Travel Australia – Travel to Australia – Travel in Australia
Australia Travel Preparations
It is easy to become overwhelmed when planning a trip to a new place. However, we have assembled a guide to help you narrow down the list of tasks you need to do before you head overseas.
Below you can find a list of some of the things you might need to complete after accepting an offer to study in Australia and applying for your student visa.
- Double check that your student visa will remain valid for the whole time you are studying in Australia
- Make sure your passport expiry date does not expire during your trip to Australia. It is also a good idea to make sure it is valid for an extra 6 months after your studies are complete, should you require more time in Australia or wish to travel.
- Book your flight to Australia online.
- Organise your accommodation in Australia. You can organize living on campus with your educational provider, or you can also book temporary accommodation through your institution. You can also book accommodation directly through another accommodation provider.
- Organise an airport pick-up service with your educational institution.
- Make sure you arrange to have medical, dental, and optical checkups before you head overseas.
- Have a copy of your important documents translated into English if it is not originally in that language.
- Create a contact book or list with details of relevant friends and family members in case of emergencies.
- If you wish to drive in Australia, it makes sense to get an international drivers license.
- Organise for your mail to be redirected to someone responsible for the duration of your stay overseas.
- Make sure you understand Customs and Quarantine regulations in Australia should you wish to bring over foodstuffs or local materials.
- Research your host city for activities and customs there.
- Pack your bags and make sure they are securely locked.
- Bid farewell to friends and family.
Enjoy your trip overseas!
Sydney has an excellent transport system. You can go to www.131500.com.au for loads of resources on buses, ferries and trains. Information includes maps and timetables etc and for more detailed information on the Metro Light Rail & Monorail go to the metrotransport website.
Transperth manages buses, trains and ferries.
One ticket means that you can ride on all available modes of transport.
The Adelaide Metro Information Centre has schedules and tickets
for city buses, trains and the Glenelg tram.
The City Bus Interchange, Harry Chan Ave does a
The major Civic Bus Interchange is on Alinga St, East Row and Mort St in the CBD. Go to the information centre (East Row) or the website for free transport information.
Australia is a vast land so travelling between major cities usually means travelling for a long time. Bus rides can also be expensive. Always check to see if you can get a cheap flight, you may save yourself a lot of time.
travel agent, on the telephone or through the Internet. Flightcentre compares the prices of each airline for your destination so that you can find the cheaper flight.
Your own transport
If you buy a car, you will be paying for registration, repairs, fuel and insurance. It is mandatory to buy third party insurance which will cover the damage done.
Before You Leave
A student will require their visa and enrollment confirmation before considering leaving the country. Once these two very important documents arrive it is time for the student to start arranging their trip to Australia and their stay.
When packing it is important to remember that most airlines only allow 20 kilograms of luggage per person, if the person exceeds this limit they will be charged.
Australia has very strict quarantine and customs laws, while it may seem like a good idea at the time to pack food from home most of these products will not be allowed in Australia. Food items not allowed in Australia include fresh, dried and pre-packaged foods.
When packing any electronic equipment remember that Australia has different adaptors and electricity points to other countries. So if bringing a mobile phone be sure to bring a battery charger that can be used in Australia.
Depending on what part of Australia the student is intending on staying in as well as what time of year, the student will need to think about what clothing to pack. If travelling to Queensland, Northern Territory or Western Australia, they will require lighter clothing. As it is only cold during 2 – 3 months of the year being June, July and August it would be silly to pack mostly winter clothing. South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania have a cooler climate with the cold winter temperatures extending into Autumn and Spring. If visiting one of these states it is ideal to bring warmer clothing. Remember Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere so the seasons are different to that of the Northern Hemisphere.
Ensure that all important travel documents are packed or with you at the time of departure. This includes Visa, Passport, Travellers cheque receipts, Flight tickets, Insurance documents, Credit cards, ATM card as well as Confirmation of enrollment. Students will require the original copies of these documents as well as a certified photo copy.
