Everything women travelers in Australia need to know about healthromancewomen’s rights and safety.

All the information below is provided by Pink Pangea community members based on their experiences abroad. Get involved and add your voice today!

 

Health

Feminine Hygienic Products

Kaitlin says: You will find many of the same feminine hygienic products in Australia as you would find in the USA. A majority of tampons in Australia do not have applicators. If they do have an applicator, they are made out of cardboard instead of plastic. You will be able to buy feminine products at most supermarkets and convenience stores so it isn’t necessary for you to bring them from the USA.

I do recommend that you always carry an emergency supply in your purse for those unexpected periods. It is not common to find tampons and pads sold in Australian restrooms.

Jessica says: Everything you would find in the Western world is available and global brands (i.e. Tampax, Kotex, etc.) are available anywhere and are most conveniently found at supermarkets.

Birth Control

Kaitlin says: Most forms of birth control that are available in the USA are also available in Australia. Condoms can be purchased at the same sorts of stores where you would purchase them in the USA such as supermarkets and gas stations.

You should also be able to purchase “morning after pills” over the counter at a pharmacy if you need emergency contraceptives. If you intend to continue using your birth control pill in Australia you will need to see an Australian OB/GYN for an Australian prescription.

Additionally, if you want to avoid a visit to the doctor while in Australia, you can bring a three month supply with a prescription or letter from your doctor.

If you decided to stay longer, you can also have another three month supply mailed to you. For more details about bringing medicine to Australia I recommend reading this page from the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

Jessica says: Although I have not gone to purchase birth control pills, I’ve heard that most things are available from the doctor’s office which is covered by any travel insurance due to Australia’s public health care. Also, global brands of condoms are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations.

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

Recommended Gyncologists and Doctors

Jessica says: I would recommend going to a doctor in larger cities if you need health care. I’ve heard the care is similar to any public health care system.

 

Romance

Dating Locals

Kaitlin says: As far as I can tell dating in Australia is very similar to the USA. Just be sure to choose places for dates that make you feel comfortable, and have an exit plan if things go south. It is best to be in familiar areas when meeting someone for the few times.

Jessica says: It’s hard to date locals when you are traveling as they may see you as just a traveler and not take anything seriously. Keep in mind it’s not typical for men to just buy women drinks and dinner casually–sometimes they may expect more.

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

Men

Kaitlin says: In my experience most Australian men believe that it is proper for them to pay for everything no matter how much you insist otherwise.

Jessica says: Most Australian men I’ve met are very chilled out, a bit meaty depending on where they are from and sometimes very aggressive when under the influence of alcohol.

LGBTQ Friendly

Kaitlin says: For the most part, Australia appears to be a LGBTQ-friendly country. Sydney has an almost month-long event celebrating gay pride, which ends with a parade. However, Australia does not legally recognize gay marriage.

Jessica says: As far as I can tell, yes. I have heard some derogatory terms used, so don’t be surprised if you do.

 

Women's Rights

Women’s Rights

Kaitlin says: It appears that the social relationship between men and women in Australia is very similar to what you would find in the USA. Everything seems to be fairly equal. Women are allowed to vote, have careers, and even wear pants if they want to. There may be some finer points of women’s rights in Australia, but female travelers should have no large concerns about their rights while in Australia.

Jessica says: As far as I can tell women’s rights are pretty similar to the US in terms of position in society and the workplace. There’s nothing specifically that comes to mind (that’s different here) that is important to be aware of.

Local Women

Kaitlin says: Australia is very similar to the USA. The really clear cultural differences between American and Australian women is mainly the cultural references and history with which they have grown up. I haven’t experienced any clear cultural differences that can be generalized to all Australian women.

Jessica says: There may be some cultural differences in aboriginal communities but I have not yet been fully immersed in those communities. Other than that, I haven’t seen any major differences.

Women-Specific Environments

Kaitlin says: As far as I know, there are no women-specific and male-specific environments besides the restrooms. There may be places you would be uncomfortable going as a female like strip clubs, but you are certainly able to go there if you want.

Perception of Foreign Women

Kaitlin says: Many people have a very rigid understanding of the U.S. They automatically assume if you are American that you are extremely patriotic, Christian and like guns. Of course, they will not hold this against you if that is not the case. They also like to test their own American knowledge by learning which state you are from.

Jessica says: Many Australians have a bad perception of Americans in general. We are perceived to be arrogant and infrequent travelers, but most Australians tell me I’m the best American they’ve met. I recommend trying not assume that America is the center of world. Other travelers will be quick to point that it is definitely not.

 

Safety

Transportation

Kaitlin says: I have had no problem using any of the public transport in Australia. I have also felt very comfortable walking in a majority of places. The important thing to do is trust your common sense and do not walk down dark alleyways. Trust your gut and remove yourself from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Jessica says: Everything should be fairly safe with the same precautions you would normally take. I’ve known women to easily travel via hitchhiking. Personally, I still don’t think I would do it.

