If you are thinking of travelling to Australia, you make us very healthy, because Australia caught us from the beginning, and what was going to be 3 months of traveling through Australia, turned into 8 months going (almost) around this immense country.
And is that Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world. That is why you will need to plan your trip to Australia well, how to get around, what is the best way to stay, how to save on food, what is worth visiting, and what is not (although this is very subjective).
You will find all this information here in this guide for travelling to Australia, so make yourself comfortable, let’s start!
Requirements for travelling to Australia. Updated COVID
As of February 21, 2022, Australia reopens borders for tourists, with the following conditions:
- Valid passport, with a validity of at least 6 months
- Certificate of complete vaccination against Covid-19.
- All travelers must have a negative PCR within 72 hours before travelling to Australia or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours before the flight.
- Fill out the Digital Passenger Declaration within 72 hours before flying.
- You must take a rapid test within 24 hours of your arrival and stay isolated in your accommodation until the result of it.
- Each Australian state indicates the arrival requirements and mandatory quarantines if you are not vaccinated, you can check them on this website.
Travel Insurance is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended as health care in Australia is extremely expensive.
Basic information for travelling to Australia
Basic data of Australia
Capital of Australia: Canberra. As they could not agree between Sydney and Melbourne, they chose an intermediate city.
Gateway to Australia: Receive international flights to different parts of the country: Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, and Perth. Depending on the route you are going to take, you should arrive at an international airport or another.
Australian Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
Approximate change €1 = AUD 1.62. Check the current exact change.
Australian language: English (with an accent impossible to understand). a multitude of aboriginal languages.
What type of plug is used in Australia? The one with three flat pins so doesn’t forget the adapter.
Time in Australia – Time difference: Being such a large country, it has different time zones. On the west coast, the difference between the US is 12 hours more, and on the east coast 14 hours more. Sometimes with the time change in the US, this difference can vary by 1 hour.
U.S embassy and consulates in Australia
U.S Embassy in Canberra:
Yarralumla, ACT 2600
Telephone: (02) 6214-5600
U.S. Consulate in Melbourne
553 St. Kilda Road
Melbourne, VIC 3004
Telephone: (03) 9526 5900
U.S. Consulate in Perth
16 St. George’s Terrace
Perth, WA 6000
Telephone: (08) 6144-5100
U.S. Consulate in Sydney
Suite 2, 50 Miller Street
North Sydney, NSW 2060
This all is basic information for travelling to Australia.
Where is Australia on the world map?
Australia is part of the continent of Oceania, located in the southern hemisphere. Being an island, it has no land border with any country. Its neighboring countries are New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and East Timor.
It is made up of 8 states that in practice function as mini countries because in many things they have different regulations.
Basic tips for travelling to Australia
Once the basics have been explained, we are going to see a series of tips to prepare for a trip to Australia. We include suggestions and frequently asked questions from other travelers.
What is the best time for travelling to Australia?
Back to business as usual, Australia is huge and therefore governed by different climates.
In the extreme north, the tropical climate predominates, with a rainy season and a dry season.
Instead, the south is governed by the 4 seasons, but just the opposite of the northern hemisphere.
And to finish messing it up a little more, in the center of Australia they have a desert climate.
So can anyone tell me when to travel to Australia?
Well, in short, very short. The northern half is best traveled from April to October (dry season), the southern half from November to March (summer), and the center of Australia from March-May (autumn) and September – to November (spring). ).
Do you need a visa for travelling to Australia?
Central Americans and South Americans: They need a visa for travelling to Australia.
Australian eTA conditions
- Valid for 1 year
- For maximum consecutive periods of 90 days: that is, every 3 months you have to leave the country and re-enter (without having to spend a minimum number of days abroad)
- You do not need an exit ticket to request it
If you want for travelling to Australia for more than 3 consecutive months, then you do have to get a tourist visa. In this case, the price will depend on the time you are going to be in the country.
By the way, they don’t put a stamp on your passport 🙁
Find cheap flights to Australia
As we have mentioned before, Australia has 8 international airports. Depending on your route, one or the other will be better for you.
For example, if you want to do a road trip along the east coast of Australia, it is more practical to arrive through Cairns and leave through Melbourne.
If you want to take the route along the Great Ocean Road and get to Sydney, you can arrive in Sydney and leave through Melbourne.
The flight to Australia is not cheap but you can save a lot of money if you look well. Our favorite tool to search for flights to Australia is without a doubt Skyscanner.
Most common flight combinations to Australia
As we have said, when buying your flight to Australia you have to be clear about your route.
The most common is to make a linear route entering through one city and leaving through another. For example, fly to Sydney and leave via Melbourne, or fly to Cairns and leave via Sydney. Therefore, the search for tickets is a bit “more convoluted”.
