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Australia - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Australia.
Safety and security
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. Exercise caution in the more popular tourist areas, where thieves target foreigners, including Melbourne’s St. Kilda; Sydney’s Kings Cross, downtown George Street, Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach, The Rocks, Hyde Park and Centennial Park; and Queensland’s Cairns and the Gold Coast.
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.
Avoid hitchhiking. 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.
The Government of Australia maintains a national terrorism threat advisory system. The current threat level is at PROBABLE, which indicates that individuals or groups have developed both the intent and capability to conduct a terrorist attack in Australia. Visit Australian National Security for more information. Continue to exercise normal security precautions.
Demonstrations may occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
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.
Learn more 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. Flash floods and bushfires occur in many parts of the country. Monitor news reports carefully. For more information, consult the National Visitor Safety Handbook, published by Tourism Queensland, and the NSW Police Force.
If you intend on trekking, mountaineering, hiking or skiing:
- never practice these activities alone;
- 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 are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard;
- advise 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;
- sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service; and
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes.
Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Women should not travel alone after dark. See Her own way - a woman’s safe-travel guide for travel safety information for Canadian women.
Riptides in coastal areas, including at popular tourist destinations, can be strong. 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.
See Overseas fraud for more information on scams abroad.
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.
Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.
To visit Australia, Canadians must present a passport that is 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.
Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.
Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
A health examination might be necessary to obtain certain visas. For more information, consult Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
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 Study in Australia.
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 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 - 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 provider.
- 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
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.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
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
Medical services and facilities meet Canadian standards. Medical care is widely available. Cash payment is expected at time of service.
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
Laws & 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 strict. 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.
Traffic drives on the left.
Consult Australia’s Driving with an overseas licence to determine requirements for driving in Australia. 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.
Seat belt use is mandatory. Motorcyclists and cyclists must wear a helmet.
The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless the phone is fitted with a hands-free device.
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 in Australia. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Learn more about travelling as a dual citizen.
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 and climate
Natural disasters & climate
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.
Consult the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology for information on weather conditions.
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.
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 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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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