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AUSTRALIA - Exercise normal security precautions
There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Australia. Exercise normal security precautions.
The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.
Violent crime is low, but petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching occurs in larger cities. Vehicle break-ins are common. Exercise caution in the more popular tourist areas (St. Kilda in Melbourne; Kings Cross, downtown George Street, Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach and The Rocks, in Sydney; Cairns and the Gold Coast, in Queensland), where thieves target foreigners. Hitchhiking should be avoided at all times, and women should not travel alone after dark.
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum, or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Attacks on backpackers have occurred. Ensure that your personal belongings are secure, particularly in crowded places. Robberies of safe-deposit facilities are common at inexpensive hotels and hostels.
In September 2014, the Government of Australia raised its National Terrorism Public Alert level from Medium to High due to a perceived increase in the likelihood of a terrorist attack in the country. Visit the website of the Australian National Security for more information. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Traffic drives on the left. Exercise caution when driving in rural areas, particularly in the Northern Territory, due to roaming animals, excessive speeding and "road-trains" (trucks pulling two or more trailers). Pull over and allow oncoming road-trains to pass to avoid being sideswiped. Access to some remote locations may be impossible during inclement weather. When travelling by car, plan your route carefully due to the great distances between settlements and the isolation of many outback areas. Provide a friend or relative with your itinerary, and ensure that your vehicle is in good repair. Carry sufficient supplies of gasoline, water and food, as well as a cellular telephone. Permits are required when travelling on aboriginal territory.
Public transportation is safe and reliable.
Do not expect safety standards to be the same as in Canada.
Many regions in the interior of Australia are remote, with small populations and few services. Overland travellers may have limited access to telephones and other facilities. Flash floods and bushfires occur in many parts of the country. Monitor news reports carefully. For more information, consult the publication entitled National Visitor Safety Handbook published by Tourism Queensland.
Riptides in coastal areas can be strong, including at popular tourist destinations. Several drownings occur each year. Obey the lifeguards, heed flag warnings and under no circumstances swim when a red flag is displayed.
Dial 000 for emergency services.
It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry requirements. The following information on entry and exit requirements has been obtained from the Australian authorities. However, these requirements are subject to change at any time. It is your responsibility to check with the High Commission of Australia or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
Canadians must present a passport to visit Australia, which must be valid on the day of entry into that country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.
Canadians must also be in possession of an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Ensure that you travel with the same passport used to apply for your ETA.
A health examination might be necessary to obtain certain visas. For more information, consult the website of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
A fee is applicable for all student visas. For more information, contact the Australian Visa Information Service in Canada at 613-216-7603, or consult the Study in Australia website.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Children and travel
Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.
See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.
Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever Vaccination
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
|* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.|
|Country Entry Requirement*|
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Australia and New Zealand. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Australia and New Zealand, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Excellent medical care is available. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Intense sunshine year-round can result in exposure to high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Protect yourself from extended exposure to the sun and drink plenty of water to avoid complications from sunburn and dehydration.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws & culture
Laws & culture
You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.
There are very strict rules and quarantine measures regarding the importation of food and animal products.
Drinking and driving laws are strictly enforced. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05 percent. There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving by holders of provisional driver's licences.
Seat belt use is mandatory. The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless they are fitted with a hands-free device.
Motorcyclists and cyclists must wear helmets.
To find out what you will need to drive in Australia (for up to three months), consult the website of the Government of Australia. You must apply for a local licence if you intend to stay in Australia and hold a permanent visa. Local authorities will only accept your overseas driving licence if the names on your licence match exactly those in your passport.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Australia. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you an Australian citizen. You should travel using your Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.
The currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). Traveller's cheques are accepted at banks or large hotels. Credit cards are accepted, but use may be restricted in small towns and outback areas. Automated banking machines are available in main cities.
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters & climate
Australia is located in a seismic zone.
The cyclone season extends from November to April. Cyclones may occur along the coastal areas of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Severe rainstorms can lead to flooding and landslides, which in turn can cause extensive damage to infrastructure as well as loss of life, and can also hamper the provision of essential services. Exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
During times of minimal rainfall, usually from October to April, intense bushfires can occur. Follow the advice of local authorities, and avoid affected or susceptible areas.
Consult the website of the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology for information on weather conditions.
Canberra - High Commission of Canada
Perth - Consulate of Canada
Sydney - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency assistance after hours, call the High Commission of Canada in Canberra or the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and follow the instructions. You may also call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 0011-800-2326-6831.
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