Perth has always been one of the few destinations that pop up in our mind if we’re planning a trip Down Under. It’s only 4.5 hours away from Singapore, and 5 hours from Malaysia by flight, and they’ve got everything any Muslim traveller is looking for packed in one location: gorgeous beaches, beautiful parks, adorable wildlife, adrenaline-pumping activities and delicious Muslim-friendly food at the iconic Fremantle market; the list is endless! ? However, with the pandemic changing the way we travel, there are a few things you should take note of before you head on your trip!
1. Apply for a visa as early as possible!
You’ll need a visa before entering Australia! If you’re travelling there for vacation, you will need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). There is an online application service charge of AUD$20 per ETA. For Singaporeans, you should be notified of the result of your ETA application within 24 hours, however, for Malaysians, the process takes an estimated minimum time of 6 weeks, so do apply it well ahead of your departure. You don’t need your flight details at all; so you should apply for your ETA before booking a flight ?
From 6 April 2022, all ETA-eligible passport holders (which includes Singapore and Malaysia passport holders) can now apply for an ETA using the Australian ETA app! It’s straightforward and will only take about 20 minutes of your time. Check out the full guide right here ?
If you’re unable to use the app, don’t panic yet - you can apply online through ImmiAccount, which you can click here for more information, or check out other visas. You can do a quiz beforehand to ascertain the type of visa suited to your purpose of visit. To be safe, print out your visa approval, should the immigration officer request proof.
2. All Covid-19 rules and regulations you need to follow before your travel
We bet you’re rejoicing over the fact that you don’t need to do any form of tests or quarantine ? Your adventure can start once you’ve arrived! However, do check beforehand if you’re eligible for quarantine-free travel. You’ll have to be full vaccinated with a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. Unvaccinated children under 12 years old will be treated as fully vaccinated. Children between 12 to 17 years old will be treated as fully vaccinated if they are accompanied by a fully-vaccinated person aged 18 or older.
You’ll need proof of your vaccination prepared for checking by the immigration officer. For Singaporeans, you can get your vaccination certificate via Notarise. For Malaysians, you can download the Vaccine Certificate Verifier app via Apple Store or Google Play Store, and get your notarised vaccination certification there ?
3. Take note of ALL the other important documents you need before your departure, including the DPD
Apart from the usual documents such as passport, boarding pass, and flight itinerary schedules, there are another important document visitors to Australia must fill up before arriving: Australia Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD). You’ll need your flight details for this, so after confirming your booking, you can start filling it up! Complete it at least 7 days before your flight - you have to submit it before you depart for Australia, as the Department of Home Affairs does need the time to process the huge volume of applications. Failure to do may result in unnecessary delays on arrival and we bet you wouldn’t want to kick off your Australian adventure on a bad note ?
Remember to create an account so that it’s easier for you to manage current and future declarations. You can either apply your DPD via the app (App Store or Google Play Store) or their website. Other details that you’ll need to fill-up the form are your contact details (including a contact phone number in Australia, which can be the contact of your accommodation), health, travel, quarantine and testing declarations and more. The information The Australian Government has done a step-by-step guide on how to apply for your DPD and ETA visa to guide you through!
4. Get travel insurance!
The pandemic has taught us one thing: always be prepared for any hiccups along the way! You should purchase a travel insurance plan that not only covers COVID-19-related medical/treatment expenses and hospitalisation costs, but also one that offers comprehensive protection for your belongings, your safety, your rental costs for damage and loss if you’re tackling a four-wheel-drive outback adventure and other cool activities you’re going to be doing! It’s really much better to be safe than sorry ?
P.S. Print at least two sets of all your documents: flight itinerary, DPD, vaccination certificate and other necessary items you need! Leave one in your check-in luggage, and the other in your carry-on bag because the immigration officer will need to check these documents. Try not to depend on having it all on your phone, especially since you might need Wi-Fi to download your documents. Either save it separately on your phone such as there’s no need for Wi-Fi or print it all out.
5. Familiarise yourself with the local Covid-19 rules of Western Australia
We know you’re already buzzing off to Perth; too excited to check out unique experiences you can’t find anywhere else (like for instance, did you know that Perth is the largest black truffle producer in the southern hemisphere?! ?), but you should be well-equipped on the local rules and regulations in regards to the pandemic. Some rules are quite similar to those in Singapore and Malaysia (i.e no masks required when outdoors), but we might sound naggy when we say this but we mean well: be prepared for any rainy day! Check out this link for more information.
P.S. There are a lot of links, which might confuse you a little, but we got you. Tourism Western Australia has collated all the links and information you’ll need to know before heading off to Perth right here.
6. Come up with a rough itinerary for your trip
You might think this is pretty much the most ‘duh’ thing on the list, but the timings and locations of the places you want to visit may have drastically changed after 2 years of no travel ? If you need a little help, feel free to check out Tourism Western Australia’s ‘Plan Your Trip’ feature on their website to map out the perfect Perth itinerary you want - be it Muslim-friendly food, or adventurous activities for your kids, everything is simply just a click away!
Many of us are in need of a recharge after 2 years, and Perth is simply the perfect place to do so at any time of the year ? Whether you want to escape the heat without travelling halfway around the world to do so, or you’re looking for a destination that meets every type of traveller, Perth has it all. Just save this article for your next adventure to Perth - it’s time to get you into vacation mode and kick off your Perth adventure ?
This article is brought to you by Tourism Western Australia.