Australia on the world’s tourist map — страница 4

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life is still difficult. Most now live in cities and towns, away from the land although some have been. The political system of Australia The Commonwealth of Australia is a self-governing federal state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Formally the head of the state is the King or Queen of England represented by the Governor-General. The Commonwealth of Australia consists of six states and two territories: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Federal Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The Capital Territory is the land around the Federal Capital, Canberra. The states run such things as education, police, health, railway and roads; the Commonwealth looks after the army, posts and telegraph, relations with

other countries. Australia has a parliament in each state and the Federal Parliament of the Commonwealth at Canberra. The Federal Parliament consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The federal government of the country is headed by the Prime Minister, usually the leader of the party which has majority in the House of Representatives. The political parties represented in the parliament are the Australian Labour Party, the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Agrarian Party. 3. Australia on the world’s tourist map 3.1 Transportation There are three choices of transportation in Australia: Air Land Water Airlines on regular services The airline situation in Australia has changed frequently since mid-2001. Anything you hear about routes, fares, and

availability may change quickly. When making travel plans, be sure to check the relevant websites or talk with your travel agent often. You should be fine once you've booked your tickets, although (as always) exact flight times can change on short notice. You can buy some tickets over the Internet (often at good discounts), if you know exactly what you want, but to get a good idea of the choices available, you may need to talk to a travel agent or to airline reservations staff. In some cases overseas visitors will get a lower price by including within-Australia travel on their overseas tickets (for one thing, you won't pay GST - Goods and Services Tax - on air travel purchased abroad). If you're an overseas visitor buying a ticket after you arrive in Australia, check with a

travel agent about possible discounts not available to Australian residents (note that you will pay GST on those tickets). Many parts of the country are well served by local carriers (both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters) taking people to tourist locations or simply flying around scenic areas and returning to the same airport. Air tours may last anywhere from half an hour to several days. We'll list some (as we find them) on the relevant pages, and put some here that cover a wider area. If you have your own plane, you can fly to many hard-to-reach parts of the country as well as more populous areas. Pilots may also be able to make arrangements with a local flying club to rent a small plane. Land transportation Rent (hire) a vehicle Many travellers prefer to rent a vehicle

rather than take a guided tour. The major international car rental companies are here, and most of them have both conventional (2-wheel-drive) and 4-wheel-drive cars and campervans. Most car-rental companies restrict where you can go, so be sure to check before you head off onto unsealed (unpaved) roads or even all the way across or around the country. Also check exactly what the insurance covers. The standard insurance for rental cars often does not include damage to tires and windscreens (windshields), but you should be able to pay a bit more to include that coverage. Major car rental companies: Avis Hertz Thrifty Budget Larger towns and cities generally have several local car-rental companies. These companies may be cheaper than the international companies, but they often

restrict where you can drive the car (only in the immediate area). If you want a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, local companies are often your best bet. They may also provide camping equipment, at additional cost. Check websites or other travel information for places of interest to see which ones have local car rentals. Campervans and motorhomes Campervans and motorhomes are all-in-one; for more about what's in them, see the Campervan and motorhome rentals page. New and used vehicles, including some 4-wheel-drive models, are readily available. Here are some of the major brands and dealers: Swagman. One of the most expensive and luxurious lines of motorhomes, which come in a range of sizes. They will do buy-backs, so they sell used models too. Winnebago motorhomes are available from many