When we dream of the places we'll visit someday, Australia ranks high on our bucket list. A Muslim-friendly destination that’s brimming with lively cities, breathtaking scenery, and delicious food, we can’t wait to visit Australia soon! With so many things to see and do, travel planning is required to make the most of our holiday. Beyond the budget and itinerary, here are some tips to start planning your future trip to Australia!
1. Choose travel buddies with similar interests
Choose your travel buddies
After familiarising with Australia’s travel restrictions and visa requirements, you can start planning for your trip! Each destination has publicly available facilities for families, those with disabilities and different age groups, so there’s a place out there for everyone. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway with your spouse or fun road trip with friends, choosing the right travel buddies will make a difference to your travel experiences in Australia.
When choosing your travel partner, understand the pros and cons before your trip. Solo travellers can save up on accommodation costs by staying in hostels, but they’re also likely to pay a single traveller surcharge for tours. For convenience, families may choose to stay in apartments or family rooms, but there are many attractive family deals available in Australia’s top attractions.
Find out everyone’s interest and budget
It’s always more enjoyable when travelling with someone with similar interests. If you’re an adventure seeker, travel with someone who’s open to go skydiving and hiking. For city slickers, pair up with a travel buddy who loves cafe-hopping and spending the afternoon in art galleries.
Make sure to discuss with your group and get to know the tours and activities that everyone is interested in doing. Besides that, ask how much everyone is willing to spend on accommodation, food, transportation, attractions and tours.
Travel mates with a tight budget won’t be able to splurge on full-board trips or stay in a luxury hotel. However, there are many free experiences to enjoy and free transfers available in Australia! For example, you can ride the CAT bus in Perth for free and it’ll take you around Perth CBD or when in Melbourne, get on the free Tram in Melbourne’s city centre. There are more ways for budget-conscious travellers to save money on their future trips to Australia.
2. Get to know Australia’s travel restrictions and visa requirements
While the international borders remain closed during COVID-19, it’s important to take note of Australia’s travel restrictions and visa requirements before it opens to leisure travellers again.
If you’re travelling during the pandemic, here’s what you need to know:
- As of January 2021, only Australian citizens, residents, immediate family members and travelers who have been in New Zealand (14 days before the day of arrival) are allowed to enter Australia.
- All international travellers are required to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding the flight to Australia
- Travellers are required to undergo a health screening upon arrival and complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine
- After you’ve completed your quarantine, you’re only allowed to travel within Australia while adhering to the state’s domestic travel restrictions.
- Visit the Australian Government Department of Health’s website for biosecurity measures and travel restrictions for international travelers.
- We recommend checking the latest requirements before travelling to Australia as the situation may change from time to time.
Besides familiarising with Australia’s latest travel restrictions, international travellers must also follow the country’s visa requirements.
How to apply for an Australian tourist visa
- For travellers residing in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, you need a valid Australian visa to enter the country.
- There are two types of tourist visas: Electronic Travel Authority Visaand Visitor Visa.
- For those with existing tourist visas, you can reapply without paying for visa application charge (VAC) after borders reopen, make sure you check what the latest conditions are to enjoy this benefit.
- To apply for a tourist visa, visit your country’s Australian Embassy or Consulate. Singaporeans and Malaysians can also apply their visa online. For Indonesians, you can apply for your visa online and collect it from the Australian embassy.
- If you need help with visa application, reach out to your nearest certified Aussie Specialist agents who have been trained, and experienced to assist you with travel planning, visa application and booking.
- Travellers also need to complete an Australia Travel Declaration form which can be done online
Items that are prohibited to bring into Australia
If you’re planning to bring goods for your loved ones in Australia, there are items that are prohibited or need to be declared upon arrival. Some of the prohibited items include fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, and plants. Other items such as duty-free goods and prescription medicines need to be declared.
You might plan to bring some of your favourite food from home too! Remember that you need to declare canned meat products, dairy products, noodles or pastas, and more. If you’re bringing packed food, make sure the ingredients are listed on the packaging for easy reference. To know more, check out the full list in the Australian Border Force’s website.
3. Decide where you want to visit in Australia
From the bustling city in Melbourne to soft sand beaches in Perth, there’s a destination for every type of traveler. Each destination has public facilities for families, those with disabilities and different age groups, so there’s a place out there for everyone. To inspire your future getaway, here are the best places you can visit in Australia in 2021!
