Besides deciding the cities you’ll visit and the sights you wish to see, you are bound to discover that there are numerous other essential components of planning the itinerary before you travel to Australia. It is advisable that you do a bit of research so that you know what to expect before you embark on your travels. This guide makes it easier for you to discover some of the most important things you should know before you book your flight to Australia. Continue reading to find out more.
You’ll Actually Need A Visa To Travel To Australia – The Australian Visa Types
If you plan to travel as a tourist to Australia, then you will certainly be required to have a travel visa. However, there is an exception to this for New Zealand citizens. The citizens of Canada, the US, Japan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malaysia, South Korea, and Singapore can apply for the ETA online, which costs 20AUD or US$18.50.
Upon completion of the application process and no problems arise, you can expect to get a confirmation via email in a fairly quick manner (normally happens in a matter of a few days) and there is absolutely no need to get a printout. When you get to the airport, the authorities will simply look you up in the systems with the details of your passport. With an ETA, you get a maximum of three months of travel time in Australia in a one-year period. Note that it doesn’t allow you as a traveler to work.
If you do not come from any of the above-aforementioned countries, you should not apply for the ETA online. The country of origin determines how you apply for your tourist visa, the cost, and the specific restrictions that apply. For more relevant information on visa applications, you can read more about The Different Types of Australian Visas.
The citizens of the eligible countries can complete a simple online visa application process and obtain either an eVisitor or ETA visa to travel to Australia. Note that both these visa types allow the eligible citizens to go to Australia numerous times within a period of one year, with a 90-day maximum stay period with every entry made to the country. With the aforementioned visa types, you can travel to the country, for business, to visit family and friends, on vacation, or even as part of a cruise.
Here are is a summary of some of the types of visa for Australia you need to apply for prior to travel, depending on your country of origin:
ETA – This visa is meant for passport holders coming from countries including Canada, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and the US.
EVisitor – The eVisitor is valid for a fixed 90-day consecutive stay within a one-year period. It is applicable for transit, business, and tourism. If you are a passport holder from any of the European member states, then you need this. It also applies to citizens from Iceland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Vatican City, and Switzerland.
Visitor Visa – The visitor visa is supposed to be obtained by citizens from any Australian Embassy for tourism or business purposes. If you plan to visit Australia to see family and friends, go on a cruise trip, or visit as a tourist, then you are granted a stay period of 3-12 months.
The Best Time to Travel to Australia
The most ideal time of the year to travel to this beautiful country largely depends on the region you’re going to. It is worth noting that Australia is located in the Southern portion of the hemisphere, meaning the seasons are the complete opposite of what you would experience in the Northern part of the hemisphere.
You should ideally travel to the South of Australia in the months of January, February, and December. These are the months when this part of the country (Melbourne and Sydney) typically experience warm summer weather. Since many tourists come to this region in the high season, it is more crowded and your overall cost of the trip is slightly more. For this reason, you might want to consider visiting in March, April, October, or November, especially if you do not want crowds. What’s more, you also get the opportunity to save money while enjoying the pleasant temperatures.
In the northern tropics, summers are very humid and hot. Since this area is mostly wet during this season, it can be quite uncomfortable and you honestly don’t want to plan a visit in this period. Therefore, if you plan to visit the Northern parts of Queensland, you might want to consider visiting in winter (June, July, or August). Winter is yet another good season to visit these hot regions including Uluru. If you would like to visit the cities in the South and the Northern tropics, you can comfortably do so in a single trip in the shoulder months.
What is Prohibited in Australia?
Australia is quite strict when it comes to what you can bring in and certain items are prohibited. Food items that include vegetables and fruits, eggs and meat, are not permitted into the country. Visitors are also not permitted to bring in seeds, feathers, skins, and plants. The laws of the country also prohibit firearms, weapons, protected wildlife, and drugs.
Some medications that are meant for personal use are subjected to regulatory controls. For this reason, it is a good idea to carry a letter written by your doctor indicating the specific medicines you’re taking, including your medical conditions. The tourism website for Australia only states that all medications are supposed to be declared, while the customs site states that visitors should only declare medications that are subject to dependence or abuse.
Are Vaccines Necessary Before Traveling to Australia?
You do not need to get any vaccines prior to traveling to the country, but if you come from a country with cases of yellow fever infections, then you will be expected to provide proof that you’ve gotten a vaccination against yellow fever. The same applies if you recently visited yellow fever infected country within the last six days of arriving in Australia.
It is our hope that the tips presented above will come in handy as you prepare a comprehensive itinerary for your trip to Australia. We are certain that you’ll enjoy your trip to this gorgeous country!