Australia vacation travel guide
Why choose Australia?
Planning your Australia vacation
• Vaccinations: While Australia doesn’t have major vaccine-required diseases, it’s good to be up-to-date with routine vaccinations like tetanus and seasonal flu shots. Talk to your doctor or a travel clinic.
• Flight Booking: Research and book your flights well in advance, and consider our flight booking tips for more savings.
• Currency: The Australian Dollar (AUD) is the currency used in Australia. Card payments are widely accepted, but having some cash is useful for smaller transactions, especially in less urbanized areas or at local markets.
Australia packing tips
Australia’s weather varies greatly depending on the region and season, so pack accordingly. For warmer regions, lightweight clothing is ideal. If you’re visiting southern parts during winter, bring warmer clothes. Always include sun-safe attire as the Australian sun can be intense.
• High-SPF sunscreen
• Insect repellent
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Adapters for Type I outlets
• Binoculars (great for wildlife spotting)
Can't-miss Australia attractions
• Great Barrier Reef: One of the seven natural wonders of the world, this is the largest coral reef system on the planet, offering spectacular snorkeling and diving experiences.
• Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge: Iconic landmarks in Sydney, offering architectural beauty and stunning harbor views. You can even climb the bridge for a breathtaking panorama.
• The Great Ocean Road: A scenic drive along the southeastern coast famous for its dramatic ocean views, rainforests, and the Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations.
• Bondi Beach: Australia’s most famous beach, known for its golden sands and excellent surf.
• Barossa Valley: Renowned for its wine production, particularly Shiraz, this region near Adelaide is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts.
Our favorite food in Australia
Australia offers a diverse range of culinary experiences that reflect its multicultural heritage. Here are some must-try foods when visiting Australia:
• Vegemite: A quintessential Australian spread made from yeast extract. It’s typically enjoyed on toast and has a unique, salty flavor.
• Meat Pies: A staple in Australian cuisine, these are small pies filled with minced meat and gravy, often enjoyed as a quick snack or meal.
• Lamingtons: A popular Australian dessert, lamingtons are sponge cakes coated in chocolate sauce and rolled in coconut, sometimes filled with jam or cream.
• Barramundi: A native Australian fish, often grilled or fried, and known for its delicate flavor and firm texture.
• Bush Tucker: Traditional Aboriginal foods that include a variety of native Australian plants and animals, like kangaroo and emu.
Cultural experiences in Australia
• Aboriginal Cultural Tours: Engage in tours led by Aboriginal guides who share the ancient history, traditions, and spiritual connection of their people to the land. Destinations like Uluru, the Daintree Rainforest, and Kakadu National Park offer insightful tours.
• Attend an Australian Rules Football Game: Experience the excitement of this unique sport, deeply ingrained in Australian culture, especially in Victoria.
• Explore Melbourne’s Laneways: Known for their vibrant street art, cafes, and boutiques, these laneways reflect the city’s creative and multicultural spirit.
• Tasmanian Art and Wilderness: Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) offers an avant-garde experience, while the island’s wilderness serves as a scenic setting for various art festivals and eco-cultural tours.
Australia customs and etiquette
• Afternoon Tea: While not as formal as in some countries, having tea in the afternoon, often with a light snack, is a cherished tradition in many Australian homes.
• Anzac Biscuits: Baking and sharing Anzac biscuits is a tradition, especially around ANZAC Day. These biscuits were originally made to send to the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) serving in World War I.
• ‘BYO’ Culture: ‘Bring Your Own’ (BYO) is a popular concept, especially regarding alcoholic beverages at restaurants or gatherings. Many establishments allow guests to bring their own wine or beer.
• Beach Etiquette: Beaches are a huge part of Australian life. Always swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate a safe and supervised area.
• Tipping: Tipping is not as common in Australia as in some other countries. It’s not expected, but appreciated for exceptional service, typically around 10% in restaurants.
How do I avoid Australia roaming charges?
Travel tips for your Australia vacation
Explore Australia on a budget
• Travel Off-Peak: Avoid Australian school holidays and the peak summer months of December to February.
• Use Public Transport: Australia’s major cities have good public transportation systems. Consider using buses, trains, and ferries instead of renting a car. For longer distances, consider budget airlines.
• Take Advantage of Nature: Australia’s natural beauty is one of its biggest draws. Enjoying the great outdoors is often free and deeply rewarding.
• Take Advantage of Free Walking Tours: Many Australian cities offer free walking tours led by local guides. These tours are a great way to get to know a city and its history.
