WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT AUSTRALIA?
Australia caters for all 4 seasons. In fact, there is endless variety of things you can do, at any time of year. If you’re a fan of the Australian outdoors, then the winter season (April - Sept) is a great time for northern and Outback areas. They are simply too hot or have their rainy season in summer (Nov - Mar). The southern coastline, Tasmania and Western Australia (Margaret River & Denmark coast) is great in summer. Sydney can be travelled anytime of the year.
HOW TO GETTING AROUND AUSTRALIA?
Domestic flights are the best way to cover Australia’s large distances – it will definitely save you time. Australia’s domestic airlines – including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Rex – serve all state capital cities and many regional cities. Competition between domestic airlines means competitive fares are available, especially if you book in advance. Australia has a massive network of well-maintained roads. In fact, some of these roads will take you on the most beautiful road trips in the world. Follow Victoria’s Great Ocean Road along the spectacular southeast coastline or experience Australia’s Red Centre in an epic drive across the desert – be well equipped for that one! You’ll find car rental companies at major airports and central city locations; so hire a car, 4WD, caravan or motorbike and hit the highway.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VISAS NEEDED?
All visitors to Australia must carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the planned departure date from Australia. Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.
We strongly recommend travel insurance for your entire overseas trip. Your insurance policy should include coverage for emergency medical situations, baggage loss or damage and expenses incurred from disrupted travel plans.
MEDICAL AND EMERGENCY FACILITIES?
Medical and emergency services are NOT free - it is advisable to arrange insurance coverage before your departure. For non-emergencies, full instructions on obtaining assistance are printed in the front of all telephone directories. Accommodation facilities will usually have individual arrangements with duty doctors and can assist you in finding a dentist. Australia's medical and hospital facilities provide a high standard of treatment and care.
If you're travelling throughout Australia,, the weather may be different from state to state, depending on the season. Layer your clothing for easy removal or replacement. Wet weather gear and strong comfortable footwear are recommended. Australia has a relaxed lifestyle and on most occasions, dress is smart casual clothes in most restaurants. A smart standard of dress will be required for fine dining restaurants, Shows and Casinos.
WHAT IS THE CURRENCY IN AUSTRALIA?
Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD) - this comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations.
CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARDS/ATM CARDS IN AUSTRALIA?
All major international credit cards can be used in Australia. If your credit card is encoded with a PIN number you will be able to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs) situated at banks and shopping centres throughout the country.
IS TIPPING CUSTOMARY IN AUSTRALIA?
As a rule, hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, so tipping is your choice. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip waiters 10 per cent of the bill for good service.
WHAT IS GOODS AND SERVICES TAX IN AUSTRALIA?
Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You might be able to claim a refund for the GST paid on goods if you have spent AUD$300 or more with a single business, no more than 60 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals.
WHAT ELECTRICITY IS USED IN AUSTRALIA?
Electricity is 240 volts via a slant pin outlet. Hotels often provide a 110-volt socket for electric shavers only. For all other equipment, an adapter and a converter are necessary.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN?
If you are thinking about visiting with your family, you can be confident that Australia has a wide range of activities to keep your children happy. Australia has a number of theme parks. But more importantly, Australia has large areas of pristine wilderness where children can appreciate wildlife and the great outdoors. Most family restaurants have children's' menus. Most public gardens have well equipped play areas for young children, as do many holiday parks.
IS IT SAFE TO DRINK THE WATER IN AUSTRALIA?
Australia's tap water is of a very high quality and is very safe to drink. However, some states of Australia have droughts so water restrictions may apply. Check with your accommodation.
ARE THERE POISONOUS ANIMALS IN AUSTRALIA?
Yes, Australia has poisonous snakes and spiders. Also in tropical Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory, there are deadly box jellyfish at certain times of the year! Also crocodiles are magnificent to look at, but do keep your distance. Be assured, there is plenty of signage around to keep you aware.
AGRICULTURE AND BIO SECURITY AUSTRALIA?
Australia has strict laws relating to the importation of certain goods. This ensures that the biosecurity risk to Australia’s agricultural industries and unique environment is minimised. You must declare certain food, plant material and animal products. When you declare these goods they will be checked by a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources biosecurity officer who will determine whether they are allowed into Australia. Some products may require treatment to make them safe. Other goods may be restricted due to pest and disease risks.