Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Sydney, NSW © Destination NSW

Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Sydney, New South Wales © Destination NSW

What you need to know before setting off for an Aussie holiday

What clothes you pack will depend on where you visit and when. Whilst the climate varies, Australia is generally pleasant, even in winter. You’ll certainly need a swimsuit and a hat, and it’s a good idea to pack versatile layers, like a light jacket and jeans, so you can add or remove layers depending on the day. Make sure you check the weather while preparing your packing list.

You can get to Australia by sea or sky. There are plenty of air and cruise lines, meaning getting to Australia is easy and accessible from just about anywhere. There are direct flights from most major international air and sea ports around the world, touching down to any one of the major cities.

There are so many different ways to travel around Australia, each offering a unique way to experience the country. For getting around day-to-day, there’s plenty of clean and safe public transport, as well as taxis and rideshare services, if you aren’t renting a vehicle. For travel between states, flights are the most suitable for shorter stays, though, with a bit more time, road trips and train travel offer an excellent way to witness the natural diversity.

From farm stays and campsites to luxury lodges and eco-friendly beach side resorts, there’s accomodation for everyone in Australia.

There are hotels and accommodation to suit every budget – some campsites are even free! Hostels usually cost from AUD$20 to AUD$50 per night, while hotels usually cost from AUD$80 to AUD$250 per night.

There are strict biosecurity laws enforced by the Australian Border Force at all international airports. Fresh fruit, homemade food and plants cannot be brought to Australia.

All arrivals are required to fill in an Incoming Passenger Card (that will be handed out on the plane). The Australian Border Force will enforce restrictions on prohibited items, including weapons and illegal drugs, at the airport.

All travellers will need a valid passport and visa to enter Australia. Travellers will need to apply for their visa before departing for Australia (with the exception of New Zealand passport holders).

It’s not a travel requirement, but it’s safest to take out travel insurance (or at least see if your credit card includes it – many platinum-level cards do), particularly if there are several people in your group.

Although it isn’t required, it’s safest to travel with health insurance to protect you from the unexpected. If you visit a medical professional in Australia, you’ll have to pay upfront, but health providers will give you a detailed invoice to file with your insurance company afterwards.

In Australia, we use Australian dollars – not to be confused with US, Hong Kong or any other dollars. XE Currency Converter will help you convert your own currency at the market exchange rates.

Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Cirrus-compatible ATMs are everywhere, banks line most main streets, and credit cards are widely accepted. Keep in mind, there’s an AUD$10,000 limit for bringing cash into the country (if you bring more, you’ll have to declare it at the border).

A trip to Australia can cost a little or a lot – depending on your travel preferences and your budget. In general, Australia is an affordable destination relative to other western countries.

Australian goods and services include a tax (that’s included in prices). Travellers may be able to refund the tax they pay on goods and services bought in Australia through the Tourist Refund Scheme. You do so at the airport upon your departure.

Check with your credit card company to see if they charge foreign transaction fees. Consider getting one that doesn’t. Either way, let them know you’re on holiday, so they don’t suspect fraud.

Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill, and tipping is always your choice. In most places, tips are not expected.

You will most likely need an adapter in order to plug your appliances into the power sockets in Australia: the adapter required for Australia is Type 1 Australia plug. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre. The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz.

Most mobile networks will have an Australian partner network, however, you can be charged steep international roaming fees. We recommend, if your phone is unlocked, that you pick up a prepaid Australian SIM card when you land, allowing you to make calls and access data at local prices.

If you purchase an Australia SIM card, you will be able to access mobile data in most places – though you might not be able to access a signal in the outback. There is free Wi-Fi in most hotels, cafes and restaurants.

Australia is a very safe country to visit (even if you travel alone). Be sure to follow the health and safety advice, including water safety, wherever you go.