AustraliaTravel hints



Best time to dive in Australia
(Last updated April 2017)

Australia is such a vast country that the climate varies greatly with location and season. In general, Australia is a great year-round travel. The tropical climate in the North has distinct wet and dry seasons. Rain and high humidity dominate the wet season, cooler and drier months the dry season. The climate in the South of the continent is more temperate with warm summers and cool winters. In Australia, the seasons are reversed to the northern hemisphere: Spring: Sep-Nov, Summer: Dec-Feb, Autumn: March-May, Winter: June-Aug.

Diving conditions on the Great Barrier Reef are usually best from late August to early December. The tropical monsoon season is January-March and cyclones can occur then. Winds: Between May and August usually strongest.

Water temperature greatly varies with location and season. Average water temperature is around 27°-30°C (80°-87°F) off the northern coastlines in summer, and drop to around 22°C (71°F) in winter. The southern states have a constant cooler water temperature of around 16°-18°C (60°-65°F).

Jellyfish or stingers occur in the Far Northern tropical waters. "Stinger season" is from November until May, during the tropical wet season, when jellyfish appear along the coastline. Their stings are very painful and swimming without protection suit from the beach is not recommended. Protective net enclosures are set up at all tourist beaches out of Cairns during this time. The good news for divers is that the jellyfish poses no problem when diving because they never come as far as the reefs.
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. Online visa information can be found at: www.eta.immi.gov.au/
Health
As with all travels you should make sure that your usual immunisations such as polio, tetanus, etc. are current.

The northern parts of Australia belong to the few tropical areas in the world, where malaria does not exist. There are isolated cases of dengue fever and other rare tropical diseases, but there is no need for special prophylactic treatments or vaccinations.

Australia has several civilian decompression chambers operating in various regions, e.g. Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Fremantle, Darwin, Brisbane and Townsville.

Medical Kit suggestions:
- Analgesic
- Insect repellent
- Anti-seasick medicine
- Sun tan lotion
- Band aids (some large ones)
- Sunburn Cream
- Ear Drops- alcohol / vinegar base. Daily use will prevent outer ear infections.
- Antibiotic ointment for coral cuts. See your physician.
Currency
The local currency is the Australian Dollar.

Incidental charges can be paid by Visa, Mastercard or cash local currency with most dive resorts and liveaboards. For credit card payments, service charges will apply.

If your bank account is linked to the CIRRUS MAESTRO worldwide ATM network, you can use your bank key-card to get cash in Australia. Check with your bank for details. Most banks in Australia are open Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 4.00pm, Fridays until 5.00pm. Most tourist centres have currency exchange locations which are open late into the evenings and on weekends.
Departure taxes
All departures taxes from Australia are included in your international flight ticket.
Electricity
Voltage in Australia is 240/250Volt. 220V appliances usually work without problems. You have to bring a special adaptor for the 3-pronged sockets used in Australia.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All certified divers must present their certification cards in order to dive.

Dive operations in Australia offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. On dive school vessels, full gear hire is mostly included in your cruise cost. Please email us for advice. Tanks, weights, weight belts and air fills are included in all cruise packages.

Please note that Australia has INT tank fittings. If you have DIN fittings on your regulator, make sure you bring an adapter.
Dive insurance
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. A current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover is recommended for all diving arrangements in the South Pacific region. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:

North America: www.diversalertnetwork.org/
Europe: www.daneurope.org/
South-East Asia/Australia/Pacific: www.danasiapacific.org/
General travel insurance
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.
Clothing suggestions
Comfortable casual leisurewear is all what is needed when travelling in Australia. Make sure to check the climate zones - winter in the southern parts is really cold. Summer months in the tropical northern states can be extremely hot and humid.
Tipping
Good news: No one in Australia demands any tips for services rendered. Tips have never been part of the culture. That said, people always like to be rewarded for very good service. Give as much or little as you see fit. Tipping on dive boats is appreciated but never expected.
Safety
Australia must be one of the safest places in the world. People are very friendly, approachable and have a reputation for their inviting friendliness. If you use common sense and normal caution you will feel safe and can enjoy your once in a lifetime holiday "down under"!
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:

UK travel advisory for Australia
US travel advisory for Australia
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