Any student visa holder entering Australia must have Overseas Student Health Cover, this will pay for any medical expenses as well as doctors visits. To be on the safe side it is a good idea to purchase travellers insurance, in case of any problems such as cancelled flights, lost luggage or wallets. Cases like these are unlikely but it is always better to be safe then sorry.
It is important to have enough money on you for the first few days. Carrying large amounts of cash is not a safe option, small amounts is fine. As well as this having access to AU $1500-3000 in travellers cheques which are in your name will help to settle in quickly. If the student is carrying more then AU $10,000 on them this must be declared to customs officials when entering Australia.
Short Term Accommodation
If the student has been unable to organise long term permanent accommodation before their arrival, then their educational provider can help to give them contact details of short term accommodation options in the areas. Such as hostels, hotels or apartments.
Air Travel to Australia
How to get Down Under – Traveling to Australia by Air
A number of major airlines make getting to Australia easy. With plenty of flights stopping over in Singapore or other parts of Asia, it is a good opportunity to visit that part of the world on the way to the ‘land downunder’. Sydney is the most popular arrival point in Australia, but international flights are also made to Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and several regional airports to major tourist destinations like Cairns in far north Queensland. The reputable Australian Qantas airline as well as Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and many more major airlines service Australia and there are some direct flights available from cities like London in the UK or Frankfurt, Germany.
Once you Touch Down
Australia has a very diverse and delicate eco-system with many species of animal and plant found nowhere else on earth. To protect this precious biodiversity, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry enforces very strict quarantine requirements with many animal and plant products banned when entering the country.
You will need to complete a Declaration form when you travel to Australia. These are available in-flight on the way there, but are also available in the Customs areas airports before you reach check points. Australia was one of the first of 130 countries that now adhere to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Be sure to declare any goods of animal or plant origin. If you are unsure about any items, you should declare them. Also remove any dirt and debris from camping equipment, shoes or other belongings. Even accidentally bringing an orange into the country in your carry-on luggage could result in a hefty fine, so take care!
Pick-up and Domestic transfers
Students are usually collected by mini-bus at the airport and taken to their university or college accommodation. If your institution does not offer this service, public transport is clearly sign-posted in most major Australian airport terminals. Well marked Tourism Information outlets are also available at all domestic airports in Australia to provide maps and local information.
It can take several hours to be processed by customs when you arrive at an International terminal in Australia so keep this in mind if booking connecting flights elsewhere domestically. You will need to check in one hour before for any domestic flight as a minimum. Also bear in mind the size of the country when traveling internally. For example, a flight from Sydney to Darwin in the Northern Territory will take approximately five hours. (To drive the same trip takes approximately five days!)
Going back home?
The Internet is the best way to purchase air tickets for a return trip home or to visit elsewhere overseas, but book well in advance and be mindful of increased pricing during peak holiday and school holiday periods. Prices for some flights also tend to increase if booked at short notice.
You cannot bring more than AU$10,000 or the equivalent amount of foreign currency into Australia without declaring it on a Cross-Border Movement – Physical Currency (CBM-PC) form and providing it to a Australian customs officer. If you do bring in more than AU$10,000 and do not declare it, you will be fined.
Only in Australia will you find the combination of rugged Outback, beaches, rainforests, urban sophistication, and outstanding academics…
Preparing for Australia
Packing your Bags
The seasons in Australia are, at any given time, the reverse of the seasons in Europe: when it’s spring in Europe it’s autumn in Australia. Depending on the part of the country, summers can reach temperatures in the forties Celsius; winters, on the other hand, rarely average below ten degrees Celsius.
The type of clothing you need will further vary according to the part of the country and the time of year, so check the internet for local temperatures before you pack.
