence from the British Empire in 1931. In 1945 it joined the ranks of the United Nations. The main achievement of Australian democracy was the granting of civil rights to indigenouspeople of the continent in 1967.
Today, the level of development in Australia is surely among the top twenty of the leading countries in the world.
It is better to exchange money in banks. You will find a lot of them at each airport. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the central regions, but in the small private shops, especially in the provinces, they are likely to be useless pieces of plastic. Travellers checks are very unprofitable. Banks charge high commissions for cashing them. When you move to Australia from UK just for holiday it is always good to have some money in the pocket.
The country has an extensive ATM network. Banks are usually open Monday to Thursday from 9:30 to 16:00, Fridays 9.30 am until 17:00, on Saturday and Sunday they are usually closed. In some states, banks are open on the Saturday morning.
Tipping in Australia does not have the status of "mandatory", but no one will refuse to accept it. In the restaurants you can leave 5-10% of the total bill and in hotels 1 or 2 AUD. When paying for the taxi, you can just round up the total sum to the next higher amount.
The exchange rate in March 2013: £1 = 1,44 AUD
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