Australia is often on the list of top destinations for travellers looking for a change of scenery and adventure. Indeed, Australia’s 25.7 million inhabitants and 7,692,060 km² area, which covers most of the land of Oceania, reveals a unique culture and biodiversity to its visitors. Travelling to Australia is, therefore, a fantastic experience!
Do you want to visit the land of kangaroos? Discover tips and valuable information in this article that will help you organize your trip and leave for Australia well-prepared.
What season to travel to Australia?
When planning to travel to Australia, temperature and climate are essential criteria. Indeed, to make the most of your stay, the choice of the season directly impacts the weather that will welcome you on-site.
As far as the seasons are concerned, it is essential to bear in mind that these are the opposite of those of the northern hemisphere and that the seasons are therefore reversed: when in France it is summer, in Australia it is winter.
Australia is a very vast country and is characterized by a unique climate and climatic variations that are specific to each season and each region. To distinguish them, it is necessary to know the country’s geography. It is known that the equatorial climate is located at the northern tip of the country, the tropical climate in the north, the subtropical in the southwest, the desert in the centre and the temperate climate in the southeast. South Australia is often the favourite tourist destination, as the environment is close to that of Western countries.
To make the most of your trip, it is essential to find out about the weather and the temperatures you may encounter, depending on the seasons and the regions you wish to visit.
What are the formalities for entering Australia for a tourist stay?
Travelling to Australia requires a specific administrative organization, and above all comes the visa question. A valid visa is essential to enter the country, whether for a short or long stay. But which one to choose?
The eVisitor Visa / Tourist Visa
European citizens can apply for an eVisitor visa (subclass 651), also called the “Tourist Visa”, for less than 3 months in Australian territory. The eVisitor visa is free and individual; that is to say, each member of the same family must have this famous sesame, including a child under 18 declared on the passport of one of his parents. Each visa is valid for one year after its date of issue for a stay not exceeding 3 months in Australia. The request for authorization to enter Australian soil must be made outside, ideally 2 weeks before the scheduled departure.
The Visitor Visa
For stays longer than three months, travellers can apply for the Visitor Visa (subclass 600), allowing them to stay for up to 12 months. You will note that this visa is paid for. The cost is 145 AUD if you apply from your home country or 370 AUD if you use it locally.
Those who wish to carry out training or studies whose duration does not exceed 3 months can benefit from the eVisitor visa. Those who want to study in Australia for more than 3 months must apply for the Student Visa (subclass 500), which allows them to study full-time in a specialized establishment (University, school, etc.). This visa does not impose any age limit and costs 630 AUD or around 400 €.
Working Holiday Visa
If you wish to participate in the Working Holiday Program (PVT), also called Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in English, in Australia. You must apply for a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417).
With an initial duration of 12 months, the WHV for the French is renewable up to two times. This type of visa is an excellent way to discover Australia while being able to work on-site; it is an opportunity to achieve unique professional experiences. The visa application remains the same whether your PVT project is nomadic or sedentary.
The costs associated with the Working Holiday visa application amount to AU$495, or approximately €300.
How to apply for a visa to Australia?
For most visas, you can apply online from the Australian Immigration website. First, you will need to select the desired visa and fill out an application form, including several types of information: contact details, the purpose of travel, duration, nationality, etc.
Following your request, with a bit of patience, you will receive an email containing the electronic version of your visa. Depending on the type of visa requested and the checks carried out by the Australian authorities, this can take between 1 day and several months. To avoid problems, it is better to be well-informed and to do it in advance!
If you must go to Australia urgently, know that it is possible to apply for an emergency visa plus an application fee for processing your application.
What are the means of transport in Australia?
Australia is huge, and long distances separate most major cities. To move from point A to point B, there are several means of transport; it’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best!
Most major cities in the country have an airport. This is very useful, fast and effective for the most extended distances. Several local airlines that use the same routes compete with each other and the international airlines that serve the country. Airfares are very competitive and are therefore accessible to all.
For long-distance journeys, the plane is the favourite. A trip from Brisbane to Adelaide (2034 km) takes about 2h35 of flight against more than 24h by train.
Despite its 41,000 kilometres of railway tracks, Australians prefer to avoid the train for long-distance journeys. Nevertheless, it remains a popular means of transport for tourists travelling to Australia. The main reason: is the length of the trips. If some find it too long, others take the opportunity to admire the landscapes and explore the country. The train is undoubtedly a perfect way to appreciate the diversity of Australia.
Regarding the price of Australian train tickets, for long distances, you have to put your hand in your wallet and pay sums which can sometimes be high.
On the other hand, to travel in the suburbs or large cities such as Sydney, there are frequent train services at more than reasonable fares.
Travelling in Australia by bus requires patience, a lot of patience. The distances are enormous, and numerous stops lengthen the travel time. However, the bus remains the least expensive means of transport. Bus companies offer formulas for unlimited travel, especially between the country’s major cities: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Cairns.
Car, motorhome or van
Travelling Australia by van or car is arguably the best way to explore Australia in slow travel mode. Indeed, Australia is gigantic: if you choose this mode of transport, we advise you to plan a long trip, minimum 3 months.
You can rent one from companies located all over the country and at airports.
Small important point: Australians drive on the left like in the United Kingdom, so you will have to review some traffic rules before hitting the road.
Our partner, Génération Voyage, shares their best tips for exploring Australia by van.
To facilitate your journeys by car, there are ferries. Ferries are very famous in the country; they save travellers considerable time. Indeed, the “ferries” allow you to go from point A to B by boat with your vehicle.
Several ferry operators cover the main ports of the country. This is very practical and represents a real-time saver, especially for long journeys or to travel to certain islands such as Tasmania.
Must-see destinations and attractions in Australia
The Australian territory has a multitude of surprises in store for you! You will have appointments in the country’s four corners to discover Australia’s beauty and live unforgettable moments. We share with you the “must-do” during a trip to the land of Oz, discover the must-see destinations and attractions.
If you have to choose to visit an Australian city, we recommend cosmopolitan Sydney. A city of contrasts, its main attractions are the Sydney Opera House, the Harbor Bridge and Port Jackson Bay. Its historic districts and its golden beaches make its visit very pleasant. Meanwhile, its “Taronga Zoo” and the Sydney Aquarium are a delight for families visiting the city.
Uluru, also called Ayers Rock, is an Australian must-see located in the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, in the heart of the arid Red Center region. This colossal rock symbolises the country and the Aboriginal history of the Northern Territory. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stone is a sacred place for the Aborigines. Know that it changes colours depending on the light; at sunset, it shows itself in its most intense red: a splendour!
Great Ocean Road
The direction south of the country to travel on the B100 road nicknamed the Great Ocean Road. One of the most beautiful coastal roads in the country and the world. It offers an incredible ocean view while allowing you to explore the wild coast and the tropical forests. You can also see the famous local animals, namely kangaroos and wild koalas.
If you love Kangaroos, be sure to visit Kangaroo Island! Located off Adelaide in the country’s south, this island is a true paradise for animal lovers. With more than 18 natural parks, it represents the wild island par excellence. You can observe kangaroos in freedom, but not only: penguins, opossums, wallabies or koalas flourish there in peace.
The Australian islands are sublime, but if you had to choose just one to visit, it would probably be Tasmania. Located in the south of the country, it is the only island state in Australia. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a wilderness area, Tasmania is a unique destination for its preserved flora. You can meet an emblematic animal there: the Tasmanian devil.
The great coral barrier
The Great Barrier Reef: the largest coral reef in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site, it is the world’s largest reef and the eighth wonder of the world. With its 2000 kilometres in the Pacific Ocean, the coral reef is the coral massif considered the largest living organism on earth. It is the only one visible from space. Incredible, isn’t it? If you are lucky enough to get there, you can stay on several mainland islands transformed into holiday resorts.
Do not miss diving in the turquoise waters to meet the magnificent underwater species; you will not regret it! The best time to dive on the Great Barrier Reef is mid-August and mid-December.