Do I need to get vaccinated for travelling to Australia?
Currently, there are no compulsory vaccinations fpr travelling to Australia. The only exception is yellow fever for people from endemic countries, where this disease exists (such as in Africa or Latin America).
At the level of recommended vaccines, it depends a lot on your trip. Australia is a very advanced country with very high hygiene standards so in that sense you can travel with peace of mind.
As always, it is best to consult with the doctor at your vaccination center.
Can I take ham to Australia?
It may seem like a very funny question, but it comes to say that in Australia you can not enter any fresh food, vacuum-packed or anything. They have very strict policies and if you try to sneak it in, know that there are dogs at the airport looking for “blackleg”….
Yes, you can enter cookies and that types of dry products. For more information here we leave you the page of the Australian border police.
How much do things cost in Australia?
Australia is not a particularly cheap country but it is not as expensive as you think either. So get the idea out of your head that you’re going to go bankrupt.
We spend €20/per day per person.
The budget for travellimg to Australia will depend a lot on how you move from one place to another, the type of accommodation and if you are going to do many organized activities since they are quite expensive.
How much do things cost in Australia? Indicative prices
Accommodation: From €15 for a bed in a shared room, going through €50 for a cheap double room, up to everything you want to spend.
Food: A plate of food in a normal restaurant cost around €12-15.
Drink: The tap water is drinkable, so one less expense. Coffee is around €3-4 and beer is €5-6. Agüita is very healthy!
Transport: It is best to move in your transport. Renting a car, van or motorhome can range from €15 per day to €150. It will depend on the type of vehicle you want and the features it has. Internal flights are not very expensive, they are around €50 if you look for them with time.
Buy food in Australian supermarkets
You will see that when you go to the supermarket you will realize that Australia and U.S have similar prices on many things. Even cheaper!
Although we develop this point extensively in our article on the Australian budget, we can already tell you that the three large cheap supermarkets in Australia are:
Aldi: It is the cheapest but it is only found in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne.
Cabbages: Very popular Australian chain also cheap.
Woolworth: Our favorite. The prices are practically the same as Coles but the quality of the products is better. In addition, we find many more reduced prices than the others.
Buy alcohol in Australia
You have to know that alcohol is not sold in supermarkets but special establishments or “liquor stores”.
The most famous alcohol stores in Australia and those that offer the lowest prices are:
- BWS which belongs to Woolworth’s supermarket, so you’ll usually find them together.
- Liquorland which belongs to Woolworth supermarket
Then there are other independent ones like the Thirsty Camel, but they are a bit more expensive than the previous ones.
How do I get dollars in Australia?
We know that pasta is an important topic, so let’s see what are the best options to withdraw money in Australia.
Using a credit card in Australia
We could say that in Australia you can pay for everything with a card. So, the most comfortable thing is to use one of the most efficient traveling cards.
We recommend Revolut because it is the one that has worked best for us of all. But we also have other reservations like BNext or N26.
ATMs in Australia to withdraw without commissions
If at any time you need to have cash, one of the Australian ATMs that does not charge you a commission is the ANZ bank.
It is the best option because it is a very common bank and you can find ANZ ATMs all over Australia.
In the Traveling Library, you have the list of (almost) all the ATMs in the world that do not charge commission.
Change money in Australia
Being a country with so many facilities to pay by card, we do not believe it is necessary to change money in Australia, but if it is the case you have to know that the exchange is not very good and they charge high commissions.
The best known and “prestigious” company is Travel Oz Money
Is it safe for travelling to Australia?
Australia is one of the safest countries to travel to. In addition, its people are the kindest and most friendly, and they will always lend you a hand if necessary.
One day we left the car door wide open and when we returned after a few hours, everything was the same. Nobody touches anything foreign!
We have slept in remote places, alone, without coverage… And the truth is luxury!
Dangerous Animals of Australia
This is another topic… Concerning the Australian fauna, we could say that it is one of the most dangerous on the planet.
You are not saved in any environment, neither in the water, nor in the mountains, nor your own home. Imagine being on a paradisiacal beach and not being able to put your toe in the water.
Be very careful with the stingers, a type of jellyfish that can kill you in less than 2 minutes. They are found in the waters of the tropical coast of Australia and predominate from November to April.
Snakes, spiders, sharks, crocodiles, octopuses, jellyfish, cassowaries… Case what? Cassowary, the most aggressive and dangerous bird in the world can rip you open in a matter of seconds.
traveling alone in Australia
For those of you who venture to travel alone, Australia is a safe country for “solo travelers”.
It is very easy to make friends along the way and even share the entire route! Many friends are made at campsites, so go to the campsite kitchen and chat with anyone. It’s super common!
Do you need travel insurance for travelling to Australia?
