Getting the right travel insurance for your holiday to Australia

Australia is a hugely popular destination for British travellers – over 670,000 of us visit every year. For many it’s the vast, wild beauty of the outback that attracts them, or the enjoyment of the coastal cities.  For others, Australia is the home of family members or friends – the top three cities in the world for British expats are all in Australia: Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.

Australia is an enormous place, so you’ll want to plan your journey carefully. This is particularly the case if you are travelling to remote areas, perhaps for bush-walking or swimming. Whatever you’re hoping to do on your holiday in Australia, we can often provide you with a tailored policy to suit your specific needs.

For the peace of mind you need on your holiday to Australia, make sure you take out our Travel Insurance. Simply give us a call on 0800 033 4902 and a member of our team will be very happy discuss all the options with you.

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Medical travel insurance for Australia

Australian healthcare standards are very high. Under a mutual healthcare arrangement, British citizens resident in the UK and travelling with a British passport to Australia are entitled to a limited level of subsidised health services from their healthcare provider – Medicare.

Please note, however, this only covers essential, urgent medical attention; it 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 healthcare arrangements between Australia and the UK, the cost of emergency medical treatment can be very high. For this reason, it’s well worth arranging Comprehensive holiday insurance before you start your trip.

Do I need vaccinations for my holiday to Australia?

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.

Cover your pre-existing medical conditions with your travel insurance

We specialise in holiday insurance, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

We cover a huge range, so if you do have a particular medical conditions there’s a very good chance we’ll be able to cover you.  To make sure we can provide you with adequate cover, it is very important that you declare any and all pre-existing medical conditions during our simple screening process. You can do this online or over the phone with one of our friendly specialists in our UK Contact Centre. Why not call us now and see how we can help?

Tailor your policy to suit your needs

Your holiday insurance policy for Australia can be shaped to your needs. For instance, you can add cover for travel disruptions, gadget insurance, or an excess waiver, and also cover for golfing trips, skiing and other sports and activities (21 days of Winter Sports Cover are included as standard in all Comprehensive policies*).

To add on optional extra to your travel insurance policy, you can simply click on the Additional Cover Option during our simple quote process, or you can discuss the above or any other travel needs by telephoning our travel insurance experts.  They’ll be pleased to help.

Getting it right down under

Although we have much in common with Australia, culturally, it’s a very different country to Britain. It’s worth being well prepared, including knowing about key requirements for travel.


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. Both cover multiple visits up to three months within a 12 month period.

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 can 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
  • 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 while driving in Australia.

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 being destroyed. So it’s best to find out in advance if anything you are planning on taking with you might go against regulations. You’ll find useful information here.

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 and banking while in Australia

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 FAQ

  • Do I need vaccinations to visit Australia?

    Generally speaking, no. But a Certificate of Vaccination may well be required if you are arriving from an at risk area for Yellow Fever.
  • Can I take my medication into Australia?

    You will not need a permit to bring in most prescription medicines even if they contain a controlled substance because such imports are generally covered by a traveller exemption scheme. However, there are some exceptions, and you should check on the Australian Home Affairs page on Bringing medicine into Australia.
  • Is there an age limit for travel insurance for Australia?

    There is no upper age limit if you are buying a Single Trip policy. If you are 85 or under, your travel to Australia can be covered as part of an Annual Multi-Trip policy.
  • What is the longest I can stay?

    In visa terms, you are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 3 months at a time. It is possible to leave the country and re-enter for a further 3 months within the life time of the visa (12 months). If you are planning a longer holiday, Staysure Long-Stay policies are available, providing cover for up to 104 days.

Get your Travel Insurance for Australia quote today

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

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*Winter sports cover available for people aged under 71 and on a Comprehensive policy.