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Australia Travel Information

Australia is the worlds largest island and smallest continent, made up of seven individual states.

Australia Flag

A wonderful country just waiting to be explored with its amazing climate complementing a natural wonderland of stunning beaches, beautiful blue waters, astounding ancient rock formations and pristine rainforests.

Visit stunning tropical islands, sandy beaches and coral reefs along the coast and then in complete contrast visit the interior areas of the country which are home to the vast red deserts, ancient aboriginal sites, snow topped mountains and lush green vineyards.

Highlights include Alice Springs, Ayers Rock and The Great Barrier Reef to name just a few.

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On this page you will also find some useful travel information regarding travelling to Australia or for travelling about and some itinerary ideas visit our 'Getting Around Australia' page.


Australia - Holiday and Travel Information

Located in the Southern hemisphere, Australia is the the world's largest island, the sixth largest country by land mass, and also classed as the 5th friendliest country in the world.

Australia

While is it easy for thinking that down-under is all barbies and lager, kangeroos and digeridoos, Australia is actually a land packed with unique natural wonders. From the Great Barrier Reef (the world's largest coral reef) through to Uluru - Ayers Rock, the world's largest monolith.

Culturally Australia is very hot, home to not only world famous musicians but comedians, actors and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

It has beautiful beaches, jaw dropping scenery and an extremely varied climate, Australia easily caters for the most diverse of visitors.

Australia has something for everyone. A country of great beauty and contrast from the arid Outback to lush, tropical rainforest, from vibrant modern cities to idyllic, coral fringed islands. You will find a warm welcome awaiting you in a holiday destination that's ideal for people of all ages and interests.

Australia Facts

The sixth largest country in the world with the lowest population density per square kilometre.

7.7 million square kilometres with a coastline that extends over 11,000 miles.
The centre of Australia is sparsely populated with the main concentration being along the coastal region from Adelaide to Cairns, with a small concentration around Perth, Western Australia.

Sydney and Melbourne the two largest cities, Canberra is the country's capital with highlights including the Parliamentary buildings and Lake burley griffin.
 
Ways to see Australia

Self Drive Tours - If you are happy to drive but would like some assistance with accommodation and routes.

Fully Escorted Touring - Showcasing the best of Australia, offering guests tailor made touring experiences.

Rail Journeys - The size and diversity of Australia makes for fabulous rail journeys whatever your budget. Try a "Coast to Coast" tour or a "South to North" tour.
Independent Touring - Make the most of your time by choosing a tour with the flexibility of daily departures. Packed with must see sights.

Tailor Made Tours - From flights to hotels to sightseeing tours this option makes it easy for you to arrange your holiday to your specification.

Fully Escorted Camping - Sleep under the stars. Dine around the camp fire. From the outback to the ocean, if you enjoy the great outdoors then this is the way to see Australia.

Small Group Adventures - For the traveller looking to explore Australia up close and personal try award winning safaris, adventures and sight seeing options.

Australian States
 
New South Wales

Home to one of the worlds most enchanting cities Sydney and surrounded by top quality wineries, breathtaking beaches and nature experiences.

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

Top Attractions

Sydney - home of the iconic Opera house, Harbour, Bridge and over 140 different cultures.

Bondi Beach - Probably Australia's best known beach. Enjoy the surfing or just relax.

Blue Mountains - A natural wonderland of untamed bush, spectacular rock formations and native wildlife. Seen as "blue" because of the eucalyptus oil in the air.

Hunter Valley (and its wineries) - Elegant wine country. Indulge in gourmet foods, great wines and fresh produce.

Snowy Mountains - Home to Australia's highest peak Mount Kosciuszko at 2,228m high.
 
Queensland

The most popular tourist destination due to its tropical climate. Its Southern coastline is a haven for surfers and beach lovers. In the North is the great Barrier Reef one of the natural wonders of the world and a must see for any visitor.

Top Attractions

The Cities of Cairns and Brisbane
CAIRNS - A vibrant and tropical city with spectacular scenery. Cairns is the gateway to two world heritage areas - the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
BRISBANE - the gateway to the glitzy Gold Coast. A shoppers paradise, great cafe culture plus its own man made beach.

The Great Barrier Reef - Home to hundreds of tiny islands of which only a few have been developed as resorts. Rather than visit for a day why not stay on an island and let your cares melt away. There are many award winning cruise trips available to the area with itineraries involving swimming, snorkelling, and diving into these clear tropical waters.

The Wet Tropics World Heritage area - Extraordinarily beautiful with its ancient rainforests (including Daintree) pristine sandy beaches, rugged mountains and incredible flora and fauna. One of the few places in the world where the rainforest meets the reef.

Gold Coast - Purely and simply a 22 mile stretch of golden beaches including the world famous "Surfers Paradise".

Cape York - A beautiful Australian Wilderness
 
Western Australia

Occupying one third of the continent this is the largest state of Australia flanked by the glistening waters of the Indian ocean. With spectacular coastal scenery, surfing, limestone caves and vineyards there is plenty on offer for everyone. In the North there are the beaches, coral reefs and also the beautiful dolphins.

Perth
Perth Western Australia reflected in the Swan River at dawn.

Top Attractions

Cities of Perth and Broome
PERTH - A vibrant city which lies on the Swan river. More days of sunshine than any other state capital in the country.
BROOME - An old pearling city with 14 miles of white sandy beaches," Cable beach" being one of the most stunning beaches in the world.

Unspoilt beaches - Over 80km of beaches (many of which are never crowded) offering swimming, surfing, sailing and diving.

Margaret River region - To the South of Perth lies the Margaret River region, home to world class surfing and the Margaret River Wineries.

Dolphins of Monkey Mia - Take in the natural wonders of Monkey Mia north of Perth, including the wild dolphins and Manta Rays.

Victoria

With a host of natural wonders this is the country's smallest state. Fantastic rock formations can be seen from the Great Ocean Road including the 12 Apostles. The cooler climate is an ideal setting for world class wine producing in the many vineyards.
 
Top Attractions

The city of Melbourne - A glorious city on a beautiful river with a host of entertainments and attractions. Feed the iconic black swans in the Botanic Gardens, dine out in one of the many fine restaurants and explore the thriving arts and culture scene.

Take one of the many guided walks and uncover hidden secrets.
Philip Island - Look out for penguins, seals and koalas on this island which is the perfect habitat for Australian wildlife.

The Twelve Apostles - One of many great rock formations on the coast the Twelve Apostles are huge limestone rocks separated from the cliff shore by the action of wind and waves.

The Great Ocean Road - One of the worlds finest scenic drives stretching 340 miles along the South coast.

World class wineries - A tasting session of these quality wines is a must.

The Grampians - An area with Wilderness walks, waterfalls and wallabies plus many other native animals and birds.
 
Northern Territory

An area six times the size of Great Britain, this is the home of the true outback and the largest population of Aboriginal people. It has a low population and is a mostly untouched outback and wilderness area.

Here lies the country's most famous and breathtaking sight Uluru (Ayers Rock).
 
Top Attractions

ULURU (Ayers Rock) and the Red Centre
AYERS ROCK - The worlds most famous monolith rises over 1000 ft from the desert floor and boasts a girth of almost 6 miles.

THE RED CENTRE - The true mythical outback Australia with its red dust, empty tracks and unique wildlife.

Alice Springs - Where cultures meet and outback adventures start. The most famous outback town yet very modern with cafes, restaurants and hotels.

Darwin - A modern city with a harbour twice the size of Sydneys. Colourful outdoor markets and a wide range of restaurants. Visit in WET season when the rains enhance the spectacular waterfalls and you see the area at its most green.

Arnhemland - Ancient landscape home to many different aboriginal tribes for 1000s of years.

Kakadu and the Top End - Kakadu National Park is home to approximately 275 species of birds, 75 species of reptiles, 25 species of frog and 1600 plant species.
Also famous for its aboriginal rock paintings and vast landscapes.

Kings Canyon - Truly inspirational scenery

South Australia

This area borders all of the other mainland states. The dessert terrain of the North and the striking coastline of sandy beaches and steep cliffs combine to make this the state with the most distinctive variation in landscape.

Top Attractions

Adelaide "The City of Churches" - Named after the wife of King William IV this elegant city boasts beautiful architecture, stunning gardens, fine restaurants and world class wines.

Outback Country -
"Flindes Ranges" - The real outback with a red and purple landscape of sharp ridges and peaks, tree lined gorges and creeks.
"Wilpena Pound" - situated at the heart of the Flindes range it is a huge natural ampitheatre teeming with Kangaroos, Emus and other native species.

Kangaroo Island - Often called Australia's Galapagos with its unique wildlife.

Coober Pedy - Where half the worlds Opals are found. Opal was first found in Coober Pedy on the 1st of February 1915 and since then has been supplying the world with the majority of gem quality opal.

Barossa Valley - Home to around 6 excellent wineries.
 
Tasmania

Lying 185 miles south of Australia Tasmania and steeped in history is Australia's only Island state and is considered by many to be one of the worlds most picturesque islands. With more than 40% of the island protected as World Heritage sites and National Parks this is an island for nature lovers.

Top Attractions

City of Hobart - A mix of modern metropolis and European heritage set in a natural harbour against a mountain background. The Port Arthur historic site is a haunting reminder of the past, Australia's most intact and evocative convict settlement.

Cradle Mountain - Part of the Wilderness World Heritage Site this is Tasmania's most recognisable landmark.

