Visitor Information for Australia
All Australian Travel Specialists sales consultants are qualified Aussie Specialists and are happy to offer information and advice to anyone travelling to Australia. Below, you can find information on some of the most commonly asked questions about the Australian continent.
All travellers require a visa and a valid passport to be allowed into Australia. Applying for a visa is not as complicated as it may seem: An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) can only be used for trips of up to 3 months and is valid for one year. You may not be granted a visa if you have any criminal convictions.
It is not compulsory to have insurance on your holiday Down Under, but Australian Travel Specialists strongly recommends that you do. Your policy will cover you for the costs that may result from injury, theft and even holiday cancellation. We offer competitive rates for a range of insurance policies including single trip, over 64’s, business and backpacker travel insurance.
Australia’s currency is the dollar (AU$), and one dollar represents 100 cents. The exchange rate is approximately £0.43 = A$1, but rates should be checked on the day of purchase. AU$ notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100. Traveller's cheques and credit cards are also welcomed Down Under, but a small commission charge may be added to your purchases.
Healthcare services in Australia are highly regarded, but can prove extremely expensive. Travellers are advised to take out sufficient insurance to cover them in case of accident, injury or illness. Australia has a reciprocal health agreement with the UK to provide free emergency treatment for travellers with a valid UK passport. There are no compulsory vaccinations for visitors to Australia, but strong insect repellent is recommended (particularly at night) to deter the mosquitoes. Sun-cream should be carried at all times and applied regularly to avoid sunburn and potential skin damage.
For more info visit the Department of Health
Winter weather in Australia is hot, with most areas of the country receiving 3,000 hours of sunshine each year. The average summer temperature is 29°C, and winter temperatures average around 13 °C. The seasons in Australia are the opposite of the UK’s calendar, so if you want to holiday at the start of the summer, you need to fly in December. Whatever time of year you decide to travel, you can be sure of sunshine and clear skies throughout Australia.
For more info visit the Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Visitors to Australia over 18 years of age are restricted to the following quantities of duty free goods:
- 2250ml of alcoholic liquor
- 250 cigarettes
- 250 grams of tobacco products
For all other duty-free purchases, including gifts, adults are restricted to spending $AU900 per person and $AU450 for under-18s.
Taxes and Tipping
It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Australia, but for restaurant and café service, particularly in large cities, a 5-15% tip should be added to the total of your bill. In smaller establishments a 10% gratuity can be added for proficient service.
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 10% applies to items bought in Australia. The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) states that travellers can claim back the excess spent on purchases through GST and WET (Wine Equalization Tax – 14.5%) at the departure gate on their journey back home. The Tourist Refund Scheme Office can be found behind Passport Control at international terminals.