Sydney is an incredible city that attracts visitors from around the world. However, to have the best time possible, it is crucial to learn their cultural norms before visiting. If you want to make your stay more enjoyable and comfortable, here are the dos and don’ts to follow when in Sydney.
Tipping in Australia is not considered a necessity. Servers receive a minimum wage, so it’s by no means obligatory. Also, restaurant prices are required by law to include service and tax charges. Instead of tipping, you can round up your bill to the nearest $5-10.
For a taxi, you can let the driver keep the change. Again, tipping is not a standard etiquette in Sydney, so you don’t have to do it ever.
Do Observe Road Signs
If you disobey the rules in Sydney, Australia, it will cost you big time. No matter what you may have heard, no rule requires you to be stationary for three minutes. A general rule of thumb is to come to a complete stop before you hit the white line.
Disobeying no right turns can attract a fine of $100, not to mention you lose three demerit points. Similarly, if you don’t keep a safe distance, you’ll be penalized $290, and you lose one point. If you drive without the lights on, this can attract over $120 in fines.
But one traffic rule you can never escape is speeding. While this is something you may get away with in other countries, Sydney is strict about it. No matter the time of the day, there are undercover police who emerge when you least expect.
Other common traffic offenses include not stopping at red traffic lights, not indicating when changing lanes, and overtaking a vehicle when unsafe. If you’re new to Australian roads, you should not ignore these signs.
While most signs are designed to enhance safety, they change quickly, so you should stay alert.
Do Drink Coffee
Australian coffee is arguably one of the best in the world. People here obsess about the quality and taste. And, this is not just a way to start your day but a way of life. This is an everyday routine, no matter the size of your paycheck.
Do Try Their Breakfast
In almost every eatery you visit, you’ll find the words `All Day Breakfast.’ But with so many restaurants to choose from, finding the best can be tricky. Generally, Australian Breakfasts range from basil on sourdough, ricotta hotcakes, and acai bowls.
Some must-try eateries include Bowery Lane Cafe (CBD cafe), Grounds of Alexandria, Vela, Speedos Cafe, Indigo cafe, to mention a few. Of course, you’ll love eating in the sun with a cup of coffee.
Do Carry ID
If you’re over 18 years, the law requires that you provide an ID. If you don’t show an identification document when asked for it, the police may charge you for failure to comply. Also, if you’re young and appear in some clubs, you’ll be asked for it.
Do Wear Sunscreen
If you have to spend most of your time in Sydney, you must wear sunscreen in the summer except June. Also, most public health organizations recommend that you apply sunscreen before you head for outdoor activities. If you’re not careful, you can get accidental sun exposure from everyday activities like walking to a train station, washing clothes, etc. This lowers the risk of developing melanoma or cancer.
Don’t Get Out of the Bus Without Thanking the Driver
This is a simple concept in Sydney. For the residents, it’s a sign of gratitude. Saying `Thank You’ is centered on Good Aussie values and shows patriotism. After all, being a driver is not an easy job and is considered a courtesy wave. So, every time you use public transport, you may want to give them a friendly wave to make their day feel better.
Don’t Swim Between the Flags at the Beach
Even if you feel like a competent swimmer, you should never attempt to swim between the flags. Swimming on the beach is a serious issue. If you learn where to swim, you should go to the beaches without flags.
Every time you see the yellow flags, the water is quiet but also dangerous. According to recent statistics, most of the deaths occur on unpatrolled beaches. And by the time beachgoers get to these areas, it’s too late.
So how bad is it to swim between the flags? Well, it boils down to your competency. If you have to get to these areas, make sure you have a mate. Also, you should swim on a beach that lifeguards watch.
If you find yourself on unpatrolled beaches, you may not get professional help on time. When you arrive at the beach, you should observe the flow of waves at least five times.
Don’t Underestimate a Storm Warning
Sydney, Australia, has snowy landscapes and stunning mountains. However, every time you get there, you should understand the alpine weather. This will ensure an enjoyable and safer visit.
Since the Anzac Hailstorm, the weather department always alerts households to prepare their homes for the impact. Some of the storms can damage homes, especially in heavily populated areas.
While the public knows the risk of floods, bushfires, and cyclones, they don’t realize the impending danger until it’s too late. So, if you hear a storm warning, you should take the necessary steps to protect your home.
Since a big chunk of the country experiences a subtropical climate, you should never attempt to drive through the trees or flooded roads.
Don’t Swim at any Beach –(Beware of Sharks, Storms, and Stingers)
Australia boasts of spectacular beaches and an incredible coastline. But as with any beach activity, there should be a sense of safety.
If you’re new in Sydney, you may want to do a quick Google search before swimming. A general rule of thumb is to avoid swimming on unpatrolled beaches.
If you’re not a great swimmer, you should never swim alone. Also, never go to isolated spots with poor phone reception.
And every time you arrive at the beach, the first thing you should check is the signage. If the water is considered dangerous, you’ll see signs like shark sighting, jellyfish, etc.
A standard practice in waters is to watch out for jellyfish – they can be invisible in murky waters. Some of the signs for dangerous stingers include jellyfish bodies, clouds of small pawns, and chains of little jelly bodies. The only way to avoid being stung is to swim on controlled beaches.