Travel insurance for Australia

Over 670,000 British people visit Australia each year, the vast majority of their trips being trouble-free.

Australia is a vast place so it’s essential to plan your journey carefully, particularly if you are travelling to remote areas, perhaps bush-walking or swimming. Whatever you plan to do on your holidays, Staysure can often provide you with a tailored policy to suit your specific holiday and medical needs.

To be sure you are adequately covered simply give us a call on 0800 033 4902 and a member of our team will gladly discuss all the options with you.

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Cover for medical conditions in Australia

The standard of healthcare in Australia is very high. Under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements, British citizens resident in the UK and travelling with a British passport are entitled to a limited level of subsidised health services from Medicare for medically essential attention in Australia. However, this does not cover treatment for pre-existing conditions or anything that does not require urgent attention.

Please be aware that if you’re not covered under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements between Australia and the UK, the cost of emergency medical treatment can be very high so it’s well worth arranging Comprehensive holiday insurance before you start your trip.

Australia travel information

Health

The FCO Travel Advice pages recommend that you visit your doctor at least four to six weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or special arrangements to suit your medical conditions, destinations or planned activities.

For emergency medical assistance during your trip to Australia, dial 000 for an ambulance. Make sure you contact your travel insurance company promptly, either before or just after you are referred to an emergency medical facility for treatment.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are not generally required to travel to Australia; however, if you are arriving from an at risk area for Yellow Fever, a Certificate of Vaccination may well be required.

Visas

A visa is required to travel to Australia. If you are aged 75 years or over you may be asked to undergo a health examination – factor in extra time for this when applying for your visa.

British citizens can get the following types of electronic visitor visa:

  • An eVisitor visa can be obtained from the Department of Immigration & Border Protection. There is no visa application charge or service fee for this.
  • Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) can be applied for via your travel agent or airline. There is no visa application charge, but a service fee of A$20 applies.

Bear in mind that upon arrival, you may be asked to provide evidence of funds to support your stay and a return or onward ticket.

Driving in Australia

You may drive in Australia with your UK driving licence as long as: you are a temporary overseas visitor; your UK license is valid; you have not been disqualified from driving anywhere; and your license has not been suspended or cancelled. You are legally obliged to carry your driving license and passport with you when driving. Finally, make sure you have sufficient motor insurance.

Driving in remote outback areas needs careful planning if you are to avoid unexpected hazards:

  • Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and fitted with GPS plus two spare tyres.
  • Take good maps and extra food, water and fuel.
  • Plan your route carefully seeking local advice before you set out.
  • Check road conditions before beginning your journey.
  • Stay with your vehicle if it breaks down.
  • Sudden storms and strong winds can make driving difficult.
  • Northern Territory police have been known to warn tourists to stay off unsealed tracks in remote areas of Central Australia due to reports of stranded motorists.
  • Mobile phone networks generally work well in large towns but coverage elsewhere can be very limited or non-existent.
  • Leave your route details and expected times of arrival with the local police, your hotel/hostel, or friends and relatives. Then let them know when you’ve arrived safely.

Quarantine laws

Luggage is x-rayed upon arrival and breaches of quarantine regulations can result in confiscation, large fines and if necessary, your unauthorised items will be destroyed.

While still on the plane you will be given a passenger card on which you must declare any food or goods of plant or animal origin. You will also be asked to declare whether you have “visited a rural area or been in contact with, or near, farm animals outside Australia in the past 30 days”.

FCO travel advice

Australia is subject to natural disasters including bushfires, flooding and tropical cyclones – these normally occur at the height of Australia’s summer (November to April). Dust storms also occur regularly throughout the year in outback areas.

The FCO’s page on natural disasters provides links to several websites where up to date information is provided.

Currency

  • Currency exchange is straightforward. Australian Dollars are available from most currency exchange providers and purchasing them in advance of your travel date is recommended as exchange rates at airports can often be poor.
  • Credit and debit cards are generally accepted in Australia, including at most bank cashpoint machines.
  • Banks are usually open on weekdays: 9.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and some will stay open until 5pm on Fridays.

Travel Insurance Australia

For your Australia travel insurance quote, simply apply online or speak to one of our travel insurance specialists on 0800 033 4902.

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†Based on all quotes given between January 2016 – December 2016