Have you ever said or heard any of these questions when you tell someone you're travelling to Australia: "Yeah the beaches are pretty, but what's new in Australia?", or “Honestly, what halal food other than Middle Eastern or Pakistani cuisine is there any way?” ? Well, here's an answer to reply to them: A whole lot more! We debunked 5 myths you might have about the Land Down Under - and why you need to plan your visit there, pronto ? By the end of this, you'll be rushing to score limited flight discounts from Malaysia Airlines! Just read till the end!
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1. MYTH 1: The only halal food in Australia is Middle Eastern, Asian or Indian/Pakistani cuisineCredit: Charis Seafoods on Facebook
We’re kicking it off with the one thing we love when we travel: food ? As Muslims, we look for halal food when we travel, and more often than not, we end up opting for Middle Eastern and Indian or Pakistani cuisine. It’s not that we don’t enjoy it, we just wish there was more to choose from and we definitely want to try halal local cuisine ? In Australia, there’s an array of options for you to choose from that reflect Australia’s diversity and multiculturalism. For instance, seafood is truly a big deal here, so if you’re around the Gold Coast, you must try Charis Seafoods! Located just a 20-minute drive away from Pacific Fair Shopping Mall, Charis Seafoods sells a wide variety of items from whole fish, prawns and crabs to oysters, mussels and more ? It’s also the biggest seafood retailer in Queensland! Or immerse yourself in Australia’s strong cafe culture, and check out any of these Muslim-friendly cafes in Melbourne for a good ol’ brekkie, Aussie-style!
2. MYTH 2: You should only plan your visits for the summerCredit: Visit Victoria
In our minds, we associate Australia as a sunny destination that’s best to check out during summer. But if you’re already living in summer the entire year (except for the occasional rain ?), here’s the best part of Australia: every month presents an opportunity to experience a particular region of Australia at its most spectacular ? Want to experience a winter wonderland that isn’t too far from home by flight (i.e. less than 7 hours away) and during a less-crowded period of time (i.e June-August)? Head off to Sydney, Western Australia, Brisbane and Gold Coast ❄️Credit: Visit Victoria
The weather is much cooler (think aircon temperatures ?) but there’s still enough sunshine for us to experience that comfy feeling! Or if you want that complete winter experience (making snowballs, teeth chattering; you know the drill ?), you can check out popular ski resorts in Victoria such as Mount Hotham, Mount Buller, Falls Creek, Mount Buffalo, and Mount Baw Baw ?
P.S. Did you know that flying to Australia during winter scores you some of the best flight deals? Read till the END to find out more! ?
3. MYTH 3: There’s nothing left to do after darkEnlighten Canberra. Credit: HCreations
Shops close earlier in Australia (mostly at 5 pm), and for us travellers looking for night activities, you might be stumped on what to do. Don’t go to sleep just yet; Australia comes to life at night as well ? There are a ton of exciting light festivals such as Enlighten Canberra, Vivid Sydney, Dark Mofo, Parrtjima, Illuminate Adelaide, Perth Winter Lights Festival every year, which typically runs till late at night! It’s the perfect opportunity for you to see the city’s top attractions from a different angle, as they will open their doors to visitors after dark. You can even get a stargazing opportunity at some of these festivals, such as Parrtjima in the Northern Territory outback; something that’s rare for us ?Miami Marketta, Gold Coast. Credit: Brookfield Properties Australia
Prefer a deep dive into the local culture? Check out Australia’s vibrant night markets on the weekend ? Indulge in food from all over the world, buy some unique gifts for your loved ones back home, or relax with a little shopping therapy. Some popular ones include the Eat Street Weekend Market in Brisbane and the Miami Marketta on the Gold Coast, or the Ebenezer Night Markets during summer in Adelaide ?
4. MYTH 4: There’s nothing much to do except shop, eat and visit attractionsCredit: Tourism Australia
Okay, you clearly need to revisit Australia ? Australia is teeming with unique wonders you can’t find anywhere else. For instance, where else in the world can you actually hug a koala than at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or meet the world’s happiest animal - quokkas on Rottnest Island in Western Australia? Where else in the world can you drive a four-wheeler on a beach like Flaherty Beach that’s so remote and wide, it’s as if you owned the beach ? Still not cool enough?Credit: Tourism Australia
Snap pictures at any one of the several pink lakes in Australia, take a thrilling ride at the DC Rivals HyperCoaster touted as the fastest rollercoaster in the country, or climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge through the lens of an Indigenous storyteller on the new Burrawa Climb and shop till you drop at their premium malls (besides their creative homegrown designers, some of the malls stock renowned international brands that are much cheaper here than at home) and MORE ? There’s something for every type of traveller out there ?
5. MYTH 5: All these cool activities are just way too far from citiesCredit: Tourism Australia
You might think all the coolest things Australia offers are located in remote areas, BUT that’s simply not true! You can easily take a short getaway from any of the major cities you’re in. Within a few hours' drive from Melbourne, you’ll be treated to gorgeous views along the Great Ocean Road with the iconic 12 Apostles limestone pillars rising out of the Southern Ocean ?Credit: Tourism Australia
About two hours from Sydney, you can visit the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountain, known for its eucalypt forests, which give it its natural blue haze! This is only a glimpse of what you can expect; isn’t that COOL?! ?
Ready to visit Australia? Why not choose to travel during their off-peak season, which is their winter period? You'll get to score amazing deals and enjoy the winter wonderland we don't get to experience back home - less than 7 hours away! Well, don’t worry we got you: Malaysia Airlines is letting you fly to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane from MYR2,099 - that’s some of the most affordable prices for a full-service carrier!Credit: Tasmanian Walking Company
Perhaps you want to swim and visit the sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, or you want to try your luck at a multi-day hike on Australia's most famous and premium trail, Tasmania’s Overland Track; both of which are best done in summer.
Don’t worry, Malaysia Airlines lets you choose anytime you’d like to visit the country: summer, spring, autumn, winter - it doesn't matter, you’ll love your visit! You have time to book from now until 31st July 2022, with travel validity until 30 April 2023!Credit: Sean Scott Photography
So now that you know what Australia’s REALLY about, it’s time to make 2022 the year you visit Australia! With amazing flight deals from Malaysia Airlines starting as low as RM2,099 any time of the year to unique experiences you can’t get anywhere else, you will feel like you’re rediscovering the Land Down Under for the first time!
What do you need before your trip to Australia?
These are the list of documents you need before you arrive. Do note that the rules below apply to fully vaccinated travellers.
- Boarding pass
- Visa: You can do a quiz beforehand to ascertain the type of visa suited to your purpose of visit.
- Evidence that you meet Australia's definition of fully vaccinated for international travel purposes(i.e. vaccination certificate)
- completed Digital Passenger Declaration.
For more information, head to Australia’s Home Affairs website. States and territories may have differing travel restrictions, so all travellers are encouraged to check relevant Australian Federal and State and Territory government websites for the latest information and guidelines for international arrivals.
Do also factor in enough time for your visa application! Due to overwhelming demand, you may need to wait about six to eight weeks for visa approval, subject to processing timelines indicated on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. We recommend that you plan ahead and apply for your visa early, book a flexible flight ticket, or only confirm your flight booking upon receiving your visa approval.
This article is brought to you by Malaysia Airlines.