While it is tempting to pack favourite foods from home, it is important to be aware of Australia’s strict quarantine laws. These include restrictions on food, plant material and animal products. More specific information on restricted items can be obtained from Australian quarantine sites on the internet.
To spare yourself money and delays at Customs, avoid packing any products you’re unsure about, and check that your baggage meets the weight restriction of 20kg (44lbs).
You will be held responsible for everything contained in your baggage, so don’t carry items or bags for anyone else, and lock your suitcase.
More than any other items, your personal documents and cards are the most valuable. It is therefore recommended you make photocopies of all your travel, identity, banking and insurance documents, as well as all documents authorising your study and entry into Australia.
Carry the originals in your hand luggage, a set of copies in your suitcase, and leave a set of copies with someone at home.
Finally, if you don’t want your first day in Australia to involve being deprived of the use of your laptop or hairdryer, ensure you bring a power adapter that will make them suitable for use in Australia.
Other Pre-Flight Essentials
Lost baggage and cancelled flights are some unfortunate risks of any journey. Consider purchasing travel insurance: it won’t reduce the risk; it will, however, reduce the cost of mishaps when they occur.
Unless you have managed to secure permanent accommodation in advance, you will require a short-term place to stay when you first arrive. Your educational institution will be able to provide you with some options. Other alternatives are youth hostels operated by the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) or YMCA, and guesthouses or Bed and Breakfasts advertised on the internet. Hotels and motels are also widely available, though they are more expensive.
Traveling in Australia
Personal safety on public transport
If you intend to travel across Australia, there are a number of ways. However, be mindful that Australia is a very large country. It takes 13 hours to travel from Sydney to Melbourne by Bus. So, it might be a good idea to think about flying to your destination for interstate travel. In fact, there are a few low-cost airlines that regularly offer airfares that are cheaper than bus travel. It might be wise to examine their websites first before purchasing a bus ticket.
Trains and buses
A good option if you choose to travel outside the city you live in is getting a train. You can find a comprehensive list of train services, fares and timetables at www.railaustralia.com.au.
Also, for a list of bus operators (and their destinations) operating within Australia visit to www.buslines.com.au.
Your own transport
- Second-hand bicycles for about $200.
- Good secondhand cars for less than $10,000.
- Service costs.
It is also wise to take out a more comprehensive insurance policy which will cover costs of damage to your own vehicle. The cost of a comprehensive insurance policy will depend on your driving record, age as well as the type of car you own.
When driving in Australia, please be aware of the following road rules and regulations:
- Australians drive on the left side of the road.
- The driver and passenger must wear their seat belts. It is compulsory. Failure to do so will result in a fine if either you or your passengers are caught not wearing one.
- Using your mobile while driving in your car is illegal. You will also be fined if you are caught. If you must make or receive a call, buy a hands-free kit or just pull over to the side of the road.
- The maximum speed limit for residential areas is 50km an hour and 100km an hour on highways (unless signs indicate otherwise).
- Traffic cameras are in use at many intersections. They monitor speeding cars or cars that do not obey traffic light. If you are caught breaking the law a fine will be mailed to you. Furthermore, you may lose points from your licence (and this may lead to losing your licence if you keep disobeying road laws and regulations).
- Australia has very strict rules to prevent drink driving offences. In fact, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offence. It can be punishable by loss of licence and sometimes jail.
- Random breath testing, (where police randomly stop your vehicle and measure the amount of alcohol you have consumed), is practiced in most Australian states and territories. For information on alcohol limits (visit www.alcoholguidelines.gov.au for more information).
Please contact the Road Authority in your state or territory for more information.
Travel options in Australia
Australia has one of the most advanced public transport systems in the world. In fact, its public transport system is comparably safe, fast and affordable. Depending where you live, you have a choice of trains, buses, trams and ferries. To use these services, you can purchase tickets at train stations, ferry wharves, onboard buses and trams or at newsagencies. And there are even some instances where you can travel for free! Another benefit for international students is being eligible for travel concessions in some states. You can find out if you qualify by asking your institution.
