All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Australia—it’s on everyone’s bucket list…and for good reason! There’s an extraordinary amount of things to see, do, taste, and experience in this remarkable country.
Here are our best Australia Travel Tips…
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips


Yes, you will need a visa to enter the country. Luckily, it can be done from home! You can apply for Australia visa online right here. It’s fast, easy, and inexpensive. It attaches to your passport, so there is nothing to lose.

It’s big!

Australia is much larger than expected. If you’re not doing an extended road trip, then perhaps pick one or two places you absolutely must see, and spend your time enjoying those—not all of your time getting from one place to another.
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Australia is geographically diverse

Tagging onto the previous tip, Australia is also geographically and climactically diverse. What would you expect from the world’s 6th largest country?! Here, you can find large cities, vast expanses of wild, rainforests, desert, and, of course, a variety of coastal regions galore (it is an island, after all). 
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

There are dangerous creatures

While most beaches are just fine for swimming, snorkeling, diving, surfing, and the like, there is one area of the country where you’ll need to watch for dangerous creatures. Queensland is where you’ll find dangerous marine stingers, such as the deadly box jellyfish and the Irukandji, Blue-ringed octopus, crocodiles, and sharks. Marine stinger season is from November-May, so plan your aquatic adventures at other times. The Queensland government has an excellent guide to safety tips around dangerous marine life. In other areas of Australia, the beaches are patrolled from October-April. Be sure to swim in areas with red and yellow flags, for safety.
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips


Besides E-visums, you will also need your passport. If you’re driving, use your home country driver’s license for up to three months in most states. Additionally, get an International Driver’s Permit. Learn each state’s regulations here.

Australians are all about the (free) BBQ

Plan picnics galore – Australia’s free bbq grills are a national treasure! Stock up on your grilling supplies, and then head to one of the many free grills located throughout the country to make dinner. Perhaps you’ll also make friends, but surely you will create a memorable meal.
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Visit the National Parks

There are 870 national parks in Australia, and most of them are free! 45 parks have vehicle entry fees. What can you find here? Perhaps you will walk to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, explore volcanic remnants at Warrumbungle, learn history at the ruins of Trial Bay Gaol, discover Aboriginal history and ancient art, or view some of Australia's 50,000+ animal and plant species (many of them endemic). When planning your itinerary, be sure to include one or more of these incredible national parks.
Aboriginal Art at a National Park. All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Dig deep into history

Some think, erroneously, that Australia’s history is narrow (and relatively new). Au contraire, my friend. Wherever you go, spend time learning about local history. In Sydney, you can learn about the importance of water (and infrastructure!), gardens, a mortuary train, and more. We recommend a free app called Sydney Culture Walks, from the City of Sydney, to help find these interesting treasures. 
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Drink the coffee

Perhaps you hadn’t heard? Australian coffee culture is the best in the world. Start in Melbourne, Australia’s coffee capital, and drink your way around the country from there. You’ll discover local coffee shops with passionate baristas and even more passionate customers. Soon, you’ll be one, too.
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Budget for your trip

Australia can be expensive. Find the free, as much as you can, but also save money and budget for your trip. You will want to have the experiences you’ve longed for (such as diving or sailing the Great Barrier Reef). Food is also expensive (although tipping is, for the most part, optional).  It’s worth it! 
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Check the time

Did you know that Australia has 5 standard time zones and 2 alternative time zones (not to mention the Australian dependencies)? I told you this country was big! Note that some of the time zones narrow to three for Daylight Savings time. Confusing? Yes. Learn more here.


Dial 000 for help.

Driving tips

Drive on the left side of the road here. Wear your seatbelt, and follow speed limits and traffic signs. Also, depending on where you’re going, be sure to carry an emergency kit (especially useful in the Outback), stay with your car if it breaks down, and ask, if you rent a car, about roadside assistance. When you see a gas station, fill up (and go to the bathroom). Pack plenty to eat. And, as always, watch for wildlife. Those kangaroos can spring out from nowhere.
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips

Slather on the sunscreen

Being located so near to the equator, and with a thinner ozone layer, sunburn is serious business here. Purchase and slather on sunscreen often. If you’re like me, and prone to burn when even thinking about going outside, wear plenty of layers of SPF clothing, too.
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips
All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips
Photo: Oliver Sjöström, Instagram: @ollivves, Website: 

Money, money, money

Local currency is the Australian dollar. The bills ($5, $10, $20, $50 and $100) are plastic, so if you're doing laundry, don't leave them in your pockets. There is no penny—coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, as well as $1 and $2 denominations. Look closely at the bills—they are colorful and interesting, with history and famous Australians represented. Credit cards are widely accepted, whilst traveler’s checks are not. If you are purchasing items with a low price, plan to pay in cash to avoid surcharges. There is a 10% goods and services tax (GST).  

Have you been to Australia? What is your best travel tip?

All You Need to Know: 15 Australia Travel Tips