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Travel Tips Australia
Australia Accommodation & Travel Guide

Comprehensive Australian Accommodation Listings

 
 
   
  Fast Facts About Travelling in Australia  
Australia Holiday Travel Tips

Australian Travel Information

 
Planning a holiday in Australia?

The following basic information will take the stress out of your holiday.  Australia is a modern country with all the latest conveniences and technology.  Please read on . . . .
 
 
 
   

 
 
DISTANCES
When planning your trip keep in mind that Australia is as big as western Europe and about the same size as the 48 connected U.S. states. Melbourne and Brisbane are a couple of days drive from Sydney, and driving from Sydney to Perth takes the better part of a week.

WEATHER & IDEAL TRAVEL TIMES
Summer time in Australia in the Southern Hemisphere happens at the same time it is winter in the Northern hemisphere. Midwinter in Australia is July and August, and the hottest months are November through March. The farther south you go in Australia, the colder it gets.

The peak travel season in the most popular parts of Australia is the Aussie winter. Queensland from around the Gold Coast and northward, all of the Top End and the Red Centre, and most of Western Australia, the most pleasant time to travel is April through September when daytime temperatures are 66 to 88F (19-31C) and it rarely rains. June, July, and August are the busiest months in these parts. You should book accommodations and tours well in advance.

On the other hand, Australia's summer is a nice time to visit the southern states - New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia from Perth to the south, and Tasmania. Even in winter temperatures rarely dip below freezing and snow falls only in parts of Tasmania in the ski fields of Victoria and in the Snowy Mountains of southern New South Wales.

The best months to visit Australia are September and October when it's often still warm enough to hit the beach in the southern states, it's cool enough to tour Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the humidity and rains have not come to Cairns, Port Douglas and the Top End (although it will be very hot by Oct). Also the wildflowers are in full bloom in Western Australia, a stunning must see.

The period from December 26 to the end of January when Aussies take their summer vacations, the 4 days at Easter (from Good Friday to Easter Monday) and all school holidays are very busy so book ahead. The school year in Australia is broken into four semesters with 2-week holidays around Easter, the last week of June & first week of July and the last week of September & first week of October. Some states break at slightly different dates. There's a 6-week summer (Christmas) vacation from mid-December to the end of January.

PASSPORTS
Along with a current passport valid for the duration of your stay, the Australian government requires a visa from visitors of every nation, except New Zealand, to be issued before you arrive. If you are short-term visitor or business traveller, the process is easy and can be done in a few minutes on the Internet, using the Australian government's Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). This is an electronic visa that takes the place of a stamp in your passport.

CUSTOMS
What You Can Bring Into Australia - The duty-free allowance in Australia is A$900 (US$720) or for those under 18 A$450 (US$360). Anyone over 18 can bring in up to 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or other tobacco products, 2.25 liters (41 fluid oz.) of alcohol and "dutiable goods" to the value of A$900 (US$720) or A$450 (US$360) if you are under 18.  You need not declare cash in any currency and other currency instruments such as traveller's checks under a value of A$10,000. Firearms in Australia are strictly controlled. Contact the nearest Australian diplomatic post for advice on importing a handgun.

Because Australia is an island it is free of many agricultural and livestock diseases. To keep it that way strict quarantine applies to importing plants, animals & their products including food. "Sniffer" dogs at Australian airports detect these products (as well as drugs). Some items may be held for treatment and returned to you, others may be confiscated and others may be held over for you to take with you when you leave the country. Amnesty trash bins are available before you reach the immigration counters in airport arrivals halls for items such as fruit.

HEALTH & SAFETY
You don't have to worry much about health issues on a trip to Australia. Hygiene standards are high, hospitals are modern and doctors and dentists are well qualified. Because of the continent's size you can sometimes be a long way from a hospital or a doctor but help is never far away thanks to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. However standard medical travel insurance may be advisable.

General Availability of Health Care - No vaccinations are needed to enter Australia unless you have been in a yellow fever danger zone - that is, South America or Africa, in the past 6 days.  Australian pharmacists may only fill prescriptions written by Australian doctors so carry enough medication with you for your trip.

Check your existing insurance policies and credit card coverage before you buy travel insurance. You may already be covered for lost luggage, cancelled tickets or medical expenses.

MONEY
Perhaps the best way to carry most of your money is in the form of a plastic card especially if that's the way you do it at home. Australia is well and truly a card-carrying society. It's becoming unusual to line up at a supermarket checkout, petrol station or department store in cities and see someone actually paying with cash these days. Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted for everything from a hostel bed or a restaurant meal to an adventure tour and a credit card is pretty much essential (in lieu of a large deposit) if you want to hire a car. They can also be used to get cash advances over the counter at banks and from many ATMs depending on the card, but be aware that these incur immediate interest. Charge cards such as Diners Club and American Express (Amex) are not as widely accepted.

Australians love convenience so debit cards are widely used here. You can draw money directly from your home bank account using ATMs, banks or Eftpos machines around the country. Any card connected to the international banking network - Cirrus, Maestro, Plus and Eurocard - should work provided you know your PIN. Fees for using your card at a foreign bank or ATM vary depending on your home bank so ask before your leave.

Travellers cheques, being used less and less with the ease of using Etpos generally enjoy a better exchange rate than foreign cash in Australia plus they have the added bonus of being easily replaced if they are lost or stolen. There is however a fee for buying travellers cheques (usually 1% of the total amount) and there may be fees or commissions when you exchange them. Amex, Thomas Cook and other well-known international brands of travellers cheques are easily exchanged. You will need to present your passport for identification when cashing them.

You'll have no problems changing foreign currencies or cash at any bank or exchange bureau. Travellers cheques generally get a better rate than cash, though banks take out a commission.  Notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and gold $1 and $2 coins.

SHOPPING
You’ll find large department stores, arcades, malls, gift and souvenir shops across Australia. Trading hours vary across the country but shops in tourist and city areas are generally open until 6pm with the exception of late night shopping on either Thursdays or Fridays in different states. In Australia you are covered by Australia's consumer protection laws which require businesses to treat you fairly.

ELECTRICITY
Our electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so you may need an adaptor.

 

 
 
 

Australia Accommodation & Travel Guide - Australia Holiday Travel Tips
 

     
 
 
         
Some Australian Icons: Australian State Info: Australian Region Info: Australian Destinations:  
Ayers Rock New South Wales Cairns Northern Beach Adelaide Cape York Maroochydore
Blue Mountains Northern Territory Farmstays Airlie Beach Clifton Beach Melbourne
Fraser Island Queensland Fleurieu Peninsula Alice Springs Coffs Harbour Mission Beach
Great Barrier Reef South Australia Fraser Coast Atherton Tablelands Coolum Beach Mooloolaba
Kakadu Tasmania Gold Coast Brisbane Coolangatta Noosa
The Kimberley Western Australia Great Ocean Road Broadbeach Daintree Oak Beach
Ningaloo Reef   Hunter Valley Broome Darwin Palm Cove
Rainforest   Kangaroo Island Byron Bay Fremantle Perth
Sydney Opera House   Murray River Bundaberg Hervey Bay Port Douglas
Twelve Apostles   Margaret River Burleigh Heads Hobart Sydney
Whitsundays   Outback Caloundra MacKay Townsville
    Sunshine Coast Canberra Magnetic Island Trinity Beach
    Surfers Paradise Cairns Main Beach Yorkeys Knob
    Tropical North Queensland Cape Tribulation    
     Barossa Valley