Beach to Bush, Great Barrier Reef to Ayers Rock, Kangaroos and Koalas - Australia has so much to offer for a short or long visit. Travellers are drawn to the extensive coastline 25,800km long and dusted by 7000 beaches many of which are picture postcard pristine white sand bays washed by turquoise surf. Australia is also home to 500 national parks including rainforests, empty outback, coastal dunes and rugged mountain ranges. Search Australia travel ideas today.
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Multiple international flight routes link Australia with the rest of the world, making it a popular destination to visit on a round the world flight or as a destination in its own right. Prices vary depending on the company and time of year.
With a relaxed lifestyle and a favourable climate, the idea of a holiday in Australia sounds great. But what does it take to make all the arrangements beyond an airline ticket? Here’s what you need to know. Travel visas are for people hoping to visit the country for a short or long term, perfect for international visitors. Just to travel in Australia you will need to apply for a visa, this applies even if you are just visiting as a tourist. Please don't expect to arrive at the airport without a visa and be let into the country.
Visas fall into a further tier of categories; short and long stay tourist visas or short and long validity business visas. The tourist visas are for those visiting the country for the purpose of sightseeing or to stay with relatives, the business visas are for people entering the country on business terms only. An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) can be applied for online and they are added to your passport instantly, meaning there isn’t a huge application process and hence they are the easiest of the Australian visas to obtain. Around 30,000 British citizens apply for a permanent visa every year, and many more for travel.
Whether you are venturing for a short, permanently or you are one of the many spending your time in the sun, Australia visas are essential when it comes to travelling Down Under. Tourist visas permit you to stay in the country for up to three months and the only thing you need in order to be eligible for a travel visa is a valid passport from an eligible country. Business visas are on a similar basis; short term business visas permit you to enter and conduct business within Australia for three months.
Make no mistake, Australia is hot. Only falling below 20 degrees C in the winter, the summer months of December to February regularly go above and beyond that. This year-long sunshine makes Australia what it is; an outdoor country. As such, there is a huge onus on outdoor activities and live sporting events. You can visit Australia all year round and not be dissapointed.
While many visitors will enjoy a traditional beach BBQ (or Barbie) of steak and prawns washed down with a beer or two during their stay, for the more active Australia is also home to some of the great waves on the planet, world class surf and some of the hottest surfers.
One of the worlds natural wonders, the diversity of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef is legendary and a boat ride out to the reef from Cairns or Port Douglas is an unforgettable experience. The reef which comprises thousands of individual reef systems, coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands is home to a spectacular abundance of marine life including colourful coral gardens, sponges, rays, dolphins and a mind boggling array of tropical fish. Australia has such extensive coastline that 112,600 surf lifesavers are employed to keep watch!
Away from the coast many people head out on an Outback Odyssey or Bush Walkabout to explore Australia's vast empty interior bush landscapes of burnt, bare and beautiful ochre. The most famous sites of all is Uluru (Ayers Rock) - a celebrated icon of Australia. No matter how many times you've seen it in postcards nothing prepares you for seeing the solitary and impressive landmark yourself - it appears as an ochre brown colour and at sunset becomes illuminated a burnished orange and burnt red.
Wildlife lovers will delight at meeting wallabies, wombats, possums and of course the famous kangaroo. Another well know antipodean animal unique to this part of the world is the Tasmanian devil which is actually type of hyena. Hiring a car which is a popular way to get around - the surf and sun run from Sydney to Cairns takes in 2864km of beaches, national parks, theme parks and surfing and can be completed in a few weeks.
Another popular run the Great Ocean road in Victoria loops and curls along Victoria's coastline with surf beaches and golden sands on one side and dense rainforests on the other. Sydney offers great nightlife and culture including concerts at the iconic Opera House and a fireworks spectacular centred on the landmark harbour bridge. Perth is know for its great pubs, bars and restaurants and foodies will love getting stuck in at the Melbourne's internationally renowned food and wine festival held each Feb and March. Wine is one of Australia's great exports and vineyards can be found in a number of regions. In New South Wales for example the Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in Australia where Shiraz, Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon vines have been grown since the early 1800's.
If you would like to travel to Australia we have a selection of authentic holidays and activity breaks where you can experience the highlights of the country and do something meaningful.
Australia is a very safe country to visit with a great modern health system and quite low crime compared to other worldwide destinations. If you are a UK resident you will get free medical treatment in emergencies throughout Australia but you will need to pay for doctors appointments though. Buy a good travel insurance policy to make sure you are totally covered.