Famous Australian festivals
• Melbourne Cup: Known as “the race that stops a nation,” this famous horse racing event held in November in Melbourne is as much about fashion and socializing as it is about horse racing.
• Tamworth Country Music Festival: Australia’s largest music festival, held in Tamworth, New South Wales, celebrates country music with concerts, street performances, and awards.
• Adelaide Fringe: The Southern Hemisphere’s largest open-access arts festival, featuring thousands of artists from around the world performing in venues all across Adelaide.
• The Perth International Arts Festival: One of Australia’s oldest cultural festivals, it offers a rich program of theatre, music, film, visual arts, and street arts in Western Australia.
• Tropfest: The world’s largest short film festival, originally started in Sydney, and now an event that attracts filmmakers and audiences globally.
Australia safety tips from the experts
• Road Safety: Remember to drive on the left side of the road. Be especially careful when driving in rural areas at night, as wildlife can be a hazard.
• Wildlife Caution: Be cautious of wildlife. This includes marine animals like jellyfish and sharks, as well as land animals like snakes and spiders. Do not approach or feed wild animals.
• Sun Protection: The Australian sun can be very strong. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, and try to stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
• Emergency Services: In an emergency, dial 000 for police, fire, or ambulance (free call).
• Beware of Rip Currents: Besides swimming between the flags, learn how to identify and escape rip currents. They’re common on Australian beaches and can be dangerous even for strong swimmers.
Go on a Australia shopping spree!
• Op Shopping: For bargain hunters, op shops (charity shops) can be a goldmine. You can find second-hand clothing, books, and unique items at low prices.
• Shop at Local Markets: Australia is known for its local markets, which sell everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts, clothing, and souvenirs. Markets like Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market or Sydney’s Paddington Markets are must-visits.
• Wool and Sheepskin Products: Australia has high-quality wool and sheepskin products. Ugg boots, merino wool sweaters, and sheepskin rugs are popular buys.
Plan the perfect Australia vacation
Australia in January
Traveling to Australia in January, during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, offers warm weather perfect for beaches and outdoor activities.
Cities like Sydney and Melbourne are hot and sunny, ideal for urban exploration and beach-going. The Northern regions like Darwin experience a humid, wet season, while Tasmania offers cooler, comfortable temperatures for hiking.
As January is a peak travel period, it’s recommended to book accommodations and travel plans early.
Australia in February
Visiting Australia in February, you’ll experience the end of summer with typical temperatures ranging from warm to hot. In coastal cities like Sydney and Melbourne, expect hot days with temperatures often ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), ideal for beach outings and outdoor events.
Tasmania offers cooler temperatures, usually between 10°C to 22°C (50°F to 72°F), perfect for outdoor adventures. As February remains a popular travel month, it’s wise to book accommodations and travel plans early.
Australia in March
Traveling to Australia in March marks the transition from summer to fall, offering generally milder weather across the country.
In cities like Sydney and Melbourne, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures ranging from 18°C to 25°C (64°F to 77°F), perfect for city exploration and enjoying the last of the summer beach weather.
Tasmania and southern Australia offer cooler and more temperate climates, typically between 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), ideal for hiking and outdoor activities.
Australia in April
April in Australia offers the full experience of fall, with cooler temperatures and less humidity across most of the country. In popular cities like Sydney and Melbourne, expect pleasant temperatures ranging from 15°C to 22°C (59°F to 72°F), ideal for sightseeing.
The Northern regions, including Cairns and Darwin, experience more comfortable conditions, with temperatures around 22°C to 30°C (72°F to 86°F).
April’s mild weather and the decrease in tourist crowds make it a great time to explore Australia.
Australia in May
May allows you to experience the heart of fall in Australia, with cooler temperatures and a quieter tourist atmosphere.
In cities like Sydney and Melbourne, the climate is mild and often crisp, with temperatures typically ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), making it comfortable for urban exploration and enjoying the fall colors.
The Northern regions, such as Cairns and Darwin, start to enter their dry season, offering warm and sunny days with temperatures around 21°C to 29°C (70°F to 84°F), ideal for exploring the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests.
May’s calm and pleasant weather conditions make it an excellent time for those seeking a more relaxed and crowd-free Australian adventure.
Australia in June
June offers a unique experience as the country enters winter, especially in the southern regions. In southern cities like Melbourne and Adelaide, temperatures range from a chilly 6°C to 14°C (43°F to 57°F), so pack warm clothing for cooler days and nights.