Yes, without any doubt. First, because healthcare in Australia is very expensive, and if something happens to you while you’re there, you’ll curse yourself for life if you haven’t taken out travel insurance.
Just one consultation in the emergency room, without doing any type of test, already costs about €250.
Second, because in some places you will be hundreds of kilometers from the nearest hospital, they may have to travel by plane. You don’t want to have to pay that…
How to get around Australia
Here you have to keep in mind that depending on the area you are in, you can get around with public transport or you will need your vehicle.
Let’s see the different transport options in Australia.
Public transport in Australia
The big cities have a good public transport network, both metro, and buses. The rate will depend on the areas you travel through and in some cities, such as Melbourne or Perth, transportation in the center is free.
To travel long distances you can use the plane or buses, such as the Greyhound company, which operates mainly on the east coast of Australia.
Internal flights are not especially cheap, but you think that between Australian cities it can be a 4-hour flight! Among the most famous Australian airlines you have Virgin Airlines, Qantas, and Jetstar.
Van or caravan rental in Australia
The best way to get around Australia is in your vehicle, especially if you want to explore less developed areas like Northern Australia or the West Coast.
For that, we recommend renting a van or motorhome to move at your leisure, save on accommodation and be able to sleep in incredible places, fully enjoying Australian nature.
Another option if you want to travel to Australia and see many things in a short time is to travel by plane and once in the place rent a car to move around the area.
Buying a second-hand car in Australia
If you intend to spend a long time in Australia, at least 2-3 months, the best option is to buy a car in Australia.
There is a large market for second-hand cars and the procedures are very easy. Thus, in this way, you can recover part of the money invested at the end of your trip to Australia.
Tours organized in Australia
Another way to get around Australia is by hiring tours or organized activities. It is more comfortable but much more expensive.
Some websites that offer interesting offers are Klook and Bookme. It’s worth taking a look!
driving in Australia
The truth is that after 26,000 km driven in Australia we can advise you something.
To begin with, remember that in Australia you drive on the left. So if you want to get rid of a headache you can look for an automatic car. If it’s not possible, don’t worry, you’ll get it right in a few days.
To drive in Australia you will need your international driving license, and make sure that it does not expire during the trip.
We recommend that you drive only during daylight hours. To calculate your route well so that it doesn’t happen at night.
Outside the big cities, you drive in luxury and you won’t have big traffic problems. The Australians are a little crazy at the wheel … You are on your own, if they want to overtake you, let them do it.
Accommodations in Australia
Hotels in Australia are crazy. A bed in a shared room is around €15 and a cheap double room is around €60-80.
So, we once again recommend renting a van or motorhome for travelling to Australia.
It is the best way to tour this country and you will save a lot on accommodation, since the campsites are cheaper and, in addition, you can sleep for free in many places.
We have always used Booking to find a hostel in Australia.
How to connect to the internet in Australia
In the cities, you will not have problems finding a Wi-Fi connection. Whether in cafes, libraries, information centers…
Another issue is when you are in more isolated areas, where the connection is much more difficult and where it is advisable to have your own prepaid SIM.
Although remember that on many occasions the signal is weak or null. So, buying a SIM is not always going to ensure you have a connection.
The main carriers are Telstra and Optus. Both have prepaid SIM card offers at fairly similar prices, around $30 for a 28-day SIM card with 10GB.
Telstra has better coverage in isolated areas. On the other hand, if you are only going to move through developed areas such as the east coast, with Optus you will have enough.
If you prefer to travel with everything prepared and money is not a problem, you can buy the SIM before travelling to Australia on Holafly with a 5% discount and they will send it directly to your home.
Useful apps for travelling to Australia
And speaking of the internet, what applications are useful for your trip to Australia?
In our article on free applications for travelers, we already talked about some of them, but for a trip to Australia we recommend:
Wikicamps o campermate
They are essential to plan and find campsites, barbecues, showers, everything! Wikicamps is a 15-day trial and then it costs about 7AUD (it also includes the New Zealand one). So if you go with 2 people you have a free month (15 days each).
Campermate is free but in our experience, we have not found as many sites as on wiki camps and they are also very heavy with always taking you to paid campsites.
To find the cheapest gas stations and calculate when you have to refuel. Don’t get lost because in Australia you can spend many kilometers without a gas station.
Travelling to Australia and enjoying the gastronomy
Australian cuisine has a British heritage, so it’s not its forte.
Its main dish is the Parma, which is nothing more than a breaded chicken fillet covered in tomato sauce and melted cheese, accompanied by French fries. Of course, it is huge and gives to share between two.
Another typical dish is Fish and Chips, fried fish with chips.
But don’t get depressed because the offer of international cuisine is enormous, especially Asian dishes. You can find many restaurants serving Thai, Vietnamese or Japanese cuisine.