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

Shady Areas for Women

Kaitlin says: There are no specific areas I can think of that you are unable to be in. Be sure that you are always in a place you feel comfortable and safe. Be sure you have an exit plan. Trust your gut.

Jessica says: Some of the outbacks or rural areas may be dangerous. Do your research in advance. I always err on the side of caution. Better safe thank sorry. Much better.

Clothing

Kaitlin says: Almost anything you would wear in the USA is acceptable in Australia. You simply have to be aware of the situation you are dressing for and dress appropriately. For example, don’t wear a bikini to a job interview unless you are applying to be a bikini model. Not to say you would that in the US…

Jessica says: Anything goes! Really, anything! You’ll be surprised at what people wear here. People watching can be quite fun.

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

If you plan to travel Australia, you’ll have an amazing experience. In one day you can be alone on the beach, passing through rainforests and in the middle of an arid desert. It can be hard to pack for all of these transitions. With all my might I tried to fit everything into my 80L backpack. What I ended up with was a lot of stuff that a didn’t need and quite a few things that I wish I’d packed.

What I should have done was brought a small bag with the essentials. The best advice I can give is to research the climates and know what it is that you’re going to be doing. If you’re going to hike up the mountains of Tasmania you’ll need a lot more gear than if you’re going to beach-hop down the east coast.

Travel Australia: 6 Things You’ll Want to Pack

1. Sunscreen

The sun is brutal there. Seriously, all of you out there rolling your eyes thinking, “I don’t burn.” You’ll burn. I never burned before going to Australia. The sun has some sort of crazy super powers there and even with SPF in your face cream, even with overcast skies, even with your lovely melanin-filled skin, you will burn.

2. A hat

If you are traveling longterm around the Australian outback or northern Queensland, you’re going to need a hat. If you’re like me and have dark hair, you’re definitely going to need a hat. There were days when I left the hostel without wearing it, and I immediately regretted it. My head would get so hot I thought I was getting heat stroke. I would have to seek shade and drape anything I could find over my head.

3. Good walking shoes

Impromptu hikes in the rainforest, walks through the outback, and a complete lack of public transportation in some areas will all lead you to do a whole lot of walking. There’s no need for hiking boots unless you’re planning to do some serious mountain trekking (of which there is little). A sturdy pair of comfortable shoes that you’ll be happy walking in for hours will do the trick.

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

4. A quick drying towel

I have never been happier than the day I purchased a quick drying travel towel. Traveling with a normal cotton towel is not ideal. It takes so long to dry, you have to scrunch it up somewhere while it’s still wet, and by the time you get to your destination to lay it out to dry again, it stinks.

A quick drying towel will be invaluable to you on the days that you go from cold showers to swimming to surfing to needing another shower because you’re covered in salt and you want to look cute at the bar you’re going to that night.

5. An iPod or a book

You will need something to entertain yourself. There will be nine-hour bus journeys and long drives, overnight ferries and perhaps a cross-continental flight or two. Australia is huge and if you plan on seeing a lot of it, you’re going to need something to keep you going on the journey.

6. A bathing suit, a sarong, and whatever else you’re planning to bring

Have you ever thought, “I won’t bother bringing this because I’ll just be able to buy it when I’m there”? Don’t do that with Australia. It’s too expensive. Unless you are working in Australia (where minimum wage lingers around the $16/hr mark), you’ll quickly eat up all of your travel funds by doing any sort of shopping there.

Bathing suits, cute cover ups and nicer rubber flip flops are nearly double the price than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Stock up on whatever clothes you’ll want for you trip and use that travel money for seeing more of this amazing country.

Related Reading

48 Hours in Brisbane Australia 
Jillian’s Take on Health, Romance and Safety in Australia 
Travel Australia: 6 Things You’ll Want to Pack
Things to do in Hobart, Tasmania
12 Things That Surprised Me About Australian Culture 
How to Experience Eastern Australia on a Budget 
Searching for Home in Brisbane, Australia 
5 Australian Phrases You’ll Want to Know 
My Great Barrier Reef Diving Attempt 
How to Escape Sydney, Australia 
Travel Melbourne: How to Spend an Active, Cheap 48 Hours In Melbourne 
6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Australia Travels 
Why You Shouldn’t Climb Uluru, Australia 
Settling into a Temporary Home in Australia 
How Brisbane is Teaching Me to Trust Again 
On Living in Australia and Picking up Many Australia-isms 
How I Blew My Travel Budget — With No Regrets 
My First Australian Wedding

Have you traveled to Australia? What were your impressions? We’d love to know if there’s any important information you recommend adding to this list. Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia

Tips for Women Travelers in Australia photo credits by Jodi Marie K and Unsplash.

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