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Traveller's Tips For Australia



All visitors to Australia, except New Zealand nationals, require a visit visa, which must be obtained before departure.  A fee is charged for the visa and the visit visas issued to Arabian Gulf nationals will be multiple entry, valid for 2 years.  Given the internal visa processing procedures, please always apply for your visa 2 weeks prior to departure.  Numerous ways exist for applying for a visit visa, one convenient way of which, for GCC nationals, is via Lawand Tourism


Getting There

Numerous excellent airlines cover the Middle East/Australia route.  The flying time from the Middle East to the South East Asia ranges between 6 to 8 hours and the flying time from the South East Asia to the major centres in Australia varies between 6 to 8 hours.  A trip to Australia allows for experiencing up to 2 South East destinations in addition to the main stay in Australia.  And, several options now exist for non-stop flights to Australia from the GCC, the time ranging between 13 and 14 hours.  While Australia is a long-haul destination, it is absolutely worth it and with airlines now offering an amazing array of on-board services, movies and games, a flight to Australia will be completed quickly indeed
Some of the Regional carriers that covers main Australian Cites:
1- Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi)
2- Emirates (Dubai)
3- Qatar Airways (Doha)
4- Cathay Pacific(Hong Kong)
5- Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
6- Thai Airways (Bangkok)



All of Australia’s capital cities are served by a wide variety of public transport, including trains, buses, ferries, light rail and trams.  Metered taxis operate in abundance in all major cities and towns.  There is a minimum "flag fall" charge and a charge for the distance travelled.  Small additional charges are made for luggage and telephone reservations.  Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped, but will accept gratuities.  Lawand Tourism offers a wide range of transfers, in all the major Australian cities.



In Cairns and the islands, lightweight clothing (natural fibers) is suitable all year round.  In Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne, summers (December, January, February) are warm to hot and therefore lightweight clothes are suitable, whereas winters (June, July, August) are cool, requiring warmer clothes such as a sweater, a jacket or a light coat.  During Australian summers, a sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen lotion are essential



English is Australia's official language.  Do not hesitate to ask questions - Australians are very friendly.  Most of the staff in the Lawand Tourism Lounge in Gold Coast speak Arabic and are happy to assist you.


Avoid Jetlag And Airsickness

Flying to Australia from the Arabian Gulf may cause jetlag as three time zones are crossed.  Precautions such as the following may assist you to minimise these effects:

  • Drink plenty of water during your flight
  • Avoid alcoholic, caffeine based and carbonated beverages during your flight
  • Sleep during your flight if it is night time at your destination
  • Eat lightly and follow a bland diet
  • Exercise, even lightly, every hour during your flight - stretch your back, arms and leg muscles etc.
  • Reset your watch at the beginning of your flight to the time zone you are visiting

Customs Regulations / Prohibited Items

No duty in applicable on personal effects brought into Australia.  Adults may bring 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or tobacco.  Other dutiable goods to the value of AUD900 for adults (AUD450 for persons under 18 years) may be included duty free

Strict laws prohibit or restrict the entry of drugs, weapons, firearms and quarantine items such as food, fruits, vegetables, seeds, animals, plants, etc.  You must declare all these on your Incoming Passenger Card and you will be directed to the red channel exits in the arrival baggage hall, where a Quarantine Officer will inspect your items to ensure they will not harm Australia's plant, animal and human health.  More information on what can be brought into Australia can be obtained from the website “http://www.customs.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Arabic-GuideforTravellers-KBYGBrochure.pdf

There is no limit on the personal funds you may bring into Australia or that you may take out.  However, you must declare amounts of AUD10,000 or more in Australian currency or foreign equivalent.  You must also disclose any promissory notes, traveller’s cheques, personal cheques, money orders, postal orders or other bearer negotiable instruments, regardless of value, if requested by a Customs and Border Protection officer or police officer


Australians drive on the left side of the road, unlike in the Middle East.  Seat belts must be worn at all times, in the front and back seats.  A valid driver's license from any of the Middle East countries is acceptable but if this is not in English, you will need a valid International Driver's Permit


Australia’s unit of currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).  Notes come in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.  Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations.  Australian dollars can be purchased at major banks or large exchange companies in the Middle East.  Exchange facilities are available at all international airports in Australia.  Changing foreign currency or travellers cheque can be done quickly and efficiently at most banks throughout Australia.  The Lawand Lounge in Gold Coast offers convenient exchange facilities, accepting USD and all Arabian Gulf currencies.

AUD10,000 or in foreign currency equivalent must be reported on arrival or before departure.

All major credit cards, such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club are widely accepted throughout Australia.


Eating In and Eating Out

Modern supermarkets carry a wide range of high quality processed and fresh foods and beverages.  Restaurants are plentiful in Australia, from fast food chains such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC to the finest of international cuisines.  Many restaurants, throughout Australia, are Halal certified.  Seafood is an Australian specialty and fresh oysters, prawns, crab, lobster and fish must be sampled



Tipping is not expected, although for good service, a 10% tip is acceptable



220-240 Volts AC 50hz.  The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from that in the Middle East and inexpensive adaptors are sold in numerous outlets throughout Australia.  All Gold Coast accommodation bookings made through Lawand Tourism will have complimentary adaptor/s waiting for them in their accommodation upon check-in


Medical / Health Services

Services are excellent but fees can be high.  We recommend travel insurance be taken before departure



Australia is a multi-cultural society and all major religions are represented.  A large number of mosques are available and are easily accessible in the main cities in Australia.  Lawand Tourism offers a complimentary return transfer to the mosque in Gold Coast, for Friday prayer, during the peak Arab season



Smoking is not permitted in government buildings, in enclosed public areas and on public transport and airports.  Smoking is prohibited on all international flights in and out of Australia and on all domestic flights


Local calls from public phones are untimed and cost 50 cents.  Public phones accept Australian coins or phone cards, which can be purchased from most news agencies.  International roaming agreements exist between the telecommunication companies in Australia and those in the Middle East countries.  Numerous SIM card providers exist in Australia.  Many suppliers do not activate the card though.  Lawand Tourism offers very reliable SIM cards, recommending one of these depending on your type of usage (internet vs. calls) and will activate all its cards, free of charge



When in Australia, dial ‘000’ for Fire, Police or Ambulance


Tax Refund

A GST of 10% applies on most purchases in Australia but tourists can claim a refund at the international airport departure gate for goods purchased in Australia and taken out of Australia.  The refund applies to goods bought in one store, costing over AUD300 in total, and carried out of Australia, as hand luggage.  Further information can be obtained from the website www.customs.gov.au (Tourist Refund Scheme)



Australia is generally a safe destination with travellers enjoying unhindered travel experiences in terms of their personal safety and security.  A stable political system, well-maintained roads, a low crime rate and a high standard of health contribute to making Australia a safe and easy country to explore



Australian labour laws restrict the weight of any one piece of luggage to a maximum of 32kg.  This is strictly adhered to and any bag weighing more than 32kg will be required to be repacked or will be refused at check-in.  Lawand Tourism offers a luggage cargo service from its offices in Gold Coast and Sydney, where luggage is airfreighted from Australia to any airport in the Middle East