BEFORE YOU GO
If you're interested in a trip to Australia, you've come to the right place.
Below you'll find all the information you need about how to pack for your adventure, what to prepare for logistically with your flights and travel documents, and the nitty-gritty details like whether or not you'll need bug spray. Take a look and let us know if you have any additional questions! We're always happy to chat and can be reached directly at 1.888.870.0903.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE?
That depends on where you go and when you go. Winter, the wettest and coolest season in Australia, lasts from June through August. Summer, which is the hottest and driest season, lasts from December through February. Tropical northern Australia has only two seasons—a wet season and a dry one. The wet season corresponds with summer and lasts from November through April. The dry season corresponds with winter and lasts from May through October. The weather during the dry season is warm and predictable making it more favorable for travel.
Q: HOW MUCH CAN I PACK?
For smaller private charter flights and helicopter transfers, luggage is restricted to one small bag weighing 33 pounds max per person. Duffle bags are preferred as they are easier to load in the helicopter. If you have excess luggage each aviation company can safely store this while you are traveling. Please be aware that in some instances the pilot may ask you to re-pack into a supplied duffle bag if your luggage is too large.
Q: DO I NEED TO BRING MY OWN BINOCULARS?
Yes! Our recommendation is to get a pair from Maven or Leica with a magnification of 10 x 42.
Q: CAN I USE MY CELL PHONE?
Even if you have an international plan, you may or may not get service in Australia. Check with your provider before leaving the country. But hey, don’t you want to unplug anyway?
Q: HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
Australia’s currency is the Australian dollar (AUD), comprising of 100 cents. It’s a good idea to carry about $300 per person in AUD. Credit cards such as Visa, American Express, and MasterCard are all widely accepted (just make sure you tell your bank you're traveling ahead of time). Come with a few options so you’re not scrambling, and remember to store everything in a money belt or pouch for safe keeping.
Q: WHAT'S THE DEAL ON TIPPING?
Tipping is a personal and individual matter; the decision to tip and how much to give is entirely yours. That being said, tipping in bars, hotels, and other service industries in Australia is uncommon. If you chose to anyway, keep in mind most people in Australia add 10% of the bill, not 20%. Insider knowledge: the term “tip” in Australia actually refers to a garbage dump, not gratuities.
Q: AUSTRALIA HAS LOTS OF BUGS, RIGHT?
It’s true, and they’re really big. And sometimes, these bugs carry things like dengue fever. We suggest packing, and using, insect repellent containing deet for peace of mind. But in general, the risk of exposure to disease while traveling in Australia is no greater than the risk in North America.
Q: CAN YOU DRINK THE WATER?
Tap water is generally very safe to drink all over Australia and you will be provided with bottled water on the rare occasion it isn’t. Plus, Australia has some of the world’s best wines and locally brewed boutique beers. Keep in mind that Australian beer has higher alcohol content than American beer, generally around 4.9%.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND VACCINATIONS
PASSPORT & VISAS
A current passport and visa are necessary for entrance into Australia. Visa application forms are available from Australian diplomatic missions overseas or travel agents and are generally valid for up to 6 months within a 12-month period and incur a processing fee. For a stay of less than 3 months, a visa can be issued by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) for Australia. The ETA is an electronically stored authority for travel to Australia for short-term visits or business entry. It replaces the visa label or stamp in a passport and removes the need for application forms. An ETA is issued within seconds by computer links between the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), travel agents, airlines and specialist service providers around the world. Service providers enter the information contained in the applicant’s passport into the ETA system via their existing travel or airline reservation system. The system performs an on-line check of DIMA warning records, and if no adverse record is detected, the service provider is advised that the ETA has been granted. No evidence of the ETA is needed, as it is electronically stored in the system. Airlines and travel agents participating in the ETA system can confirm its existence on behalf of travelers. Please visit the here for further information and to apply for your ETA.
Before you leave home, make several photocopies of your passport. We also recommend bringing at least two extra 2x2 passport photographs. This will facilitate the replacement of your passport in the event your passport is lost or stolen. Keep your passport, money, vouchers, and international air tickets in a money belt or pouch.
- Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of entry into antarctica
- Please have 4 blank pages in your passport, you world traveler you!
Australia is a healthy and hospitable region to visit. However, health concerns throughout the world change regularly so we strongly recommend that you consult your physician regarding medications and immunizations that are recommended or mandatory. You can also check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The following vaccinations are highly recommended:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Yearly flu shot
CHARGERS AND ADAPTORS
Australia operates on 220-voltage electricity, so converters and adapters are necessary. Several properties provide charging stations, but it is advised that you bring your own adaptors for charging equipment. For Australia you will need an adaptor for plug Type I.
THINGS YOU'LL NEED
- Short and long-sleeved shirts
- Casual pants and shorts (think khakis or yoga-style gear)
- 1-2 nice outfits for nights out in the city and evening events
- Underclothes and socks
- Bathing suit
- Jacket or light windbreaker
- Comfortable and functional walking shoes, including sandals
- Fleece/sweater or sweatshirt
- Insect repellent with deet
- SPF 30+, sunglasses, and hat
- Extra money and money belt to securely carry all passports, vouchers, and air tickets
- Normal prescriptions and traveler’s meds for heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, etc.
