When Can We Travel To Australia In 2021?
LAST UPDATE: OCTOBER 15, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is collated from official sources but general in nature. Entry requirements are subject to change at any time. Keep checking for the latest advice from your local government, embassy, or consulate to confirm any visa or entry requirements before travel.
Things around the world are gradually returning to normal as the global vaccine rollout gains momentum. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep this article updated with any new info. So, can we travel to Australia now? Read on for the latest updates.
AM I ALLOWED TO TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA?
Most international travellers are not allowed to enter Australia currently. The only people who can fly into Australia are Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of Australian citizens, and residents of New Zealand.
However from November 2021, fully vaccinated Australians will be able to leave and return to Australia with a reduced quarantine period, or no quarantine, depending on the state they fly into. All quarantine will be scrapped for fully vaccinated international arrivals entering New South Wales from November 1. To qualify for no quarantine, arrivals from overseas will need to be double jabbed with a TGA approved vaccine, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Travellers will also need to do a PCR test before boarding their flight and show evidence of vaccination. This is a huge first step towards the whole of Australia opening its borders for tourists in 2022.
You can only enter Australia if in one of the categories mentioned above, so travellers who would normally enter on tourist or working holiday visas are currently restricted. If in an exempt category, you need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) before your flight. This is delivered electronically and tied directly to your passport.
NEGATIVE COVID RESULT
Evidence of a negative Covid test taken 72 hours or less before departure must be shown before travelling to Australia.
DO I NEED A VACCINE?
Being vaccinated is not currently mandatory for arrivals, but from November 2021 fully-vaxxed arrivals will be allowed reduced, or no, quarantine. It is likely that travellers from other countries will need to be vaccinated to enter as tourism opens up again.
PROOF OF INSURANCE
Travel insurance is not necessary for citizens, residents, or immediate family members. However, when travel resumes in Australia it is highly recommended for all visitors.
Currently travellers to Australia (including Australian citizens) must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility in their port of arrival. Travellers may be required to pay for the costs of quarantine depending on the state or territory. From November 1, vaccinated arrivals can do a reduced quarantine, or no quarantine needed if arriving in NSW!
When entering businesses such as bars, restaurants and shops it is mandatory to check in with a QR code to record your presence.
RESTRICTIONS & OPEN TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Masks must be worn on all flights, including in airports, and most public transport. Restrictions on mask wearing, open businesses and tourist attractions varies across states depending on case numbers.
Each country has different restrictions for travellers arriving from abroad. For information relevant to your situation, keep up to date with local government announcements.
Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time (i.e. backpackers who've been in Australia since March 2020), but will generally not be permitted to return to Australia.
In the UK, international travel restrictions apply under a simplified two-tier system from October 4 2021. The good news is that Australia is GREEN, so once the country opens up we will be ready to restart our group tours! Find out more about UK travel restrictions here.
Travelling to Australia for tourism is not possible just yet, but once the country hits 80% vaccination in November it will begin reopening to international travel under the national plan. Allowing fully vaccinated Australians to travel overseas and return without quarantine is the first step, and it is likely the borders will fully open to international travellers sometime in early 2022.
Travelling Australia is an epic adventure, and joining one of our group tours in Australia once it reopens is the best way to experience it! Whether you're on a short holiday, travelling on a gap year or anything in between, on our Oz trips we'll show you the best of this extraordinary country with a new bunch of friends.
We will update this article and our COVID page as official news breaks about international borders and when we can recommence our group tours in Australia.
NOTE: This information is general and restrictions are subject to change, so keep in touch with the latest official advice from your local government and Australian authorities.
WHEN WILL AUSTRALIA FULLY REOPEN TO TOURISM?
Australia's tourism sector relies heavily on international travel. Under the government's national reopening plan, international borders will start opening once 80% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated (eta November 2021). The first step is getting rid of the travel ban, allowing fully-vaccinated Australians to leave the country and return without requiring quarantine. Once we have news about Australia opening to travellers from other countries we'll be the first to let you know!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL AUSTRALIA?
Massive and diverse, it's always a good time to go backpacking in Australia! It is a whole continent, after all. In the Southern Hemisphere, seasons are reversed from the Northern Hemisphere. This means that English and American winter is Aussie summer, making it the perfect time to being your travel and beat the cold at home.
The coastal areas of NSW, Victoria, South Australia, and the southern part of Western Australia have temperate climates that make summer the perfect time to experience Australia’s lovely warm weather. Even if you travel Australia in winter, most regions don't experience very cold temperatures. It rarely gets below 0°C unless you are at the snow.
Queensland, Northern Australia, and the northern part of Western Australia are home to tropical climates that experience a rainy and dry season, much like Asia. The dry season runs during the winter from May to October. But don't let “winter” fool you, these climates remain fairly warm year round. Read more about visiting Australia in the off season here.
The outback of Australia is a desert climate that has hot days and cool nights. To make the most of Aussie weather, consider starting your journey in an area that is in peak season (i.e. Sydney or Melbourne in summer), then travelling around as the seasons change.
WHY VISIT AUSTRALIA?
It may be a long haul flight away, but experiencing the beauty, diversity and laid-back lifestyle that Australia is known for is 100% worth the journey. From fabulous sightseeing to unique wildlife encounters, there's nothing you can't do when backpacking in Australia.
Famous for its Harbour Bridge, Opera House and dazzling beaches, Australia's biggest city needs months to explore fully. Whatever your Australia travel itinerary, make sure Sydney is on it for at LEAST a few days. Grab an early morning coffee in Bondi before a yoga class, catch the iconic ferry to Manly for some beach time and fish n' chips, road trip to the Blue Mountains for epic views, indulge in the best multicultural cuisine in Chinatown, learn to surf like a local, drink craft beer in the trendy inner-west, end your night at a rooftop bar in the city centre.... the list of things to do is remarkably long in this shimmering harbour city.
EXPERIENCE WONDERS OF NATURE
A country so big has to include plenty of natural marvels, right? Right. From the magnificent Great Barrier Reef to the harsh beauty of the outback, there are countless sights worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. Apart from the usual highlights, some other spots to put on your Australia travel bucket list include the Bungle Bungles in West Australia, Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, Kakadu in the Northern Territory, Ningaloo Reef in West Australia, the Snowy Mountains in NSW, and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
ADOPT THE ULTIMATE LAID-BACK LIFESTYLE
Australians are welcoming, culturally diverse, and embrace the relaxed lifestyle that living near a coastline with fantastic weather provides, so it's an easy bet that you'll fall in love with the Aussie way of life. Imagine getting up for a morning swim, commuting amongst sunshine and clean air, working for good wage, and having abundant choices of venues and places to finish off the day with a schooner (beer). Work/life balance is key to physical and mental health, so it's no wonder that so many people choose to move to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Check out our Australia work and travel packages here to start planning your own adventure!
MEET FURRY LOCALS
From whale watching to cuddling koalas, there are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with Australia's iconic wildlife. Most Aussie animals are endemic - meaning they're found nowhere else on earth - and an animal encounter is guaranteed to be a highlight of your visit. Ethical sanctuaries and wild animal spotting experiences can be found all over the country, some of our favourites include watching the penguin parade at Phillip Island and meeting the quokkas on Rottnest Island.
MELBOURNE'S PRETTY GREAT, TOO
Sydney steals a lot of attention, but if travelling around Australia we absolutely recommend visiting Melbourne. Australia's second biggest urban hub has a European flair, unbeatable coffee culture, and a booming arts and culture scene that spans from graffiti artists to symphony orchestras. Travel to Melbourne and you'll see why it's been voted the world's most liveable city, and don't forget to munch on some avocado toast. Read more about things to do in Melbourne on our blog here!
Although we can’t travel to Australia just yet, things are looking optimistic for the near future. Travel restrictions are beginning to ease and tourism will return with a surge in demand, so now is the time to get planning, especially if you want to travel Australia on a gap year or working holiday!
If the Land Down Under sounds like your kind of adventure, click through to check out our Australia small group tours and working holiday packages here. With expertly crafted itineraries, the guidance of a knowledgable group leader, full end-to-end support, and a new group of friends to make memories with, our trips are the ultimate way to discover a new country! Oh, and did we mention that all of the activities on our itineraries are included? You heard right - everything we mention is included in the tour - no extra payments required. Travel with a group and enjoy the best of Australia, stress free.
With flexible booking policies and complete support during this uncertain time, you can be confident when booking with INTRO. Get ready to say G'day.