Mount Wellington - Hobart's favourite landmark and backdrop. Explore this ancient dolerite peak that was climbed by Charles Darwin, and to experience a glaciated landscape. It is 1271 metres high (just over 4,000 feet).

Fortescue Bay - A secluded bay on the Tasman Peninsula in the beautiful Tasman National Park. Explore the spectacular cliff-edged coastal scenery and bushwalks of the area, fish, boat and snorkel in the calm waters. Drive nearby to pristine silver beaches pounded by wild surf, more wonderful coastal walks and fascinating convict ruins.

General Information

Capital City: Canberra

Major Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane

Population: 23.42 million

Area: 2,967,893 miles | 7,686,850 kilometres

Languages: English

Electricity: 220/240V AC 50Hz

Emergency Services: Police, Fire & Ambulance: 000

Money
Currency: (AUD) Australian Dollar (AUD 1 = 100 Cents)

Social
Tipping: Not a general custom but around 10% is usual in hotels and restaurants. Tips are not expected by taxis.

Hints: Business is conducted in English, not many executives speak a second language. In business an informal attitude prevails. Smoking is not permitted in bars, restaurants, cafes and any other public places. On social occasions, e.g. invitation to restaurants, be punctual and dress as for business meetings unless otherwise indicated. The minimum drinking age is 18 years.

Clothing: Central Australia; light clothes supplemented with warmer wear for evenings. North & Northeastern Australia; light clothes & rainwear between Nov-Mar, although rainwear would be appropriate all year towards Brisbane. Southeast Australia; light clothes with something warmer for winter or slightly heavier if travelling inland. Rainwear for coastal areas. Southern & Western Australia; light clothes for summer, warmer wear & rainwear for winter Tasmania; mix of clothes needed, light, heavy & rainwear

Australian States - Click on each State for more travel information

Please click on the links below for details on the relevant Australian State including details on the major cities and things to see and do -

New South Wales Western Australia Queensland
South Australia Tasmania Victoria
Northern Territory

Australia - Flight Details - Airlines

Australia

There are plenty of different options available when planning your flight to Australia. Various FREE stopovers are available both outbound and also return. Below we have listed some of the airlines that you can use and the stopover options.

Air New Zealand
Renowned for one of the world's warmest welcomes, Air New Zealand creates that relaxing holiday feeling as soon as you step onboard.
* Air New Zealand flies daily from Heathrow to Los Angeles and onwards to Auckland and Sydney.
* FREE stopover possible each way in Los Angeles, and in one Pacific island.

Cathay Pacific
Hong Kong's carrier has long enjoyed an enviable reputation for providing a premium product and unique style of service. One that combines the warmth of asian hospitality with the most relaxing and luxurious way to fly to Hong Kong and beyond.
* Cathay Pacific Airways has 18 flights a week from Heathrow to Hong Kong with further connections to Perth, Cairns, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Auckland.
* FREE stopover possible each way in Hong Kong, and one online in Australia.

Emirates
In just 18 years Emirates has won world class acclaim with more than 200 awards including 'Airline of the year'. Travelling with Emirates is always a first class experience and all seats offer some of the best in comfort.
* Emirates flies from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham via Dubai and Singapore.
* FREE stopover possible one way in Dubai. Additional stopovers are available at a small supplement in Colombo or Singapore.

Malaysia Airlines
Award winning Malaysia Airlines allows a superb combination of cultural Malaysia with Australia or New Zealand.
* Malaysia Airlines has 21 direct flights per week from Heathrow and manchester to Kuala Lumpur. Convenient onward connections to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adalaide and Auckland.
* FREE stopover possible each way in Kuala Lumpur, plus one free on-line stopover in Australia.

Garuda Indonesia
Fly Garuda Indonesia and combine the magical island of Bali with Australia.
* Garuda Indonesia flights to Bali with convenient onward connections to Darwin, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
* FREE stopover available en route.

Singapore Airlines
Renowned as the world leader in setting standards of service and in-flight entertainment.
* Singapore Airlines flies three times daily from Heathrow and daily from Manchester to Singapore, and onwards to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
* FREE stopover possible each way in Singapore.

Thai Airways
Experience the genuine elegance of Oriental hospitality with fine food and wine, spacious cabins and gracious cabin staff.
* Thai flies daily from London to Bangkok and onward to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland and Perth.
* FREE stopover possible each way in Bangkok.

United Airlines
One of the largest carriers in the world with a wide choice of American stopovers.
* United Airlines flies daily to Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
* Two FREE stopovers possible. Additional stopovers are possible at a supplement in a wide selection of American cities.

British Airways / Qantas Airways
Qantas and British Airways currently operate over 50 flights a week from the UK and Europe connecting to the following destinations : Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and Brisbane.
* Various fares with options of up to 12 FREE stopovers.
* Stopovers possible each way in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Auckland or Fiji.