Another popular means of transport in Sydney are trains. The city has a vast suburban rail network and offers reliable and frequent services. For long distances, trains are a much faster travel option than buses. This service operates from about 5am to midnight.
Metro Light Rail & Monorail
If you travel within the more central parts of Sydney, the Monorail and Metro Light Rail are good transport options. The Monorail circles Darling Harbour and connects it to the city centre. The MLR operates a 24-hour service between Central Station and Pyrmont (via Darling Harbour and Chinatown).
The Loop (a free bus service that circles the city area), runs every 10 minutes during the week between 7am and 6pm. Other bus services run every 10 to 20 minutes during business days from 5am till about 6pm. Most services operate until midnight.
The Citytrain is good way to travel to outer suburbs in Brisbane. It connects suburbs as far as Gympie North (in the Sunshine Coast) to Nerang as well as Robina in the south (for the world famous holiday coastal region called the Gold Coast). All trains stop at the Roma St, Central and Brunswick St stations.
Perth ferries operate every half-hour from 7am to 7pm daily from the Barrack St Jetty to the zoo.
Adelaide is famous for its many Churches. It is a pretty city with lovely public parks. To get around the city, there are a number of ways including: buses, trains and the Glenelg tram. Contact the Adelaide Metro Information Centre for timetables. It also sells tickets for the integrated metropolitan.
The Bee Line is a bus service that travels in a loop from the Glenelg tram terminus at Victoria Square to the City West campus of the University of South Australia. The City Loop is another great way to see the city. Both the Bee Line and City Loop buses are free.
Hobart is the state capital of Tasmania. This region has a diverse and rich social and architectural history. It also is home to stunning mountain ranges (including some world famous trekking routes).
The Metro operates a local bus network. You can find an information desk dispensing timetables inside the main post office on the corner of Elizabeth and Macquarie Street. Fares depend on the distance traveled.
Canberra is the capital of Australia. It is where the political hub of Australia converge half-way between Melbourne and Sydney. It also features a plethora of Museums and Art galleries which showcase Australian arts and international exhibitions.
The public transport provider in Canberra is the ACT Internal Omnibus Network (ACTION). You can find its Civic Bus Interchanges along Alinga St, East Row and Mort St in the city centre. Just visit their information kiosk (East Row) for free route maps and timetables.
Travelling in Australia – Getting around
From Public Transportation, trains, or just walking from place to place, there are plenty of options for you to get around in Australia:
Australia has plenty of transportation option to get you from point A to point B. Australia’s public transportation system is safe and affordable (in some cases, its even free). From trains, buses, trams and ferries.
For information on buses, ferries and trains you can visit www.13100.com.au
Bus: Sydney’s bus network extends to most of the suburbs area. www.sydneybuses.info
Ferry: there are 3 different kind: regular STA ferries, fast Jet Cats that go to manly and river cats that traverse the Parramatta River to Parramatta. www.sydneyferries.info
Metro Light Rail & Monorail: MLR operates 24 hours a day between Central Station and Pyrmont via Darling Harbor and Chinatown. www.metrotranport.com.au
Train: Trains run from 5 am to midnight. www.cityrail.info
Met cards: allow you to travel on any and all Melbourne bus, train and tram services.
Trains: they do not go into many of the inner suburbs but you can find it at Flinders St Station is the main suburban terminal; starting at 5am and finish at midnight.
Bus: Buses continue from the trains finish up at and is great for shopping and other locations that are a must like hospital visits.
Tram: it covers the inner suburbs.
Boat: Brisbane’s City Cat catamarans run every 20 to 30 minutes, between 5:50 am to 10:30pm, from the University of Queensland in the southwest to Bretts.
Bus: runs every 10 minutes on weekdays between 7am and 6pm. Or Monday to Fridays from 5 am to 6pm.