For family-friendly vacations, there are many museums, green spaces and farm experiences in Canberra. Your kids will enjoy spending time at the National Dinosaur Museum and the National Gallery of Australia! If you’re planning to go to Melbourne, don’t forget to check out their street art scene and visit Phillip Island for the famous penguin parade. Hobart is also great for families and you can visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Garden or hike to the top of Kunanyi!
For romantic getaways, head over to Sydney and surrounds where you can hike up to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge and admire popular scenic landmarks such as Dawes Point and Campbells Cove. Honeymooners can also go on a scenic road trip along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road and enjoy each other’s company!
For best friend trips, experience everything that Adelaide has to offer including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Central Market and Rundle Mall. Your group can also enjoy an Instagram-worthy holiday in Perth and surrounds. Don’t forget to explore the Elizabeth Quay for the iconic Perth sign and visit Fremantle Markets for souvenirs.
For solo adventurers, head over to Darwin to explore the Aboriginal culture and history at Tiwi Islands, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and more. In Queensland, you can also see a whole new side of Australia’s wildlife and nature parks in the Scenic Rim and visit the acclaimed Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.
4. Pick the best seasons to visit Australia
Unlike Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia has four seasons with varying temperatures. If you’re looking forward to seasonal experiences, such as whale watching or floral festivals, make sure to research the best time to visit Australia. Knowing the seasons in advance can also help to plan the right outfit, especially during autumn and winter when the temperatures are colder.
Best seasonal experiences in Australia
Spring (September - November)
Spring is the season of blooming flowers in Australia. Visit Sydney and Perth to admire the Jacarandas and wildflowers. Catch the Flower Festival Floriade in Canberra and go on a hot air balloon ride in Australia.
Summer (December - February)
Summer in Australia is similar to the warm weather in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. For outdoor activities, join the locals and go surfing at Bondi, relax with a good book at the beach of Esperance, go kayaking with the dolphins at Byron Bay and plan a hiking trip with your friends in Tasmania.
Autumn (March - May)
Head over to Australia’s famous autumn spots such as Victoria’s High Country and the Grampians where the hills flourished with fiery red leaves. Drive through the earthy Adelaide Hills region or immerse yourself in the Fringe Festival in Adelaide city.
Winter (June - August)
Winter is perfect for anyone who enjoys the cold weather in Southern Australia and skiing in the Australian Alps is a must. If you want to escape the cold (and still enjoy a mid-year holiday), visit Australia’s Northern Territory to experience sunny days and cool nights. You can admire the natural landscapes in Darwin and The Kimberley or go whale watching in Queensland.
P.S. To inspire your next holiday in Australia, plan your trip with this seasonal guide! Do note that the seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere.
5. Plan an itinerary for your future getaway
Once you’ve identified the best time to visit, let’s plan your itinerary! Depending on the duration of your holiday, you can come up with an itinerary that suits your interests and budget.
For travellers who enjoy the bustling city, these Muslim-friendly guides to Canberra and Adelaide and surrounds are perfect for you. To see a scenic side of Australia, these Muslim-friendly guides to the Legendary Pacific Coast and Melbourne to Sydney Coastal Drive are inspiring to discover!
For the ultimate road trip to Australia, make your pick from Australia’s 10 most iconic road trips. You can even make it your own by using this Australia Road Trip Planner so you won’t miss any attractions and activities along the way.
If you need help, look for travel agencies that have certified Aussie Specialists. They are trained to plan and book Australian holidays and can offer good advice. Many of them have personally visited Australia too, so you can get first-hand information from them!
6. Keep refining your travel plans until you’re ready to visit Australia
It may be awhile before the international borders reopen in Australia, so take the time to refine your travel plan. Set aside some time every fortnight to review your budget and itinerary, so it’ll be ready when it’s time to travel to Australia again!
Keep a lookout for details such as attractions’ deals, opening hours, and other places to visit during wet weather. Since you’ll be travelling to Australia in the new normal, research the cost of COVID-19 test and hospitals closest to your accommodation, in case you need it.
Getting travel insurance is also important to cover any medical expenses, accidents or loss during your trip. If you’re planning to go on an outdoor adventure like scuba diving, skiing or hiking in Australia, check if these activities are covered under your policy too. Lastly, don’t forget to read the fine prints for flexible date change or refund policy for hotels and tours!
There are many things to consider before planning your future trip to Australia, from choosing the right travel buddies to planning a holiday that fits everyone’s budget. While we’re waiting for a safer time to travel, let’s plan our vacation now and visit Australia again when the time is right. Don’t forget to keep your wanderlust alive by dreaming about the things you wish you were doing right now in Australia!
This article is brought to you by Tourism Australia.