Australia is the world's smallest continent and the world's sixth largest country by total area. It is often considered the world's largest island. Australia is about the same size as the USA and about twice as big as Europe, but has the lowest population density in the world. Australia stretches across 3 time zones.
Depending on your origin of travel there are several international gateways to Australia:
From North America
Several Star Alliance (US, UA, AC) and One World (AA, QF) carriers operate regular flights between the West coast of North America and the East coast of Australia.
The major Pacific gateways are Los Angeles and San Francisco with direct flights into Brisbane and Sydney; Vancouver offers daily flights into Sydney.
Many Asia based airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines or Cathay Pacific offer regular flights into Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Cairns can be reached from Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific or from Singapore with Jetstar Airways. Major hubs in Asia are Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
For divers travelling from Europe, most Asian hubs are popular stopover/transfer points on their way to Australia.
Domestic Air Travel
Due to large distances, the domestic flight network in Australia is very well established. The main domestic carriers are Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue. Regular schedules are offered from all major cities.
As part of your travel plan we will happily assist you in finding the most suitable flight connections to your dive destination. In many cases we can issue the tickets on your behalf.
Air taxes are subject to strong fluctuations and can change daily or until your flight ticket has been purchased. Taxes generally include local airport/security fees, departure taxes, ground handling fees and fuel surcharges.
Should the most convenient route involve instant purchase airfares we can still issue them with your authorisation. All airfares issued by us will attract a small service fee and might slightly be more expensive then the cheapest offers online.
In general, airfares available for purchase online depend on day of departure and time of travel. Those instant purchase airfares require full payment at time of booking. If you choose to arrange your own flights online, we won?t be able to provide any services for seat reservations, schedule or itinerary changes.
Most airlines have restricted the amount of baggage to be checked in free of charge.
For most carriers operating between the US and Australia, the 2 piece system still applies. You are allowed to check-in 2 pieces at max. 23kg (50lbs) per piece.
Coming from Europe and Asia, the checked baggage allowance is 1 piece at 20kg (44lbs) per person.
For domestic air travel in Australia, a strict baggage limit of 20-23kg (44-50lbs) applies. With Virgin Australia you can purchase a baggage allowance of 23kg (50lbs) with your ticket purchase. Recently, Virgin Australia has withdrawn any additional sports baggage allowance with immediate effect. Excess baggage charges will apply once the purchased baggage allowance has been exceeded.
Airlines are strictly enforcing their checked baggage limit and can charge excess baggage fees for additional checked pieces and dive gear.
Regulations can vary from airline to airline and with each tariff booked. Please let us know your specific requirements so we can advise you of the options at time of booking.
Most travellers arrive via the main entry points into Australia: Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne. Those airports feature separate international and domestic terminals. When transiting between flights, you should plan a minimum of 3 hours transit time in those locations. Brisbane provides an air train service for travelling between terminals. Sydney and Melbourne offer bus transfers and taxi services between terminals.
Visa & passport requirements
A valid passport (at least 6 month valid upon arrival) is required for your trip to Australia. You must also apply for a tourist visa (ETA = Electronic Travel Authority) at the nearest Australian Embassy or High Commission in your home country. In conjunction with your flight and diving arrangements, we can also issue the tourist visa for the following nationalities at our office:
Most Western European countries
The visa issuance is complimentary. The visa is valid for a stay of up to 3 months.
Online visa information can be found at: www.eta.immi.gov.au/
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information: