What is a very Australian problem
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
From unnecessary tourist trips to Australiais currently due to ongoing entry restrictions advised against.
Australia has so far been less affected by COVID-19 overall. At the moment, hardly any new infections are registered nationwide.
The Australian Ministry of Health offers up-to-date and detailed figures on the occurrence of infections with additional links to the health authorities of the states and territories as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
There is still a comprehensive ban on all foreign travelers without a permanent residence permit in Australia. In particular, tourist visits are generally not permitted, and tourist visas are accordingly not issued. German citizens with a residence permit in Australia and their immediate family members (spouses, minor children, legal guardians, but not parents) are exempt from the entry ban.
Due to a government resolution dated January 8, 2021, all passengers five years and older traveling to Australia must present a negative PCR test upon check-in. The test must not be older than 72 hours. Exceptions to this requirement may be possible under certain circumstances. For more information, please contact the Australian Department of the Interior. Masks are required for passengers and crew members on international flights to Australia, as well as on domestic flights in Australia.
Upon entry, the obligation to undertake a 14-day hotel quarantine, usually for a fee, in designated accommodations at the arrival airport still applies. The regulations in the individual states are partly different, read online for New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.
A direct onward journey to the destination in Australia is not permitted, not even in the case of direct airport transit. The Department of Home Affairs accepts applications for justified exemptions from the entry ban.
At least 72 hours before entry, information on the health status and availability must be provided online.
Transit and onward travel
Transit through Australian airports is generally possible for foreign travelers if certain conditions are met. In many cases, there is a need for an individual permit and / or a transit visa. Further information on transit can be obtained from the Government of Australia and the German diplomatic missions in Australia.
Domestic air traffic and other travel between the individual Australian states and territories are still restricted and can be more severely impaired at any time and even at very short notice in response to increasing local infections.
Restrictions in the country and hygiene rules
The Australian states and territories are responsible for taking measures against the spread of the virus. The usual distance and hygiene requirements continue to apply. The Government of Australia provides up-to-date detailed information.
Special features in the regions
The restrictions currently in force differ only slightly between the individual states.
- Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities, e.g. with the help of the COVID-19 restriction checker.
- Always keep an eye on the latest publications from the Department of Home Affairs or contact your Australian mission abroad before entering the country.
- Check the Australian government website and your airline for the requirements for your specific flight to Australia.
- You can also find out about the spread of the virus and government measures from the Australian Ministry of Health and, if an entry exemption is met, make a prior request online.
- Before you start your journey, make sure you have your airline confirmed again with regard to the new restrictions.
- In the event of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with infected people, contact the Coronavirus Helpline (24h) on 1800 020 080 or use the Australian Ministry of Health's online diagnostic help. In the event of an acute medical emergency, dial 000.
- Note the test and quarantine requirements when entering Germany from risk areas (not transit) and contact the health department at your place of residence. The Federal Ministry of Health offers further information on compulsory testing.
- Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
- Please note our continuously updated information on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
The Australian government introduced a new five-tier terror alert system at the end of 2015. The middle level (“Probable” = attack likely) was set for terrorist attacks. The Australian government has called on the population to be more vigilant.
The situation in Australia is stable.
- Still, find out more about the local media.
- Avoid demonstrations.
The overall crime rate is low. But thefts and car break-ins also occur in Australia, especially in places that are attractive to tourists. Backpackers should be aware of the risk of theft, especially in simple accommodation.
Occasionally there are attacks on tourists who camped or parked outside organized campsites at night.
Assaults also took place in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, on the Gold Coast and in Cairns in Queensland, as well as in Sydney's popular tourist locations such as Kings Cross, including foreign tourists, especially in the dark.
Perpetrators are often armed and occasionally also rape.
- In larger crowds such as at airports, train stations, on public transport and also in simple accommodation, as well as bars and cafés, be particularly attentive and watch out for your valuables.
- Do not leave handbags, rucksacks or the like unattended or valuables in the car.
- Only use guarded campsites with mobile homes.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- Prefer cashless payments and only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
Nature and climate
Cyclones and floods
The climate is temperate in the south and east, tropical in the north and desert-like in the center.
There are regular heavy thunderstorms and downpours in Australia. Local flooding can occur as a result of rivers overflowing their banks and overloaded rainwater drainage channels.
Especially in the northern coastal areas of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, tropical cyclones can occur from November to April, which bring destructive winds with hurricane strengths and heavy rain. As a result, there are regular extensive floods and landslides as well as in some cases considerable disruption to travel.
Bush and forest fires
Bush and forest fires occur regularly during the hot months of the Australian summer. In connection with strong winds, they can reach threatening proportions. The south and east of the country are mostly affected. There is no danger for travelers as long as the safety instructions from the police and fire brigade are observed.
The state rangers monitor the situation in the national parks. They can be reached via the respective tourist offices and can provide information on possible hazardous situations.
Australia is in a seismically active zone, which is why earthquakes can occur.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
There is a dense network of domestic flights, rail and bus connections.
In Australia there is left-hand traffic. This requires special attention, especially on roads with less traffic, even from experienced drivers from countries with right-hand traffic, and it can be dangerous.
Depending on the state, there is a speed limit of 50-60 km / h inside and 100-110 km / h outside of built-up areas. Violations are punished with heavy fines.
The risk of accidents when driving overland is often underestimated due to the very low volume of traffic, but also due to wild animals such as kangaroos, as well as distances. On longer overland journeys, fatigue, lack of concentration or distraction are usually the cause of particularly serious traffic accidents. Vehicle occupants often succumb to serious injuries at the scene of the accident, as in remote areas paramedics sometimes only reach the scene of the accident after hours.
In Australia, statutory liability insurance provides (green slip) only provides compensation for personal injuries (deaths and injuries) to third parties. Property damage - e.g. B. also on the opposing vehicle - are not covered. Personal injury to the driver who caused the accident is not automatically included; the services of the various providers vary considerably. Additional liability and / or comprehensive insurance must therefore be taken out if necessary for personal injury to the driver who is responsible for the accident, as well as for all property damage and in the event of theft. Legal disputes in traffic accidents are usually very time-consuming and costly.
In parts of Australia there are restrictions on the use of drinking water due to a lack of precipitation. So far, there has been no drastic impact on travelers.
- Inquire carefully about Australian traffic rules.
- Allow enough time for your travels and do not underestimate the great distances, take sufficient breaks.
- As a user of motor vehicles, find out about the conditions of the various insurance policies in good time and supplement the protection if necessary.
- Use drinking water responsibly anywhere in Australia.
For short-term stays in Australia, the German driver's license is valid together with the international driver's license or an officially certified English translation. Driver's license translations are available for a fee from the German representations in Australia.
Hikes and trekking tours in the outback
Travelers who want to travel remote routes in the outback can register themselves and their planned travel route with the local authorities. It enables the authorities to react more quickly in emergencies.
There have been several tragic deaths of travelers dying of dehydration and heat stroke while hiking in the outback.
The overall very thin population in Australia means that the cellular network is not very well developed. The hilly landscape that predominates in Australia also limits the range of the cellular network. Outside of larger cities or away from the important traffic axes, it can therefore be assumed that there is no or only sporadic mobile phone reception. This also applies to bush walks in national parks and in the immediate vicinity of larger cities or metropolitan areas.
- For your safety, register with the police, petrol stations or shops for remote routes.
- Avoid physical exertion in the midday heat and take sunscreen and large amounts of drinking water with you when hiking.
- Be aware that you may not be able to be reached by mobile phone for a long time.
- If possible, take a satellite phone with you or ask the organizer whether and, if so, where a satellite phone is available for emergencies.
- Inform relatives about your travel plans in advance and regularly in order to avoid unnecessary concern and the resulting searches.
Australia can be considered one of the most LGBTIQ accepting countries in the world. Sydney, with its annual Mardi Gras Festival, is considered one of Australia's most LBTIQ-friendly cities. LGBTIQ people in Australia are through the Sex Discrimination Act Protected from discrimination by law in 2013 and have the same rights and obligations as others. In December 2017, Australia introduced marriage for everyone. Same-sex adoption of children and stepchildren has been legal nationwide since March 2018. Transgender and intersex rights vary by state and territory. Non-binary Australians can legally register a "non-specific" gender in federal legal documents and in the records of some states and territories.
The laws can differ from state to state. This also applies, for example, to alcohol consumption, traffic regulations and smoking in public.
Smoking is generally not permitted in public buildings, means of transport, shopping centers and restaurants.
Offenses against the Narcotics Act are severely punished, otherwise violations of the law are punished more severely than in Germany.
- Inquire at your place of stay, e.g. in the hotel, with business partners or acquaintances, about the local laws.
Money / credit cards
The local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). Withdrawing cash from ATMs and paying with credit cards are possible almost anywhere.
Entry and customs
Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.
Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without notifying the Foreign Office beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information going beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.
Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:
- Passport: Yes
- Temporary passport: Yes
- Identity card: No
- Provisional identity card: No
- Children's passport: Yes
Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents must be valid for the entire duration of the stay.
For a stopover in an Asian country, the passport is often required to be valid for at least six months.
German citizens need a visa or an ETA to enter Australia. The application must be made before the start of the journey and cannot be made upon arrival.
The eVisitor visa (subclass 651) is offered to business travelers and tourists from Germany and the other EU member states. The visa is valid for 12 months and entitles you to any number of stays in Australia within this one year for a maximum of three months each. It can be requested online free of charge. Applicants will be notified of the successful issuance of the eVisitor visa by email. The eVisitor visa is electronically saved at border crossings and other locations.
Electronic Travel Authority ETA
The Electronic Travel Authority ETA (subclass 601), which existed before the introduction of the eVisitor visa, can still be applied for, the entry authorizations correspond to those of the eVisitor visa. The ETA can be applied for through travel agencies or airlines and costs 20 AUD plus any service provider fees.
German nationals require a transit visa for a transit stay at the airport if it exceeds 8 hours, even if they do not leave the transit area. If you stay in the transit area for up to 8 hours and you have booked an onward flight, no visa is required, see Travelers eligible to transit without visa.
Working Holiday Visa
A good 25,000 young people from Germany travel to Australia every year with a “working holiday visa” to take a vacation, get to know the country and its people and earn some money on the side. You have the same rights as any other worker in Australia. For example, a minimum wage applies to all industries and professions. The Fair Work Ombudsman offers a good overview of employee rights.
The ombudsman is also available to foreign jobbers with working holiday visas for information and, if necessary, complaint procedures to enforce their rights as employees.
Immigration control / body scanner
Passengers at many airports in Australia have to expect the use of body scanners. Refusal to undergo the body scanner review will result in a delay in the security clearance and access to the transit area only after a period of 24 hours. Further information is available on the website of the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
Children between the ages of five and eleven traveling alone must travel with the airline as minors (unaccompanied minor) must be registered. Children between the ages of twelve and fifteen traveling alone can be registered as minors; however, should always be identified as a young passenger. Further information is available from Qantas, for example.
The import and export of foreign and national currency is unlimited, but must be declared for a value of more than AUD 10,000.
Import and sales tax is payable on certain goods imported into Australia.
Travelers are allowed to import the following goods duty-free and tax-free when traveling to Australia:
Gifts, souvenirs, electronic devices, perfumes, jewelry, watches, leather goods etc .:
- for travelers over 18 years of age up to AUD 900 each;
- for travelers under the age of 18 up to AUD 450 each;
Alcohol, wine and beer or spirits, regardless of where it was purchased:
- for travelers over 18 years of age up to 2.25 liters of alcohol;
Cigarettes, cigars, or tobacco, regardless of where they were purchased:
- for travelers over 18 years of age up to 25 cigarettes or 25 grams of tobacco each.
The Australian Border Force always provides up-to-date information on allowances.
A family traveling together can pool their permitted amounts of duty-free goods. Goods purchased abroad or before departure in Australia duty free / sales tax free will be taken into account when calculating the duty free amount.
Australia has a strict quarantine regime, the enforcement of which (careful controls on entry) is pursued with vigor and should therefore be strictly adhered to. All food, plant and animal products must be on the passenger entry card (Incoming Passenger Card) must be specified. These will then be examined by a quarantine officer at the red check-in counter in the hangar and possibly confiscated. If items that are subject to quarantine regulations are not declared, severe penalties can be imposed. The import and export of many, especially endangered animal and plant species or goods or souvenirs made from them is strictly regulated. Illegal imports or exports without a permit are punished with severe penalties, sometimes longer prison sentences. The same applies, for example, to historically or culturally significant books, documents, coins and Aboriginal art objects. Buyers should therefore inform themselves carefully with the responsible Australian or German customs authorities prior to purchase and export.
A compilation of the Australian import restrictions can be found at the Australian Border Force.
The Australian quarantine regime applies to the importation of pets. The process of organizational preparation is very time consuming. A lead time of at least 6 months is to be expected. Several visits to the vet are required before leaving the country (microchip, rabies vaccination, tick treatment, worming, blood tests). Furthermore, an entry permit and a health certificate must be applied for from the Australian authorities. After entering Australia, the pet is housed in a quarantine station for up to 30 days. It should be noted that certain breeds of dogs may not be introduced into Australia, including Pit Bull Terriers. Further information is available from the Australian Department of Agriculture.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.
In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.
- As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.
No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany. When entering from a yellow fever area or staying for more than 12 hours in transit through a yellow fever area, all persons over the age of one year must provide evidence of a yellow fever vaccination. This does not apply when entering from the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Australia itself is not a yellow fever infection area.
- Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
- Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and in the case of long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B and meningococcal disease (ACWY).
- Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
- The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.
Dengue viruses are mainly diurnal from December to June in northern Australia Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see also information sheet on dengue fever.
- To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.
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