Do I need a Visa?
Australia requires a visa of visitors. A visitor’s visa can be applied for via the following link:
This is an electronic visa that will be attached to your passport, requiring no additional paperwork. The site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but you should apply for your visa at least 2 weeks before your planned departure date to ensure your trip will not be delayed if there are any delays in obtaining your visa. In most cases, the approval will be instantaneous. Before clicking on the link, have your passport and credit card handy. The Visa costs AUS$20 that must be paid at time of application.
The ETA visa is allowed for travelers from the countries of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the USA.
Please bear in mind that if you are traveling to Australia from Europe, there is a different system you must use, which you can access from the above link.
Citizens from all other countries must go to their local Australian Embassy to apply for a visa, and should allow sufficient time for their application to be processed.
This is a short-term visitor’s visa. It is good for 12 months, and allows the traveler to visit as many times as needed during that period for up to 3 months.
Will I need a voltage converter?
Australia has a 220 volt electrical system and a socket type AS-3112. The sockets are three prong and the prongs turn inward. There are no outlets like this in the USA, so before you go, you should purchase a plug adapter for around $20 at any large hardware or electronics store. It is best to get one that will work in multiple countries, so you can use it on future vacations elsewhere. If you are traveling with small appliances that are not compatible with a 220/240 volt system, you will also need a voltage converter. These cost a little more, but there are all-in-one products out there. Most phones and small appliances sold in the USA are compatible with both a 120 and a 220 system. If you are in doubt, look at the imprint on the back or bottom of the device. The voltage compatibility will usually be listed. If in doubt, bring a converter. Plugging an appliance that is not compatible with a 220 volt system will ruin the appliance and possible burn out the outlet, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
What is the weather like?
Australian weather can be very fickle. It is said that one can experience all four seasons in one day in Melbourne – and it is best to be prepared for these wild weather fluctuations! The farther north you go, the more tropical the weather. It is also important to remember their seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere, so if you are traveling in July, you should pack for cool winter temperatures. In the south of the country, the temperatures can reach 0 degrees farhenheit at night during winter months, with daytime temperatures hovering in the 40′s and 50′s. The weather is often drizzly or overcast during this time of year. In summer months, the temperatures can get well over 100 degrees. The air is rather dry in the south, and very humid and sticky in the north. The country has swung from a severe, 15-year long drought to an over-abundance of rain in the past 2 years. This has not fared well for Queensland, which has seen significant flooding. Be sure to check local weather conditions for the area you wish to visit prior to departing for your trip. Arriving to find your hotel is closed due to flooding would certainly put a damper on your vacation! You can check the current weather along with forecasts for regions throughout Australia using the link below: