Before You Go To Australia
by Delia Toh
Follow these travel tips to have an idea of what to expect administratively and how to prepare yourself well for the trip before traveling to Australia.
A valid passport is required for entry into Australia. Most travelers will require an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or visa. Vaccinations are required if you have come from or been to a yellow fever infected zone within 6 days of arrival in Australia.
These items are prohibited from entering Australia: non-prescribed drugs, weapons, firearms, wildlife, domestic animals and foodstuffs (meat, poultry and dairy; plants or fruit, nuts and seeds; animal products such as wool, skins and eggs and any equipment associated with domestic animals) and other potential sources of disease and pestilence (such as vaccines or viruses).
The following items can be brought into Australia duty-free:
• 250 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco or cigars.
• 2.25L of any alcoholic liquor.
• Articles for personal hygiene and clothing, not including perfume or fur apparel.
• Other goods to a value of A$900 (A$450 if under 18).
The currency used in Australia is the Australian dollar, its current exchange rate is 0.7718 AUD to 1 SGD.
Tourists can claim a GST (Goods and Services Tax) and WET (wine equalisation tax) refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). To claim a tax refund, you need to have spent $A300 or more at one store and have obtained a single tax invoice. The purchase must be made within 30 days of departure, and must be worn or carried board the aircraft, presented with the relevant invoice, passport and boarding pass. Claims must be made no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled boarding time.
Departure tax is $A38 per person and it has already been included into the price of the flight ticket.
When to go
The seasons cycle in Australia is reversed (winter is in mid-year and summer occurs at the ends of the year). Depending on the state you are traveling to temperatures can reach 7°C to 20°C in winter and 20°C to 29°C in the summer, Precipitation is low in Australia compared to that of Earth's other landmasses.
The following airlines reach Australia from Changi International Airport:
Singapore Airlines (to Brisbane, Melbourne)
Jetstar Airways (to Darwin, Melbourne, Perth)
Jetstar Asia Airways (to Perth)
Tiger Airways (to Perth)
Emirates (to Melbourne, Brisbane)
Qantas (to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth)
British Airways (to Sydney)
Ethihad Airways (to Brisbane)
Health and safety tips
Climate in Australia can pose a significant health risk if you're ill-prepared. Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, which means winter occurs mid-year and summer from Dec-Feb. If you're traveling to Australia in the summer, a sunhat, sunblock and sunglasses are recommended. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times.
Crime rates are low in Australia and traveling is considered safe. However, do watch out for your personal belongings and do avoid poorly-lit areas at night.