First and Business class fares are also available with all the above airlines.

Flights to Australia flight times -

London to Sydney 20hrs
London to Perth 18hrs
London to Cairns 19hrs


These flight times to Australia are approximate and are calculated on the most direct route.

Australia - Climate

Weather
Australia's climate can generally be divided into five areas. Summers and winters are the reverse to those in Europe, so summer is November to March and winter April to October. Central Australia; including Alice Springs & Ayers Rock, is a vast desert region, the sun shines practically every day and rainfall is scarce. Temperatures are extremely hot during summer and cooler during winter, however temperatures can be chilly during the evening. Rain falls during winter months (April to October) in the south of this region and in the north during the summer period (November to March) North and Northeast Australia; including Darwin in the north, round to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef and down to Brisbane. This area has a tropical climate, hot and sunny all year. The rainy monsoon arrives between Nov-Mar making humidity high especially along the coast, however the sun still manages to shine for a good number of hours each day. Cyclones can batter northern coasts several times a year Southeast Australia; including Sydney and Melbourne, has warm to hot summers on the coast & hot temperatures inland which quite often produce long periods of drought. Winters can be cold inland but this is unusual on the coast. The weather can be changeable throughout the region with rain at any time of the year, although more so in coastal areas Southern and Western Australia; including Perth and Adelaide, have a Mediterranean-type climate. Summer temperatures can be hot particularly inland & winters are mild. Rain falls mostly during winter (April to October), Perth being wetter than Adelaide, cyclones may also occur during this time bringing strong winds Tasmania; lies off the south coast of Australia, has warm summers and cold, wet winters. Generally conditions here are similar to the south coast mainland but wetter, cloudier and cooler. Changeable weather prevails throughout the year, including heavy snowfalls in the mountains

What to Wear
Central Australia; light clothubg supplemented with warmer gear for evenings. North and Northeastern Australia; light clothes and rainwear between November and March, although rainwear would be appropriate all year towards the city of Brisbane. Southeast Australia; light clothes are best with something warmer for winter or slightly heavier if travelling inland. Rainwear for the coastal areas. Southern and Western Australia; light clothes for summer, warmer wear and rainwear for winter Tasmania; mix of clothes needed, light, heavy and rainwear

Seasons in Australia are the opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere.

Summer - December to February
Autumn - March to May
Winter - June to August
Spring - September to November

During November to March parts of the Northern Territory and Tropical North Queensland have their wet season, but it doesn't rain all the time. Rain tends to come in short heavy bursts, followed by sunny periods.


Australia - Health and Visa Requirements

No vaccinations are required when flying to Australia. However, it is strongly advise you consult your GP before travelling abroad if you have any pre existing illness.

A visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required for entry to Australia. For more information on obtaining an ETA please contact us after your flight to Australia is confirmed.

We offer free Visas for all Australian flights and holidays booked through Hessle Travel.

Compulsory Vaccinations: Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an area with risk of yellow fever. Children under 6 months are exempt.

Recommended Immunisations: Tetanus and Japanese Encephalitis.

Risks: Dengue Fever - viral illness that is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.

High Altitude - Acute Mountain Sickness is potentially life-threatening and precautions should be taken when in areas of high altitude.

Source: fitfortravel.nhs.uk

Passport
General: Passports are required by all.

Validity: Australia requires that passports are valid for the intended period of stay. As other transit countries and airlines requirements can vary at least six months validity is advisable.

Visa Restrictions: Details relate to holders of British Citizen adult passports (requirements for children may be different). If any other type of passport or travel document is held, entry requirements may differ and should be checked with the relevant embassy or consulate.

Visa - ETA
General: 1) Visas are required by nationals of all countries.

There are many types of visa depending on the reason for and duration of travel. One types of visa is listed below, consult the official website for full information on other visa types.

2) Nationals of the following countries can apply for a free online eVisitor visa, allowing entry for to three months within a twelve month period;

Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK (British Citizen) and Vatican City.

Notes: Visitors with health requirements, criminal convictions or debts to the Australian Government are advised to check eligibility.

If intending to visit Norfolk Island, it is important to inform the authorities at the visa application stage. This will ensure eligibility to enter Norfolk Island and return to Australia.

Entry requirements may change from time to time and should be checked with Australian High Commission.

Transit
1) Travellers should verify if they need to personally re-check their luggage, e.g. if changing airline. If so, a visa will be required.

2) Nationals listed below who comply with the below conditions do not require a transit visa;

Arrive in Australia by aircraft
Depart by air within eight hours of arrival.
Holding a confirmed onward booking and documentation needed to enter their destination.
Remain airside in the transit area.
Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (SAR), Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, UK (British Citizens), USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Vatican.

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