Train: runs as far as Gympie North in the north (for the sunshine coast) and Nerand and Robina in the south (for the Gold Coast).
Boat: Ferries depart every half-hour, from 5am to 7pm on a daily base from the Barrack St Jetty to the zoo.
Bus: You runs from 6:50 am to 6:20 pm on weekdays.
Train: All local trains’ leaves from the Perth train station on Wellington St.
The Adelaide metro Information Centre has timetables and sells ticket for the integrated metropolitan buses, trains and the Glenelg tram. www.adelaidemetro.com.au
Bus: from Glenelg tram terminus at Victoria Square to the City West campus of the University of South Australia.
Train: Suburban trains depart from Adelaide Railway Terminal by the casino.
Bus: Darwin bus runs a service from its small deport.
Taxi: Darwin has two taxi bus services- Arafura Shuttle and unique Minibus.
Bus: Metro operates the local bus network
Bus: Alinga St, East Row and Mort St in the city centre is where you can find the busses. For free route maps and timetables www.action.act.gov.au.
Personal safety on public transport
Even though public transportation is safe in Australia you should still execute the necessary precaution as you would at home. Keep your bag close to you, observe your where about, who is around you, and keep your wallet, cell phone, iPod’s out of sight. If you’re traveling at night sit close to the driver, and just keep your eyes open.
Never hang around the train station or bus stations at night, if you must get on public transportation at night try to arrive right before the train deports to minimize the amount of waiting and if you have a buddy or a friend, use the ‘buddy system’.
Australia is a big continent, almost as big as the United States. You will be able to travel by buses, trains and other methods of transportation but be aware that some can be costly.
The two major airlines in Australia are Qantas (www.qantas.com.au) and Virgin Blue (www.virginblue.com.au). These airlines fly between all capital cities and many regional centers. Australia has several regional airline carriers. Jet star (www.jetstar.com.au) is the low-cost airlines affiliated with Qantas and Tiger Airways (tigerairways.com.au) flies to most Australian capitals and some regional cities, as well as REX (www.rex.com.au) carries passengers to mostly regional areas in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Trains and buses
For traveling outside the city you live in you can also hop on a train and take a ride. You can find a comprehensive list of train services, fairs and timetables at www.railaustralia.com.au.
For a list of that operating with Australia, visit www.buslines.com.au
Your own transportation
At some point during your stay you might decide to purchase your own vehicle or transportation, such as in a second hand bicycle, that can be purchase for about $200 and a good second hand car can be found for less than $10,000. And if you are purchasing a second hand vehicle remember it’s always best to have it inspected by a reputable mechanic to ensure it is working appropriately; According to the Australian Government guide for international students.
Just like in every location when you buy a car you are responsible for registration, repairs, fuel, insurance, accidents, parking and service costs. It is compulsory to buy third party insurance which will cover the damage to other cars or property if you have an accident. You can also take out an insurance policy that covers the cost for damage to your vehicle. The cost varies from location to location, and your age, driving record and the type of car you own plays a factor.
If you will be in Australia for a period of no more than three months, you can drive with an international driver’s license or a valid overseas driver’s license. You must carry a translation if the document is not in English. If you however plan to stay longer than the three months you will need to obtain an Australian drivers license by taking a test on highway codes and regulations.
Australians drive on the left side of the road and the maximum speed limit is 50km an hour in residential areas and 100km an hour on highways, unless the sign indicates otherwise. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offence, punishable by loss of license and sometimes it ends up with time in jail. Random breath testing, where the police stop your vehicle and measure the amount of alcohol you have consumed happens frequently, be prepared and always be a safe driver. For information on alcohol limits visit www.alcoholguidelines.gov.au.
Traffic cameras are in use at many intersections to monitor speeding cars or cars that do not stop at a red light you can be fine and lose points off of your license.
Seat belts for drivers and all passengers are compulsory; and when using cell phones pull over to the side of the road.