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Australia: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to Australia. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need a visa?

Yes. There are 34 countries that can apply for an ETA visa prior to arrival, the USA being one of them. You can apply online at www.eta.immi.gov.au at a cost of $20 AUD. This allows you to stay in Australia for up to 3 months, and you may enter as many times as you like within a 12 month period. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after travel. For a list of eligable countries, visit http://www.visabureau.com/australia/tourist-visa.aspx.

A useful website for checking whether you require a visa is visahq.com however we strongly advise you consult the details with the relevant embassies which will be able to give you the exact detail, and that you do this at least 2 months prior to your trip.

I hear Australia has very strict biosecurity laws? 

Yes. Australia is free of many insects and pests, plant diseases and animal infections that are common elsewhere in the world. Substantial fines will be incurred if you arrive carrying animal products including skin, hair, dung, feathers, bone, coral, eggs and sea shells. Some are banned because they can harbour pests and diseases; others because they pose a threat to endangered species. Fresh perishable foodstuffs, such as fruit, vegetables and meat and items manufactured from plant products are also prohibited.

Will I need travel insurance? 

All travellers should check to be certain they are covered by their own medical insurance including a travel policy. We highly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and medical evacuation. This will cover you if you must cancel for medical or family emergency reasons, and provides additional coverage should you need medical attention while on the trip.

Clients have previously booked through Allianz, CSA Travel Insurance or Travel Guard, however we do not recommend a specific insurance broker and we do not sell travel insurance.

Remember to first check with your credit card provider who often offer travel insurance as part of their package.

What currency should I bring?

ATMs are plentiful and the best way to obtain Australian Dollars. All major cards are accepted across the country. Check with your bank beforehand about their foreign transaction fee.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, post shops, some hotels and Bureau de Change kiosks, which are found at international airports and most city centres.

Electrical plugs

Australia uses a flat 3 or 2 pin plug, with a mains voltage of 230–240V, 50 hertz. Adaptors/converters are often available at hotels and lodges or for purchase locally.

When will I receive the vouchers for my train journeys, entrance fees etc? 

You’ll be sent your travel pack about 1-2 months before you travel with information about the destinations you are visiting. Your confirmed itinerary summary will be sent to you by email before your trip. All vouchers for your tours and transportation will be provided to you when you arrive in Australia with a copy of your most up-to-date detailed itinerary and schedule.

Local restaurants

We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once you receive your Jacada travel pack, you should begin thinking about restaurants that you would like to visit. Jacada offers a concierge service which can assist you with these reservations.

What are the tipping suggestions? 

Tipping is not an entrenched custom in Australia in the way that it is in Europe or the US. Hotel porters can be tipped a dollar or two for carrying bags but it isn’t expected. Likewise in taxis – most Australians just ‘round up’ to the next dollar and give the driver the change. A 10% tip is only customary in the more expensive restaurants. Your guides around the country will not be expecting a tip although it is naturally a welcome contribution when offered.

Transport in Australia

Metered taxis are available in all major cities and towns. You can book a taxi by phone, hail a taxi in the street or her one from a taxi rank which can often be found at transport terminals, major hotels or shopping centres.

A light and sign on the roof shows when a cab is available. There is a minimum ‘flagfall’ charge, then a charge for the distance travelled. Small additional charges are made for luggage, telephone reservations, and where applicable tolls, otherwise the amount payable is shown on the meter.  

What is the weather like in Australia?

Australia’s climatic extremes are greater than most countries in the world. The northern shores of the country are dominated by a wet monsoon in the summer months (November to March), and dry tropical climate throughout the rest of the year. The interior (essentially the outback) receives little rainfall, supporting a multitude of ephemerals when the rains do finally come, and a controlled cycle of reproduction amongst the resident mammals.

When the rains do come to the Outback, they do so with little warning and visitors can suffer the unusual experience of being unable to leave a property because floods have cut the road.

The South-eastern and South-western corners of the continent, and Tasmania have a more Mediterranean climate and tend to receive their rainfall in the southern hemisphere’s winter months (June to September).