This is also a great time to visit alpine regions in Victoria and New South Wales if you’re interested in winter sports like skiing.
Meanwhile, in the northern parts, like Darwin, it’s the dry season with comfortable temperatures ranging from 19°C to 30°C (66°F to 86°F), perfect for exploring the outdoors without the humidity or rain of other months.
June is generally less crowded in terms of tourism, providing a more relaxed travel experience.
Australia in July
July means experiencing the depths of the Australian winter, particularly in the southern states. In cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra, expect cooler temperatures ranging from about 5°C to 16°C (41°F to 61°F), with occasional rain, making it essential to pack warm and waterproof clothing.
This period is ideal for visiting the snowfields in Victoria and New South Wales for skiing and snowboarding.
In contrast, the northern regions like Darwin enjoy dry season conditions, with pleasant, sunny days and temperatures around 20°C to 31°C (68°F to 88°F), making it an excellent time for exploring the tropical north, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
July is also a great time to witness unique events like the Darwin Festival.
Australia in August
Australia in August allows you to experience the tail end of winter in the southern regions and the pleasant dry season in the north. In southern cities like Melbourne and Sydney, temperatures range from about 7°C to 17°C (45°F to 63°F), with the latter part of the month starting to warm up slightly, hinting at the approaching spring.
This time of year is perfect for enjoying the last days of the winter sports in regions like the Snowy Mountains.
Northern Australia, particularly places like Darwin, enjoys dry, sunny weather with temperatures between 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F), ideal for outdoor activities and exploring natural wonders like Kakadu National Park. August is also a great time for whale watching along the southern coasts as many species migrate north.
Tourist crowds are generally fewer, except in popular ski destinations, making it a good time to explore various attractions at a more relaxed pace.
Australia in September
September in Australia is a delightful experience as the country welcomes spring. This month brings a beautiful transformation, especially in the southern regions where cities like Sydney and Melbourne enjoy blossoming flowers and temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F).
This mild weather is perfect for outdoor activities like visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens or enjoying the beaches before the summer crowds arrive.
In the northern parts, like Darwin and Cairns, the dry season continues with warm, sunny days around 23°C to 33°C (73°F to 91°F), ideal for exploring the Great Barrier Reef or the tropical rainforests.
September also offers various festivals and events, like the Brisbane Festival, showcasing the vibrant arts and culture scene.
Australia in October
Australia in October is an excellent choice as the spring season is in full swing. In southern cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, temperatures are comfortably warm, typically ranging between 12°C to 22°C (54°F to 72°F).
This weather is ideal for exploring the numerous outdoor festivals, gardens in full bloom, and beginning to enjoy the beach as the days get warmer.
In Darwin and Cairns the climate is starting to transition from the dry to the wet season, with temperatures around 25°C to 33°C (77°F to 91°F), offering the last chance to enjoy the tropical north before the rainy season begins.
Australia in November
November offers the chance to enjoy the lively atmosphere of late spring and early summer. In southern cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, the weather is warming up, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This is a great time for outdoor activities like beach visits and hiking.
November in the northern parts, such as Cairns and Darwin, marks the onset of the wet season, bringing warmer temperatures, around 25°C to 33°C (77°F to 91°F), and occasional tropical showers, which enhance the region’s lush greenery.
November is also an excellent time for wildlife enthusiasts, with many native animals becoming more active.
Australia in December
Australia in December means experiencing the excitement of early summer and the festive season. The southern regions, cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide enjoy warm and sometimes hot temperatures, typically ranging from 18°C to 26°C (64°F to 79°F), perfect for beach days, outdoor festivals, and exploring the vibrant city life.
The festive spirit is in full swing, with Christmas decorations, markets, and events, including New Year’s Eve celebrations, particularly the famous Sydney Harbour fireworks.
Up north in Darwin and Cairns, it’s the wet season, with temperatures hovering around 25°C to 34°C (77°F to 93°F).
December is a popular time for tourists, so it’s crucial to book accommodations, flights, and tours well in advance, especially in beachside locations and major cities.
How do I use my phone in Australia?
Choose a data package
Install your eSIM
An eSIM is a downloadable SIM card, so you’ll install your eSIM on your phone or tablet. It takes less than two minutes, and then you will have a Australia eSIM on your phone.
Activate your package
When you’re ready to start using your Australia eSIM you’ll activate your data package and make sure your device knows to use your Australia eSIM for all mobile data.