Visas
Working Holidays
Health and Safety
Packing
Insurance
Keeping in Touch
Getting There
Getting Around
Maps
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Disclaimer

Travel Tips Australia

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Currency Converter

If you see a price in any of advertisers and you don't have any idea of how much it costs then click our link and this will open another window and then convert your monies to AUD$.

Mobile Phones

Need a mobile phone number in Australia? We have just partnered up with a telecommunications company that can organise a mobile phone number before you arrive so you can give to family, friends and employers. You can even make international calls on local mobile phone call rates. No plans. Some of the features available - No flagfall on any calls; International calls at local rates; Very Low call rates; No contracts; Plans from $1 per month (best low plan in Australia) to $95.00; Weekly email spend alerts (SMS alerts optional); View bill online; Easy to understand.; Free to call TDU customer service; Free voicemail deposit. Get it now

Visas

GOA International - helping migrants successfully obtain visas to live and work in Australia. We also manage your visa if you intend to do business, study, marry, retire or just travel in Australia.

Electronic Visas

Do it yourself and apply for your visa. Official governement website. Apply for your working, student, tourist and other visas. Go to Department of Immigration and Citzenship.

It is best to contact your nearest Australian embassy or consulate before arriving to find out what visas you will need (some travel agents may also be able to assist, but remember, it unsure contact the embassy or consulate). As a general rule - you will need a valid passport and visa in order to travel to Australia.

Tourist Visas
These are free and are for a 3 month period (usually remaining valid for a 12 month period). If you wish to stay longer, or return frequently, you can apply for extensions or multiple entries from your nearest Australian embassy or consulate. You may also be able to apply in Australia for an extension (Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs - CAN WE HAVE A LINK TO IT?) but make sure you apply well before your visa's expiration date!

The tourist visa does not allow you to work or study in Australia. And these days, it means exactly that. As employers require a tax-file number from all employees, you really can't work without the correct visa. If you wish to work or study, enquire about obtaining a working or student visa.

Working Holiday Visa
If you are from the Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom you can apply for a working holiday visa. Generally, you should be between the ages of 18 to 30. For more information go to Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

Note: If you are from Chile, Thailand, Turkey or USA, you may be eligible to apply for a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462), which provides similar opportunities for tertiary educated people aged 18 to 30.
See: Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) (from - http://www.immi.gov.au)

Student Visa
For tertiary educated people from Chile, Thailand and Turkey or US to holiday and work in Australia.
Advance applications can also be made for a student visa. These allow you to study full-time (and work part-time). For more information go to Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) (from - http://www.immi.gov.au)

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Travel Insurance

Seriously consider taking travel insurance out. The essential components of good travel insurance fall into three groups - medical insurance, cover for your luggage and personal property, and cancellation insurance.

If you are planning to have a bit of adventure on your travels, it is wise to check if your plan covers activities like parasailing, rafting, scuba diving or motorbike riding.

If you plan on being away for some time, check out annual multi-trip insurance options.

Remember, that whilst citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Italy, Malta, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden are able to obtain free essential healthcare in Australia, this does not cover ambulance trips, dental treatment etc. If you do need dental treatment and don't have insurance cover for it, contact the local dental hospital where you may be able to obtain treatment from dental students either free or for a minimal cost.

If you are from the above countries and are staying in Australia for some time, apply for a Medicare card at any Medicare Centre. Medicare is the national healthcare scheme and you will need to show this card when obtaining medical treatment. If you need to visit a general practitioner (GP) during your stay, take your card along. You will probably need to pay for the consultation up-front (around $30 usually) and then claim a rebate back through medicare (approximately 2/3 of the fee). Some GPs have a practice called bulk-billing where you only need to pay the difference, but such GPs are becoming a rarity.


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Packing

Now, you've booked your ticket, got the necessary visas, even browsed the duty free shops.. but the difficult task remains - what do you pack? Here's a few pointers to make the job easier.

  • Check your baggage limit (generally 2 pieces of checked luggage to a maximum of 20 kgs for economy passengers) If you go over the limit, chances are you will be charged extra.
  • Remember, the SAFEST weight for a backpack is a third of your own body weight.
  • You are also allowed a small amount of hand luggage - normally a small "overnight-style" bag (less than 5kg), handbag and jacket (carrying your jacket onto the plane is a great idea if your suitcase is a little short of space!). Australian airports do check carry-on luggage.
  • Pop a toothbrush and toothpaste in your hand luggage, along with anything else you like to freshen up with, as the long-haul flight can really take it out of you!
  • Try and keep your luggage to a minimum - if you aren't 100% sure you need it - leave it out. You can always buy it in Australia (but chances are you won't miss it!).
  • If travelling in Australia's winter - be warned - it does rain and it does get cold! Whilst you can leave the thermal underwear at home, don't forget a warm jumper or two!
  • If you are planning on working during your stay, particularly if you will be hoping for some office work, pack some suitable business attire. Whilst casual might be great for the pub and the beach, most Australian offices still have a smart business dress code. You are also expected to dress smartly for interviews.
  • Don't forget your passport and tickets (you'd be amazed what people forget!).
  • If taking electrical items (such as a hairdryer!) purchase a 240 volt adaptor plug (the other alternative is to simply buy the items in Australia - a new, cheap travel hairdryer will only cost you around A$25).
  • Remember to take an adequate amount of any medication you require - and a letter from your doctor if required.
  • "Roll" don't fold - it takes up less room and makes less wrinkles!
  • If travelling with a mate, pack half your clothes in their bag, and carry half theirs in your luggage. Then if one bag gets lost, you at least have half your things.
  • Always carry any valuables, jewellery, cameras, medication, money, traveller's checks, keys, travel documents, and a change of clothes with your carry on luggage in case your checked bags are damaged, lost, or stolen.
  • If you are taking 2 different kinds of "money" (i.e., traveller's checks and a Visa card) - put them in different places. For example, keep the visa card in your wallet and your traveller's checks in your hand luggage. This ensure that if the worse thing happens and you are the victim of theft or lose an item - you still have access to limited cash.
  • Clearly label all luggage, including carry-ons, with your name, address, and phone number.
  • Remove any old claim checks to avoid confusion for baggage handlers.
  • Get a secure lock for your luggage (and keep two keys - in different places!)

Another good website for imformation about packing go to http://travelindependent.info/whattopack.htm

And remember, the three most important things:

  • ALWAYS PACK YOUR OWN LUGGAGE AND LOCK IT SECURELY.
  • NEVER LEAVE YOUR LUGGAGE UNATTENDED
  • NEVER CARRY ANY PARCELS FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

If you need to send excess baggage home why not try Discount Excess Baggage? Currently they are offering 25% off their handling fee.

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Keep in Touch

With technology the way it is today, there is no reason not to keep in touch with those you've left at home.

Telephone: Calling home from Australia is relatively inexpensive. Probably the cheapest option is to purchase a calling card which are widely available. Calls made using such cards generally cost around 5 cents a minute (to most countries). The international dialling codes can be found in the telephone directories or check out www.whitepages.com.au

Internet: Before you leave home set up a free email service from one of the many sites that offer them (www.hotmail.com or www.yahoo.com are the most popular). You will be able to access the internet from all around Australia, either from your hostel or from an internet café. Costs vary, but generally you will only have to pay a few Australian dollars for 30 minutes access.

Mail: A little old-fashioned but still one of the best ways of keeping in touch! Postage stamps can be purchased at Australia Post shops in most major towns and even at some newsagencies and small shops.

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