They have a wide range of hamburgers and we will tell you that they do them well. Depending on your budget, you can find them from $8 to whatever you want to pay. You can order them with beef, chicken, kangaroo, and even crocodile or emu meat in the north!
The famous Australian barbecues
If you are going for travelling to Australia, you have to have a barbecue! They are very very fond of barbecues and eating outdoors. In practically all the parks and beaches of the country, you will find a barbecue with picnic tables.
They are free (yes yes, what you hear), they can be electric or gas and they are usually quite clean.
They turn on easily, a little button, you wait for the green light to stop flashing, and now you can cook! They usually have a 20-minute timer, but if you want to continue cooking, then you hit the button again.
HOW TO CLEAN AN AUSTRALIAN BARBECUE
One of the doubts of the travelers when using the barbacoa for the first time is how the hell they get it to be so clean.
Well, after a lot of trial and error and asking the locals for advice, our surefire method was water + steel wool scratching. You can find this steel wool scourer in every supermarket. It is a little stronger than the traditional “nanas”.
You throw water on it when it is still a little hot and scratch! everything glued comes off easy.
the Australian beer
If you are a lover of Australian beer you have to try some local brands. As fans of craft beer, the truth is that we enjoyed trying the varieties they offered, very good value for money (considering that it is craft beer).
Some brands that we liked were Fat Yak, John Boston, and James Squire…
the Australian wine
We have to admit that Australia did not surprise much by the quality of its wines.
The quintessential wine region is South Australia with wines from the Barossa Valley or Margaret River, worth trying.
Are you looking for an exchange or volunteering in Australia?
If you intend for travelling to Australia for a long time, a very good option to save on accommodation is to volunteer or work in exchange for accommodation. You have a lot of information in our SUPER GUIDE to find work in exchange for accommodation.
Keep in mind that in Australia it is not allowed to work in exchange for accommodation without a work visa such as the Working Holiday Visa.
But you have other options such as helping in private homes through platforms such as Worldpackers or Workaway. We used them and it was super useful.
What to see and do in Australia?
- Nature and fauna: If Australia has one thing, it is nature in its purest form. In no other country have we seen so many animals, nor so much love for flora and fauna as in Australia. Did you know that there are more than 500 National Parks?
- History and Culture: Australia is a very new country (Westernly speaking) but it is the cradle of one of the oldest populations in the world, the Aboriginal people.
- Local life: Australians are super open and friendly, and they love outdoor activities. If you want to enjoy yourself like a local, the best plan is to have a good barbecue at any of the free public barbecues that you will find in the parks.
- Paradise beaches: Australia has the best beaches we have ever seen, especially on the west coast. It has nothing to envy about its neighboring countries, such as Indonesia.
As Australia is monstrous, we are going to structure all the things to see, according to large areas.
As we are almost back from Australia two days ago, many things are still in the oven, it will all be published soon!
What to see on the east coast of Australia
The most classic route is to do a road trip along the east coast of Australia and discover places like the famous city of Sydney, Byron Bay, Fraser Island, the paradisiacal Whitsundays Islands, or tropical Cairns.
What to see in South Australia
Another of the routes that you cannot miss in Australia is the Great Ocean Road, where in addition to enjoying the viewpoints of the 12 Apostles, you can get to know the vibrant city of Melbourne or the very cool Promontory Wilson National Park.
What to see on the west coast of Australia
We only have compliments and praise for the west coast of Australia. The pristine beaches of Cape Range National Park, the colors and marine life of Ningaloo Reef, and the canyons and pools of Karijini National Park. The west coast of Australia is nature in its purest form!
What to see in North Australia
If what you are looking for is an adventure and off the beaten path, we recommend a route along the Savannah Way, the road that runs through the entire north of Australia from end to end, from Cairns to Broome.
You will get to know the true Australian outback and enjoy National Parks such as Kakadu NP or Litchfield NP without forgetting the spectacular Katherine and El Questro canyons.
What to see in Central Australia
One of the “must” of Australia is the famous and impressive Uluru, one of the most sacred places for the aboriginal people. But central Australia has so much more to offer, like the dizzying gorges of Kings Canyon or the refreshing pools of Larapinta Drive.
What to see in Tasmania
The great forgotten of Australia, but who does not deserve it at all. Whether you are from the sea or the mountains, Tasmania has it all.
On the east coast, you will find National Parks such as Tasman National Park or Freycinet National Park, the spectacular Bay of Fires and the state capital, the lively city of Hobart, and its famous MONA museum.
If you have a more mountain spirit, in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St.Clair National Park you can do many excursions, of different levels and demands so that everyone can enjoy this mountain and its landscapes.
Well, here is our piece of guide for travelling to Australia! We have tried to review all the points that we consider important so that you can prepare for your trip.
Little by little, we will introduce all the information in full. Thank you for your patience!