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Australia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Australia.
Safety and security
Violent crime is low, but petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag snatching occurs in larger cities. Vehicle break-ins are common. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Exercise caution in the more popular tourist areas, where thieves target foreigners, including:
- St. Kilda
- Kings Cross
- downtown George Street
- Darling Harbour
- Bondi Beach
- The Rocks
- Hyde Park and Centennial Park
Queensland’s Cairns and the Gold Coast.
Robberies of safe-deposit facilities are common at inexpensive hotels and hostels.
Ensure that your personal belongings are secure, particularly in crowded places.
Avoid hitchhiking. Attacks on backpackers have occurred.
There is a threat of terrorism. The Government of Australia maintains a national terrorism threat advisory system. Individuals or groups have developed both the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia, and further attacks can’t be ruled out.
Australian National Security – Australian Government
See Overseas fraud for information on scams abroad.
Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.
Safe-travel guide for women
Spiked food and drinks
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.
Exercise caution when driving in rural areas, particularly in the Northern Territory and at night, 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. Plan your over-land 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, and, when travelling into remote areas, bring a satellite phone or an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB).
Public transportation is safe and reliable.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Many regions in Australia’s interior are remote and have small populations and few services. Overland travellers may have limited access to telephones and other facilities.
Trekking and mountaineering
If you intend on trekking or mountaineering :
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.
In certain areas, sharks, crocodiles, jellyfish and other wildlife pose a risk to swimmers. Swim at supervised beaches only, obey the lifeguards, heed flag warnings and never swim when a red flag is displayed.
Australia’s healthdirect service – Australian Government
In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of Canada
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Australian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid on the day of entry into the country.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Canadians must also be in possession of an electronic travel authority (ETA) to visit Australia. Ensure that you travel with the same passport used to apply for your ETA.
A health examination might be necessary to obtain certain visas.
- Electronic Travel Authority – Australian Government
- Department of Home Affairs – Australian Government
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional 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. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
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.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* 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.
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
In some areas in Australia and New Zealand, certain insects carry and spread diseases like dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis and West Nile virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around 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, monkeys, 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.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Related Travel Health Notices
- Bushfires in Australia - January 17, 2020
Medical services and facilities
Health care is excellent. Service is available throughout the country.
Payment is expected at time of service.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
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 and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.
Imports and exports
There are very strict rules and quarantine measures regarding the importation of food and animal products. Information about items which you can and cannot bring to Australia is available from Australia’s Department of Home Affairs.
Immigration and Citizenship – Australian Government
Traffic drives on the left.
Local authorities will only accept your overseas driving licence if the names on your licence match exactly those in your passport. You must apply for a local licence if you intend to stay in Australia longer than three months and you hold a permanent visa.
Permits are required when travelling on Aboriginal territory.
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 a provisional driver’s licence.
Driving with an overseas licence – Australian Government
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Australia.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Australia, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
The currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).
Natural disasters and climate
Australia continues to experience bushfires in some regions. Elevated fire danger ratings and alert levels may be applied to affected areas. Air quality may be significantly reduced and disruptions to essential services may occur.
If you are in or near an affected area:
- be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice
- comply with any evacuation order
- monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation
- contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
In the event of an emergency, dial triple zero (000).
For current information on affected areas, consult state or territory authorities:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Bush and forest fires are common between October to April. The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke. In case of a major fire, stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments.
- Follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
- Monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation
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.
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology – Australian Government
Australia is located in a seismic zone.
Dial 000 for emergency assistance.
Canberra - High Commission of Canada
Sydney - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Australia, in Canberra, or the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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