Disclaimer: This information is collated from official sources but general in nature. Entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Keep checking for the latest advice from your local government, embassy, or consulate to confirm any visa or entry requirements before travel.
Things around the world are gradually returning to normal as the global vaccine rollout gains momentum. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep this article updated with any new info. So, can we travel to Australia? Read on for the latest updates.
AM I ALLOWED TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA?
The Prime Minister has announced a series of major changes to Australia’s international border rules which will allow thousands of overseas arrivals – including working holiday makers – to enter from December 2021.
From December, all valid visa holders who have been fully-vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the TGA (i.e. AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) will be allowed to enter Australia without needing to apply for a special exemption.
This includes working-holiday visa holders such as backpackers, international students, and skilled workers. Australia will also establish travel bubbles with Japan and South Korea, similar to that already in effect with Singapore and previously in action with New Zealand. Travellers will need to do a PCR test before boarding their flight and show evidence of full vaccination. This is a huge step towards fully reopening the borders for all tourists in early 2022!
To enter Australia you need to be a citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder in one of the categories mentioned above, so normal tourist visas remain suspended for now.
If you’re ready to embark on an Aussie working holiday, the good news is you can apply now for either a Working Holiday visa (417) or Work and Holiday visa (462), depending on where your passport is from. Due to the backlog of visas, the processing time is longer than normal, so be patient!
Travellers to Australia should also complete an Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure.
NEGATIVE COVID RESULT
Evidence of a negative Covid PCR test taken 72 hours or less before departure must be shown before travelling to Australia.
DO I NEED A VACCINE?
Yes. To travel to Australia as a visa holder it will be mandatory to be fully-vaxxed against Covid-19 with a vaccine recognised by the TGA (i.e. AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson).
PROOF OF INSURANCE
Travel insurance is not necessary for citizens, residents, or immediate family members. However, it is highly recommended for all visitors.
From December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to travel to Australia without a travel exemption or needing to quarantine, as long as they enter through New South Wales or Victoria. Find out more on the government website.
Un-vaccinated arrivals will still need to quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility in their port of arrival. Travellers may be required to pay for the costs of quarantine depending on the state or territory.
When entering businesses such as bars, restaurants and shops it is mandatory to check in with a QR code to record your presence.
RESTRICTIONS & OPEN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Masks must be worn on all flights, including in airports, and most public transport. Restrictions on mask wearing, open businesses and tourist attractions varies across states, but now that Australia is at an average of 85% double vaccinated, most things are open!
Each country has different restrictions for travellers arriving from abroad. For information relevant to your situation, keep up to date with local government announcements.
In the UK, international travel restrictions apply under a simplified two-tier system from October 2021. The good news is that Australia is GREEN, so once the country fully opens to tourism we will be ready to restart our small group tours! Find out more about UK travel restrictions here.
BOTTOM LINE: Vaccinated working holiday makers and students can apply for their Australian visa from today and enter quarantine-free from December 2021! Full reopening to tourists will be soon to follow as Australia safely reopens to the world. Start packing your bags, folks!
Travelling Australia is an epic adventure, and joining one of our group tours in Australia once it reopens is the best way to experience it! Whether you’re on a short holiday, travelling on a gap year or anything in between, on our Oz trips we’ll show you the best of this extraordinary country with a new bunch of friends. We will update this article and our COVID page as official news breaks about international borders and when we can recommence our group tours in Australia.
NOTE: This information is general and restrictions are subject to change, so keep in touch with the latest official advice from your local government and Australian authorities.
WHEN WILL AUSTRALIA FULLY REOPEN TO TOURISM?
Australia’s tourism sector relies heavily on international travel. Under the government’s national reopening plan, international borders are undergoing a phased reopening through the end of 2021/early 2022. Allowing fully-vaccinated Australians to leave and return without quarantine, entry for eligible visa holders from December, and opening travel bubbles with Korea, Singapore and Japan are all huge steps towards Australia fully reopening to tourists over the next few months!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL AUSTRALIA?
Massive and diverse, it’s always a good time to go backpacking in Australia! It is a whole continent, after all. In the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere. This means that English and American winter is Aussie summer, making it the perfect time to being your travel and beat the cold at home.
The coastal areas of NSW, Victoria, South Australia, and the southern part of Western Australia have temperate climates that make summer the perfect time to experience Australia’s lovely warm weather. Even if you travel Australia in winter, most regions don’t experience very cold temperatures. It rarely gets below 0°C unless you are at the snow.
Queensland, Northern Australia, and the northern part of Western Australia are home to tropical climates that experience a rainy and dry season, much like Asia. The dry season runs during the winter from May to October. But don’t let “winter” fool you, these climates remain fairly warm year round. Read more about visiting Australia in the off season here.
The outback of Australia is a desert climate that has hot days and cool nights. To make the most of Aussie weather, consider starting your journey in an area that is in peak season (i.e. Sydney or Melbourne in summer), then travelling around as the seasons change.
WHY VISIT AUSTRALIA?
It may be a long haul flight away, but experiencing the beauty, diversity and laid-back lifestyle that Australia is known for is 100% worth the journey. From fabulous sightseeing to unique wildlife encounters, there’s nothing you can’t do when backpacking in Australia.
Famous for its Harbour Bridge, Opera House and dazzling beaches, Australia’s biggest city needs months to explore fully. Whatever your Australia travel itinerary, make sure Sydney is on it for at LEAST a few days. Grab an early morning coffee in Bondi before a yoga class, catch the iconic ferry to Manly for some beach time and fish n’ chips, road trip to the Blue Mountains for epic views, indulge in the best multicultural cuisine in Chinatown, learn to surf like a local, drink craft beer in the trendy inner-west, end your night at a rooftop bar in the city centre…. the list of things to do is remarkably long in this shimmering harbour city.
EXPERIENCE WONDERS OF NATURE
A country so big has to include plenty of natural marvels, right? Right. From the magnificent Great Barrier Reef to the harsh beauty of the outback, there are countless sights worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. Apart from the usual highlights, some other spots to put on your Australia travel bucket list include the Bungle Bungles in West Australia, Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Kakadu in the Northern Territory, Ningaloo Reef in West Australia, the Snowy Mountains in NSW, and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
ADOPT THE ULTIMATE LAID-BACK LIFESTYLE
Australians are welcoming, culturally diverse, and embrace the relaxed lifestyle that living near a coastline with fantastic weather provides, so it’s an easy bet that you’ll fall in love with the Aussie way of life. Imagine getting up for a morning swim, commuting amongst sunshine and clean air, working for good wage, and having abundant choices of venues and places to finish off the day with a schooner (beer). Work/life balance is key to physical and mental health, so it’s no wonder that so many people choose to move to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Check out our Australia work and travel packages here to start planning your own adventure!
MEET FURRY LOCALS
From whale watching to cuddling koalas, there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with Australia’s iconic wildlife. Most Aussie animals are endemic – meaning they’re found nowhere else on earth – and an animal encounter is guaranteed to be a highlight of your visit. Ethical sanctuaries and wild animal spotting experiences can be found all over the country, some of our favourites include watching the penguin parade at Phillip Island and meeting the quokkas on Rottnest Island.
MELBOURNE’S PRETTY GREAT, TOO
Sydney steals a lot of attention, but if travelling around Australia we absolutely recommend visiting Melbourne. Australia’s second biggest urban hub has a European flair, unbeatable coffee culture, and a booming arts and culture scene that spans from graffiti artists to symphony orchestras. Travel to Melbourne and you’ll see why it’s been voted the world’s most liveable city, and don’t forget to munch on some avocado toast. Read more about things to do in Melbourne on our blog here!
If the Land Down Under sounds like your kind of adventure, click through to check out our Australia small group tours and working holiday packages here. With expertly crafted itineraries, the guidance of a knowledgeable group leader, full end-to-end support, and a new group of friends to make memories with, our trips are the ultimate way to discover a new country! Oh, and did we mention that all of the activities on our itineraries are included? You heard right – everything we mention is included in the tour – no extra payments required. Travel with a group and enjoy the best of Australia, stress free.
With flexible booking policies and complete support during this uncertain time, you can be confident when booking with INTRO. Get ready to say G’day in 2022.