- Doctor’s note if you have a metal hip, knee replacement, etc.
- Small backpack to carry belongings during excursions
Remember! Your carry-on should include your passport, money, toiletries, camera, and a spare set of clothes.
WHEN YOU'RE IN THE AIR
Check-in time for all international flights is three hours prior to departure time. This allows for delays at the security screening units in each terminal. There is no first class fast track through security screening, so get there early to avoid any stress.
All scheduled and charter flights are subject to unique weight limits that cannot be exceeded for safety reasons. Please ensure your checked duffel bag and carry-on meet these requirements for ease of travel. If this limit is exceeded, then travelers will be held responsible for the extra costs incurred to upgrade the flight, or may have to leave luggage behind. All flights are subcontracted to independent aviation companies who are entirely responsible, and therefore liable, for all aspects of the flying operation.
First of all, take a deep breath. You’ve already packed a spare set of clothes, your passport, money, and camera in your carry-on. Next, provide your airline with contact and delivery information for your first stop. Let our ground operator there know that your luggage has been lost, and they will track it while you enjoy your stay.
Sydney is a treasure for foodies, wine lovers, and anyone who appreciates fusion dining. Attracting some of the world’s top chefs, the New South Wales’ capital is sure to impress you with creative fare that showcases regional ingredients from all over Australia. Below are some of our favorite ways and places to enjoy the tastes and flavors Down Under. Let us know if we've left out your favorite!
This hidden treasure, located on a dimly lit street in the Chippendale area of Sydney, has quickly become a neighborhood gem in the short time it’s been in town. Award winning Ester features innovative and eclectic dishes, most notably some of their meat dishes like the steak tartare and bone marrow, both of which have received rave reviews. A small and cozy space with a festive vibe, Ester should be on your list if you find yourself in “Chippo” as the neighborhood is called by locals.
In the same Chippendale neighborhood you’ll find Clayton Wells’ newest restaurant feat. Formerly of Momofuku and Tetsuya, Wells will continue to impress by featuring an ever-changing five course tasting menu. This highly anticipated August 2015 opening will feature a 60 seat restaurant on the ground floor of the Old Clare Hotel.
Over in Elizabeth Bay, you’ll find chef Kylie Kwong’s fresh take on Chinese cooking. Kwong, whose favorite winter produce is organic Tuscan kale, has created a lighter and brighter Australian approach to this popular Sydney cuisine. One famed dish, the “Chinese Bush tucker” showcases braised wallaby tail with black bean and chili, while the whole menu offers an inventive take on Cantonese dishes. Always one of the top restaurants in Sydney Australia!
THE BAXTER INN
This candle-lit basement bar is a must see for scotch lovers. Situated in city center, The Baxter Inn is a perfect place to unwind, enjoy the ambiance, and sample some of the establishment’s 360 different whiskeys before heading on to your next spot.
10 WILLIAM STREET
Noted for its wine list by locals and visitors, alike, this Paddington gem has a helpful staff and friendly vibe. In fact, many Sydney chefs have named 10 William Street as one of the places they enjoy dining at on nights off. And Chef Daniel Pepperell has folks buzzing about his deliciously arranged small plates and wine pairings.
This “less is more” pizzaria in Surry Hills, is known for simple, yet high quality ingredients on their wood-fired pizzas. Vacanza, which is Italian for “vacation”, has a jovial and friendly vibe, and some tasty dessert options like the Nutella calzone.
MOVIDA BAR DE TAPAS
Also in Surry Hills is Movida, which has gained notoriety from its sister establishments in Melbourne, Movida Next Door and Movida Aqui. Be prepared to wait if you’ve got a big group and are dining at peak weekend times, but according to reviews, the wait is worth it! Spanish style tapas dishes of quail stuffed with chicken pate, anchovies with smoked tomato sorbet, or pork ribs and patatas bravas will have your mouth watering.
Voted by Time Out Sydney as the best restaurant of 2015, locals, chefs, and industry experts all agree that ACME should be on your list when visiting. Locals rave about everything from the house made pasta, so delicate it’s like silk, to the Jerusalem artichoke ice cream.
LP’S QUALITY MEATS
If you’re traveling from the states and want a taste of some down home bbq, check out this award winning spot. Just about everything is smoked, even the delectable wagyu carpaccio, and don’t knock the familiar sides like the comfort food favorite mashed potatoes. This Chippendale spot also offers take out service if you want to enjoy this delicious food back at your hotel instead of eating out in Sydney.
IN CASE YOU MISS US
If your family needs to contact you for emergency reasons while you are away, please have them call the Outside GO office in Santa Fe at (505) 795-7710.
For after hour emergencies, please use the following:
SANDY CUNNINGHAM | (505) 231-0699 | firstname.lastname@example.org
BRITTANY BENGRY | (616) 401-9058 | email@example.com
CHIP CUNNINGHAM | (505) 231-0355 | firstname.lastname@example.org
ON THE GROUND
The Tailor | Drew Kluska & Kylie Damen 24 hour duty phone: +61 (0)499 988 244
- When dialing from the United States, the U.S. exit code “011” must be dialed prior to the international number
- When dialing locally within Australia, the numbers should be dialed as listed without the country code “61”
- When dialing Australia from any other country, dial the country exit code (specific to your current location) prior to the number listed