All the information below is provided by Pink Pangea community members based on their experiences abroad. Add your voice!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Types of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jessica says: Some of the outbacks or rural areas may be dangerous.
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.
Jessica says: Anything goes!